I paid for Bumble. I felt slightly weird about it at first—like there was something wrong with my ability to get the dates I wanted otherwise—but actually I know several people my age who pay for it. And if no one paid, those apps would’t exist. So given all my years of using the apps for free, maybe it was my turn to contribute. Turns out, I really liked the features I got with a paid account. It was nice to be out of the urgent swiping game and able to browse everyone who liked me whenever I wanted. I was able to make more conscious and careful decisions about who to initiate a chat with and who to go out with. When you can only see one person at a time, you waste a lot of time messaging with people you are on the fence about because you have to select yes or no immediately to be able to see the next person. Bumble Beeline allowed me to keep those “maybe” guys on hold for a rainy day without having to engage them in conversation.
While I do think paying for those three months was worth it, the sheer number of guys who swiped right on me was overwhelming. Sorting through all the ones who I wasn’t compatible with took time. There’s no way to quickly filter out certain guys. Bumble has advanced filters, but they don’t work the way they should. For example, if I filter for “Doesn’t want kids,” Bumble removes all guys who have kids and all guys who want kids, which is good, but it also removes all the guys who simply didn’t fill out that optional field. That’s not good. Those guys should still be included since they haven’t specified a preference. So, I ended up keeping filters off and had to sift through the hoards manually to eliminate people with kids, people who want kids, conservatives, anyone who identified as religious, and people who smoke pot frequently. The number of Christian conservatives who have/want kids and who swiped right on my profile really pissed me off, given that my profile (not that anyone bothers to read profiles) clearly indicates we would not be compatible. And there are also just so many, many bad profiles out there. Here are some of the more cringe-worthy from my would-be suitors.
Also of particular interest to me was seeing that eight people I’d already gone on dates with swiped right on me again. These were the Communications Account Manager, UI/UX Designer, The Handyman, The Artist, The Environmental Researcher (who strangely also sent me a Facebook friend request (which I declined) four months after our date), The Pilot, Software Engineer #2, and Software Engineer #3. Really, guys? It’s not a hold over glitch from before. I deleted my Bumble profile for two months and opened a new one in January, so these people saw me and chose to swipe right again. Did they really not remember we had already gone out? Did they think I changed my mind?
In addition, two guys I know from reality and say hi to about once a month swiped right on me. Slightly awkward, except neither of them have any way of knowing I have the paid version and saw that they are interested in going on a date with me. Someone I work with also swiped right on me, although he may not even know we work for the same company since we work in different buildings and I omitted all my employment information from my profile. And someone I was hanging out with as friends swiped right on me. When I asked him about it, he said it was to game the algorithms, since he’s looking for someone like me. Yeah, I don’t know if I believe that. He did know that I have the paid version and it made me pretty uncomfortable, though I had also been feeling uncomfortable hanging out with him for a while before that happened.
But, like I said, the paid version allowed me to take my time and be selective. It also led me to consider people who I never would seen come across my feed in the free version since they were out of the geographical range I set. And I really would have missed out because I’ve been dating a special someone now for a month. While I’m not going to give any details yet, let’s just say it’s going really, really well and I’m not renewing my paid membership. In fact, despite our short time together, I’ve already deleted my Bumble account completely and set all the other worker bees free. And so did he.