Dating Download: Three Lesbians Try Bumble and Date On a Deadline

Dating Download is an ongoing series where Shelli, Dani, and Drew try out the latest or most overlooked of dating apps so you don’t have to. Today they’re giving you the full download on Bumble.

Drew: Bumble was my go-to dating app summer of 2019. It basically felt like Tinder but I was tired of Tinder so I made the switch. On Tinder my matches and convos would pile up so I liked on Bumble how people disappeared unless I chatted with them. But then Fall of 2019 I deleted all my apps and when I returned I returned to the simplicity of Tinder.

Shelli: I went on Bumble for the first time almost two years ago. It was the app I went to right after my break-up, I was into it because I heard that there were a lot of local dykes on it and cishet men didn’t cloud up the queer girl side. I only lasted like two days because I saw a mutual friend of my ex on it.

Drew: Oh noooooo!

Dani Janae: I was always under the impression that Bumble was an app geared more toward straight couples, like I had heard there was a rule that women have to message first and I was like “well with lesbians that is always the case” and it felt for me like the app thought it was super revolutionary but really wasn’t.


Drew: Yeah I feel like a lot of queer women avoid it because the basic conceit of the app doesn’t really work for us. But the part where SOMEONE has to message within 24 hours or else the match goes away is still applicable.

Shelli: I liked that though this time around, the time stamp element. Mostly because no one fucking messages when you match on any app. So I enjoy that it’s sort of a push to be like “If you are actually into it you need to just go ahead and at least say hi”. But, for those that still need more time and also have expendable income, I like that they give you the option to try again and restart the convo — for a fee. I might start doing that IRL — charging a fee to let folks try again.

Dani Janae: Oh I didn’t even notice that feature! And lmao right? New rules for 2021.

Drew: Hahaha I never took advantage of that. As far as I’m concerned if I didn’t want to message in 24 hours then I didn’t want to message. Except I matched with someone on my birthday and then was immediately embarrassed that I was on Bumble on my birthday/Christmas Eve so I let that one expire even though she was cute.

Shelli: No! Why embarrassed?! You were celebrating!

Dani Janae: The time stamp element of it is really cool especially for women like me that always find ourselves making the first move.

Shelli: I was just going to ask if y’all made the first move on the app?

Drew: Oh I usually make the first move.

Dani Janae: In one instance she moved faster than me but it was to tell me she didn’t think we were a good fit lol


beeline is a very cute name for an app where users usually let the message expire

Drew: What!!! She went out of her way to message you that??

Dani Janae: Yes! She was like “I see you don’t want kids and that’s a deal-breaker for me” uhhh ok

Shelli: The option to unmatch is – right there. Her not just using it seems wild to me. Also, that goes to show that I don’t think people look at the little fact bubbles on the profile. I know I blew past them quite a few times.

I think I only filled out a few because the answers to the choices were hella vague. I did fill out my profile with my typical 3 sentence paragraph and although I like the option to attach my IG, I opted to just drop my handle in the profile instead.

But on the point of messaging first, I am almost always the first one to drop a line first.

Dani Janae: Yes I’m on a few dating apps and the questions/prompts on bumble leave a lot to be desired. I think the interface makes it easy to just swipe and go instead of scrolling to actually learn about a potential match

Drew: Maybe I’m weird but I take so much time thinking of my prompt responses! And I get annoyed when people’s answers are boring!

Dani Janae: I do too! I wanna give people a big taste of who I am upfront so they know what they are getting into.

Shelli: See, I think on the next dating app we try, I’m def going to attempt to do the prompts. It feels like the folks I match with on Bumble and other apps that have a hella filled out profile use that as an excuse to not chat. They have been like, “Well, that’s on my profile” and I’m like, “Ok I know but like — go into detail about why you love the CTRL album so much — I just wanna know.”

I operate in a, less on the profile more in the chat, kinda space.

Dani Janae: Definitely, gotta save a little somethin for the conversation.

Drew: I think because I message first sometimes I’m like… if you don’t give me anything in your profile what can I message you? I don’t just do “heys”. Especially right now dating app convos can feel so pointless and strained so if I don’t go into a convo with a topic then I’m sort of not interested. Of course, if someone wants to have a minimal profile and then message ME that’s totally fine.

How did your convos go?

Dani Janae: I had a great convo for awhile with one person but I think she dipped out, the rest of the conversations I had were with people I already knew from previous dating/friendship stuff and that was nice, but I wanted more.

Drew: I matched with a good amount of people who I was into and had brief convos with some of them. I’ve let most fizzle though…

Right now is both a great time for us to be reviewing these apps and also the worst time! Because I’m not sure I can blame Bumble?? I’ve been having major pandemic dating fatigue the past month or so. But there are like three people I’d totally have asked on a date in normal times.

Dani Janae: Definitely feeling the dating fatigue. Like I can be enamored one minute then completely bored the next!

Drew: I’m not sure if matches expiring is better for that fatigue or worse?

On the one hand it prevents things from piling up, on the other maybe you match with someone while not in the mood but would be at a later time.

Shelli: Most of my convos fizzled out pretty quick. I did let quite a few matches expire but no real chemistry with anyone. One girl I did match with was pretty dope and I got kinda high and watched her play games on Twitch for about an hour. I was too scared to send lewd messages in the Twitch chat so I just sent them to her phone and watched her reaction — it was pretty great.

Drew: That sounds fun!

Dani Janae: That’s so cute!


very willing to have someone drive 47 miles to me as I am too pretty to have a license

Shelli: Oh you know what was dope about the match process? Bumble gives you I think, 2 free filters. Usually filtering is a paid zone but I def liked picking and choosing which ones to turn on and off.

Drew: Which did you use?

Shelli: I think I fucked around a lot with the star sign and height — I can no longer allow Libras to disturb my peace.

Drew: Hahahaha

Dani Janae: Lmao hear that

Shelli: There is one Libra in my life right now that is chill but other than that — absolutely the fuck not.

Ok, let’s get into cishet men territory — did y’all come across a lot or nah?

Drew: I would say yes but slightly less than Tinder?

Dani Janae: Definitely less than Tinder for me and way fewer couples.

Shelli: I got more couples on Bumble for sure — which, I don’t necessarily mind but I wish it were more queer girl couples looking for thirds because that is a train I’m trying to ride. I wonder if there is an app dedicated to that?

Drew: I’ve also wondered that!

Dani Janae: God what I wouldn’t give to be romanced by a hot lesbian couple.

Drew: I’m not sure if this is an LA thing but the average person on Bumble seems to be hotter but more boring than the average person on Tinder??

Dani Janae: People on Tinder do tend to have more… character even if they don’t have much on their profile. I think the level of hotness is even across both platforms in my city.

Shelli: I don’t remember Tinder much! There were some hotties on Bumble here in Chicago but most of them were white women who wore Cubs hats and that’s saying something. On the POC side of things, there weren’t too many Black folks but there were quite a few Latinx folks and I dug that.

So far the most diverse dating app scene was TAIMI for me.

Dani Janae: Same!

Shelli: I also wondered if I did pay for premium, would there be a way for me to only see/be seen by people of color.

Dani Janae: Yo that premium fee? A little too much!

Drew: It’s interesting that Bumble gives you an exact number of people who have swiped right on you that you could see if you subscribed to premium. Why won’t they show me those people as I’m swiping though!

Shelli: For real, even the one week was quite a bit. I was hopeful that they would give a trial to test it out but it wasn’t offered to me.

Dani Janae: I want an app to show me who likes me with no fee because it’s my business.

Drew: It’s just confusing when it says there are no more people in my area but I can see 40 people have swiped right on me. Does that mean they aren’t in my area?

Shelli: People ran out in my area so often that I had to stay off for a day or two and then raise or lower my distance and ages.

Oh, also I tried out the BFF!I actually love the concept of the BFF side of things. It’s the exact same as the Love matching but you are looking for a friend! I ran into the EXACT same problem over there though — I would match and the other person wouldn’t respond to a convo. You would think shooting your friendship shot was easier but not at all.

Dani Janae: I didn’t even notice the BFF side. Is everyone just burnt out on human connection?


the most cursed and frequent view on any dating app

Shelli: I think so, especially around the holidays on these apps is already wild but during this time too — I know I am a bit.

Drew: It’s New Years Eve and I have the flu and I’m staring at the little “Your Move” icon on all these messages and like …….. god I need this pandemic to end.

Shelli: Do y’all think it fluctuates? The want to connect on these apps and then it going away maybe shortly after?

Drew: I think what’s hard is some nights I’m really in the mood to chat. But someone doesn’t respond until the next day and by then chatting with a stranger on a dating app is the last thing I want to do.

Dani Janae: Yeah I think so. I get on a swiping streak and then after awhile it feels kinda hopeless.

Drew: Generally I like Bumble, though. I was banned from Tinder so as long as I’m in a space where I want a dating app on my phone I’ll keep Bumble as just a sort of basic go-to.

Shelli: I did like it too. It didn’t feel as scary or overwhelming as the others we have tried. It’s simple, doesn’t have all the games, gives you the option to share a lot to just enough about yourself and even lets you backtrack if you need in a few ways.

Dani Janae: I like it too. It’s at least a little different than what I’m used to and I can appreciate that!

Shelli: Damn it, I’m gonna hit four martinis tonight and re-download, I just fucking know it.

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  1. Shelli there is an app for couples dating that is queer inclusive. It’s called feeld, but last when I tried it the app had bugs & it too requires payment to see who one matched with. Boo. Actually seen more wlw couples on tinder than bumble. I am in the same area as Drew & have seen more than enough cis men on there, some using the wrong settings by mistake.

  2. Okay. So here’s my (existential) horror story about Bumble and dating apps in general. I, as my Gemini rising nature is wont to do, always usually make the first move. As someone in my mid-thirties I have long grown out of the need for validation from people messaging first. But anyway.

    Months ago, on Tinder, I matched with a cute, talented, interesting enbee person that moves in the same circles as I do. It’s a smallish city and we’re both queer people who go to the same university. I messaged. They didn’t reply. Then, a couple of months later, I matched with them again on Her. I messaged. They didn’t reply. And I went into a mini meltdown. Full disclosure I have BPD which makes rejection and catastrophising somewhat of a norm. I apologised for imagined slights. I went into full “I am not worthy” mode. No response, and I left it at that and tried my best to move on.

    Two weeks later they matched with me AGAIN on Bumble. And this was not a they swiped right ages ago and I’m just catching up. Again, this is a small town and the queer dating pool is a little shallow. But now, as it is Bumble, I can’t wait for them to message first. I was locked into making the first move. And wouldn’t you know? Silence.

    So now I have to do the awkward wave and smile at the person who went out of their way to ghost me three times at the inevitable university gatherings we both attend. Still, it would be a funny meet-cute to tell the grandkids right? 😰

    • If it’s any comfort, some people consistently use these apps for the satisfaction of matching and have no apparent intention of chatting or meeting up. They might not even realize that’s what they’re doing, it’s just a behavior pattern in a phone-hooked world. Just one of the many hazards of online dating.

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