I am equally terrified and excited for this week.
The age-old question of how to make friends as an adult has been on my mind ever since I moved to Nashville a year ago. I knew four people when I moved here, and I had no clue how I’d branch out.
Making friends as an adult is hard. I have people I love in my life already, and it’s hard sometimes to push myself to continue to meet new people. Once I moved here, I knew I would have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in social situations.
I’ve also been spoiled when it comes to friendships. For the most part, my friends are all in similar life stages to me. While our relationship statuses, job descriptions, and locations all differ, we’re still pretty similar.
You can’t find that as easily as an adult. I can’t post an online ad for someone my age, in a similar job, with a similar affinity for their cat and get people to respond. Or can I?
Enter Bumble BFF and one of the most chaotic weeks in my life.
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The irony of downloading a dating app the month I get engaged is not lost on me.
Whether you’ve been on Bumble before or not, you’ve most likely heard a mixture of success and horror stories. I met my soon-to-be husband on Bumble, so I believe in this app (at least, the dating version of it).
But Bumble isn’t just for dating. The app has three modes: date, BFF, and Bizz. Yes, the default is dating, and I did swipe left (swiping left means rejecting, swiping right means accepting!) on a bunch of men until I realized that I needed to change my preference settings, but the other options on the app have seen some success stories as well.
If you’re very familiar with the regular Bumble app (i.e. swiping to get dates), Bumble BFF will probably be very uncomfortable for you. It’s the same thing as the dating app. Truly, the only difference I saw was that my Bumble BFF was all girls, while my dating Bumble was all boys.
The prompts are slightly edited to ask about ‘friendship dates’ rather than actual dates, but that’s about it.
Unpopular opinion: I love dating apps. I’m a very goal-oriented and fast-paced person. If you can give me multiple options for something, I’ll make a decision as soon as possible. I think I found my partner so quickly because I wanted to see everyone on the app and I speed-swiped.
But you can’t exactly speed swipe on Bumble BFF. I guess you can, but then you have to do more work on the back end.
Does this mean I’m pickier about my friends than my life partner? Maybe.
Another problem I have with the app is the pictures. Yes, it’s good that I know what these people look like, but I found myself debating swiping on them just based on their profile picture. Again, Bumble was made as a dating app first, and sometimes you only swipe right on a guy for his pictures. But for the BFF version, I wanted to be completely unbiased.
I’ve also noticed people are way cooler online than in person. I doubt these girls explore the world as much as they say they do or that they thrift every week. They are most likely like me and sitting on their couches with their cats watching Moon Knight and drinking rosé.
But many profiles did intimidate me, so I swiped left on the girls I thought were too cool for me.
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I downloaded Bumble BFF and went to work. I wanted to appear calm, cool and collected but quickly realized that I couldn’t keep up with that charade for too long.
I think my original dating bio said something about being a Disney princess, so I stuck with that. I’ve learned that writing a bio about yourself might be one of the hardest things you can do. I explained I had a cat, a partner, my interests, and my enneagram number and I was off to the races. I wish I was more original, but there wasn’t much to work with.
One thing I noticed right off the bat is the differentiation in the volume of matches.
I’ve been on many dating apps throughout the years, and I would say I have a 90% match rate. Nearly every time I swiped right on a man, it would be a match. But that didn’t happen on Bumble BFF often. I was on the app for 24 hours and didn’t get a single match.
The introvert in me is so happy, but my insecurity is suffering.
I know people ‘liked’ me, but I have to pay for the app to see who did, and that’s just not worth it, in my opinion.
I know I’m being picky, too. Is it okay to say I’m pickier on Bumble BFF than I was when I was searching for a boyfriend? I thought I would get more matches than I have, so I’m going to dedicate a huge chunk of my day swiping today just to see if I can get a match.
It’s day three and I’ve gotten one match. I don’t know if I’m doing this wrong or if I’m just not Bumble BFF material. While part of me is celebrating because I don’t have to talk to any strangers, I am wondering how so many people have found success on this version of the app.
And then, just when I was about to give up, someone sent me a message.
I swear, I had more anxiety about opening this message than I did when my partner first messaged me. I waited for the appropriate time to message back (actually, I forgot and waited 12 hours) and it led to nothing.
I can’t shake how eerily similar it feels to the dating version of the app either, so that makes me feel super uncomfortable, too, even though I’m mostly matching with married or engaged women.
It’s day five and I realized another thing that’s giving me pause. I’d used these dating apps in two places previously: my hometown and the town I went to college in. I didn’t know everyone on the app, but I knew a lot more people than I thought.
That’s not the case in Nashville.
I think I felt comfortable going out on dates with strangers in my other towns because I still felt like I knew them. I’d expanded my circle to a bigger city, so it feels more dangerous, by default.
@thefriendshipexpert YES, the app works. But you gotta work it right. (More helpful tips from app pro @user5875314181947 ) #bumblebff #friendshipcoach #friendadvice ♬ ROCKSTAR – DaBaby, Roddy Ricch
It’s been a week and I don’t think Bumble BFF is for me, but I think that’s okay.
All in all, I had two matches. I don’t know how many people I swiped right on, but I promise, it was more than two. I think that’s for a few reasons. I didn’t dedicate hours to swiping, and when I was on the app, I combed through everyone’s profile. I don’t think I’m the odd one out in this.
There’s more of a rush and sense of urgency on the dating side of the app. While it’s important to find and grow friendships, I don’t think too many people are on Bumble BFF for more than 20 minutes.
While I do feel like I failed this challenge, I also am okay with that.
I don’t know what would have happened if I met someone on the app, bonded, and then met them in person. But I’m glad I tried the app because now I know what does and doesn’t work for me.
Did I find out the secret to making friends as an adult this week? No. But at the end of the day, I have two of my best friends coming over tonight (both of whom I met online, shockingly) and that’s enough for me!
Have you ever tried Bumble BFF? Did you have more success than I did? Comment below!
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