Spending the last seven months on the dating app Bumble has been an educational experience.
I’ve been taking a dive into the wild and a bit wacky world of online dating. When I first started this foray, I quickly discovered there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I found myself googling a number of words I’d never heard before. What’s a sapiophile? A pluviophile? And then there’s all the acronyms and terms. LTR. FWB. Ghosting. And what does that symbol mean?!
There was so much to learn.
With the spread of COVID I’m taking some time to step back and evaluate the experience. For me, song titles and lyrics have a way of bubbling up in my mind to accompany what I am noticing and learning. Here are seven songs that sum up the last seven months on Bumble:
“Somebody to Love” by Queen
When I began my journey, I often found myself thinking, “Hey Bumble! Find me somebody to love!” And I am not alone. One of the first things I noticed is that there are a whole lot of people out there looking for somebody to love. And we are all hoping that Bumble will be the way to find and connect with that somebody. We are looking for a deep and meaningful relationship. We are looking for somebody to share all of life’s ups and downs. We are looking for an LTR.
“Girls (and guys!) Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a whole lot of people looking for something other than love. Many are looking for something casual, something with no strings attached. They just wanna have fun and see what happens. They aren’t looking for a relationship. They are looking for FWB.
“I’m In Love With My Car” by Queen, again!
It’s common knowledge among the Bumble women users I know that the most posted photo in a guy’s profile involves his car. Sometimes he’s sitting in his car. Sometimes he’s standing next to his car. Sometimes it’s just a photo of his car. Tied for second are bathroom selfies, a photo of him holding a fish, or a shot of his reflection in the gym mirror. Since I don’t see women’s profiles, I’m curious to know if there’s a most posted photo for us as well and if so, do I have one?! Aside from all the predictable photos–if I can offer a pro tip to all the guys out there–no matter what photo you post, please take your sunglasses off. We want to see your eyes.
“Chemistry” by Semisonic
Ah, it’s all about chemistry. We all seem to be looking for that essential, elusive and hard to define thing called chemistry. And what I’ve discovered is that you must meet in person to see if it’s present. I’ve messaged a few guys where the potential for some pretty amazing chemistry seemed strong. But when we met in person, it was obvious it wasn’t there. The energy between us was flat. This taught me that just because something works in messaging doesn’t mean it will work in real life.
“Just My Imagination” by The Temptations
Just as with chemistry, my imagination and the stories it creates is another reason to meet in person relatively soon. When I spend too much time messaging, I create a story about who the guy is, what his voice sounds like, the way he smells, etc. My imagination runs away with me. And more often than not, my imagination is wrong. I know this happens for others, too. I met someone once who actually said, “I had an idea in my head about what your voice and laugh would sound like and it’s nothing like I imagined!” So there you go.
“Express Yourself” by Madonna
Madonna got the sentiment right when she sang “Long stemmed roses are the way to your heart, but he needs to start with your head.” For me, romance starts with words. He may have some amazing photos, but there has to be something more to touch my heart. He needs to ask me questions. It needs to be clear he wants to get to know me. On this front, I’ve experienced a wide range, from guys who respond to my messages with paragraphs to ones whose only response is “Heyyy.” There are guys with detailed and cleverly written profiles to ones with no profile information at all. When I asked one guy why he didn’t write a bio, he said, “Do people actually read that stuff?!” My answer: “OMG! YES! I DO!”
“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
If I had to pick just one song to sum up my Bumble experience, it would be this song. It has a number of lyrics that hit home, one of which is the line “It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.” Bumble has certainly been an interesting and educational ride. And what I am learning most is that it’s going to take some time. I’m looking for that gem in the haystack and it may take a lot of swipes before I find somebody to love. I need to be patient. And as the song also says, I must remember:
“Live right now, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough,
For someone else”
I’m learning to enjoy my life as it is right now. I’m learning to just be myself. And I’m learning I’m good enough even though someone else may not yet see it. Some guys unmatch for no apparent reason. Some guys I message never respond. And there are those guys who I swipe right on, hoping to see that BOOM! YOU’RE A MATCH!, and never do.
And whether I find somebody to love or not, this song ends with a good reminder:
“Everything, everything will be alright“