It’s a Brave New World

bumble2So I told you guys a few days ago about how I recently decided to take control of my dating life…or my non-dating life, which feels like a more accurate description of how things were going…by signing up for the dating app, Bumble. And the past month and a half of my life has been one wild ride! As I mentioned in my last post, I have never tried any form of online dating or dating app until now, so learning the ropes of this brave new world has been fun and challenging and eye-opening all at once. It has literally challenged me to my core to have to put myself out there and initiate conversations and even dates with men…which might seem silly to some of you…but for me, as someone who’s been somewhat stuck in my traditional ways for some time now, it’s been HUGE. And also scary and exhilarating and nerve-wracking and empowering. You see, that’s the big difference between Bumble and other dating apps: the woman has to make the first move. Why? You might ask. Because it’s designed to give control to the woman and allow her to pick and choose who she wants to talk to rather than be besieged by tons of unwanted advances. Basically, you swipe right on a man you’re interested in and if he swipes right on you, too, and you match – you then have 24 hours to send him a message. Once you send the message, he then has 24 hours to respond. And then hopefully the magic starts to happen. But we’ll get to that! Before you can send a message, or even really get started swiping, you have to set up your profile. And the key to success at online dating is…the profile.

Granted I’ve only been doing this a little over a month, but it didn’t take long for me to catch onto the fact that there are a few keys to a successful online dating profile. In no particular order, here are a few easy tips for making your profile stand out:

  1. The Bio. You have a few short sentences to tell the world who you are…make them count. It’s important to provide people with a glimpse into who you are and your personality rather than simply listing your stats like the back of a baseball card. Humor is always good. I recommend staying away from anything too heavy and serious (i.e. “I haven’t dated in two years because I’ve been mourning my divorce and am just getting back out there!”) because if you match and connect with someone, there’s always time to get into serious stuff later. I’m actually including a screenshot of my Bumble profile here so you can hopefully get some ideas for writing your own unique bio.bumble
  2. Pictures: I think it’s important to stay away from all heavily filtered/professional photos. Obviously you want to put your best foot forward, but if your every photo is a glamour shot, you’re not giving people the chance to see the real you. I think it’s good to mix and match close-ups with full body shots, and to also include pics of you in action, doing things you love to do. If you have six mirror selfies, you’re not exactly offering a glimpse into who you are. I’ve even had guy friends tell me they steer clear of profiles of women with all mirror selfies because it just comes off as boring and lacking in imagination. Also, please reconsider super sexy, duck lips, bikini, or otherwise scantily-clad photos. Unless you’re just looking for a hook-up…then by all means, carry on.
  3. Overall, let your personality shine through your pics and your bio. There is a very limited amount of space to tell men you might want to date who you are. Put out there what you hope to attract back. If you want to attract someone who’s into the outdoors or plays or books or movies, make sure your profile reflects those interests. And above all…be yourself. Eventually you’re going to meet some of your connections in person and you want the person they meet to be as close to the profile they swiped right on as possible.

OKAY…

Once you’ve got your colorful, fun, authentic profile up and going…the next big step is sending that first message to the men you connect with. And that can be intimidating. Particularly if you’re like me and tend to wait on the guy to initiate. (Here’s where all the antiquated advice we’ve heard from books like “The Rules” starts to kick in. We resist moving with the times and realizing that it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and things have changed. But they have, in fact, changed. Whether or not we choose to adapt or let our dating life suffer because of years of bad advice we’ve been given is up to us. Much more on this later.) But you want your message to be cute and fun and something that stands out rather than just a lame “hi.” Reason being is that these men are likely getting hit with numerous messages from other women and you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. My way of navigating this process so far has been to try and connect my first message back with something fun on his profile. (To that end, men of Bumble: START FILLING OUT YOUR BIOS!) Even if his bio is blank, you can still usually find something within his profile pics that’s conversation-worthy. And if not, you might just have to use your imagination and come up with something cute and flirty that’s not related to his profile…but as long as you stay away from the boring, unoriginal “Hi,” you’re golden. Now, all that said, you might have to warm up a bit and try and few different approaches before you find one that works. When I first started bumbling, some of my opening lines were horribly cheesy. Interestingly enough, one of the corniest lines I used on a guy actually ended up leading to a fun flirtation/something-I-don’t-really-know-how-to-categorize that’s still going on a month later…so I guess there’s an exception to every rule 🙂

I wanted to give you guys sort of a starter, crash course in Bumble 101, as I’ve had a lot of questions from people about using the app over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who still have questions…I’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A tonight at 6pm CT with my friends at Bumble and answering anything you’d like to know about the app or online dating, so join us! Just make sure you’re following me and Bumble on Twitter to follow along.

And as always…sound off in the comments below! With online dating tips, questions, feedback, or your experiences with Bumble or any other dating app. We’re all in this together, ladies! And I don’t know about you, but it helps me to hear from other people who are also venturing out into this brave new dating world.

Also, make sure you check out the new Bumble Buzz tab on my website to keep up with all my Bumble/online dating adventures!

 

14 Responses to “ It’s a Brave New World ”

  1. Zoey
    November 1, 2016

    It would be nice to hear about something that can help single people who live in the country and small towns… these apps you have to pay for seem to work for the bigger centers. The free ones are way more popular due to the distance between souls lol

    • Hannah
      November 2, 2016

      Bumble is free

  2. Jam
    November 1, 2016

    Hi Mandy, I’m an avid reader. Anyways, I know exactly how you feel. Last month, I went out and downloaded my first dating app ever- TINDER. It felt really weird and funny at first. It was like introducing yourself again and again. Luckily, I’ll have my first date with a man that I met in the app this mid-November. So let’s hope for the best! Good luck to us!

  3. T Mayhew
    November 1, 2016

    Good on you for ‘getting out there’ but please be warned that there are A LOT of disordered people on dating sites. Unfortunately I met my toxic narcissist on a reputable online dating site and 8 years later, paid very, very heavily for it – emotionally, financially and psychologically.

    I can give you tips on red flags and pointers that I would recommend to others:
    1. Set up a separate email account or your dating profile. The reason being is my ex hacked my regular email account. This keeps things separate.
    2. Do not give out any personal information, such as your landline number, address and, to be honest, even your surname, unless you’ve gotten to know him/her.
    3. Go with your gut feelings – always!
    4. If he/she starts ‘lovebombing’ you (your phone, email or messanger, etc.) lights up with a million messages, that is a red flag.
    5. If you feel like you have a connection, I would try to meet them within 2 weeks after initial contact. Of course always in a public place and tell a friend who and where you’re meeting.
    6. If they start slating their exes, that’s a red flag.
    7. DON’T divulge too much information about yourself on the first couple of meetings/contacts.
    8. Always trust your gut – please! No matter how handsome, nice or polite the person is, if it feels wrong, then listen.
    9. YOU set the pace of the relationship. Don’t be hurried or harrassed into dating quickly to begin with. That too, is another red flag.
    10. Listen, I mean really listen to what they talk about. You can pick up a lot by not just what they say, but HOW they say it (disparaging about exes, friends or family?)
    11. Don’t be cajoled or talked into anything you don’t feel comfortable with. Keep up your boundaries and enforce them. Please!
    12. Listen to your gut again.

    There are decent people out there, genuinely looking for a relationship, but sadly, there are many ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ that come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and if you know the red flags (Google them), then at least you’re forewarned. And forewarned is forearmed.
    Good luck!

    • Christina
      November 1, 2016

      Great tips! Thank you for your care!

  4. Hannah
    November 2, 2016

    I think its awesome you’re back out there.. You take one stop, God takes 1000. And I totally know what you mean about it feeling odd to go against all the dating advice which is so much about letting the man lead! Perhaps there is some amount of wisdom in that but I think since women have become more aggressive basically the rest of us have to keep up or we miss out on quality men, cause if we don’t act then someone else will and.. Men are lazy lol and generally not trying to find relationships. One might say would you want a lazy man? But I’ve come to learn it’s more about they want to see interest on our part too and sometimes it does mean making the first move, initiating conversation etc. So yes, definitely worth an article on its own. I might not be single if I hadn’t listened to all the old school best selling advice to wait for the man to make a move! But hey you learn when you learn.

  5. J
    November 2, 2016

    Love is patient
    Check out Love, Sex, and Dating by Andy Stanley

  6. Natalie
    November 3, 2016

    I’ve followed you for a over a year now and have been so inspired by your journey. What’s funny is I started with Bumble a few months ago as well and stumbled upon today’s blog from a quote you had in Insta: it may not go anywhere but the adventure may be worth it all or something like that……whats funny is I recently started seeing a guy from Bumble and it has totally been that! I hope you find what you’re looking for too! Blessings!

  7. Rachel
    November 3, 2016

    Good luck Mandy! I want more details about your dates!

  8. JP
    November 3, 2016

    What filters are available on Bumble? Is there a way to limit matches to other Christians? Or do you have any tips for finding men who share your faith and values on apps like this? Thank you!

    • Mandy Hale
      November 4, 2016

      There are no filters except for age and distance. I recommend paying attention to the guy’s bio or just taking a shot 🙂 I’ve found interestingly that I’ve matched with guys who I didn’t know loved God until I started chatting with them.

  9. Ros
    November 5, 2016

    I tried a Christian dating site, the men are disgusting, all they want to do is talk dirty, I got really tired and gave up.

  10. Ninja
    November 6, 2016

    “Here’s where all the antiquated advice we’ve heard from books like “The Rules” starts to kick in. We resist moving with the times and realizing that it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and things have changed. But they have, in fact, changed. Whether or not we choose to adapt or let our dating life suffer because of years of bad advice we’ve been given is up to us.” -My favorite text in this post.

    Really good stuff overall, Mandy.

    You’re demonstrating solid leadership among your sisters in a pretty intimidating and life-shaping journey.

    Kudos!

    T Mayhew, my sympathies to your online experience. Excellent safety advice that all Mandy’s readers should copy and paste somewhere they can refer to it often.

    As I man who daily works at surrendering my life to Christ, these are some tips I would give my Christian sisters.

    *SMILE! Let the joy of the Lord reach your face. =)
    *Be Honest. This doesn’t mean you share every life experience. It means that on your profile you have current pics and accurately describe your About You, interests, hobbies, faith background, etc.
    *Talk About Your Faith. That will attract the right kind of “fish.” Make sure the yoke is equal!
    *Create Standards BEFORE you get butterflies. We’ve all blown it here a time or two. Have an idea of where you stand on the who, what, where, when, why & how of your experience with this new handsome fella (online & offline). If you compromise while you’re flirting (or at any stage) your witness for Christ is impacted.
    *MUST READ: The Sacred Search by, Gary Thomas. AMAZING!

    Praying for our adventures!
    =)

    “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” ~Ephesians 3:14-19

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