Get The Most Out Of Bumble: 9 Tips From An Online Dating Expert

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smiling woman on a date
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Bumble broke out several years ago and has been hot in the online dating world ever since.

If you’re not familiar with the app, it’s an unconventional twist on online dating. Much like all the other dating apps, once two people like one another’s profiles, you make a "connection."

Once the connection happens, you and your match can have a conversation and get to know one another.

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Bumble offers a great twist on traditional online dating apps.

Here’s the twist: The woman on the other end of the match must start the Bumble conversation within 24 hours. The man must respond to the message within 24 hours. Otherwise, the connection is lost.

When it comes to same-sex couples, either person can initiate the conversation. However, the time limit still applies to both parties.

If you're busy or simply forget about the time limit and still want a chance, you're allowed to extend one match per day for another 24 hours. If you pay for a premium subscription, you can extend unlimited matches as you want per day.

This dating app helps protect your privacy and mitigates catfishing risks.

Bumble also has video and voice chat so you can get to know your match better before meeting up, which mitigates the risk of being catfished.

And if you're worried about privacy, this feature is helpful with not giving out your personal information right away.

You can sign up for Bumble via Facebook or with a phone number.

If you sign up with Facebook, the app will access your public profile to help you build your profile.

This might include your friend’s list, relationships, birthday, work, and education history. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, simply sign up with a phone number.

Bumble can be used for dating, making friends, or networking.

Bumble will have you confirm if you're looking to date, make new friends, or network.

Many use Bumble for other purposes, so you can match with others looking for the same purposes. This way, you're not being lead in the wrong direction.

Once that’s out of the way, you can start building your Bumble profile. And you don’t want to create just any profile. You want an engaging profile to score yourself a nice date.

To get the most out of Bumble, here are 9 tips from an online dating expert.

1. Authenticity is key.

Be honest and real — it’s appreciated. No one is perfect. So, if you come across flawless without showcasing your actual characteristics, it’s not going to be successful.

If you feel you have a good sense of humor, showcase your humor. Do you love hiking? Share a photo of yourself hiking. More of a homebody? Share your favorite book and movie quotes in your bio.

Your photos are going to show what you like to do and what your lifestyle looks like, so make it real.

2. Use high-quality photos.

Your profile photo is the very first impression you make on someone when online dating. The primary profile photo is critical for success on Bumble. Someone interesting surely won’t swipe right if your photo isn’t any good or they can’t really see who you are.

It goes without saying that you don't want potential matches to be playing "Where’s Waldo?" in your profile photos. Thus, your primary photo must be of you and only you.

Next, you want them to be able to see your face, so take off those dark sunglasses, no matter how cool they make you look. And don’t use a photo where you're squinting.

The next thing to remember is to make sure that you smile. A great smile makes a huge difference.

Lastly, the quality of the photo matters. Remember, this is the photo that you're using to essentially market yourself to the world and find that special someone.

Do you really want to trust that to a selfie or a buddy taking a few shots on his little camera?

Your image and personal brand matters, so you want to do it right. If you know someone who really knows how to use a camera, lighting, and the rule of thirds, then ask them to take your photos.

Take a bunch of photos so you can pick the best ones — at least 50 photos in different outfits to maximize the photoshoot.

If you don’t know someone who’s great with a camera, then hire a professional dating profile photographer — it’s well worth the investment!

You can even use your pro photos on all your social profiles, from LinkedIn to Facebook and beyond.

3. Get a little help from friends.

Friends are honest and you trust them. So, it’s likely that you will use their views to improve your profile.

Need help writing your bio? Ask your friends. Sometimes they can describe you better than you can express yourself. That’s what friends are for!

Don’t be overly sarcastic or self-deprecating in your bio. Words online are often hard to sift through and can come off the wrong way.

Instead, say that you have a sarcastic sense of humor or love rattling off movie quotes.

4. Keep your photos updated.

Hopefully, you don’t have to stay on Bumble too long, but if you do, try updating your photos every few weeks.

Be thoughtful in your selections to reflect the seasons as you update your photos. Updating also signals to the app that you're active and, hence, will rank higher in the search.

5. Learn how to swipe correctly.

It’s essential to know how to use this dating app correctly. It’s annoying when you meet someone outside your dating parameters, like their age range and distance.

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Customizing your age and distance limits for matches helps, especially if you set these parameters when you set up your profile. You’ll find the matches you're looking for this way.

Remember: Swipe left and you’re not interested. Swipe right, and you could potentially meet your match by "liking" them.

If you do swipe past someone you're still considering, Bumble has a "Backtrack" feature that lets you go back and swipe right.

Also, you can pay for the add-ons such as "Bumble Boost" or "Super Swipe" to get additional features that help you mitigate the time limits or get a peek at someone who’s already liked you.

If you feel you'd like these advantages, go ahead.

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6. Use conversation starters that work.

If you're a female making a move, make sure you contact your match as soon as possible so the timer doesn't run out. If you're a male receiving a message, respond as quickly as possible.

Whatever way you cut it, it’s time to shine!

Try not to be off-put by being the first to message. You don’t want to be annoying, but you don’t want to come on too strong, either.

You should know that person matched with you for a reason, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself or respond. Try open-ended questions, so the conversation doesn’t become dull or die-out.

Remember to be kind and funny, but not snarky. Be a listener, too. Let the other person go ahead to give balance to the conversation.

You don’t want the conversation to be one sided. The discussion should flow smoothly from here and should lead to a date.

7. Get the date.

Bumble throws out traditional gender roles, so know that either party can speak up and ask the other for a date at any possible time. There are no rules as to who should go first in modern dating, so don’t get caught up in all that.

If you decide to be the one to ask for a date, wait until the idea of meeting the person is the next natural thing to do. If you ask too soon, you come on too strong.

Don’t let the conversation drag on for multiple weeks. No one wants a pen pal on a dating app! If your discussion is looking up, then go for the ask.

8. Be flexible.

When deciding on date ideas with your match, be flexible. It’s always a good idea to go for coffee or a drink for the first date.

Though, if you two are hitting it off so much already, dinner is an excellent idea. Don’t get too fancy, though. A semi-casual trendy place with good reviews is always a good idea.

It’s common courtesy that the person who does the asking pays for the date. However, you don’t want to get stuck in an awkward bind.

Whether or not you’re a man or a woman, always have enough money to pay for the date.

You don’t want to get stuck in an awkward position where the person is expecting you to pay your way, and you didn’t bring your wallet.

If you need to wait to meet in real life, you can also do a virtual date online. You can do voice and video calls. Plus, there are plenty of virtual date ideas out there!

9. Don’t sweat it.

Whether you're meeting your date online or in real life, you're now ready to venture out into the world of Bumble.

No one is perfect and your uniqueness is what makes you worthy of a suitable date.

Just remember to be yourself, old rules go out the window, and you got this!

Bumble does take some of that stress away if you’re a man, but if you’re a woman initiating a conversation, you have the same concerns.

You, too, need to understand how you are perceived so that you can manage your expectations and not waste your time swiping right on people that have a low probability of responding.

Be honest with yourself and focus on meeting new and interesting people who you can actually meet and get to know, rather than fixating on someone who’s unlikely to want to meet you, no matter how wonderful you are on the inside.

Remember it’s not about you as a person.

Dating sites are like window shopping at best. You see something beautiful and expensive, but when you finally get a chance to try it on, it just doesn’t fit right.

So be smart, keep an open mind, and manage your expectations.

If you do that, then you can have a great time, meet interesting people, and probably find someone you want to date and spend a lot of time with.

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Claire Bahn is the CEO of Online Profile Pros, the largest network of professional photographers, writers, and coaches across the U.S. and Canada, all dedicated to making sure your personal brand is the best it can be.