I’m no newbie to online dating. I’ve tried practically every app out there, been on probably 30 or so dates (good and bad), and after a year of dating someone I met online, I’d say I’ve found a little success! Romantically, dating apps can definitely work.
In the category of making friends, I don’t get out there very much. I spent most of my childhood having the same best friends, so when we parted ways for college, I had to basically start over. I’ve made some amazing friends in school, but as we all graduate and find jobs, my friendships don’t seem as strong as I once thought. So that leaves me, a 20-something in Chicago, a little lonely. And if you know me (ENTJ all the way), I don’t handle too much alone time all that well.
So I decided to take my knack for dating apps and see if I could make some friends. My favorite dating app was always Bumble (even though I met my partner on Tinder-shh!), so I decided to see if Bumble BFF could live up to the hype.
How It Works
If you’ve used Bumble Dating before, it’s basically the same principle. You make an account with up to six photos, craft a bio (it’s harder than you think!), set your age, gender, and location parameters, and you’re ready to start swiping! Swipe right if you’re excited to get to know them and left if you’re not. Easy peasy.
If you thought making a profile on a dating app was hard, you’re in for a treat. Who knew it would be scarier to try to make friends than to get a guy to want to date you?
Creating a unique bio that describes what you really want out of these friendships is a lot harder than I expected. Everyone wants a workout buddy who will always get brunch after, someone to watch The Bachelor with, and someone to be the Jess to their Cece-myself included! It’s hard to not sound basic and like everyone else when you truly do want all of those things.
From someone who really got into dating apps the past few years, I’m slowly realizing the effect “swiping culture” can have on us. We care so much about an image rather than getting to know someone. So I made it my mission to swipe right on mostly everyone. I based everything on the bio and nothing on looks. Let me be honest: It wasn’t all that easy! We’re so trained to focus on photos and how people look on these apps, but I knew if I was going to build friendships, I wanted them to be set on a foundation of mutual interest rather than outward appearance.
Being in a large city, I never felt like I was “running out of options” when I was swiping. When I originally set my location parameters to only a few miles, there were for sure less, but as I increased it to span basically the whole city of Chicago, I was in just about an endless pool of potential brunch buddies.
However, I got to a point after a while where I pretty much swiped right on everyone regardless of if it seemed like we’d be a good fit. I just wanted to make friends!
Yeah, this is where my experience begins to dwindle a little bit from apps dedicated to dating. I got hardly any matches. If I did match (hallelujah!), I either got no response back or we said two things and they stopped responding.