By Madeleine Aggeler
It started with Autumn. She joined Bumble in August 2019, as a homework assignment from her therapist. After swiping for a while, she felt overwhelmed and deleted the app—until her two roommates, Julie and Becky, urged her to download it again. They would join as well, they said, for moral support. The three women set off into the wilds of dating together, serving as each other’s coaches, support systems, and sounding boards.
Now, two years later, all three are married to the men they met on their Bumble journey.
“Because we did it together, we dated smart,” says Autumn.
Though they live separately now, the women previously lived together in an apartment in Harmony, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh. Julie and Autumn met when they were both working at an outpost of chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A and decided to move in together. Becky moved in about a year later.
Each woman approached dating in her own way. Autumn was the more methodical of the group, setting aside time every Thursday and Friday evening for dates and sending her roommates articles about effective dating strategies. Becky says Autumn taught her not to get too emotionally attached too quickly by reflecting on the date instead of the person. Julie and Becky were more casual in their approach, and Autumn says Becky taught her how to be flirtier in her messages. “You just kept asking guys where they were from,” Becky laughs.
Julie, 24, met the man who would become her husband first, in October 2019. Andrew was laid-back, but driven and adventurous. As soon as their first date ended, they cleared their schedules to make time to see each other again. Autumn and Becky laugh at the memory of Julie texting Andrew when she was supposed to be studying. “I couldn’t stop smiling,” Julie says. “I still can’t.” The two are now married, and took their honeymoon to Hawaii this past June.
Next came Autumn, 40. She knew Joe was something special when, on their first FaceTime date, he introduced her to all of the plants in his apartment—something Autumn, a plant lover, was known to do herself. The two found they shared a love of the outdoors and ballroom dancing too. A few months later, Joe proposed to Autumn with the help of Julie and Becky, and in August 2020, the two got married, six months to the day after they had first met. As Becky says of Joe: “There’s literally no human on planet Earth more perfect for Autumn.”
Then, in June 2020, Becky, 34, met Blake, though she almost missed him. She’d been seeing a guy she’d met through Autumn for a few months, and had deleted the dating apps on her phone. When that relationship ended, she gave Bumble another shot. She decided to pay for Bumble Boost—just for a month, she told herself—to see how it went. Unbeknownst to her, in deleting the app, she had also deleted the filters she’d previously set up, including the distance filter. The oversight proved to be a lucky one. She soon realized what’d happened, but not before matching with Blake, who was hundreds of miles away, in Georgia.
“I was like, ‘I love your profile, why are you so far away?’” she laughs, remembering their first messages to each other. The two had their first date, a FaceTime call, on National Donut Day. They each got their favorites from their local Dunkin’ Donuts, then spent the next eight hours video chatting with each other. Blake flew up to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks later. The two got married this summer.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. There were bad dates, false starts, and ghostings. But none of it felt as bad because the women were able to deal with it together. “Because of our support of each other, we didn’t really care if no one liked us,” Autumn says.
As the women tell their stories, they laugh, make jokes, interrupt each other to add details, or clarify points others forgot. They haven’t seen each other as much recently, but they all agree that their dating journeys wouldn’t have been as successful—or at the very least, as enjoyable—if they hadn’t gone through it together.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Becky says. “This year was so much fun. I learned so much about myself.”