By Cady Drell
Bumble can take a lot of the pressure off meeting someone new by introducing you to tons of potential matches—but where you take it from there is all you. Those first conversations can provide great insight, helping you decipher whether the other person shares your values, wants the same thing from a match that you do, and even if they’ll be a fun date IRL. We asked experts for their tips on how to get to know someone better on Bumble and make the most out of your pre-date conversations.
Choose an original opener
So you’ve just made a new match and want to get the conversation started. Great! To skip the small talk, go beyond the “how’s your day?” opening line. Instead, Bela Gandhi, founder of Smart Dating Academy, recommends looking to their profile for first line inspiration. “Take the time to find something interesting to connect on or that you have in common,” she says. “Show some curiosity and ask a question about something the person has said or one of their photos.”
And if you don’t find anything in their profile that you can initially connect on, Gigi Engle, sexologist and author of All the F*cking Mistakes, says “to go funny and weird with questions. My personal favorite is, ‘What are your three favorite berries?’ Sometimes being silly can take some of the pressure off.” So remember, you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ fashioned “would you rather” (Be a mermaid or a centaur? Be able to read minds or have the power of invisibility?), and if you really want to see what they’re about, try asking them if they think a hot dog is a sandwich.
Go deeper with the standard questions
If you’re on the receiving end of a “how’s your day going,” you can still use that opener to get a more specific conversation started. “Say something like, ‘Not much, just watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I see from your profile that you’re a fan of, too. Who’s your favorite character and why?” suggests Engle. “Take the ‘what’s up’ and make it personal.”
The same thing goes for the typical biographical questions. Gandhi recommends that instead of asking something obvious like, “What do you do for work?,” go a step further by saying, “What do you love about what you do?” How they answer can tell you a lot about what what matters to them in ways that don’t always fit in a profile.
Make sure your profile shows who you are
It might seem like a no-brainer, but your profile isn’t the place to be coy. Give potential matches plenty to think about by uploading all six photos, adding Interest Badges, filling out the About Me section, and using all three Profile Prompts (more profile tips here). “By crafting your bio honestly, you can avoid wasting time with people with whom you have nothing in common,” says Dr. Wednesday Martin, social scientist and author of Untrue.
Making your profile true to you can show potential matches what you really value and what you’re looking for in a date. Do you high-tail it to a campground every chance you get? Say so! Are you a master chef in the kitchen? Put it in the profile. When you really show who you are, it becomes easier to weed out anyone who isn’t a match and connect with people who are interested in what you’re putting out there. Plus, it has the potential to lead to great conversations about the things that you and your match really care about.
Once the chat starts flowing, take note of your match’s energy
Sometimes the first chat is enough to show you that someone isn’t quite a fit—and that’s okay! The main reason for having these conversations in the first place is to figure out who you’d want to meet up with in person. According to Dr. Martin, if you’re on the fence about whether to keep the conversation going, start taking note of the other person’s vibe. “If someone is impatient or not understanding about wanting to get to know each other by messaging on the app and through text, I’d say it’s not a match,” she says. And notice how the other person reacts to your responses. “If someone seems dismissive of your interests or questions via messaging, they will likely be so IRL.” Sometimes how someone responds can be just as telling as what they’re saying.
Try out a phone or video call before meeting up
One of the greatest things about dating nowadays is that you don’t have to go from text chat to an in-person date right away. Bumble has built-in Video Chat and Voice Call features so you can have intermediate dates all from within the app itself. In fact, Gandhi actually recommends starting off with a short-and-sweet video or voice call before you make plans to meet up. That way, you can get a better sense of your match’s personality and if you two get along. It’s also a great opportunity to go deeper into the conversations that you were having on Bumble so that you can get to know each other better and decide if you want to go on a date.
There are a ton of great people on Bumble waiting to get to know you better, so remember these tips next time you match with someone!