How to Make the First Move on Bumble If You’re Nervous

Bumble is all about making the first move, which we know can be intimidating. It’s not always easy to strike up a conversation with someone new! But once you have enough practice, it can be exciting and fun; you just have to keep in mind what you want and what you’re looking for. Read on for tips on swiping and messaging with authenticity and confidence.

Be clear about what you want

Before you even start messaging your matches, it’s helpful to figure out what you want from them. “If you have a clear goal for why you’re online dating and you’re very open about that, you’ll have a more successful time,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Adele D’Ari. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, your communication style should reflect that; you may ask more pointed questions, or make it clear from the start that you’re not looking for a fling.

In general, getting clear on your own desires will help you decide how to approach the people you’ve matched with, and what sorts of conversations you want to have. Are you looking for someone with whom you can engage in flirty banter? Or are you immediately trying to get a little more deep and serious? Do you want to have a longer back-and-forth, or would you rather try and make plans right away? Considering all of this beforehand may make it easier to enter into a conversation and help you steer it.   

Start a conversation in a way that feels authentic to you

To make a conversation flow naturally, try not to use generic lines or closed-ended statements like “Hi!” or “Hey there!” It’s best to give your matches something to respond to. Laurie Davis Edwards, dating expert and author of Love @ First Click, recommends using a method she calls CSI, or “connect, share, inquire.” Connect over a common interest you notice on their profile, tell them about its role in your life, and end by asking them about it. 

Try to find something on their profile that you have in common and can bond over, or ask them about something that stands out to you. For instance, if they say they like traveling, you could ask them about their favorite trip. Or maybe you can ask for the story behind one of their photos, or how they got into a certain hobby listed on their profile. Don’t overthink it. If you swiped right on them, there’s probably something about their profile that intrigued you. Whatever it was, ask them about it!

This is also a good reminder to have your profile completely filled out so that your matches can also find things to connect with you over and talk about. Connect your Spotify account to your Bumble profile so they can see if you have Top Artists in common. Maybe they selected the same Interest Badges, like Bowling or Camping. Looking at someone’s About Me, Profile Prompts, and Basic Info can give you a good idea of what they’re about and help you find commonalities to get the conversation flowing.

If you can’t think of anything, try these lines

If you can’t find something in their profile that naturally prompts a conversation, no worries! You can try Bumble’s Question Game, which will provide a prompt for you and your match to answer, or use one of the below lines to get the ball rolling:

  • Hit me with a weird fun fact.
  • I’ve officially finished all my shows. Got any recs?
  • Do anything fun this weekend?
  • What are your top 3 pizza spots in the city?
  • When’s the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

Don’t stress if it doesn’t go perfectly

Online dating is all about finding someone that you’re compatible with, so not everyone is going to be a perfect fit. If a conversation ends up not going smoothly, it’s no one’s fault; your personalities and interests just may not be a match, and that’s okay! Keep that in mind as you start talking to people, and don’t put pressure on yourself if a conversation fizzles out. 

Dating coach Cora Boyd emphasizes that it’s important to keep a “low-stakes mindset” when reaching out to matches. “People freeze up when they raise the mental stakes and make the outcome of the conversation mean something about them,” she says. “If a person is going into a conversation with a ‘this is either a success or a failure’ mindset, the stakes will feel high.” 

Remember that you’re not just trying to impress a bunch of potential dates — they’re trying to impress you, too. You’re both feeling each other out, and if it’s not a match, it’s not a big deal! 

Your goal isn’t to make everyone on Bumble fall in love with you; it’s to find someone with whom you have a meaningful connection and enjoyable conversations. Thinking about it in those terms can make the process less nerve-wracking and a lot more fun.