I have some experience with online dating. After trying out almost all the available apps, going on about 30 dates with varying outcomes, and even having a year-long relationship with someone I met online, I can confirm that dating apps can lead to romantic success. But what about using apps like Bumble BFF for making friends?

When it comes to making friends, I haven’t been very proactive. In my childhood, I had the same best friends, but when college came around, I had to start anew. Although I made great friends in school, as we graduated and pursued careers, I realized my friendships weren’t as strong as I had believed. So here I am, a young adult in Chicago, feeling a bit lonely. And as an ENTJ, I don’t thrive on too much alone time.

Given my background with dating apps, I decided to explore the possibility of making friends. While Bumble has always been a go-to dating app for me (even though I met my partner on Tinder—shh!), I thought, why not see if Bumble BFF lives up to its reputation?

In this article
1 How It Works
2 The Profile
3 The Swiping
4 The Matches
5 When I Started Feeling Like Giving Up
6 Final Thoughts

How It Works

Bumble’s BFF feature is described as a “simplified way to create meaningful friendships.” That sounds promising!

If you’re familiar with Bumble Dating, the concept is quite similar. You create a profile with up to six photos, craft a bio (which is more challenging than you’d expect), set your age, gender, and location preferences, and begin swiping! Swipe right if you’re interested in getting to know them and left if you’re not. It’s simple.

I was proud of my bio. It was cute, fun, a bit quirky—I was sure I’d make many friends.

The Profile

If you thought creating a profile on a dating app was challenging, wait until you try to make friends. It’s surprisingly harder to attract friends than potential dates.

Crafting a unique bio that conveys what you desire in friendships is more difficult than expected. Everyone wants a workout partner who loves brunch, a buddy to watch The Bachelor with, and a best friend dynamic like Jess and Cece from New Girl—including myself! It’s tough not to sound cliché when you genuinely seek these types of connections.

The Swiping

As someone who has delved into dating apps in recent years, I’ve come to realize the impact of “swiping culture.” We often prioritize appearance over personality when swiping. To shift this, I decided to predominantly swipe right on everyone. I focused on bios rather than looks. It wasn’t as easy as I thought! We’re conditioned to place emphasis on visuals when using these apps, but for building friendships, I aimed for mutual interests over external appearances.

Living in a major city, I never felt like I was running out of options while swiping. Initially setting my location parameters to a few miles resulted in fewer matches, but widening it to cover almost the entire city of Chicago provided me an extensive pool of potential brunch companions.

After some time, I reached a point where I swiped right on nearly everyone, regardless of compatibility. My focus was on making friends, not just finding potential matches.

I was eager to bond over Trader Joe’s, but alas, we never connected again.

Our friendship existed only at this level… disappointment.

The Matches

This is where my experience slightly differs from dating apps. I received very few matches. Even when I did match, either I didn’t receive a response or the conversation ended after a few messages.

Many of my matches were seeking roommates or were club promoters looking to gather a group for a free table and drinks. While I’m all for freebies, I couldn’t help but wonder why someone already surrounded by friends would be on Bumble BFF. Maybe it’s just me!

Do other women not take Bumble BFF as seriously, or am I just not that swipe-worthy?

When I Started Feeling Like Giving Up

The lack of meaningful connections started affecting me. The rejection felt worse than dating because all I wanted was someone to hang out and enjoy activities with. After seeing countless photos of girls in graduation gowns, on romantic vacations, or sipping mimosas (Bumble BFF ladies love brunch!), I began questioning what made me undesirable as a friend. Was my bio not engaging enough? Did I lack cute and fun pictures? What was I doing wrong?

I started criticizing myself for not forming any friendships and felt like a lonely outsider destined to watch movies solo at home. I found myself comparing my profile to others’, thinking that mimicking theirs would help me make friends. I even considered arranging a photoshoot with a photographer I knew to get better profile pictures. That was my cue to stop.

I decided to stop fixating on online interactions. People lose interest in dating apps frequently, so why was it odd that I felt the same about a friendship app? I realized my value isn’t determined by online connections, and I have a whole life ahead of me filled with potential friendships. Women have found bridesmaids and best friends without Bumble BFF, so I’ll be fine for now.

I started making friends at work, exchanged numbers with a fellow yoga classmate (a bold move that turned into attending another class together!), and embarked on solo friend dates I had hoped for on Bumble BFF. I went to the movies alone, spent time at a coffee shop without my laptop, cooked brunch at home (saving money!), and reached out to people I wouldn’t typically engage with. While I hung out with my photographer friend, our focus was on the cheese board, not profile pictures.

Final Thoughts

My experience with Bumble BFF didn’t unfold as expected. While I didn’t forge new friendships through the app, it did motivate me to take risks and meet people in real life. So, I wouldn’t deem the experience a total failure. Trying an app to meet friends is worth a shot, but don’t anticipate finding your best friend instantly.

Throughout this process, remember who you are. Rejection in any form is challenging and can influence our self-perception. Don’t let a bunch of individuals on an app determine your value. Your unspoken confidence might just lead you to a few friend dates along the way!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *