At the beginning of the pandemic, I was sitting just fine at home. I had books, TV, my gardening, and writing to keep me occupied. I, honestly, kind of loved it. It was nice not to have tons of plans and I could relax if I wanted to or start new projects. At the start of everything, I had way more energy, so projects were started with excitement, but soon it started to grate on me. The pandemic dragged on, much longer than most people expected, and after a decent summer of spending time at the cabin and outdoors with friends in a safe distance, I felt like fall would be just fine. Unfortunately, our government is complete bullshit and kept everything open far too long, so cases soared and we were slammed back into a lockdown for months. That’s when the loneliness started to hit and I wondered what I was going to do.
I was missing the daily interactions I had with people. The fun conversations at work, the small greetings at the grocery store. I was trying my best not to talk to anyone, even at the office, so any of that type of social chitchat had been taken off the table. I figured there must be a way to engage with people online, besides all of the hateful comments on social media accounts and news articles, and it turns out, there is: Bumble BFF.
I felt weird signing up at first because you end up making a whole profile for Bumble, later changing your settings to only friends. As a married woman, I felt like I was cheating on my husband just for downloading what is best known as a dating app. Telling him felt weird when I started the conversation with ‘listen, I’ve downloaded Bumble, but it’s not for dating’. I felt weird making my profile, picking out photos of myself and writing a little bio. I wasn’t looking for a man, but for some friends, yet it felt harder to pick photos. I wanted to look fun and open, but not sexy and inviting. Eventually, I put the profile together and put it out into the world.
I’ll tell you what, swiping through photos, thinking of a yes or no, is quite fun. Instead of looking first at the looks and then later at the personality, like I had when dating years ago, I was looking for someone I could connect with. At first, I felt nervous about saying hello. I was worried about rejection and keeping a conversation going. I shouldn’t have been. You, and most of the other women on here, are here to make friends. Why is it weird to just say ‘hello, how’s it going’ and start a conversation? It’s not. It’s also not weird if your conversation stalls, and you kind of just peter off…that’s fine! There are plenty more women out there who are looking for friends and you’ll, hopefully, find that connection.
There were some Bumble Ladies, as I call them, that I couldn’t wait to message, and there were some that I didn’t put any effort in because it just never flowed. I realized that that was okay, and even the small conversations that lasted a day, or maybe two, were good enough. I wanted to chat to people, and while making a worthwhile friendship would be awesome, I wasn’t too worried if I didn’t find my bestie. I have lots of those.
The one thing that I didn’t like were people clearly on the app to hook-up and just had it switched to friends and dating. Those profiles didn’t even contain any information in them, so I automatically swiped a big fat no. I also didn’t think that I had to manually go in and switch it to friends only, even though I had signed up just for the friends portion of Bumble. It also felt overwhelming swiping through photos and I would try to only say yes to a few. Once I had two, or three, matches I would stop and see how they panned out. It was hard to try to keep conversations going with 10 Bumble Ladies, a flaw that probably is found in the dating world, too, making it harder to make lasting connections.
Is Bumble BFF worth it? I mean, it’s free and takes no time at all to set up your profile, so yeah. Will you find your soul-mate in best friend form? Maybe, maybe not. I haven’t found someone yet I’m willing to call my bestie, though I’ve had some pretty great convos with some great Bumble Ladies. Perhaps if we could’ve met up in person, we would’ve hit it off faster. Maybe, maybe not. I’m glad that I tried it, and it definitely helped me with t my loneliness during the pandemic, but meeting friends the old fashioned way, like through other friends or work, is much easier. The rapport is built slowly and over time you realize that this stranger is now a friend. Maybe over time I’ll get the same with Bumble BFF, but probably not. I’ve already gotten what I needed out of the app, and I’ve stopped swiping on photos, so I’m stepping away. It may work out to be the place you find your new best friend, though, or at the very least, meet a few cool new people.