As told to Jaime Eisen.
I have always been in long term relationships and dated within a few degrees of separation to my friend groups. Honestly, I’d never casually dated.
I decided to try Bumble. I love what it stands for: empowering women. I set up my profile alone, choosing photos and information that I like rather than what I thought potential matches would like. It helped to find matches who liked me for the same reasons I like myself. I ended up with a profile that is mostly solo photos (often with a glass of wine in hand) with one group photo — to show that I’m friends with more than just a glass of wine.
Once my Bumble profile was set, I started swiping! Once I find someone who seems funny and positive, I’m quick to swipe right and start a conversation. I love making the first move as a woman. It puts me in control and I get to choose when I’m connecting with someone. But there’s only so much you can gauge from a text-based conversation. So long as I’m not seeing any red flags, I’m almost always ready to meet someone IRL.
“I try not to look at every match as a potential future partner.”
For once in my life, I don’t feel any pressure to find a partner and, because of that I have opened myself up to a lot of really nice people and have gotten to learn so much, all while feeling in control. I am not a big PDA person, but because I’m going on so many dates, I’ve gotten over this fear a bit. It’s important for me to have physical chemistry in a match; so, to rule out some connections, I’ve been kissing on the street — something I never thought that I would be comfortable with.
I’ve learned to try not to look at every match as a potential future partner. Instead, I just want to get to know them, meet them, and maybe they become a new friend, maybe I learn something, maybe a funny story to tell my girlfriends, or maybe it’s the love of my life. One match even asked me to be his domme (I had to Google it too). It was very forward, and not my thing, but the whole experience opened my eyes to a world that I knew very little about, which I am grateful for. Although it wasn’t for me, I’m optimistic that he’ll find someone who is interested — he was a nice guy.
“Every time that I meet someone IRL, I remind myself that I am great.”
I’ve actually been seeing one guy for the past five months. On our first date, we were almost wearing the same outfit and had matching McDonald’s orders. With him I’ve realized just how much dating has changed for me. Now, it just means spending time with someone who makes me happy. I actually asked my therapist if there was such a thing as “happy anxiety”: and she explained that I was getting butterflies! That’s the kind of feeling I’m looking for.
Every time that I meet someone IRL, I remind myself that I am great. My looks, my personality, my humour are not for everyone, but the people I surround myself with love and appreciate me exactly as I am, and if this match has a place in my life, they will enjoy getting to know me for who I really am too. Right now, I’m really happy with my life and completely open to whatever happens next, whether I’m learning about a new fetish, meeting a new friend, or perhaps just having some great conversations. Bring it on.
Success on Bumble can look however you want it to — whether that’s meeting a true love, having a fling, turning a romantic relationship into a priceless friendship, or just gaining back some self-confidence after a great date. In 2020, Bumble wants you to feel empowered in creating your own dating narrative.