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I Tried Bumble BFF for a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Written in Collaboration with Bumble

For me, making friends is a lot like breathing. When things are working, it comes naturally and it’s not a super conscious effort. But when I’m reminded of it or consciously think about it, it suddenly feels effortful and it takes me an hour to stop counting every breath. In part of Her Campus’ collaboration with Bumble this semester, I tried out Bumble BFF. You may be familiar with Bumble as a dating app, but BFF is the feature that hooks you up with potential friends in the area with similar interests.

A little background on where I’m coming from: I don’t have any social media. I’ve never tried dating apps. My closest friends are people I met all the way back in lower and middle school that I somehow managed to stay in touch with. My friends in New York are from classes or work. So, coming as someone new to the world of meeting people through apps and has always just been friends with the people around me, Bumble BFF was a very different experience. Here’s just a few things I learned from my week on Bumble BFF!

I had no idea who my ideal friend is

Building my profile meant building my ideal friend – what’s my age limit on friends? How much do they smoke and drink? What’s their sign? Do they prefer Netflix or nightclubs? And at first, my answer to all of those was a big fat, “I don’t know!” Answering these about a romantic partner feels like it would be easier. I have stricter boundaries with dating, but with friends, who knows? It felt weird to structure friendships, have to set standards. But it was also helpful, no matter how weird it is to break down friendship to a couple of questions and swipes. It wasn’t necessarily friendship made simple, but friendship made structured. Friendship with a built-in starting point. It not only helped me think of what I prioritize in a friend but also what kind of friend I am and I’m all about that introspection. 

Know what you like, but also take chances

Right after setting guidelines and boundaries on my profile came actually swiping on potential friends. And while I stuck largely with people whose profiles aligned with mine, once in a while it felt good to match with someone who was different. It sounds obvious, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, opposites attract, blah, blah, blah. But it can be hard to remember to go outside your comfort zone after setting it on an app. When I did go out of my set boundaries though, it still made for some pretty fun connections especially because I probably wouldn’t have met any of them IRL! 

It’s best to just go for it, make the first move!

Like with the dating feature, there’s a 24-hour limit on matches in Bumble BFF. This, for obvious reasons, was intimidating! I sat around a lot just overthinking what to say. But ultimately, I learned any move is better than no move. I think what opened the best conversations was just a “how’s your day going,” or a “what are you binging on Netflix right now?” Or sometimes I’d find a shared interest in their profiles. This is all to say that starting conversations on Bumble BFF was just like starting them in real life. It’s friendship on an app but the components are all the same – just go for it, find common ground, and use it!

Getting to know new people is most of the fun

For a city so populated and full of change, it can be easy to get stuck in a set routine and group of people in New York. After settling in, it’s easy to get stuck in old patterns and stay within a comfort zone. A large part of the fun for me in Bumble BFF was just getting to know people outside my usual routine, people I would have no chance of meeting otherwise.

Want to meet new friends in your area? Try out Bumble BFF for yourself! Or if you’d rather meet people the old-fashioned way, stop by The Ainsworth in the East Village this Friday at 9 pm, Bumble and Her Campus will be having a mixer. We hope to see you there!

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Isabelle Fang

New School '21

Isabelle is a Literary Studies major at the Eugene Lang School of Liberal Arts at The New School. Originally from Toronto, she's still working on using the imperial system and reading weather forecasts in Fahrenheit. Isabelle mostly writes about pop culture, Asian American representation, and profiles on all kinds of people.
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