I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for a loooong time, and I’m finally just going to go ahead and publish it. Why the delay? Because let’s face it, whenever one talks about using an app for anything social, I feel like there’s always some sort of stigma about it. I’ve read blog posts by women who’ve met their now-husbands on Tinder and admit that they could not bring themselves to share the “true story” with their readers for quite awhile. But, it seems that more people use apps (at least for dating, not necessarily for meeting friends!) than those who don’t, so we shouldn’t be ashamed. In reality, apps can be a great (not to mention convenient and low-pressure) way to connect with likeminded people, whether your intentions are romantic or purely platonic. Which brings me to…
My experience using Bumble BFF. Let me explain:
First, if you haven’t heard of Bumble the dating app,
you’ve probably been married/in a relationship for a long time or are living under a rock Google it. Ok, you’re back! So, Bumble also has this fun feature where you can meet friends, and it’s called Bumble BFF. You just have to change your app settings and you can switch back and forth between swiping for romantic prospects and being on on BFF mode (where, if you’re a girl, you’ll be shown only other girls who are also looking for friends). What’s the point? Maybe you’re going on tons of Bumble dates but are also looking for new girlfriends to call for brunch or a manicure. Maybe you’re in a happy relationship but need a break from all of that bro time, or maybe you’re looking to avoid dating altogether but wouldn’t mind meeting a few new people here and there, no romantic strings attached. Sound like you? Keep reading! If you feel like you have enough friends already, go ahead and skip this post. 😉 I totally get the feeling of being overbooked, but I don’t think anybody can ever have too many friends. Watching the way my mom and her crew have rallied around one of their friends who is ill has really driven this point home!
I’ve successfully met up with three girls from Bumble BFF, and while I totally agree that the concept is a little weird (apps for dating are awkward enough to explain sometimes…and now there’s an app for FRIENDS?!), I’ve had a blast meeting people so far. In fact, I’m grabbing drinks at the rosé garden with a Bumble BFF on Friday and heading to a birthday party for another one on Saturday (we hung out last weekend, too!). So far, so good. Here’s a little background on why I tried Bumble BFF and what I’ve learned:
1) I’ve always loved having girlfriends. Of course I’d love to make more guy friends, too, but it can be more difficult (for obvious reasons). I had an amazing group of girlfriends in college, but we’re scattered all across the country now, and I’m sad! I do have several close friends nearby, but I genuinely like meeting new people and my existing friends would also like to meet new people! Since I’m technically “new-ish” in DC, I’m hoping to expand my social circle (although unlike in college, it’s unlikely all of my friends will know–or even get along with–one another, which is totally ok. It’s part of adulthood!). Finally, in our 20s, people move around so frequently that I don’t think it hurts to know TOO many people. For all I know, half of the DC friends I have now will be living elsewhere in 3-5 years.
2) We’re constantly evolving and growing up and realizing that the people we hang out with don’t need to be exactly like us, etc, etc. People will joke that every girl on Bumble BFF has the same “basic” profile (something like “I love brunch, working out, and Real Housewives!”), but it turns out that the three girls I’ve met IRL have incredibly interesting, diverse backgrounds. One works in healthcare, is married, and is a fellow Lilly/blog lover, one recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps–where she was stationed with my best friend from high school (!), and one happens to work in higher education, the same field in which I got my master’s! While everyone’s profile may look “generic” to some degree, don’t discount anyone–you’re bound to meet some interesting, friendly, fun people.
3) There is so much less pressure than with dating. No need to “define the relationship,” dress up super cute, or worry about getting food stuck in your teeth. I’ve found that by just being myself, I’ve made some really interesting connections with people (it helps that I’m a lot more outgoing than I was growing up…this type of situation would’ve been pure torture). I’ve also met some of these people’s DC friends, which has been wonderful. And the friend I’m seeing on Friday recently went to the wedding of another girl she met on Bumble BFF over a year ago (she and her husband have even taken vacations with the couple!). While the whole “Bumble” aspect will probably feel a bit weird at first, you’ll soon go from being “Bumble friends” to just regular friends, promise.
Still reading? Absolutely freaked out by this or think it’s a neat idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m also intrigued by Danielle’s “find a friend in your city” posts, which have been very popular. There’s actually a DC group that does a bunch of cool activities, and while I haven’t been able to attend anything so far, I’m hoping to pop by something in the next month or so!