There’s talk around the internet that the best guys are on Bumble, and broadly speaking, I tend to agree. (Listen to the two really great Why Oh Why podcast episodes about it!) But how do you know when you’ve found a good one?
Sure, there are a lot of signs you should definitely swipe left on his profile. Torso selfies. Tiger photos. Prematurely defensive attitudes and the phrase “Work hard, play hard.” But what about that elusive swipe right and match that makes you go “Yesss!” when you’re sitting at home on the couch in your sweats?
I asked a few of my girlfriends who have had good luck on dating apps such as Bumble if they thought the best guys using them had anything in common. Turns out that they do, so I’m sharing my findings with you!
01. They have photos or a bio that echo your ‘nonnegotiables’ list.
One of my girlfriends brought this up, and I thought it was such a clever point. When we’re looking through men’s photos in dating apps, each of us might find different things appealing or off-putting, so making hard-and-fast rules about that is kind of impossible. Instead, take a second to think of the “nonnegotiables” you need in your next relationship.
If you have to date a guy who loves dogs—look for pictures with dogs. (Obviously.) If you spend all your winter weekends skiing, snow photos are a must. If you like hiking, concerts, exotic travel, riding your bike to work . . . You get the idea.
If this comes across as obvious, that’s because it kind of is. However, I think many women get caught up in looks, age, career, and other data points that have no actual correlation to whether you’d be happy with someone (I know I do). Focus on the tangible, positive aspects of his profile that make you think, “I think we’d have fun together.”
Takeaway Tip: I’ve said this before, but “Be the person you want to date” is still my motto. What I mean by that is, take your strong sense of self—your hobbies, your social life, your passions—and present it in your profile, and then go out confidently and find a guy who echoes your interests and values in his profile.
02. They ask questions about you.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve found myself in the midst of a message exchange that I won’t even deign to call a “conversation,” especially on Bumble. I’ll get the ball rolling with a witty intro and then inquire about, you know, anything. Eight times out of ten, the response is just an answer to the question and nothing more. What am I supposed to do with that? What are you supposed to do with that?
Read me loud and clear: Men who do not care to ask you about yourself, or understand that asking questions is an essential part of a conversation, are not worth your time. They aren’t “fixer uppers,” and they aren’t shy. They’re either immature, egotistical, or both. You don’t have time for that.
Nice, polite men who are on dating apps to actually connect with a potential partner will want to know all about you. And you’ll want to know about them! Messaging in these apps never feels completely natural, but ideally there should be a balanced give-and-take happening, like a chat you’d have at the bar in real life. If it feels one-sided, he’s not one of “the good ones.”
Takeaway Tip: While it’s OK to “expect” certain things from a guy you’re hoping to date, remember that at the end of the day, apps can be hard for everyone. Keeping a conversation going when the other person doesn’t seem interested is never fun, and you shouldn't belabor it for too long. But, if you do your part to stay engaged—you may find that the more effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
03. They won’t spend more than a day or so messaging before arranging a date.
Another pal of mine mentioned that the guys she’s liked the most have never spent too much time messaging before suggesting meeting up. The more we discussed it, I realized the same was true for me. There’s definitely something to be said for taking time to feel out a total stranger before agreeing to meet up, but generally speaking, confident guys who are interested in getting to know you will want to get that date locked in and won’t delay in doing so.
The willingness to take the conversation offline indicates, at least to some degree, that a guy isn’t just on the apps when he’s bored. It sounds a little bit like a Goldilocks problem, but the nice guys on Bumble don’t ask what you’re up to right that second, and they don’t let the messaging drag on for too long, either. What else can I say except you’ll know it when it happens!
Takeaway Tip: You don’t have to wait for him to ask for your number. After I’ve talked to a guy for a bit on an app, I might say something like, “So-and-so, you seem like a great guy. If you’d like to grab a drink sometime, shoot me a text,” and then I give him my digits. That way I’ve put the ball in his court, and he’s still the one who has to follow through with setting up the actual date.