More Reasons To Avoid Bumble

June 5th, 2016

Bumble, NEW!


Oh, Bumble. You’re adorable.

Dear Connor,

It has been brought to our attention that you lost your cool on one of our female users named Ashley. She made small talk, you felt personally attacked. She mentioned her work day and asked about yours; you assumed that she was prying into your financial status.

We are going to venture a guess into the state of mind of Ashley here, given that we are all working women ourselves. Take a seat, because this concept may blow your mind. Women nowadays work. It’s happened over time, we know, but a vast majority of women from our generation have jobs.

With that in mind — and knowing that Ashley simply mentioned work in the conversation — we can gather that she wasn’t hoping to figure out if your wallet was sizeable enough for her to move into your house and start cooking dinner for you after vacuuming your living room while you clock in a 9 to 5 work day. Instead, Ashley was (wait for it, Connor, because this is where things really get interesting), viewing herself as an equal. It might sound crazy, but people connect over the basic routines of life. You know… the weather, working out, grabbing a drink, eating, and working.

First, your app borders on fraudulent given the outrageous number of fake profiles and bots.So there’s that.

She mentioned her work day and asked about yours; you assumed that she was prying into your financial status.

Right. I’m sure Ashley wasn’t trying to figure out what ol’ Connor did for a living. That never happens, right?

The only reason this open letter irks me is because of your disingenuous claim that you care very deeply about the experience of your female members. Nope. Not buying it.Your business model of allowing only 24 hours for a user to respond to the first message is prohibitive. It’s very difficult for your users to juggle communications and interactions with multiple people with a clock over their heads. Some people need a few days to meet the user and gauge interest. The way your app is set up, the men have to respond to every women with whom they match within a day or lose the connection. That means they’re possibly juggling multiple matches in one 24 hour period. Guess what happens in those instances? Some of those women get ignored completely. In the past month I’ve made twelve matches using your app. Only ONE of those men replied to me (my first response in almost 2 months). He suggested we meet quickly, I gave him two days that I could meet, he replied with, “Cool. We should be able to meet up.”


Second, while it sounds like Connor was a raging tool bag who should be booted from your app but probably won’t bee (get it?) , you seem to be of the impression that women using your sketchy app would never dream of asking a man what he did for a living to make sure he was employed. Spoiler alert: many women do it all the time. Not only that but please don’t act like you haven’t intentionally promoted Bumble to men who went to Ivy League universities and who work prestigious/glamorous high income jobs. I’ve never seen so many (probably fake) whitey white Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown grads who work in finance, entertainment, and law in one place. Did I mention how white your user base is? The majority of your male users in NYC are white. Okay. It makes total sense that in a city like Manhattan you’d have trouble finding men of color. Sure. Let’s go with that. Let’s just pretend there isn’t something that rhymes with shmacist going on there.

Your attempt to play up the female empowerment angle of your service is precious, but it’s bullshit. You intentionally entice women to use your app by loading your app with (mostly fake/inactive) single white men with pedigrees and fat bank accounts. I’m genuinely curious to know the last time any of these Harvard and Princeton grads actually logged in, because I’m guessing it’s not recently.

Speaking of what a shit hole Bumble is, let me regale you with a story about a guy I met on Bumble yesterday. He was from Boston, a suburb very close to my hometown. Plus he was an NYPD officer. I’ve come to learn that my lane is blue collar, and I’m sticking with it. Anyhoo, as we’re talking about the how elitist Manhattan can be, especially for someone with a nails on a chalkboard obvious Boston accent like he has. Holy fuck balls, dude. Go to a speech coach. He mentioned that his ex-wife and daughters live in Staten Island. Talk of Facebook and engagement ring posts and weddings come up, and out of nowhere he says, “Yeah, my ex-wife wanted a huge wedding. The problem with the guineas…”

Record scratch.”Wait. Go back,” I said, making the time out sign with my hands. “Did you just refer to Italians as guineas?”


“Uh oh,” he said. “Did I just get myself in trouble? You’re Italian aren’t you?”

Why yes. Yes I am.

“This conversation is over,” I said. Click.

In all of my adult life, I have never had anybody use that word to my face. Yeah, I hear guido a lot (PS? Stop using that. It’s just a socially acceptable way to call someone a guinea.) But never guinea. I remember sitting next to my Dad in the front seat of his car and talking about how my new nephew looked like “a little guinzo.”

Pause. Silence.

“Don’t ever let me hear you say that word again,” my father said. “And don’t you ever say it in front of your grandmother.”

Lesson learned.

So, yeah, Bumble is a joke.


Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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43 Responses to “More Reasons To Avoid Bumble”

  1. Robyn Says:

    Oh wow, I’m not Italian & I still felt really offended by what that guy said to you. Can you say crass / what we used to call “dragged up, not brought up”…. Yuck!

    At one point I had thought I’d try Bumble, but based on what your experiences have been with it, I’m thinking I will continue to avoid it.

  2. EANx Says:

    As a white guy from a non-NYC area, it seems a bit impetuous to claim that all white guys that don’t respond are bots. And while I certainly understand being upset at a racial epithet, there seems to be painting with a broad brush, that Bumble “is a joke”.

    I’ve encountered my share of what I believed to be “robotic women” on dating apps so I won’t dismiss the possibility but the proof presented is flimsy at best, lack of response does not equal a bot nor does lack of color equal racism. When every dating scenario is going wrong, sometimes we need to sit back and recognize that the common denominator may be us.

    • The D-man Says:

      The irony of this app is that, by “turning the tables” and making women choose who they chat with, they learn what it’s like to be a guy. That is: learn what it’s like not to get any response.

      I generally had good results with online dating, but the majority of the time I still got no response to the first contact.

  3. NYCGal Says:

    I don’t generally post but feel compelled to chime in here to defend Bumble. There are always apps that work better for some than others. I’ve never had much luck with OKCupid for example, but Bumble has worked well for me. I spent a few hours over a weekend on it, and matched with about 20-30 guys. Additionally, I live in NYC, and was able to see a decent number of non-white male profiles. About 50-60% of the guys did get back to me within the 24 hour period, and seemed to be who they said they are. As luck turned out, I hit it off with the first guy I went out on there. It’s been a month, but we’re at the 10-12 dates mark. He said he also has been on Tinder and OKC in the past, but liked Bumble a lot. Also, I have a few 20 something-guys at work who all say they like Bumble best followed by Happn. So I don’t know if I’d dismiss the entire app because it’s not working out well for Moxie.

    • Kate Says:

      I don’t think Bumble is full of bots. I do think that when it launched it was and that those fake profiles are still in their database.

      My biggest gripe with Bumble is that I kept seeing the same men over and over even if I swipe left on them. I don’t like the 24 hour restriction for messaging. I’ve forgotten to message guys more than once because I travel a lot for work.

    • Karen Says:

      “I live in NYC, and was able to see a decent number of non-white male profiles. ”

      Spoken like a white girl. I live in NYC, too. I don’t consider one black man for every twenty white men a decent selection.

      To a non-caucasian woman Bumble is a waste of my time. Moxie is right when she suggests that Bumble seems to cater to people with a specific socio-economic background. (White, upper-middle class, jewish/waspy.)

      • KK Says:

        How is WASPy and Jewish a specific socio-economic background? Totally different, actually. I do agree that bumblr is for upper middle class white people though.

        I am in NYC too. About half the guys i matched with were not white. Mostly Indian guys. Very few Bla

        • KK Says:

          I meant to say that about half the guys were not white, mostly Indian, Indian-American. Virtually no Black men.

          • ATWYSingle Says:

            Yes, that’s more accurate. There are many Indian users, some Asian, but very, very few black men on Bumble.

            A few years ago Nerve tried (and failed) to relaunch their online dating channel. They offered people free membership for the first three months or so, then switched over to a paid platform. Unfortunately, the majority of people who created profiles during the free trial did so out of curiosity more than anything else. They never returned to the site. So when Nerve tried to get people to pay, a large portion of their database was inactive users.

            I think that’s part of what’s going on with Bumble. I think in the beta stages they promoted the app to the Ivy League crowd and many of them signed up but never returned or never deleted the app. They marketed the app to a very specific crowd: guys with impressive pedigrees and men in entertainment/modeling. So for them to clutch their pearls at the idea that someone thinks women on there are shallow gold diggers is laughable. Shallow gold diggers (with some internalized racist tendencies) is their target market.

            Like someone else said, it’s adorable that whitey white NYCGal (who I’m pretty sure is fake) thinks there’s a “decent” amount of men of color on the app. Maybe to a white person that’s true, but I bet many people of color would beg to differ.

            Let’s cut the crap: Bumble doesn’t cater to the non-white market. It strictly caters to white people.

            • KK Says:

              I would say there ARE a “decent” amount of men of color – unless I got every Indian and Hispanic guy on bumblr in NYC, and then the numbers would be abysmally low. It was more that I got matched with, like, 5 Black guys. So no Black guys. But probably 35% of the guys I was matched with were Indian, who are people of color, and maybe 15% were Hispanic or Latino. So few East Asian men and Black men.

              Yeah, it definitely caters to white people. But there are plenty of middle eastern and South Asian men on there. I just think it’s fairer to say that there are few Black men on there than few people of color.

            • Beta Male Says:

              I’m an African American male who uses Bumble and the first thing I’ve noticed was how white it’s users were compared to Tinder and OKCupid. I have matched a few times on Bumble (but way fewer matches on Bumble than on Tinder) but I have yet to have any conversation on it that has progressed to the point where I would ask to meet. In fact conversation tends to die out very quickly on Bumble.

              One factor (but not the only factor) for the relative whiteness of Bumble is that it did not launch on Android until relatively recently. Before that it was an iPhone only app. I’m sure there are still many who probably think that Bumble is still not available on Android. In practice I don’t think it is going to yield a high success rate (success meaning going on dates) for people of color.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **Additionally, I live in NYC, and was able to see a decent number of non-white male profiles.**

      If Moxie has very specific geographic parameters (a very specific section of Manhattan), maybe that’s why everyone’s white. Or did the same parameters on different dating platforms have more diversity?

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        If Moxie has very specific geographic parameters (a very specific section of Manhattan), maybe that’s why everyone’s white.

        That’s not how Manhattan works. That’s not how most major cities work. Not to mention, I set a ten mile parameter. That pretty much covers Manhattan.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          Yes, how silly of me to think cost of living had any bearing on the demographics of a place.

          • ATWYSingle Says:

            Meaning what, exactly? That black people can’t afford to live in Manhattan/New York City?

            • BTownGirl Says:

              I think she meant the racial wage gap can influence this, which I’m sure is way less pronounced in NYC. In some parts of the country, oy vey. One of my friends lives in a very wealthy part of Georgia and there is precious little diversity in her area and, errrrrr, given the south’s history you can see how minorities may be getting paid significantly less. So depressing that we still have to talk about this in 20-mofo-ing-16.

        • Pina Says:

          According to the 2010 Census, 48.0% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 12.9% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 0.1% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, 11.2% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.3% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.9% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 25.4% of Manhattan’s population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).

  4. Katie Says:

    I can’t believe that’s a real letter. What’s worse, when I googled it, I realized that the Bumble app feels it is important enough for a twitter page and a blog? Really?

    I will say though, on my last round of online dating chats, the “what do you do for work” question seems to have become more popular to ask, especially early on. Don’t get me wrong, I get why people ask it, as usually everyone has a job and can make small talk about it, but I just hate it as a conversation topic (or even conversation starter) compared to all the other possible topics early in an online chat. (Not enough to yell at a complete stranger about it though, haha).

  5. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Bumble would be better without the ticking stopwatch for either gender. This is the law of unintended consequences. They had a good idea – forcing one side to make first contact so that there’s no more Mexican standoffs. (It could have been men or women but I actually don’t think men would sign up for an app that required them to make the first move.) But, most likely a lot of women were complaining that “men don’t reply!!” or “it’s not fair that men don’t have to reply within 24 hours like women!” And, so rather than fix the problem – by removing all timing requirements, they exacerbated it by forcing both sides to start dating each other right away. Thus, creating more of the ghosting they are trying to avoid. As I’ve said before, it’s impossible to date that many people at once. They should let people connect at their own pace.

    It’s clearly not an app created by the most experienced daters or sophisticated thinkers for that matter.

    As for Connor and Ashley, they are just proof that many people are not using the site for dating. I feel like there are armies of people using this and other dating apps to win arguments, to express themselves, to feed their egos, gain validation, or to otherwise prove some kind of point to disembodied faces on the Internet.

    Bumble is actually a pretty good app… for DATING. I’ve made some connections on there. I can’t speak to it’s usefulness for other purposes.

    If someone were to ask me, right off the bat, “what do you do?” I’d just ignore them. Maybe delete them but probably not because that would require a thought and 5 seconds of my time. And, same for Ashley who just HAD to respond to someone maniac on a tirade. Bumble is nuts to be encouraging this nonsense by publishing a blog post about it.

  6. HerGuyFriday Says:

    As a guy, reading Bumble’s blog post only confirmed that I made the right decision when I uninstalled that app last month.

  7. Buddha-Rocker-Man Says:

    I agree that there’s possibly a lot of fake or vanity profiles on-line in general and with the swipe apps in particular.

    In regards to Bumble I have had mixed success. I get dates with possibly compatible people, but there sure are a lot of profiles from women (don’t know about men) which appear too good to be true and are possibly put up to keep people swiping. The dates I had were with women in my league; I’m a decent looking guy, employed in Cyber-security.

    In general with my Tindering and Bumbling around I get on average about 2-4 dates on a good month, but everything Moxie has noted about the fickle mentality of folks is true. I have had about 10 dates off the apps and it’s been about evenly split where either I wasn’t interested in a second date or the women wasn’t (I guess we all are looking for the home run out of our league, and what’s new around the corner). I realize this attitude is not serving me well, and I may need to as Moxie says “date my rejects.” I’m 51 and not looking to start a family. I am also someone fairly happy by myself, and I work in a very stressful environment and have a full life with limited dating time.

    Bottom line is the apps are what they are, but dating in general these days is not easy. You need a lot of first dates to get a second, and a lot of dates to find someone compatible in my opinion. If your in a relationship and having challenges, don’t give up because it might be a while before you have another.

    Anyway thanks Moxie for such a wonderful blog! I hope you find your Mr. Mox.


  8. Pina Says:

    I’m Italian, and a generic comment about “Guineas” , like the one above, would not bother me. However, once on a second date, a guy from northern Italy jokingly called me the N word because I’m Sicilian. That didn’t end well.

    • Dave Says:

      Yikes…no words for that. Reminds a little of my family, sadly. Father’s side from Northern Italy, mother’s side Calabrese going back hundreds of years. The crap my mother had to endure for her heritage made me wonder what century we were really living in sometimes…

  9. Bostonette Says:

    Hi Moxie…Yeah…I can relate. When I first moved to Boston from NY, I went out with my first group of boston-bred “friends” who proceeded to insinuate my family was mob related when they found out I was Italian. They are a close knit weird bunch here, but there’s enough people who hmoved here from out of state to stay clear of those knuckleheads

    • BTownGirl Says:

      You’re totally right, all of us native Bostonians are a bunch of ignorant, insular weirdos. Why do you all come here then?

    • Snowflake Says:

      fyi – Moxie is born and raised from Boston – moved to NYC after college. Just sayin’

  10. Brad Says:

    Bumble is great because it skips the part where a man has to craft a unique, witty message to a woman, and jumps right to the part where the woman completely ignores him.

  11. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    When women are openly complaining about a dating app that’s GEARED toward them, I think that’s a cue to Exit Stage Left #RIPOnlineDating

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      What? When bitter complainers exit, that’s when the party starts.

      Bumble only “caters” to women in the sense that it solves the imaginary problem that women have that “only undesirable men contact me” and thus purports to give women “more control.” That’s nonsense. Mutual matching apps like Tinder already solved that problem in that you’re only matching with people in whom you have some interest. So no more random guys blasting emails at you, unless you chose them. Once you match, doesn’t really matter who makes the first move – only that one party must do it and that both parties know who has to.

      I guess if you thought Bumble was going to make you more attractive to men who would never date you before, then I can see why you’d be disappointed.

  12. Sarah Says:

    That letter to “Connor” was absolutely eye roll-inducing. Kind of like the word ‘guinea.’ I’m not sure why anyone might think it’s a good idea to say anything remotely hateful to someone they barely know.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      I’m impressed that Moxie found the only ignorant, racist cop in Staten Island. Quite a unicorn.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Though it’s helpful when someone lets on that they suck sooner rather than later!

  13. Zaire Says:

    I signed up for Bumble about two weeks ago. I thought you were exaggerating about fake profiles but when I started swiping I immediately saw what you meant. It seems every fourth profile was 6′ 3″, suspiciously handsome, name-brand education and/or masculine high status job. Airline pilot, Navy/Airforce , investment banker, finance, lawyers etc. It’s so obvious.

    • Zaire Says:

      And yes the app is very “white”. I’m not saying that as any sort of value judgement, strictly as a descriptor. I only saw 3-4 black guys on Bumble in the two weeks I’ve been using and I swipe everyday.

  14. Helene Says:

    The creators of Bumble keep saying the app is the feminist Tinder but really it’s just a more sophisticated Hot or Not. Average people with average jobs need not apply. Every review of Bumble I’ve read has noted the over-abundance of obviously fake profiles. Having that many models and actors in their database skews the average user’s experience so badly that they don’t have a chance.

  15. Allison Says:

    I’m on the west coast but not in CA, and my distance setting on that app is 60 miles. However, I’ve noticed in the the last week that a big portion of profiles presented to me indicate the “user” is in LA, or CO, or wherever else far beyond my ability to travel to, it makes no sense. I really don’t have any interest in weeding thru 500 profiles from aspiring actors in the LA area, I’m merely looking for a date not a career as a casting agent. Although maybe that skill would come in handy for dating…

  16. Nia Says:

    My only note on this is that “Ashley” could very well have been asking about work, for not only financial reasons (like, is this guy at my level?) but a lot of other reasons too:
    Is he employed?
    Is he white or blue collar?
    Is he happy in his job? (People who “hate” their jobs are a huge energy drain and will suck the life and happiness out of your world. I don’t mean “oh, temporary stress, or crappy boss, it will pass” I mean “I hate it and I have no plans or motivation to change”)
    Is he in a 9-5 job or a job that will otherwise match my lifestyle/schedule?
    and finally….maybe poor Ashley just isn’t that strong of a conversationalist, Connor! Maybe she just, like many of us, opened with a well worn saw “So, what do you do?”
    Only people who have something to hide or something they’re not comfortable with get defensive and weird when simple, ordinary questions come up.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Nope. I just wrote a follow up post. What do you do was the first thing she asked him.

      • Nia Says:

        Yeah I saw that too. Now that I see the full picture, it’s like a guy asking a girl for “more pix” or being like “text me / call me!” first thing out of the gate. Not hot. Slow your roll, hon! (Or she’s just…not great at texting and was like “uh…so…what do you do for work?”)

    • Zaire Says:

      Nobody genuinely give a damn if the person they are chatting with “enjoys their work”. When’s the last time you asked a potential friend (online or off) if they’re happy with what they do? Exactly.

      Asking about hobbies and interests is a by far better way of gauging a guy’s life satisfaction.

      • Nia Says:

        Yeah, when you put it that way, it seldom comes up as a question outright. It’s usually more like “I hate my job” as an admission from the possible date. To me *personally* that’s a red flag because I’ve dated guys that “hate” their job and are vocal about it, and it infects every area of their life. Everyone is different, but I get up at 6.30, am at work by 8, and leave at 4, home by 5. That’s 11 out of 24 hours, almost half my day. If I “hate” my job, that’s going to leak into every area of my life. My sister’s spouse “hates” her job and is just miserable to be around. Cranky, prickly, snappish, always stressed out…
        Most people are in the middle: it’s just something they do to pay the bills, and it’s a plus if they love it. But I hold firm that ‘hating’ your job *and saying so to a potential date early on* is a red flag.

  17. Rich Says:

    Okay, male 44, civil engineer, joined the site, thinking “this sounds great” – I’m more likely to find my equal. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I live in an area of the uk where there’s no more than 200,000 people in a 40 mile radius. I never realised that there were so many doctors, medical professionals, lawyers and teachers in my area, Trying to figure out where they all work.

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