Let me start off by saying that this is not an ad for Bumble.
About a month after I moved to Toronto I started to feel lonely. I needed friends. I needed girlfriends.
In Fredericton, I had lots of girlfriends from different groups of friends that I had known since high school. Even if I was busy and couldn't make plans to meet up, I'd never go too long without running into someone at the mall, at the gym, or at Blonde Inc. Salon while getting pampered.
But here in Toronto, you don't just bump into people or see too many familiar faces.
I had my boyfriend, his good friend (and roommate) Ryan, Ryan's girlfriend Ceci, and Ceci's best friend Sam. Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with all of those people buuuuuut I needed my own group of friends as well. And most importantly, I needed girlfriends.
One day, I was telling all of this to my dearest Ashley Lemmon over the phone when I said:
"I wish there was a Tinder, but for friends."
"There is! It's called Bumble BFF" she said.
Hmmm an app to find friends, weird. But okay!
So I did it. I actually downloaded Bumble BFF. At first I was nervous and kind of embarrassed. I didn't tell anyone at first, not even my boyfriend Marcus.
The way Bumble BFF works is exactly like how regular Bumble works. You make a profile, you narrow your search to whatever age range and gender you're looking for, and you start swiping through profiles
Swipe right if you want to connect, swipe left if you don't. If both parties swipe right, you will be connected and have 24 hours to talk to each other through the app before your match expires.
I narrowed my search to women 21 and older. I think I rewrote my profile description seven or eight times. I looked at other people's profiles to make sure mine would fit in. Once I was confident enough in my profile pictures and descriptions, I started swiping right.
I swiped right a lot. It's definitely unfair to judge a person based on appearance, but here's how I narrowed it down.
I swiped right:
- If they liked drinking coffee or going for casual drinks
- If they said they were new to the city
- If they liked going to the gym
- If they mentioned Drake in their description
- If they mentioned they worked/had interests in media, fashion, modelling, startups, or PR
I swiped left:
- If they didn't have a description or barely put effort into it
- If their pictures were all selfies located in the same setting
- If they only had one picture
- If they were located out of Toronto
- If they were vulgar or explicit in their description or picture
- If they said they loved nature and doing "natury" things (sorry that's just not me)
I remember my first match. I was so excited. I actually texted Ashley and told her I had a match. I can't remember who I matched with, but I remember trying to think of something to say. I ended up just saying "Hi!"
Soon enough, I had like twelve matches and five steady conversations going on through the app. It felt like speed dating. I honestly started feeling less lonely within the first few days just by talking to these women!
I only ever met up with one person I matched with. Her name is Malaika and she's from London England. We met at Fresh on Richmond and Spadina. The place was packed. I arrived 20 minutes late because I was just getting off work, and Malaika was sitting in the corner by the window when I first saw her. When I got to the table, I apologized and she said it was totally fine.
We talked about music (we both REALLY like hip-hop and R&B), travelling, moving to a new city, and relationships. After 2.5 hours of good conversation, we parted ways.
I called Marcus immediately after to tell him about my new friend. He was happy I starting to make my own friends.
After I got my serving job and started making "real life friends" at work, I didn't go on the app as much anymore. But please know that if you move to a new city, or if you're just looking to meet a new friend, Bumble BFF can be a great tool.
Before I tried it, I thought I was too good to use an app to make friends. For a second, I convinced myself that I had all the social skills necessary to make friends the "normal way" and that I would only meet weird people online. THAT'S NOT TRUE. Don't ever be ashamed for online dating or making friends through the internet. It's okay, and it doesn't matter what others think.
I'm so happy I didn't listen to my original thought. Talking to all of those women on the app really helped me feel less lonely during a time where I just needed to talk to a girl. And the best part is, I got one good friend out of the entire experience.
To this day, I still talk to Malaika, and we hang out from time to time! I ended up deleting Bumble BFF, but I recently downloaded it again to see who else is out there.
This weekend, I'm actually meeting up with another woman I met from Bumble (yay!!) If you're interested and want to know how it goes, slide into my Instagram DMs or email me and I'll be more than happy to answer.
And once again, thanks for reading.