How to Play the Long Game When It Comes to Digital Dating


Building valuable, healthy relationships are central to living a positive and productive life. Bumble has helped change the way we interact, breaking down old-fashioned power dynamics and encouraging women to make the first move. Over the next month, we’re celebrating love. We’ve partnered with Bumble to highlight interesting ways to start a conversation, how to find love in the digital age, how to cultivate intimacy as we emerge from isolation and more. Alongside our helpful and inspiring content, we’ll also share stories of ‘the one that got away’ — because sometimes it’s the love before that leads you to The One.

The moment you match with another user on Bumble is most often met with excitement. The opportunity to chat and (with any luck) connect on an emotional level with someone new can fill us with hope, joy and positivity, no matter our purpose for being on the platform — to make a friend, a business connection, or a romantic one.

Some conversations may flow naturally until they’re taken offline and strengthened in person; others may peter out for a lack of common ground or ‘spark’. But one thing’s for certain, all conversations will take mutual effort, and if both parties are interested in seeing their connections to grow over time, then they will have to invest more and more. That’s just how it works!

For the daters on Bumble fostering these connections, and for anyone else looking to get on the platform, here are four expert tips to progressing your online conversations and turning a digital relationship into something more meaningful.

Go beyond the banter

Flirtatious and playful banter is a great place to start when it comes to establishing a connection and feeling the room for signs of attraction. But when you feel like you’re ready to take the conversation to the next level and get to know each other in a more meaningful way, then there are a few ways to go about this.

“We recently introduced audio notes into the app,” says Lucille McCart, Bumble lead marketer and associate director. “If you have a wild or funny story to tell, this saves your thumbs the effort of typing forever — just hold down the microphone icon to the right of the text box and it will start recording.

“Your match will be able to listen to it anytime (and play it more than once) and will ideally send you one back of them laughing at your hilarious story and complimenting your wit.”

Keep the conversation moving

“Hey, how was your day?” is a sincere question and an effective conversation starter that can get a chat rolling, but a simple line like that can start to feel repetitive after a few days. Particularly in post-iso times like these, when there’s not all that much to relay about our days spent at home…

So, when you feel like your conversations are starting to take a turn for the dull, then it could be time to shake things up. And we have the perfect suggestion.

“If you feel like you are a bit stuck on what to say, a fun way to restart a chat or ignite a flirty debate is to use Bumble’s Question Game feature,” says McCart. It works like so. “You shuffle the questions until you find one you like (or create your own), and both you and your match have to respond before either answer is revealed.

lucille mccart bumble
Bumble’s Lucille McCart is working to throw those traditional dating rules out the window. Source: Bumble

Pick up the phone

Sure, you have your phone in your hand for like, 90% of the day. But with this tip, we’re encouraging you to put the phone to your ear and actually make a voice or video call. While this kind of interaction can make you feel nervous at first, your match being able to hear your voice and see your face is important for taking a digital dalliance to the next level.

“You can make voice calls or video chat within Bumble,” says McCart. “This is first and foremost a safety feature, as you can interact with your match in this way without needing to exchange your email or phone number, but it also allows you to get to know each other on a deeper level.

“Calls allow you to have virtual dates where you can spice up your conversation by making a drink together or chatting over dinner. The average time for a video call on Bumble in Australia right now is 28 minutes, so we know that our users are really enjoying this feature and using it as a way to connect when they can’t meet in real life.”

Oh, and don’t wait three days to call again in between dates. Traditional “dating rules” like these are exactly why George Costanza remained perpetually single in Seinfeld. Which brings us to…

Throw out the dating rulebook

“Forget everything you have learned about dating from a movie or TV show! They make great entertainment but they are not reflective of real life,” says McCart.

“This is 2020 — do you mean to tell me that we can make it through everything this year has thrown at us, but a woman can’t ask a man on a date? Or that she has to wait a certain amount of time to sleep with someone that she is attracted to? Or that a man has to follow rules about when he can or can’t contact a woman he is dating? It’s all rubbish and these archaic rules don’t serve us anymore.”

When Bumble first launched back in 2014, the company did so with a mission to rewrite the dating game as we knew it, with a further goal to challenge traditional gender roles and turn power dynamics on their head.

“All of these outdated rules reinforce gender stereotypes that just aren’t a reflection of modern society. These rules, for example, the three-day rule, date back to a time when we still had landlines and would need to go home to check our messages! In a digital world where we are always online and connected, with our phones constantly in our hands, waiting three days to reply to a message is actually considered rude.

McCart says that when it comes to modern-day dating, it is important to be guided by what feels right for you. “If a person really likes you, they want to hear from you and they are more than likely very happy to sleep with you — so don’t give in to the pressure or worry about what anyone else thinks.”

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