It's a tale as old as online dating apps themselves: You swipe right, you match, you strike up a conversation, you plan a first date — and sometimes — it fizzles. The same song and dance repeats until one day, you meet someone you're excited to see for a second date, a person you actively want to hang out with, a potential life-long partner you can rely on and trust.
For three couples (among the thousands who match across the world), that day happened when they found their significant others on Bumble. And of course, like most modern-day love stories, it all began with their profiles. We talked to each side of these Bumble matches-turned-relationships to find out what exactly compelled them to swipe right, the engaging (or in one case, not-so-engaging) first move, and how it led to a first date and, eventually, a life together.
AMY + MICHAEL
What I was looking for: "I wobbled into the online world after a long-term relationship ended. I had no interest in hanging out at bars and wanted out of my circle, which was 90% lawyers. As complicated as online dating seemed, the chance to pre-screen dates without having to engage was a big plus. I wasn’t looking for a relationship and wanted to regain some small piece of confidence I had in myself and have some fun. At first, I was intent on not overselling — a game plan that materialized into a very boring profile: Mom, Lawyer, Avid-Reader. I call that my 'practice dating' stage. But my friends were tired of hearing me complain about these dates, so I let one help me rework my profile to give off the 'vibe' I wanted in return. Within minutes, improved matches came in."
Why I swiped right on Michael: "Michael looked way too cool for me, but my friend persuaded me to swipe right since he included 'and astronaut' at the end of his profile, and that was nerdy, and I was nerdy. I didn't think he’d swipe right on me, anyway, but BOOM. Match. My opening line was: 'I’ve never liked astronauts; they think they’re above me. Want to change my mind?' And it led to a first date because it turns out he likes bad jokes."
Our first date: "By the time I met Michael, I had dated enough to reach a stage at which I felt confident and empowered. He was more attractive in person than in his photos; he was also personable yet quiet. He was calm, interesting, and kind. I said something silly, and instead of rolling his eyes, he laughed so hard I thought he was choking. I was crazy about his steady energy. The date only lasted an hour because I had my [kids] that evening, but before I reached my car to leave, he asked me out again."
A happy coincidence: "When I was living in New York City in the early 2000s, I'd walk past this big Gap ad with an attractive model every day. When I met Michael, he mentioned he had a career as a print and runway model. When I pressed, he took out a folder of torn-out ads from magazines. Then I saw the very same Gap ad. I couldn’t believe it."
When I knew it was real: "Soon after we became exclusive, I went through the most heartbreaking moment of my life. Where most men would have left or lectured me about how to handle the situation, Michael was present, giving, supportive, and strong. I vividly remember a moment when, with my eyes swollen shut from crying, he put his arms around me, kissed my forehead, and told me I was the most beautiful woman and best mother he’d ever known. I knew then he was my forever partner. We’ve been together for two years and were recently married in New Orleans with 50 of our closest friends — and of course, a bumblebee wedding cake."
My advice for others: "If you are out to find someone to marry, you’re going to be disappointed. Have a goal to have fun, meet great new friends, have experiences you could never imagine, give yourself some grace, and grow as a person. Then if you find someone who tells you they love you when shit hits the fan, you’re all good."
What I was looking for: "I had been on and off dating apps for a little under a year. At the time, I was tired of the regular dating scene (going out with friends to meet new people and being set up on bad dates), so I was optimistic about online dating as it gave me a fresh option. But I was skeptical — I had used other online dating platforms in the past full of bots and fakers."
Why I swiped right on Amy: "It was a mix of humility, humor, and, of course, beauty that caught my eye. Between a nice selfie (beauty), a photo of her and her grandparents (family), a picture of an empty refrigerator (she claims not to be a cook, which isn't true — she's a great cook), a quirky selfie (funny), and a picture of her with a wine glass sitting in the kneehole of her ripped jeans (priorities?), I knew she had to be someone special."
How our relationship evolved: "I was optimistic because we had already struck a rapport based on similar interests and our backgrounds, so it felt very natural. It was quick — we both had hectic schedules. While it was a short first date, it felt like the beginning of something great — we were already planning when we could see each other next. There was no interest in continuing to swipe. We dated for about a year and a half before we married in October 2019. From that first date, to traveling the globe, to lounging around in our pajamas and bingeing our favorite shows, to spending time with our families and friends, to supporting each other's careers, and to planning our next steps, everything with Amy is a favorite memory."
Why Bumble worked for me: "From a life perspective, timing was key. From an app perspective, it was Bumble's functionality. I was ready to meet someone truly special, and the Bumble platform — profile verification feature (so you know who you're seeing in photos is who you're meeting in real life), giving women the ability to message first, and match expiration — facilitated that in a way that other apps couldn't. Amy and I took care of it from there."
My advice for others: "My advice is to have fun with it. But keep it real. Show some humor, some humility, some of your passions, and be transparent in what you want in a partner and what you're looking for, even if you don't know what it is."
SHANNON + ANJNA
What I was looking for: "Two months prior to meeting Anjna, I had gotten out of a short-term relationship. I was looking for a casual summer romance, so I felt less pressure to find 'the one' and was just having fun making connections with people and seeing where things went. Even though I consider myself bisexual, I had my setting only set to 'interested in women' at the time. On Bumble, I felt like I could find quality people to connect with without having to fill out pages of questionnaires. I also liked the 24-hour expiration feature — it prompts immediate conversations."
Why I swiped right on Anjna: "There was a picture of her wearing blue lipstick. I thought, Wow, that's bold. She totally rocked it. There was also a photo of her posing with her violin and she's doing a smlaugh (smile laugh). I liked that she could look badass with blue lipstick in one photo and super cute and sweet in the next. She looked like a genuine, well-rounded person. Also, in the 'About' section of her profile, she said she was a musician, composer, writer, and actor based in Brooklyn. I'm into passionate, creative people and was excited to learn more about her projects."
My opening line: "I approach online dating with a What have I got to lose? mentality, so I always have the same line: 'Hi there, what have you been getting into this summer' (I changed it up depending on the season). The question is generic, yes, but it can be hard to come up with an opening line for a complete stranger that doesn't sound cheesy. Anjna told me about her online dating rule — to not engage with people with generic profiles and intro lines — a few months after we started dating. I'm still not sure if she threw out her rule for me because I'm such a hottie or if it's because she was excited to match. Maybe a little bit of both."
How it led to a first date: "We started talking about what each of us had been doing that summer, what we do professionally, our family, our hometowns, and what brought us to New York. We scheduled to meet up pretty soon after connecting. I was running late and was frazzled when I finally arrived, but when I first saw her, she looked beautiful — just like her pictures — and she had such a warm smile. Our interactions were simple yet genuine and honest. It was the best date I had been on in a while. I knew I would see her again."
When I knew it was real: "I stopped swiping on other people almost immediately after meeting Anjna. Our second date was four days after our first, and it lasted about 12 hours. I have never felt so connected to someone so quickly in my life. We both pretended that we were dating casually even though we talked all the time and hung out every night Anjna wasn't traveling for a show. Things just fell in place. A month and a half after we started dating is when we had conversations about being in an official relationship. We moved in together a little over a year after we started dating."
My favorite memory with Anjna: "Our first trip out of town together, which was to Hudson, NY last fall. Anjna was playing in a show and we turned that weekend into a getaway. It was the last weekend we spent with our dog Roo before he was diagnosed with heart failure. In Hudson, the three of us walked through the town, explored, and experienced something new and beautiful together. That final weekend with my two best friends will always be very important to me."
My advice for others: "Be more genuine in the early stages of your interactions. Whether you're looking for something casual, long-term, or if you don't know what you want, being a kind, genuine person sets you up for more success."
What I was looking for: "A few months prior to matching with Shannon, I'd gotten out of a long-term relationship with someone I'd met on the only other app I'd been on. I was looking for something casual but full of interesting conversation and exploration. The old app's algorithm was sticking me with the same kind of person (think: a suited-up corporate man looking for a wife) and definitely not the sort for a freelance artist/activist with a radical spirit like me. It seemed like Bumble had more artists, activists, queer folx, and people of color — after a month of being on the app, I connected with people from all walks of life and it was exciting to have engaging conversations without the pressure of longevity. A few weeks later, I decided to see what it might be like to meet women on Bumble.
"I hadn't dated a woman before and was swiping even more casually at this point. For some reason, I barely matched with any women, so when I matched with Shannon, I was thrilled, shocked, and a little confused. I'd figured something was wrong with the app — or that people assumed I was there by mistake (I'm very femme-presenting and was very new to the queer dating thing). It takes a lot to hook me in. When I started online dating a few years prior, I'd only respond to interesting questions, because I wanted to make sure the person had actually read my profile. With Bumble, my rule was silly, because my profile said nothing more than 'Musician, composer, writer, and actor based in Brooklyn!'"
Why I swiped right on Shannon: "Her bio was simple, too, but she didn't say anything about what she does, just: "Nature, art, festivals, spicy food, whisky, talking, exploring." And I like all of those things. Despite my aforementioned rule, I was relieved to get a simple message from her and allow it to blossom naturally from there. I suppose the most ironic thing about welcoming a generic opening line from Shannon was that we have so many specifics in common. We connected immediately about our desire to make art about the policies and issues that shape society. The simple fact that we are both queer women of color allowed ease in our conversation, but the point that she was also committed to using art to communicate these deeper issues made it that much more powerful. We talked about Black Lives Matter, the sexual agency of immigrant women, gentrification, de facto segregation in our hometowns, teaching music as a tool for healing intergenerational trauma, and more. Swoon."
Our first date: "Because of how easy it was to talk to her, I was feeling pretty calm about the date. I was nervous about it being my first date with a woman, though. I got to the restaurant first and when Shannon arrived, I felt relief. She was this extremely beautiful but very kind and uncomplicated person. And that uncomplicated joy put me at ease. When we left the restaurant, there was an uncomfortable incident with a stranger, and Shannon and I felt the need to recover a bit. She ended up walking me to my rehearsal, and it felt really safe and comfortable having her to talk to and check in with. I think trust is one of the hardest things to feel on such an instinctive level, but I knew in that moment that I could trust her with anything."
How our relationship evolved: "Shannon caught me off guard. Or rather, this love caught both of us off guard. I think I knew deep down that I'd be with her for a long time within a few dates, but I was really committed to keeping things casual. Still, we started spending more and more time with each other. As much as we resisted being stereotypical queer women (who notoriously 'u-haul' within a few dates), our lives quickly became interdependent as Shannon’s dear dog Roo became ill and passed away last year and I began coping with a sudden chronic pain condition this year. We knew we wanted to build a home together as soon as possible. We finally found our gem of an apartment in September, and it looks like a picture of our partnership: filled with plants, homemade art, queer art, a huge kitchen for all of our culinary fantasies, and every color in the rainbow."
My advice to others: "Beyond the algorithms, there’s instinct. Listen to your instinct. If you feel at ease and joy with someone, it’s worth building something with them. The algorithm is just the fate that brought you two together."
RENEE + FRANCISCO
What I was looking for: "I was on Bumble for probably one year in Seattle, then four months in Chicago, before meeting Francisco. I was pretty new to it, so I was still in the optimistic and entertained-by-it phase in Seattle. When I got to Chicago, I was certain I would have endless options of genuine, funny Midwestern men. I was disappointed by lots of drawn-out conversations and not a lot of men taking the initiative to make a plan after I'd made the first move. I went on a handful of dates over my first four months in Chicago, swiping a few times a week. Then, out of nowhere, I found my husband while eating breakfast in my apartment on a weekend morning."
Why I swiped right on Francisco: "Anyone who knows me well knows I have a strong affinity for bald men, so when I saw him, my thought process probably went something like: Oooh handsome bald guy. Looks like he travels a lot. Older than me. No cheesy profile. Swipe. There is something about bald men that tells you that they are confident. It could be a biased perception, but it usually holds true. For me, that is a hell of a lot more attractive than a pretty boy with way too many selfies. I don’t remember my opening line, and it honestly probably wasn’t anything worth mentioning, but apparently it worked."
Our first date: "It was Presidents' Day, and we both had off work. We matched in the morning, exchanged a few messages, and he wasted no time before asking if I’d like to join him to walk his dog. I couldn’t meet that early, but we landed on drinks later that day. I was excited to meet him — I don’t remember being nervous or thinking about it too much, which is likely why it was successful. It felt natural and easy. There was no big build up and we hadn’t already told each other our life stories via text. We met for drinks, which turned into dinner, and after, he walked me home and kissed me goodnight at my building’s doorstep. By Friday of that week, we’d been on three dates."
When I knew it was real: "I don’t think I swiped anymore after that first date. We talked every day after. There were no games, no playing hard to get. Within two months, we took our first trip together up to Madison, Wisconsin, followed by a fourth of July trip down to Dallas to visit my sister’s family, where my little niece (and I) fell in love with him. By September, we went to London for the first time. We moved in together at eight months and then headed to Ecuador to meet his entire family by nine months. We moved out to Seattle together just after our one-year anniversary and bought our home shortly after. Engagement came about nine months after that."
My advice for others: "My advice is to meet — don't waste time with a bunch of messages. Go get a coffee, walk your dog, grab a drink…just meet the person. Set a limit, too. If they don't ask you out after however many messages (whatever that may be for you), either ask them out (you have nothing to lose at that point) or move on."
What I was looking for: "I had been on Bumble for a few months, on and off. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to meet someone. I was battling over whether I would meet someone through an app or if I should put myself out there and meet someone at a running club or dinner group. I knew that by using an app, I would increase the chance of meeting someone, so I would spend a few nights a week swiping."
Why I swiped right on Renee: "There was an immediate physical attraction, but I also remember seeing pictures of her traveling and with friends. Her bio also mentioned she was a runner or she enjoyed running. I remember asking her to do something pretty quickly after we matched."
How I knew it was real: "That first week, we went on three different dates. I'm pretty sure that I stopped swiping that week. In the almost three years we've been together, we've had great moments, traveling, buying a home, and more. But the best set of memories are those with our dog, Porter. Renee wasn’t a dog person when we first met, and now can’t go anywhere without him."
My advice for others: "There’s no formula or set of steps or questions in order to find a genuine connection. Just be yourself. Nobody has time for games. If you are intentional about meeting someone meaningful, the only way to do it is by being genuine."
These interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity. Do you have a Bumble success story you would like to share? Bumble would love to hear from you — fill out the form here.