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With filters that are as in-depth as what Bumble offered me, I could be sure that I wasn’t missing a single red flag.

Filters and First Dates How I used Bumble to find connection in a new city
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 10:14

By Abheri Raychaudhuri

In early 2019, I was a single 25-year-old woman who was moving to a new city. Life was filled with nothing but possibilities.

As I packed up and shifted from Kolkata to Hyderabad, I was excited. The idea of starting over in a city where I didn’t know anybody was thrilling. Friends suggested that I download dating apps like Bumble as soon as I moved, but I held off, wanting to explore the city on my own first.

A couple months into it, though, the sense of adventure wore off. My new job had me on the night shift, which meant that my timings were out of whack compared to everybody around me. How would I ever meet anyone? So finally, I came around to the dating app idea that my friends had suggested. But I was a little apprehensive.

Too soon to get real?

I suffer from a condition called PMDD (PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It causes me extreme mood swings and discomfort. I become very unlike myself for two weeks every month. In these phases, I retreat into myself, unable to communicate much with anybody else.

People who are close to me are aware of this, but I was worried about having to explain it to new connections. Early conversations with a charming potential partner are supposed to be all fun and flirty, not dark and difficult because I’m delivering intense forewarnings about my condition. 

I steeled myself, however. I wanted to meet new people, and this was a good way to do it. I’d never really tried Bumble, but I was intrigued by its promise to give me the first move. As I researched it, I reflected on my prior experience on a first date… One that didn’t go so well. 

The First Attempt 

I wanted what every girl wants: to meet someone with shared interests, enjoy a nice evening, and maybe have it develop into something more. He had checked all the boxes. 

He was pleasant. On text, we bonded over our shared love for travel. I thought, “This guy seems fun and open-minded.” Somehow though, when we met for our first date, he ended up having views that were diametrically opposite to mine, on essential topics that ranged from feminism to politics. How did I not spot the red flags?

This is why, when I came across Bumble’s profile filters, I downloaded it immediately.

 

Fresh sparks and new friends

"With in-depth filters like Interest Badges that Bumble offered me, I could have genuine and candid conversations, and make meaningful connections." People can mention everything from whether they want kids or not to whether they smoke and drink. It allowed me to actually assess whether people were on my wavelength.

As I began to use Bumble in earnest, I realised that I also felt safer, since I was able to hide my name and display only an initial. The privacy settings were key to my comfort at the time, because the pandemic lockdown had begun and people were starting to behave a little oddly. Overenthusiastic guys that I had matched with on other apps had even found me on LinkedIn after I ceased contact with them. On Bumble, there was no chance of this. I had control over who saw my profile, and I was free to reveal my name only when I was comfortable.

With one match, things got a little cutesy. I discovered that he lived nearby, so we started to plan a meetup. Since we were in a lockdown, the only places open to meet in were supermarkets. He was still setting up his house, so I offered to take him shopping at the supermarket for all his home essentials. Shopping for supplies took on a charm that I’d never noticed before. 

Another match was a sweet Marvel superfan. The prompts on Bumble really came through for us. I found that they made it easy for me to get to know him, and we ended up chatting for hours and hours. We then embarked on a mission to watch every Marvel movie in chronological order. This was perhaps the downfall of our potential relationship, since I couldn’t bring myself to like the films. We eventually decided to stay friends.

That friendship has become one that I cherish. We discuss how we keep our mental health in check and share notes on activities we use to keep sane. He shared pictures of the plants he grows at home, and I shared a wall journal I was working on.

He was even an important source of support for me during a particularly painful PMDD episode. I was scared and alone, unable to connect with close friends and in a city that still felt like a stranger to me. But I was able to reach out to him. He was lovely to me, and took the time out to patiently talk me through it. I’ll always be grateful for that, and I told him so. 

I’ve met several more wonderful people through Bumble since I began to use it. Some didn’t work out, but many more are still in my life. 

Maybe I’ll end up in a romantic relationship soon enough. In the meantime, however, making these new connections has filled my heart in a way that I never expected. For a girl on the night shift settling into a new city, I couldn’t have asked for more. 

This article was published in partnership with Bumble.