27-year-old L.Lim has been using Bumble since Oct 2021. While he has had more than 30 matches on Bumble, he seldom receives introductions from women. 

On this online dating app, women have to initiate conversations after receiving a match within 24 hours.

L.Lim said this model works against male users as they cannot take the lead in conversations. 

He added that the women he’s chatted with generally don’t hold conversations well, so it’s hard to develop the relationship further. 

“Usually the girls [have] close-ended replies and very unenthusiastic follow-ups, making it a chore to continue the dry conversation. Usually I will just move on,” said L.Lim.

Screenshots of L.Lim’s “dry” Bumble chat with one of his matches. Photo Credit: L.Lim 

A study conducted in 2016 by researchers from the University of Oxford stated that men initiate 79 per cent out of roughly two million conversations via online dating apps. These conversations are more likely to be reciprocated as compared to women-initiated conversations.  

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Aisyah Ridzham, who started using Bumble in Aug 2021, was successful in finding an online date. 

She said that she initiated the conversation with her match by sending him a message related to his profile description. She then used Bumble’s Question Game feature to get to know him better. 

While Aisyah is proactive in leading the conversation, many female users are not, observed another Bumble user Barani Vicnan, 20. But he added that women shouldn’t take the blame as many male users do not put in enough effort into curating their dating profiles.

“With the lack of proper planning and presentation, guys end up getting lesser matches because they just fail to present themselves in a way that wins the girls’ favour.”

Examples of male Bumble users’ profiles that are not detailed enough. Screenshot from: Barani Vicnan

He added that a man’s sense of style should be shown on his dating profile for women to notice him. 

“Fashion plays a part because it’s a clear reflection of their personality and style and how much they’d value presenting themselves,” said Barani. 

On the other hand, 20-year-old A.Kumar shared that women on online dating apps tend to have “very unreal and high” expectations of men, which led to him uninstalling Bumble after a month. 

He shared that some of the profiles he has come across stated that they would entertain only men who look like male celebrities or influencers. 

“[Girls] expect most of their men to look like K-pop stars. Guys, on the other hand, are just mostly looking for someone to talk to or just bond with,” he said. 

According to Aisyah, what women truly look for in men is a good sense of humour to keep the conversation going, regardless of appearance or who initiates the conversation.

“Personally, I think your profile should either highlight your good qualities like humour and jokes, or interesting stories that you have,” she said.

Ultimately, Aisyah still prefers other dating apps where men can send introductions so she does not have to make the first move. 

“There’s still something poetic about the gentlemanly and chivalrous culture of a guy courting and trying to get the attention of a girl,” she said.

Proofread By: Chew Jia Wei and Ruth Loo Hui En