Since I made a half-assed attempt at coming out as bisexual last year (meaning I didn’t tell anyone but rather just starting talking to women on dating apps), I have been on a whopping one date. And it’s not due to lack of effort. Like most, I spend about an hour of my life every single day swiping back and forth on people on apps, sending witty openers, and breaking my back trying to carry dead conversations. So, I did the unthinkable: I bought a month’s worth of Bumble Premium.
read this if you're in your saving era this summer
Paying for Bumble was never on my bingo card for this year, but after years of swiping to no avail, I wanted to take my dating life into my own hands and try out the Premium membership. And after a month, I have a lot of thoughts.
When I decided to pay for a dating app, I got a lot of questions from my friends asking why I didn’t try Hinge. Since I started using dating apps seven long years ago, Bumble has always been my favorite and the app I’ve had the most success with. I find Hinge difficult to use, and I find myself never liking people and just waiting for others to like me (which leads to very few likes, ultimately causing me to come to a conclusion about once a quarter that I’m just simply not hot on Hinge, and that’s fine).
Compared to Hinge at $29.99 for a month of their Preferred membership, Bumble is a bit more expensive, but I felt like it was worth it to me because I knew I was more likely to use it, and the perks were riveting.
Bumble Premium is there to make your Bumble experience feel better, but most of all, it’s definitely conducive to meeting new people. The most vital perk of Premium is getting access to your “Beeline,” the little section of the app that haunts you with all the likes you have, just waiting to be swiped on. Instead of swiping to find matches, you already have a whole list of prospective suitors just waiting to be matched with.
Along with the Beeline, you get a ton of cool benefits, including unlimited filters, unlimited likes, incognito mode (where you can swipe but not be seen to others—it was very exciting to do this while in my hometown), and Travel Mode (which allows you to swipe anywhere in the world—during my Bumble Premium tenure, I swiped in London, Toronto, Vancouver, and Honolulu).
Bumble also offers Bumble Boost, which seemed like an absolute cash grab to me, so I skipped. With Boost, you get unlimited likes, unlimited backtracks (for when you accidentally swipe left on someone cute), unlimited extend and rematch, one “spotlight” a week (where you can improve your chance to be seen by swipers), and five SuperSwipes a week, all for a grand total of $16.99 a month. While this would probably make your Bumble experience better, the reason Premium is exciting is because you can avoid swiping, not because it encourages me to swipe more. But you still get all of these features with Premium if you do decide to swipe (but I rarely did).
For a month of Bumble Premium, I shelled out $39.99. Listen, I fall strictly in that category that’s like: If something is $20, I say, “Why not? It’s just $20”; if something is over $20, I say, “Do you think I’m the heir to a television network or something?” So swiping my card (or the digital version of it) on this really hurt.
You can get a week’s worth of Premium for $19.99, which I considered, but I felt like going for the full month would give me a better idea of the platform and was a much better deal.
I hate to admit it, but Bumble Premium was a joy to use. Hey, I don’t like rejection—who does? So knowing that every person I liked in my Beeline had already liked my back made dating feel so much more fun than like a game I could win or lose. The burnout I often feel from dating apps didn’t occur while I used Premium, likely because I didn’t feel the pang of dismissal of every time I got excited about someone, all for them to never match with me. For the first time in my life, I felt like the hot girl at school who had her pick of anyone she wanted, and that was enough motivation to keep me going for a while.
Using a dating app in this way is so much more direct, and I actually swiped more on people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m known to get in a groove of swiping without really looking or paying attention to anyone, causing me to probably miss out on a lot of great people. When using the Beeline, I already knew these people liked me, so I felt good taking a little extra time to see if I would like them. I matched with more people and had more conversations in this one month than I had in about a whole year.
Aside from the Beeline, the other features were just an added perk. Travel mode was fun to do on a night at home watching movies with a glass of wine, and I highly appreciated Incognito Mode when I was visiting family in my small hometown and wanted to see who was there but didn’t want anyone to see me (IYKYK).
A plus-size blogger I love talked about how she paid for Bumble and met the man she would ultimately marry in a video that really resonated with me. She explained that she wanted to pay so that she wasn’t wasting her time and that finding love finally became a written-in-stone priority for her, and it put Bumble Premium at the top of my wish list ever since. This is exactly how I felt when the money came out of my account. For the first time ever, online dating became a priority for me rather than just something I do because I’m bored.
This ultimately helped me get much clearer on my goals. For the last year or so, my “looking for” status has been stagnant in the “I don’t know yet” category. I’m not looking for a serious relationship, but I also don’t want a ton of one-night stands. Once I took out the rejection factor from the get-go, I felt a lot more comfortable being direct and up-front with everyone I spoke to.
So I’ll finally give you what you came here for: Did I meet anyone? Yes and no. In my first days of Bumble Premium, I met a fella that I’ve been casually talking to for about two months. Had I not had Bumble Premium, I’m not sure I’d have met him at all, so in that regard, I have to call it a win. As time went on and I continued to use the app, I met a few other people who I’ve kept up conversations with.
However, I definitely went into this process thinking I’d leave with like five dates under my belt, and that didn’t exactly happen. For one, Bumble still isn’t the best place for me to meet other women. This could have to do with my location, but overall, it’s not hustling and bustling with LGBTQ+ women in the way it is with straight and bi males. I had more luck with women going to a Taylor Swift night at a bar than I did in a month on Bumble, to put it in perspective.
Do I think Bumble Premium is worth it? It pains me to say, but maybe. Bumble Premium is expensive, but if you have the extra funds and want to see a positive uptick in the number of dates you’re going on, I don’t think you would be disappointed. While I think it’s worth it, I don’t think it’s necessary. Many people find their partners and eventual spouses on Bumble without dropping a dime, so you definitely can too. It’s all about what kind of dating experience you want, and I don’t think it ever hurts to set the intention and invest in yourself if dating and putting yourself out there are goals for you.