How to Message a Guy on Bumble, What to Write, How to Compliment a Guy: Tips & Ideas for Cute, Witty, Funny Conversation Starters, Questions, Openers & First Moves

Dating apps have come a long way since the days of, OkCupid and even Tinder. There are more apps out there than ever before and each app lends itself to developing a strategy to optimize for success whether it is photo selection, compatibility via bio completion and content, photo captions, swiping strategy but after all those initial hurdles, it all comes down to that introductory line, conversation starter, and first message.

Sure photos are the biggest factor in whether you get likes and matches on dating apps but most people fail in converting matches into good conversations and conversations into dates. Whether it’s a bad first opening line, not knowing that many guys right swipe on every woman’s profile for efficiency or that having an incomplete bio or lazy answers to prompts, many women make the mistake of ignoring these subtle details in their profiles, answers and photos.


How is Bumble Different? How Does Bumble Work?

Bumble is unique in that it requires women to make the first move (also known as ‘First Move Privilege’) and message men in order for conversations to start after a match is made (a match is made by mutual blind likes). Bumble with its women first approach has caused some anxiety and uncertainty for many women who consider themselves old-fashion and prefer men to make the first move and/or flounder when it comes to think of something witty or funny to say.

To add to the anxiety of coming up with something unique and creative to say, Bumble has a 24-hour countdown clock before matches expire unless the woman messages then guy or either party extends the window to provide a little extra time to figure out what to say.

On top of all this, gender ratios on Bumble tend to be a little more balanced than say Hinge and definitely Tinder. Some guys hate not having control over messaging a woman first after matching. Other guys dislike the limits Bumble imposes on the types of allowable photos (i.e. no guns and tasteless bathroom selfies).


First Impressions On Dating Apps: How To Make A Good First Impression On Bumble

When all you have to judge a person is their photos, bio, a few prompts and whatever items they filled out in their bio, the first message can make or break you (more so for men but still quite possible for women on Bumble). For the longest time women on apps like Tinder complained that men were crude, lazy, too forward/sexual or lacked manners when initiating conversation.

Cliche and copy and paste pickup lines from Reddit and PUA (pick-up artist) sites led to a barrage of low-effort messages from men. Couple with the volume approach guys use (like as many women as possible to yield the most matches possible as to give oneself the more possible opportunities to message and ideally meet in person).

Now that the tables have turned, guys are getting a taste of their own medicine. Maybe not as forward or crude remarks but definitely on the lazy, low-effort spectrum of boring messages. Hi, hey, what’s up, heyy, or even “.” or “…” are not unheard of.

Short, generic openers like this are the quickest and easiest way to turn away a guy. Even if a guy sticks around and replies, he may not take you seriously and may mirror your energy and effort with a casual demeanor.

Women are not just competing for a guy, they are competing against other women. Competing on time, effort, appearance, creativity and energy. If you want to improve your chances for landing the guy you are attracted to, you have to do better than hi, hey. what’s up.


Bumble About Me Section, Profile Prompts, Photos and Bio Tips

Before you start to worry about what to write, you have to focus on your own profile. Having conversation starters with good photos, insightful, interesting takes as well as a reasonably filled out bio will go a long way to make it easier for a guy to respond to any message. Incomplete bios are generally viewed as individuals being indifferent or seeking something casual.

If you want something state it but do so carefully. Saying you want to have kids asap may turn away most men as they might be viewed as merely a placeholder but there are a few men out there who might be on the same timeframe but you won’t know unless you communicate this and discuss this.

If your photos are of you partying, with guys all the time, dressed a bit sloppy or too casual, you might be turning away guys who are a bit more polished and want someone more mature, sophisticated.

Regardless, you attract who you are not what you seek. If you use cliche, boring or worthless prompts and answers like pineapple on pizza, Jim and Pam Office references or have a bunch of modeling photos from Tulum or Taj Mahal, guys will make quick assumptions in their swiping activity. There is nothing more annoying than seeing the same profile prompts, photos and bios again and again (this is true of men on apps but not so obvious to women on apps).

Many women I have talked to and worked with are a bit afraid of showing vulnerability and being rejected. By creating a lazy profile or only casually attempting to make an effort with dating apps could be a signal that a woman is not serious about meeting someone OR she is trying to hedge her bets. Show effort, enthusiasm as well as possible openings to facilitate more replies with more thoughtful, funny, and insightful profile prompts on Bumble.


Bumble Bio

Bumble Bio


What I mean by this is that it is easier to accept rejection if you don’t make a sincere effort – you can play it off more easily than if you poured your heart and soul into something (tactfully yet playfully) by answering all the questions, filling out the bio, and asking genuine questions.

No one likes being rejected and it is natural to be scared about someone turning you down because it feels like an attack on your personally vs. an attack on superficial or partial glimpse of yourself. When it comes to love and dating apps, you have to be aggressive and go for what you want.


Deal-Breakers, Nice-To-Haves, Filters, Preferences & Red Flags On Bumble

Before thinking about what to write your match, take a pause and review the profile in more detail. Does the guy’s energy, effort, sincerity, maturity, lifestyle match with what you seek? Are you ignoring red flags because of looks, height, pedigree, lifestyle? Conversely, are you being too picky about what you seek and are the deal-breakers you created in your mind really deal-breakers or nice to haves? Every item on a list of deal-breakers is another hurdle in your quest for love.

A great article entitled Women Need To Date Carpenters Like Men Date Yoga Instructors, does a great job of showing how men cast a wide open net for women (age, education, profession etc.) while women tend to be more selective (height, looks, education, lifestyle, ethnicity).

Additionally,  men are more likely to contact more women, and more women outside their league than they would in person, offline. Sometimes it feels like you can be searching to fit a mold rather than taking the time to see if someone matches with you or if you could possibly develop feelings over time.

The common pitfall men and women both have in common is approaching dating like a job interview. Too much quantifying worthiness, screening and assumptions vs. exploration, experimentation and patience. Only you can know what is a deal-breaker, what you can compromise on and what you are willing to relinquish in terms of waiting for perfect storybook romances.

Dating takes time, trial and error and unfortunately social media and one off cases from friends who managed to meet their partner in a matter of days or weeks and/or get engaged within a year puts too much burden to meet the perfect person. The perfect person cannot be figured out in a profile, in a couple messages but over time, through difficult situations and through acts and prioritization.


Can You Chat On Bumble For Free?

Yes, unlike, one does not need to pay to send messages.


Do I Have To Message First On Bumble? Can Guys Message First On Bumble? How Do You Start A Conversation On Bumble?

After two people mutually like each other, both users are notified. By design, women have to message first for a conversation to start or else the match will expire in 24 hours. Guys cannot send the first message on Bumble but can pay to extend the 24 hour window in which a woman has to send the first message.


Bumble First Messages, Opening Lines & Conversation Starters For Bumble Conversations

Coming up with an opening line or cute first message on Bumble is not rocket science. You don’t need to balance effort, creativity and enthusiasm. Some guys are naturally awkward or lack good communication skills so anything you can do to cautiously stroke an ego, make a slight joke about or convey something interesting will go a long way. Matching energy, timeliness and quality of messages is key.

Referencing an answer to a prompt or photo is usually the best way to go. Asking someone what they are looking for or asking why did you swipe right on me are the worst things you can say to kick off a conversation. If a guy is holding a fish in his photo and for some reason that doesn’t bother you, you could poke fun about how small the fish i.e. “looks like we’ll be eating lots of vegetables and takeout if you plan on relying on your fishing skills to provide meals”.

If a guy has a travel photo up, you could ask when did you go to X? Did you happen to stop by Y during your time there? I think Z is the best place for espresso martinis – can’t wait to go back this winter.

The comments express similar interests, can attempt to get an idea of how old his photos are, provide an outlet for him to respond with questions, rebuttal or confirmation. These types of opening lines are still a little playful, superficial but at least they are relevant and show you read his profile.

Music is a safe bet for most people since many people sync their Spotify accounts. If they like a local band, ask them if they went to their recent show or have seen them live. You can also, gently critique their random taste in music. Asking them what’s the best band you never heard of or best venue they have been to.


Best Bumble Openers To Use On Guys, What Questions Should I Ask A Guy On Bumble

If a guy has a certain type of song or playlist in his feed, you can ask about attending concerts, types of music venues he/she has checked out or if you know nothing about the band, style of music, ask for advice. Guys love giving advice – it makes them feel wanted or at least appreciated or relevant. Some guys have a hard time expressing feeling or emotion so if that is the case, asking them about something they are animated about and passionate about is a good way to get him to open up a bit.

Every so often you will come across a profile where there is little go by in terms of ideas for opening lines. In that case, you can reference something going on in the world, or locally. During Covid-19, you can ask something like whether they picked up new skills, have developed a favorite quarantine cocktail recipe or if they actually look like their photos or are looking more like Tom Hanks in Cast Away these days.

Asking about the latest find on Netflix is a much easier way to tread waters without seeming too eager or desperate. It’s next near impossible to connect over something so mainstream like Tiger King or GoT. Something more independent or not so obvious like Shtisel could not only open about interests in shows but in this case open up about religion, values, customs and family-planning + expectations.

Pro-tip: Be sure not to come off as someone seeking a tour guide to give them trips for their next travel destination. Make sure your comments and questions are relevant to him rather than a general request for information.

Bumble First Message Examples, Openers, Ideas & Tips: Bumble Tips For Females

If a guy as a travel photo in his profile, you can ask something around that. “Hi, (insert name) when did you go to Mexico City? Did you try out any of the places in the Taco Chronicles?” This sample line does a few things: 1) show that you like tacos (without using the lame line in your bio), 2) watched the the show on Netflix and 3) show you looked at his profile and did not copy and paste a lame line like hi, hey, what’s up, how is quarantine going. Put in some effort. Using a first name increases a response rate by up to 60%.

Similarly, if you are a guy, don’t just answer with simple one word answers. Add details and context. If you can’t get excited about food while traveling, you are likely a boring person in real life. A sample Bumble reply to this could be: “I did coincidentally but I didn’t see the show until after I went. I need to go back to check out XYZ. Have you been? I can’t believe I haven’t been before – it’s a shorter flight there than to many places in the U.S. and more exciting, culturally diverse”


Bumble Matches Mean Nothing: Bumble Unmatched After First Message

Just because a guy matched with you on Bumble doesn’t mean anything unfortunately. Some guys right swipe on every girl on every dating app only to focus on the ones they are most interested in. For that reason alone, it’s important to understand that first messages often go ignored so make sure you put some effort into it if you want to stand out from the competition.

If someone unmatches you after the first message, don’t take it personal. Revisit your message to see if it was lazy, unoriginal or lacked effort. Make sure your messages are personalized but also not repetitive (i.e. similar to what every guy/girl is writing said person, match).



Online Dating First Messages, Response Rates

Online Dating First Messages, Response Rates



Bumble No Response After First Message: Sending A Second Message On Bumble

A number of you will get impatient or read that Bumble is sometimes a buggy app. Fight the urge to give into your insecurity and do not send a second message on Bumble as a follow up. Many guys are lazy, lack manners or are on the apps for the wrong reason. Focus on matches that meet your etiquette, responsiveness and enthusiasm.

Women make the mistake in thinking a match means the guy like them. This is not the case. Some guys swipe right on everyone or focus on girls they are most interested in.

Why Do Guys Stop Messaging On Tinder, No Responses On Bumble, Follow-Up Messages.

It’s not uncommon to come up with a thoughtful message on Bumble and get no replies on the app. Sad truth, some guys swipe right on every profile and then reply to ones that they are most interested in and/or ones that are most eager to meet up with (for a hookup). Don’t waste your time on anyone that doesn’t match your effort, energy, etiquette, responsiveness and intent. Don’t send a follow up message. If a guy is interested, he will reply enthuastically. Don’t settle for lazy, short, effortless responses.

If a guy is likely to respond (more so than the average guy) he will have ‘often replies’ badge associated with hit profile. Similarly, if a woman messages first often, she will have the ‘often messages first badge.’ These badges are meant to call out people who don’t message and don’t reply and encourage users to focus on people who message and reply to others. If you don’t see the badge, it is likely they are swiping to too much and don’t follow up with messages or replies.

Why are you on Bumble is one of the worst first messages you can send on the app. Comes off as defensive, unable to trust or someone who is jaded by the experiences on the app. Save that for later in the conversation. You should be able to tell what a guy is looking for based off his photos, bio and prompts.


Does Bumble Tell You When Someone Looks At Your Profile?



Bumble No First Message

Some girls are lazy, others are seeking Instagram followers, some girls forget while others are bombarded by other matches. In this case it helps to ignore girls with IG handles in their profile or pay to jump the queue so women see you sooner.


Does Bumble Have Read Receipts

No they do not. Nor do they offer it in any paid subscription. Rather than wonder if someone saw your message, make sure you send quality messages rather than low effort messages and replies.


What To Say On Bumble: Bumble Questions, Conversation Starters

Bumble has a list of generic questions to ask a match when you can’t figure out what to say. Don’t use this. If you can’t figure out what to say, it’s likely the profile is boring or you need practice with conversation skills. Expand your hobbies, take classes, read the local news, explore the city, take on some new podcasts, sit a bar by yourself. Unoriginal questions suggest a boring lifestyle and lack of effort.


Other Things To Consider With Bumble Messages

If you are struggling from getting matches, you might want to review your profile again to make sure you are not self-sabotaging your efforts. Too many ambiguous group photos or photos with attractive friends, too many photos with sunglasses, lack of full body photos, harsh lighting in photos, snapchat filters, or cliche bios could be an automatic left-swipe (dog mom, ask me anything, brunch, the office, museum of ice cream or color factory photos etc.).

Check out this cliche dating profile bingo card to see how many you check off:

Last note on this… it’s common for men to swipe on profiles based on your first photo only and then review your profile in more detail after matching or even after receiving a first message. With that in mind, make sure your photos are consistent (don’t look material different in terms of age, hair style etc.).

Men and women after often judged on their worst photo. Similarly, studio shots, professional photos that are photoshopped are a red flag for most guys. If you hire a photographer for photos, make sure they take natural, candid, organic photos and not staged, stiff photos… someone like me!


Can You Chat On Bumble Without Paying? Can You Message on Bumble For Free?

You do not have to pay to message others on Bumble. But you have limited amount of time do so inititially unless you pay to extend 24 hour window.


Perfect First Message, Online Dating, Copy & Paste

The best messages are customized. They are not copied and pasted. They show you read the profile and aim to connect with the person. There is not such thing as a perfect message as everyone is different and everyone will have varying reactions. Knowing how to read people is key to delivering the best opening lines on dating apps.


What Is A Good First Message On Bumble? Do I Have To Message First On Bumble? What Are Some Good Questions To Ask On Bumble?

Look for clues in answers to prompts, details in photos or items in their bio. If the profile is empty and the answers to prompts are incomplete and the photos are boring, move on. Ignore red flags because the guy is cute is a common mistake women make on dating apps. Asking if they tried an item on the menu, checked out a bar while on a trip or slightly teasing a guy is a great way to start a conversation starter. You can learn a lot about a guy by the way he answers random, slightly uncomfortable questions.

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Related Reading: What Is The Best First Move On Bumble, Bumble Chats

For additional tips on all things Bumble related, check out my other Bumble posts here:

If you need help with a profile critique and makeover, contact me today:

Next Read: Tips On Conversation Starters With Matches

Trending Post: Biggest Mistakes Made on Profiles

Popular Read: What Do Your Dating Photos Signal?

Online Dating 101: Online Dating Red Flags – What Are They, How To Spot Them.

Conversations  & Dating: Etiquette Guide For Communication, Date Ideas & More

How To Keep The Conversation Going On Bumble

Biggest Mistakes Women Make On Dating Apps Like Bumble 

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

Dating App FAQ's  |  Online Dating Resource Guide  |  How To Be Successful With Dating Apps

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