My Bumble BFF Date Proved I Have No Clue How To Talk To Women
I have no idea how to approach women.
I have no idea how to approach men, either. All of my openers start with either, “What's cooking, good-looking?” or “I LOVE YOUR DOG CAN I HAVE HIM?” Obviously, I'm single as f*ck.
In the past year I've lost a lot of friends. From crazy roommate drama to just naturally drifting apart, the last 12 months have been hell on my social circle. To be fair, I did gain some new friends, but my circle is nowhere near as wide as it was this time last year.
As a woman, meeting other women is hard. Sure, we meet girls all the time: on line to the bathroom, at work, through other people. Forming meaningful relationships, however, is difficult. This is such a delicate aspect of our lives, considering some of us are in super serious relationships or even married. Some have time-consuming careers. Some have both.
Despite social media's best efforts to piece our relationships back together, we still drift apart. I know exactly where someone ate lunch last Sunday, but picking up the phone to call that person? That's the hard part.
Seeing as I suck at meeting people IRL, I outsourced my struggle to the dating platform du jour: Bumble. Except, instead of dating, I switched on Bumble BFF.
Bumble BFF works the same as the dating platform in that you're still swiping left and right. Instead of potential dates, you swipe on other women who are also looking for a totally platonic connection.
If they swiped right on you as well, you get matched and have 24 hours to message each other. Because you're both women, Bumble's tactic of only allowing the woman to message first disappears — either person can start the conversation.
If my friend-dating life was going to be anything like my romantic one, this was a disaster waiting to happen.
Writing a platonic profile is nothing like writing a dating one.
My usual “I'll let you buy my a gin and tonic ;)” profile wasn't going to cut it on Bumble BFF. Neither were my pictures. I had to remove the strategically-taken bikini shots and replace them with photos of me doing yoga and wearing overalls. My profile mentioned my dog, too. I mean, I'd swipe right on me.
That's the other thing. Unlike normal dating apps, I was swiping right on everyone. I wasn't really judging a girl based on her looks, and didn't care about her job. Location and age mattered, sure, but I'd already toyed with those on my settings.
I was like a horny 18-year-old player on Tinder, right-swiping without even waiting for the photo to load. In the end, I had nearly 300 matches with chicks and not enough time to respond to all of them.
I have no idea how to talk to anyone.
It's a miracle I can get around in the world because Bumble BFF taught me I have zero communication skills.
Talking to a woman with an expressly platonic interest is one thing if it's done organically. It's another when you're paired up, dating style. Do I say “hey”? Do I ask her something? What about a smiley face? Most of the time, I settled for a random gif.
The thing is, talking to someone you want to f*ck at some point is one thing — you just act really flirty. How do you talk with a woman you want to be friends with when you know nothing about her?
With some people, it was easy to carry on a conversation. We talked about my dog, if they were new to the city (they usually were), where they liked to hang out.
Then, it got weird.
I would talk to someone for a few days and, just as with a potential fling, I'd ask her to hang out. Most girls then told me they were busy, or traveling over the weekend. Sometimes, they said they'd prefer to talk more before a face-to-face meeting.
In those situations, I always felt like a creepy dude. I didn't want to come off pushy, but also wasn't looking for a virtual pen pal. I suddenly empathized with all those guys I blew off because I was pretend-busy.
Friend dating is difficult.
Eventually, I did find someone to talk to, a nanny who just moved to New York City from Arkansas in July. She was one of those people who came off as too nice to be a real person, but then I remembered she's from the South and apparently being nice is normal down there.
We decided to meet up for lunch at a Mexican place in Park Slope. To make it less weird, she and I both dragged friends along to act as our wing women. Was this a double date? Was it a friend double date? I was confused. I also couldn't figure out the confines of friend dates. Did I need to text her that I had good time? Did I need to pay?
My friend date and I had a good time and, dare I say it, she was surprisingly normal. It was good to have the extra friends there as a buffer, just because I'm so f*cking awkward on my own. She told us about nanny life, which I thought was super entertaining. We bonded over mean Internet haters — her on nanny Facebook groups and me with my writing. We even followed each other on Snapchat.
After I told her I might write about this whole experience, she graciously agreed to selfie with me as proof that I actually did it.
I haven't texted her back yet. I don't know if there's a three-day rule for friend dates, but I'm practicing "the Bella rule" — avoid all human interaction for as long as possible.
Maybe that's why I have such a hard time making friends.