Dating a close guy friend

“He can’t say you’re desperate, because the app made you do it,” she says, adding that she tells her friends to make the first move and just “blame Bumble.” Matches expire after 24 hours, which provides an incentive for women to reach out before it’s too late (the women-message-first feature is only designed for straight couples—if you’re LGBTQ, either party can send the first message.) Wolfe says she had always been comfortable making the first move, even though she felt the stigma around being too forward.

“I would say ‘I’m just going to go up to him,’ and all my girlfriends were like ‘Oh no no no no, you can’t do that,'” she says.

Wolfe was a co-founder at Tinder and widely credited with boosting that app’s popularity on college campuses.

Men post pictures of themselves wearing button downs (not muscle tees) or hugging their moms (not endangered species.) And because they can’t message first, guys can’t hedge their bets by swiping right on every girl they see and messaging all of them to see who bites.

Female users say they’ve been impressed with the guys on Bumble.

“And girls like it because it gives them more control over the conversation than other dating apps.” Besides, just as women are sick of waiting for men to make the first move, some guys are sick of always having to come up with a line.

“It’s flattering when someone reaches out to you,” says Larry Mahl, a 32-year old New Yorker who works at Yelp. (Wolfe is dating someone, but still swipes and messages in order to get user feedback.) She had messaged him that she was the founder of the company, and asked him for his thoughts.

“It’s important to me that nothing we do harms Tinder,” she says. It’s my baby.” But that doesn’t mean she’s not using similar tactics to get it off the ground.

One of Wolfe’s major contributions to Tinder was her ability to get college students to download the app.

On a sunny May morning in NYC, Whitney Wolfe smoothes her hair (golden) takes a sip of her iced coffee (black) and points across the leafy patio at a handsome guy sitting with a friend.

“You swiped right in your head just now,” she says.

“I don’t think it’s been socially acceptable for women to drop out of college and start a tech company.” Wolfe is adamant that “Bumble has nothing to do with Tinder,” but the comparisons are inevitable—they have similar matching mechanisms (the swipe) similar designs (Tinder designers Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick also designed Bumble) and similar marketing on college campuses.

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