Do Bumble Messages Have Read Receipts to Tell When a Message Is Seen?

Posted by Robert Hayes on February 21, 2019

Once you’ve made a match with someone on a social media dating app like Bumble, the focus shifts from how attractive you are in your profile picture to how entertaining and amusing you can be in a chat environment. For some people this is a welcome shift, while for others it’s a nightmare. Some of us need time to come up with the right thing to say, and almost nobody finds it easy to be witty and sincere on demand. If you’re having a bad day, it’s even harder to shift into flirtation mode with your match, but you worry that if you don’t respond quickly to their messages, they’ll be unhappy and maybe even unmatch.

So it’s often a good idea, or even a necessity, to take your time in responding to a Bumble chat message. But in doing so, there is always a fear that “what if my match knows that I’ve seen their last message?” After all, lots of social media chat apps provide you with labels or visual feedback that indicate a message has been sent or seen by the recipient. Does Bumble do the same thing? Does your match know that you’ve seen their message?

The Short Answer

The short answer: Relax. Bumble doesn’t tell your match that you’ve seen their message. (You may have noticed this on the flip side: you don’t have any feedback telling you that your match has seen YOUR message.)

Is This Good or Bad?

There are positives and negatives to this feedback-less approach. On the plus side, this gives you time to think things through before you respond without worrying that your match KNOWS it’s taking you six hours to answer their question about what you’re looking for in a mate. You can take a screenshot of your conversation and ask for advice from a friend. You can even tell a little white lie and, when you do respond, say that you’ve been offline for a while. Your privacy is protected to a degree. Plus, if you are someone who has limited free time and who only goes on your dating app(s) a couple of times a day, you can send your messages when you have the time to do so, without feeling pressured for an immediate response that you might just not have time for.

There is a downside, however, Some Bumble users dislike the uncertainty. If you stop receiving messages, you can’t know what’s going on with your match. Did they lose their phone? Have they decided just to not talk to you anymore without telling you why (aka “ghosting”)? Are they just busy? Are they so enamored of you that they feel pressured to write the perfect message in response, and that’s taking them all day to do? You have no way to know.

An Important Note

You may notice a “message delivered” label in your conversations. This just means that there were no connectivity problems on your end. Your match still doesn’t know whether you’ve read their message yet or not.

How to Keep a Conversation Going on Bumble

So with that settled, the focus shifts to how to keep a great conversation going with your Bumble matches.

Communicate What You Are Looking For

People use Bumble Date for different reasons; some people are looking for Mr(s). Right, while others are more interested in Mr(s). Right Now. Some users are having chats with everyone who matched with them; others are concentrating on one or two potential relationships at a time. (Bumble will let you have as many matches as you want; see this article for more details on that.) You won’t know what your partner is doing until they tell you, or until it becomes obvious; a good part of the initial conversation between you and your match should probably center around setting the expectations of what you’re each looking for. If you’re looking for a wife and she’s looking for a hookup, you should get that out of the way early before someone gets their feelings hurt. My strong suggestion is to be honest up front in your profile and in your messaging about what you are looking for on Bumble.

Don’t Start with Hi

In male-female pairings on Bumble, women start the conversation, although a lot of men work around that requirement by essentially starting a conversation on their profile. (Here are some tips on creating a great profile.) Regardless, the first message you send is an important one – it can set the tone for the whole conversation, or even determine whether there’s going to be a conversation. After a match is made, the woman has 24 hours to send a message or the match goes away. So what should the first message be?

Generally speaking, it should be something memorable – “hi” should be eliminated from consideration, as should a simple smile emoji or something similarly designed to just put the burden back on the man to actually start the conversation. Some of the best conversations start with a question that references something from your match’s profile. If there is a question in the bio, you can start by responding to it – or you can reassert the initiative and go in a different direction. Don’t be afraid to start with a joke, or even an animated GIF if it’s funny and on-point; humor lowers the stress level and sends a signal that it’s OK to be a bit silly or unserious in the conversation to come. (We’ve created an article on how to write a great first message; check it out!)

Respond ASAP

When someone messages you for the first time, you have 24 hours to respond. After that, the match will expire. It’s really not a great idea to wait until the last minute to respond. Once you have a conversation going, it’s fine to move at your own pace, but that initial conversational exchange should happen as quickly as you can manage it.

Mirror Your Match’s Messaging Style

Everyone has their own communication style, and text messaging is no exception. If your match uses full sentences and proper capitalization, that’s a signal to the level of communication they are aspiring to. This doesn’t mean that you absolutely must match their style, but responding to their thoughtful paragraphs with all one-word answers and emojis is unlikely to bring about a positive reaction. Mirroring their style to the extent that it is compatible with your own is a way of signaling that you want to be in sync with them, and a sign that you’re paying attention to the conversation. (What should you do if your match sends you one of those worthless one-word initial messages? Read this article to find out.)

Ask Good Questions

People like to talk about themselves, and one great way of encouraging them to do that is to ask questions about their life. You want to be careful not to turn it into an interrogation, however, and you also want to be sure to share your own life story at the same time. If the conversation does lag, however, then another question is often a good way of getting it going again. I suggest keeping to light-hearted questions, and if your match wants to avoid a certain subject, you should respect that and not press. Here are a few good open-ended questions:

  • If you could only eat one nationality’s cuisine for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
  • What’s the best thing about your career?
  • If you had enough money to live comfortably without working for the rest of your life, what would you do with your time?
  • What are you passionate about in your life?

Be Honest

When your match asks you questions in turn, you should be as honest as possible. Sincere conversations are easier to continue. Plus, even simple questions about your tastes can tell you if the match is going to work out. If she likes DC movies and you’re a Marvel guy, might as well shut it down now before things get ugly! (Just kidding, of course. Nobody likes DC movies.) At the same time, you don’t necessarily have to go into every last detail. You should tell the truth, but you’re always going to have to select a subset of the truth to tell because there isn’t enough time in the world to give the full background on everything. It’s OK to give a truthful summary and leave things at that.

Aim for a Lighthearted Tone

Don’t be scared to go off topic. Telling jokes and stories is more important than sticking to a script. You should have fun and make things fun for your match. Avoid long speeches, especially at first, and always give your match an easy way to respond. However, if things do start to get real and you start to have a meaningful conversation, don’t be afraid of that. It’s OK to open up, especially via chat, when the conversation goes in that direction, and particularly if they have opened up. You don’t have to be a full-time comedian.

Reference Earlier Conversations

It’s important to show that you’ve been paying attention to the conversation and are thinking about what you’ve been told, not just responding blindly to the last message you saw. Reference things that your match has said before to demonstrate that you’ve been reading what they tell you and consider it important enough to remember.

Respect Your Partner’s Conversational Cues

You should avoid any pushy behavior. While you want to be assertive and enthusiastic, you don’t want your match to feel cornered. If they want to drop a topic, let them drop it. If you make a proposal (for a meeting or a phone number exchange) and they demur, respect that and back off. Don’t be a drama queen about a conversational deflection or even an outright rebuff; that makes you look needy and/or crazy. Just accept that they may not want to tell you about some things right now, or might not yet feel comfortable giving you a phone number or meeting for coffee or what have you, and go on with the conversation.

Show, Don’t Tell

Which is more compelling, someone telling you “I’m super cool and fun to hang around with!” or someone telling you a funny story about how they met Mick Jagger in an elevator in Vegas and ended up getting drunk with him in the hotel bar? Don’t talk about how much you love animals; mention that you volunteer at a local shelter. Don’t brag about what a big deal you are at work; say how lucky you feel every day getting to go do something meaningful and important. Telling comes across as bragging; showing CAN come across as bragging (we all know a humble-bragger or two) but if you do it right it is a lot more natural and smooth.

Don’t Be Afraid to Move

So you’ve been talking for a while now, and things seem to be going well. You like one another, it’s clear that there’s mutual interest, and you’re running out of funny Mick Jagger stories to tell. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it might be time to get things into gear and move on to the next stage. It’s OK to ask to escalate the relationship, and it’s also OK to take no for an answer and not freak out. A low-key and non-pressuring invitation can be an excellent way to move things along: “So I’ve really enjoyed these conversations and I’d love to see if we have the same chemistry in person. Would you like to grab coffee Wednesday?”

Don’t Waste People’s Time

If it’s clear that your match isn’t interested in what you’re interested in, then don’t waste their time by pretending to be something that you aren’t. Game-playing and time-wasting are immature, pointless, and frankly rude. You can just clearly but politely communicate that it’s clear things aren’t going to happen between the two of you, wish them well in life, and move on. If things are just so bad that you can’t even communicate with the person, it’s OK to unmatch without a message if you really need to, but try not to be “that guy” and just disappear; send a message if you can do so without putting yourself in danger.

A Final Thought

With Bumble, you can focus on the fun parts of dating.

The app’s creators care deeply about privacy, which is why Bumble doesn’t offer read receipts. It’s easier to relax if you don’t have to worry about things like that. You can just take your time and enjoy getting to know new people.

3 thoughts on “Do Bumble Messages Have Read Receipts to Tell When a Message Is Seen?”

Marcelo says:
Bumble do not have a “read” note, just have “delivered”
J says:
Bumble does have read receipts, this article is inaccurate
Jordana Truong says:
Looks like Bumble now has read receipt since you wrote this article. I actually just noticed that & not sure when it started. Messages now will either said “delivered “ or “read”.

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