I Tried Bumble BFF In Toronto & Here's Why It's So Much Better Than The Dating Scene

“I didn't feel like I’d be judged on my looks.”

Associate Editor, Toronto
Smartphone with a Bumble dating icon. Right: Close-up shot of cider in Toronto.

Smartphone with a Bumble dating icon. Right: Closeup shot of cider in Toronto.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

It recently feels like every couple I know in Toronto has met through a dating app like Hinge, Tinder, or Bumble. With more people working and studying from home in a post-COVID-19 world, it makes sense that more folks are turning to options like online apps to find love.

But the idea of finding friends through an app still felt foreign to me. So, when I heard about Bumble BFF, I was highly ambivalent.

Bumble BFF is a feature of the popular dating app, Bumble, specifically designed for individuals looking to make new friends. First released in 2016, it operates similarly to the dating portion of the app, but instead of swiping through potential romantic partners, users swipe through potential friends.

At first, I was hesitant to try it out. I had used dating apps before, and swiping left or right wasn't really my thing.

But I decided to give it a shot, and it honestly exceeded my expectations in every way.

Creating a profile was easy, and swiping through potential friends was surprisingly fun. Unlike during online dating, I liked almost every person I came across. I also didn't feel like I'd be judged on my looks or seen as just another meaningless potential hook-up.

Instead, people on the app seemed genuinely interested in finding others who shared their interests and passions.

I recently connected with a woman around my age, and before we even met, we'd already exchanged our life stories, the things about our childhood that kept us up at night, and what we loved most about the city.

She invited me to go out for drinks with two other women she'd met on the app, and while I was nervous, I was too filled with curiosity and excitement to decline, and the night ended up being incredibly wholesome. The experience of four women laying out their lives to complete strangers over drinks actually turned out to be incredibly enriching.

At the end of the night, as we were walking back, one of the women noticed that I was missing an earring. This was one of my favourite pairs, and I was genuinely gutted when I realized I'd probably lost it.

My new friends insisted we march back to the now incredibly crowded, loud and dark bar to find my missing property. I was touched they wanted to try but didn't think we had a chance in a million years of finding it.

But, seeing us crouched down with our phone torches looking for the earring seemed to inspire other groups of women to join us.

Seeing several dressed-up women in heels willing to go down on their knees to search for my earring was possibly one of the most heartwarming things I saw this year.

And lo and behold, we ended up finding it! I went home very happy that night.

However, I've been told that I've been lucky, and there are horror stories in the Bumble BFF universe.

A woman told me a story about how she and a group of people arranged to meet for dinner, and she was the only one to show up and was ghosted by every one of them.

But, for now, I can't help but endorse the experience. You never know when you're signing up for something that'll become a beautiful memory in the years to come.

Rhythm Sachdeva
Associate Editor, Toronto
Rhythm Sachdeva is an Associate Editor for Narcity Media Group and is based in Toronto.