Whiteney Wolfe was one of the original gangs that made Tinder popular. After falling out with the CEO and suffering a string of sexual harassments at the company, she left to found the popular Tinder competitor – Bumble.
Bumble is similar to Tinder, except that the woman must message first. The idea is to get rid of the “tragedy of the commons” problem that’s all to rampant in most dating apps, where the guys will spray and pray non-committal messages to a large number of women at the same time.
In a podcast interview with #Girlboss radio, Wolfe says why Bumble makes for a much better date matching experience:
“I can’t tell you how many times in college I had a crush on a guy, or I thought a guy was cute, and I would text him, and my friends would be like, ‘You just committed the ultimate sin.’ Like, ‘What have you done? You texted him first?’
“No thank you. … It’s so outdated, and it’s so needed for something to come in and say ‘enough.'”
Traditionally it’s considered an “ultimate sin” for a girl to text the guy first. The idea is that the guy should play the “pursuer” role, and if a girl texts first, she risks coming off as too eager early on.
Wolfe goes on to describe a fascinating social experiment video where men are recorded approaching women on the street, and then women are recorded approaching men. She says “the power dynamics” are completely different.
“The reactions is insane… When the woman approaches the guys, they’re so flattered. They’re like ‘oh my goodness. Thank you so much for coming up to me. I’m married with kids but I just want to thank you for doing that. That really means a lot to me.’
And then you see the guy hitting on women, he gets slapped, he gets told to go fuck himself. Like it’s this reaction we’re all kind of raised with… and it really turns things on its head.”
Survey numbers back up Wolfe’s advice that women should approach first. In a recent “Singles in America” survey of 5,500 singles, 90% of the men replied that they’re comfortable with a woman hitting on them.
Of course, there’s a difference between “saying” and “doing,” but it seems that the general attitude of men doesn’t match up with the traditional expectations. In other words, men believe it’s completely fine for the woman to initiate first.
A recently OkCupid study supports this advice as well. The dating website published a report noting that while women have to suffer through the inundating number of bad message, they can turn it around in their favor:
“If a woman sends the first message, everything changes in her favor. That’s because men tend to respond, a lot. In fact, women are 2.5x more likely to get a response than men if they initiate. If you’re a woman who sends the first message, not only are you more likely to get more responses in general, but you’ll be having conversations with more attractive guys.”