the essential bumble stack.

the essential bumble stack.

a.k.a how to be a better man and win on dating apps



when i first tweeted about the “bumble stack”, i did not expect it to gather the attention it did. i expected not more than 20-30 likes — a moderate number of people who i could DM and have a conversation with on this topic.
i’ve sat for an hour typing this out, downed three bottles of cold water and ate a dozen oranges while trying to complete this (i cannot feel my posterior anymore) — i really REALLY hope these 2,000 odd words help you become a better online dater, and by extension, a better man.
a quick PSA to my dear readers who happen to be male, i noticed that a significant portion of you belong to the tate-worshipping men’s rights enthusiasts gang — this piece, if you enter with an open mind, will probably make you question all your beliefs (that your bald-headed criminal role models have taught you). hence, if the likely event of you being mad at me comes to fruition, you can address all your concerns to <3

understanding the bumble algorithm

the chess ELO rating system is a way of matching players based on their skill levels, making sure that interactions are fair and balanced.
the bumble algorithm is not very different.
let me break it down:
imagine you're playing a game of chess. every player has a score that goes up when they win and goes down when they lose. this score helps in figuring out how good they are. so, if you have a high score, you'll be matched with other high-score players to keep the game challenging and fun.
now, think of bumble. instead of matching you based on chess skills, ideally, bumble tries to match people who are more likely to find each other appealing.
notice, i said “each other”. this means that the algorithm will converge towards matching you to people who have the same relative attractiveness as you.
it's like having a "bumble score," though it's not visible like in chess.
you start with a fixed standard score, and as different profiles view and swipe on yours, your bumble score goes up and down depending on the direction of the swipe.
hence, when you swipe right (like) or left (dislike) on profiles, you're essentially influencing the bumble score of other profiles.
case in action
notion image
meet bob. bob just made a bumble account.
bob has now been assigned a bumble score — let’s assume it to be 5. bob now gets down to business (swiping on profiles).
the bumble algorithm floats bob’s profile to a few women in his vicinity. these women swipe on his profile — some left, some right.
what does this result in?
well, it depends on which women swiped on his profile.
once bob’s profile is floated by the algorithm and shown to women, one of two things can happen: he either gets swiped right on, or rejected.
these actions directly affect his bumble score.
why is this hidden bumble score important?
because it determines how much the algorithm will spotlight your profile — ergo, show it faster and more frequently to more new people.
your bumble score is dynamic — it is determined by the amount of swipes and rejections you receive, and also on which profiles swipe on you.
if the profile of a popular woman (someone with a high bumble score due to getting a disproportionate number of right swipes on her profile) swipes right on you, you get an incredible boost to your own bumble score. but conversely, if the same popular lady rejects your profile, you will get a small, negligible penalty to your bumble score.
notion image
but if the profile of a less popular woman (someone with a lower bumble score due to getting fewer number of right swipes on her profile) swipes right on you, you will a moderate boost to your own bumble score. but if she left-swipes your profile, you get a substantial penalty to your bumble score.
notion image
note to readers: i have obviously dumbed down and simplified the very complicated algorithm that bumble uses to increase their revenue and maximise shareholder value; the real mechanism is probably this but in a black box with thousands of layers of abstraction and weights on top.
now that you understand how the bumble algorithm works — a catch-22 situation will become obvious to you — that you need to maximise the swipes you receive on your profile to increase your visibility (and subsequently, more swipes and matches on your profile).

men vs women on dating apps

i’ve had plenty of men complain about not getting enough matches. they blame women for being superficial (”they only want a 6 foot man or someone very handsome”) or they blame the dating app for being biased against men.
  1. of course you’re wrong
  1. but king! you can fix this
first, let’s understand how men and women use dating apps.
as a man, you’re already the majority on these platforms (reports estimate there are 10 men for every woman on here).
the moment a man gets on a dating app, it’s a right swipe-a-thon. if it looks remotely female, you swipe right. you do this until you either run out of likes, or you finish swiping on all the matches in your vicinity.
but if you're a decently cute woman on a dating app, things are very different. for starters, the moment you make your profile, every man in your 50km radius has already swiped right on you.
this leads to a crucial difference in how men and women use dating apps.
as a man, you use the app way more — because you don’t receive the instant gratification of a match being created. every rabid swipe of yours is fueled by raw hopium, chants of “i wish i match with her” echoing through your head.
hence, consciously or unconsciously, you optimise for matches, and almost always end up swiping on as many people as you can, with minimal regard for who they are or what their profile says.
women on the other hand, use the platform very differently. since everyone near the woman has already swiped on her, she is no longer swiping and hoping for a match.
she is swiping to match.
this means that on average, a woman will spend a lot more time scrutinising a male’s profile, and will have a harsher screening criteria than a man.
this also means that a woman, on average, will also swipe far less than a man, because her conversion rate (to a match) is almost 100%.
once again, we face a question: why all this scrutiny? just swipe on us (men) like we swipe on you, right?
nope, and it has everything to do with how men are on dating apps (and everywhere else).
as a man (i’m aware i’m using “as a man” too much), the worst that can happen on a dating app to you is:
  • your match does not agree to go on a date with you
  • your match does not reply to you
  • your match unmatches you without warning
and if you end up going on a date, at worst:
  • you get stood up
  • you get catfished (although i’m yet to hear a story of women catfishing men, it’s always another guy catfishing a man)
  • you don't vibe and a second date doesn't happen
but as a woman, if you match with a guy, the worst thing that can happen to you is that
  • he starts sending you unsolicited inappropriate pictures
  • he finds out your details and turns out to be a creepy stalker
and if you go out with someone as a woman, the worst is that the man turns out to be dangerous, and well, i will not elaborate.
but sid, you’ve given me all of this information and i still don’t know how to get more matches.”
i’m helping you understand the other side of the dating app marketplace.
empathy is priceless. and attractive. you’ll thank me later.
so the next time you feel angry or betrayed when a woman doesn’t give you the attention you think you deserve, my dear techbro-in-christ, remember this:
if you can ignore that first year college student who is grinding in your linkedin dms for a referral at your company because you “don’t owe him anything” (which is valid) — then you must also understand that the women who don’t reply to your messages are doing so because they too, don’t owe you anything.

how to craft your profile

now that we know all this, let’s get to the part you’ve been waiting for — how do you create a profile that wins on these apps?
simple — your profile should be a reflection of your true self; and hence, all you have to do is become the best, most empathetic, non-privileged version of yourself, and let that reflect on your profile!
the alpha men who larp as being online dating experts are very wrong. you don’t need to (can’t believe i’m having to type this out) dominate women and provide for them.
a small note for all the tate fanbois, MRAs, and anti-feminists who’ve read this far: i’m so proud of you 🥺 and i truly believe you can change. but if you feel the need to shout about how “men also get harassed and abused” when people talk about the problems that women face, ask yourself this - if you really cared, why do you bring it up ONLY as a retaliation to women talking about their issues with men?
to help your profile succeed, all you have to do is — shed all your testosterone-fuelled aggression, adopt deep empathy, and become interesting (and genuinely interested in others) — and present it on your profile.
on your profile, you get to rely on your pictures and text. as a newly reborn, better man — you post pictures of you smiling, looking happy, and you talk about niche interests that you carry.
nothing is a bigger turn-on than a man with a nerdy side. this also means that you should stay away from more gentrified trends.
nobody wants to know if you love F.R.I.EN.D.S or H.I.M.Y.M, are 420 friendly, or here for hookups. speak about the weird experiences you’ve had as a child, the insane food combinations you indulge in, or what absurd dream you’ve seen that you can never forget.
for reference, i’ve previously used the “two truths one lie” prompt to create a hook to get people curious — curious enough to match with me and ask what the answer is.
when it comes to pictures, remember that you will be judged on your attractiveness (as you judge others on their attractiveness).
but, what you think is attractive is not what women think is attractive — sex appeal is a funny thing.
notion image
as a man, you might think this is attractive. the person in the picture is attractive, but the picture itself probably isn’t attractive to a woman.
the picture will probably appeal more to men (both platonically and sexually).
but on the other hand (pun intended), this is probably an attractive picture to a woman.


notion image
both pictures try to show some level of sexiness. but it’s only the second picture which manages to be both attractive and tasteful ‼️ 
these examples are extremely limited, so i hope you’ll use your big male brain to figure out what works for you.


phew, can’t believe i wrote two thousand words on this. insane. embarrassing. and a few more adjectives which now elude my vocabulary.
what should i conclude on? this powerful excerpt from an essay that otherwise was a train wreck.
a woman does too much for too little.
most women my age have “partners.” the problem with a partner, however, is if you’re equal in all things, you compromise in all things. and men are too skilled at taking.
there is a boy out there who knows how to floss because my friend taught him. now he kisses college girls with fresh breath. a boy married to my friend who doesn’t know how to pack his own suitcase. she “likes to do it for him.” a million boys who know how to touch a woman, who go to therapy because they were pushed, who learned fidelity, boundaries, decency, manners, to use a top sheet and act humanely beneath it, to call their mothers, match colors, bring flowers to a funeral and inhale, exhale in the face of rage, because some girl, some girl we know, some girl they probably don’t speak to and will never, ever credit, took the time to teach him. all while she was working, raising herself, clawing up the cliff-face of adulthood. Hauling him at her own expense.
congratulations! you’ve made it to the end of this piece. if you’re here and you agree with everything i said, you can (somewhat) confidently call yourself a feminist!
and that entitles you to **drumroll** no special treatment (because if you have been paying attention, you’d know that this is the bare minimum).
adios for now, and happy dating <3