Navigating The ‘courtesy Swipe’ On Dating Apps



I am a 28-year-old single female and on two dating apps – one more traditional (Match) and the other Bumble. My question is about Bumble (where the female has to message first). A couple of times I have matched with guys I know in real life – but acquaintances, not people I know extremely well. Both times I have not initiated the message even though I have been interested. The match ends up expiring after 24 hours with no contact. There is such thing as a “courtesy swipe” (when you swipe on someone you know/friends of friends just to be nice). I don’t do it though. I guess my assumption is now they know I’m interested.

Ideally, I would like them to reach out to me. Both times they have been a Facebook friend and/or had my number already so they have access to reach out to me. They can’t through the app unless I message first. One time I genuinely did have it expire before I got a chance to message. Do you have any thoughts on whether I should reach out on the app or if the whole courtesy swipe is a legitimate thing? I guess I’m scared of rejection or that it’s not genuine interest. This is so confusing!

– Swiping


If you’re on an app that requires you to message first, you must message first. Remember that you’re not the only person who’s worried about courtesy swipes. It’s possible that there’s a guy on the other end of the app who’s thinking that if you really like him, you’ll message. If you don’t, he’s not going to assume that you want to hear from him by phone or on Facebook. If anything, that seems invasive.

Think about the rules of these apps and whether you’re suited for one that requires you to make first moves. Maybe Bumble is too much pressure and you’d rather stick to apps that allow anyone to start a conversation.

Also know that you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or rejected if you message someone and they don’t write back or seem interested. That’s just part of the dating experience. There’s no shame in writing “Hi” just to see what you get in return.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it on her to reach out first?

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