Bumble's New "Social Distance" Dating Options Let You Ease Back Into IRL Dates

Corinne Sullivan
Shot of a young woman using a smartphone and having coffee in the kitchen at home

Ever since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak caused the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend social distancing, singles everywhere have been faced with the challenge of getting to know potential matches from a distance of at least six feet. While some people are open to socially distanced dates, others would prefer to stick to FaceTime, and if you aren't on the same page as your match, things can get . . . kind of awkward. However, with Bumble's new "social distance" dating preferences, you can make it clear from the get-go what kind of date you're comfortable with for the time being.

If you're not familiar with Bumble, this dating app is best known for allowing women to always make the first move. In April 2020, Bumble launched a "Virtual Dating" badge, which only appears on the profiles of users who are open to video chats. After adding the badge to your page, you can filter your matches to only show those who are also down for Zoom or FaceTime dates. Of course, because women always go first on Bumble, ladies will see a video and phone icon in the top righthand corner of their convo screen with all matches, whereas men only get the option to use these features after their match has reached out.

Now Bumble has made dating in the time of coronavirus even easier. As states begin to ease stay-at-home orders, the dating app now allows you to specify whether you're down for virtual dates, socially distanced dates with masks, or socially distanced dates without masks. That way, you can know ahead of time whether your matches are on the same page as you. You can always change your answer later on if your comfort level changes, but no matter what, Bumble respects your preference, and it wants to make sure your matches do, too.