How to Date in 2022

January 11, 2022

Until it’s not, COVID is part of our lives, and as we find our new footing into a new normal – masked, vaxxed and ever so conscious of variants – so too will we eagerly, but cautiously, return to the dance of being social. And brace yourselves, this also means pursuing matters of the heart. 

To celebrate the recent launch of their new cafe, Bumble Brew, in partnership with Delicious Hospitality Group, we called in the experts from the dating app millions of people love, Bumble, to chat about how the dating scene, specifically in NYC, has changed post-pandemic, including dating profile tips, date spot selections, and more for those who are single and ready to mingle. Plus, keep scrolling to the end to see our roundup of favorite date spots!

How many New Yorkers are active on Bumble? Did the number of people on Bumble increase or decrease during COVID?

“New York City is such a special market for Bumble, and it’s also one of our most popular cities within the U.S. What’s really exciting is that we’ve seen meaningful levels of engagement throughout the pandemic from people on Bumble across the U.S. In fact, Bumble experienced a nearly 70% increase in our Voice Call and Video Chat feature during the week ending May 1, 2020, compared to video calls made during the week ending March 13, 2020, which is when a State of Emergency was declared in the U.S. Launched in 2019, this feature allows people to connect with others over video or voice call first without needing to share personal contact information, like a phone number or email address. It’s no surprise that people adapted to new ways of communicating and dating to find and explore meaningful connections throughout the pandemic.”

Dating in NYC is unique – now add the uniqueness of dating in 2022:

“The pandemic has leveled the dating world like never before, and it’s brought about meaningful changes in behavior that we see having a positive impact on our community long term. Bumble’s most recent survey of singles indicates that folks are dating with more intentionality than ever before and are prioritizing safety, compatibility, and shared values as they look for a potential partner. People’s time in lockdown allowed them to focus on what they are genuinely looking for while dating, giving them a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they meet new people in 2022.”

What makes a “good” online dating profile? Is it smart to be better on paper than IRL? Should we “curate” our profile image, or keep it very real?

“At the end of the day, authenticity is always the best policy. Only you know who you are and what you want, so don’t feel like you need to compromise your personality or values to attract people. Just be honest, and the right people will come your way! A few tips for curating your Bumble profile include: 

Make Your First Photo Stand Out – we’ve found that showing off your smile, your eyes (without sunglasses), and your whole face makes a positive first impression. Make sure it’s only you in this first photo. It’s great to include pictures with your friends too, but you want your potential matches to know just who it is they’ll be swiping on when they land on your profile.

Less is Not More – Don’t leave your profile blank! This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and give people a chance to know you better. The more information you add to your profile, the easier it is for people to initiate conversations. Why not give them something to talk about! Asking a question in your profile that a potential match can answer as their first message to you is always a good idea.

Highlight Your Shared interests with the Interest Badges – Bumble’s Interest Badges provide our community with a fun and easy way to showcase their personality on a deeper level. Those on Bumble Date can select up to 5 Badges from over 150 interests that range in various categories, including sports, creative hobbies, favorite movie genres, and so much more.

Seasonalize Your Profile – This is a good time to update your Bumble profile to coincide with the changing of the seasons, mentalities, and goals. For example, if you enjoy the outdoors and it’s autumn, switch out your photos from spring break and include a picture of you on a hike in the mountains or at a football game.”

What are some tips you recommend for preparing for a first date?

“First dates are generally a bundle of excitement, nerves, jitters, and sparks. We all want our first dates to go well (especially if they’re with a Bumble match we’re particularly interested in). First date tips for a fun and safe meetup include:

Start with a Video Chat – Hopping on a video call before meeting in person is a great way not only to get a better sense of the person and how well you get along, but it also makes meeting IRL much less nerve-wracking if you decide to do so later down the line.

Try some (Minor) Online Vetting – If you’d prefer to forgo a video call, try to confirm who they are online before meeting up. You can also ask a person to “Photo Verify” themselves on Bumble!

Phone A Friend – Once you’ve determined a first date that’s the safest for you, tell a friend where you’re going and who you’ll be meeting. Making sure someone knows where you are is a basic necessity.

Find Your Own Transportation – Plan your transportation to and from the date in advance to stay safe and take some of the pressure off. Never have anyone pick you up at home on a first date.

Consider a Group Hangout – If you don’t love the idea of meeting someone solo, pitch a group outing and suggest your date bring a friend, too.

Trust Your Gut – If you get a weird feeling from the other person, even if you can’t put your finger on why, it’s totally fine to leave. You can make an excuse or just immediately call a car, but always trust your gut.”

What qualities are important to consider when selecting a date spot early on in a relationship?

“Selecting a first date spot can be tricky, especially when you aren’t sure what your match is comfortable with during the pandemic. To help our users navigate these conversations, Bumble introduced a COVID Preferences Center where you and your match can easily indicate what kind of dates you feel comfortable going on – whether virtual, socially distanced, or socially distanced with a mask.”

Concierge-Approved Date Spot Recommendations

We tapped into our Concierge team to select their favorite date spots in New York City for every relationship stage. For more date night ideas or recommendations, send us your request through the LIV appour web portal, or by emailing or calling us directly.

Bumble Brew – Nolita (now open!)

Eat, sip and connect at this all-day cafe and bar designed to be worth the buzz.

Aria Wine Bar – Hell’s Kitchen + West Village

Rustic wine bar with small plates for sharing with that special someone.

MONOMONO – East Village

Korean fusion cuisine, delicious cocktails, and a stunning interior – it’s love at first sight.

Epistrophy – Nolita

A charming, Italian cafe that makes you feel right at home to help with first date jitters.

Tokyo Record Bar – Greenwich Village

Super cool, underground vinyl bar, great before or after a comedy show for all round good vibes.

Ernesto’s – Lower East Side

Lively Basque restaurant with a fantastic bar, table or outdoor seating for long conversations.

Estela – NoHo

A Michelin star spot with a snug setting.

The Campbell Bar – Midtown

Hidden cocktail bar near Grand Central to suit a midtown meetup.

Miss Ada – Fort Greene, BK

Unpretentious, relaxed and fun atmosphere – phenomenal food and drinks. The staff love to get their dates boozy!

Pinch Chinese – SoHo

Modern Chinese joint known for their extensive curated natural wine list. Great access to the Greenwich village bars for an post-dinner nightcap.

Pil Pil – Upper East Side

Low key Spanish Tapas + wine bar, perfect for meeting your Uptown girl/boy/they/them.

Battello – Jersey City

Romantic atmosphere plus a picturesque backdrop of the New York City skyline.

Download the Bumble Dating App from the App Store or Google Play to get started on your dating journey.