Making the first move is always rough. And when it comes to courting friends, it's just impossibly awkward. A married woman may sport a ring, but how do you know if a girl's in the market for a new friend? Is dressing for a hangout the same as dressing for a date? And how do you know if you're a match?
As Heads of Creative for Bumble, sisters Erin and Sara Foster have all the insight and then some to share with regards to this très compliqué topic.
How do you guys inspire others to develop friendships?
Sara: We're always looking for ways that Bumble users can take their experience from the Bumble app into real life. We want to create opportunities for Bumble users to meet each other and we’re always thinking of unique ways to make this happen. Our ‘Saks by the Sea’ Bumble BFF event in the Hamptons this summer was a really successful one. Erin also found a way to make it about herself and celebrated her engagement for the hundredth time AND it was her birthday weekend. Her cake was literally the size of my 3-year-old child.
Do you have any tips for an opening line on Bumble BFF?
Erin: Don’t do something basic like “hey” or “hi.” Try sending something more personalized according to you or their profile. Like, if I saw they liked The Bachelor, I would message them: “Before we proceed, I need to know that you support all of Hannah B’s life choices."
Sara: I’m not as clever as Erin. Bumble recently launched ‘Convo Starters,’ which is really helpful, especially when I want to initiate a BFF conversation but I have two kids who are screaming in a store, so I can’t think of anything right away. When that happens, I just tap the blue icon after I match with someone and a list of pre-written opening lines will pop up. My favorite convo starter is: “What are your top three emojis?” which literally says SO much about a person. Mine are devastated cryer, sleeping, and the knife. I think it means I've lost my mind?
Erin: I think suggesting a fun activity is good, too. When I’m on Bumble BFF, a good amount of people are new to the city you’re in. Connect with them and show them some of your favorite local spots!
How can you break out of your shell if you're shy—alternatively, how can you break the ice if you can tell your match is reserved?
Erin: I always think the best approach is acknowledging it right away. Just be open because everyone is a little intimidated. Start a conversation with something like, “Ahhhh I never know the cool thing to say to a person I don't know yet! SOS!”
Sara: Or compliment them! Everyone loves a compliment. “Ugh, how is your hair so perfect!?” or “Your job sounds so cool!”
What are the signs of a great BFF match? Alternatively, what are the signs that a meet-up isn't going so well?
Sara: You can tell a meet-up isn’t going well when they do basically anything Erin does when I’m with her – like texting or talking on the phone while you’re talking. Also, if they don’t let you speak or continue chatting about their own lives (Erin’s told me she’s engaged like 5 times – I know, I was there), it could show that they have zero interest in getting to know you as a person.
Erin: We love the idea of matching with someone and getting to know one another online so that when you show up in person, there’s already some common ground — but it’s the in-person conversations that are crucial to really knowing if it can turn into an actual friendship. Friendship is about chemistry as much as any other relationship. You know it’s a match when the conversation is easy and not forced, and you can be yourself with them.
How do you get ready for a first BFF date? What would your ideal outfit look like?
Sara: My ideal outfit for a BFF date would look like a great t-shirt, a pair of RE/DONEs (I am obsessed and wear them so much, one time I fell asleep in them), and these Alexander McQueen sneakers.
Erin: I really need it to stop being 100 degrees everyday so that I can go back to wearing sweaters, which are my uniform. I'd love to wear something like this A.L.C. sweater and these Joe’s Jeans.
What's been your best BFF date ever?
Erin: We’ve honestly met so many cool people on Bumble BFF. We had lunch with two girls in LA, one who is an editor on a CBS show and likes to travel the world by herself (I’ve never had the balls to do that) and one who is a writer/director who had written a spec script of our show Barely Famous that was really good! In NYC we had margaritas with one of the co-founders of Stoney Clover. There are so many more, we can’t pick a favorite!
Sara: We’ve only met legitimately cool women on Bumble BFF. No shame in wanting friends!
[Images courtesy of Ryan Miller for Saks Fifth Avenue]