Bumble Basics

Bumble Search: Learn How to Use It

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3 Minute Read

In most cases, folks tend to join dating apps such as Bumble in order to meet new people. And with Bumble you don’t just have to be looking for a new partner, you could be looking for a new best pal, or even a new business partner!

It makes sense then, that you may want to be able to search the app in order to find your ideal match — whether they’re based in the United States or the United Kingdom, or beyond.

But how do you search the Bumble directory, and is it even possible?

In this article we’re going to cover:

  • Whether or not Bumble has a search feature

  • The top reasons why you may want to search Bumble

  • The ethics of searching for someone on Bumble

  • Whether or not you can search on Bumble if you don’t have a profile

  • Whether or not searches on Bumble are discreet

  • Ways to tell if someone is on Bumble

  • Two different tactics to find someone on Bumble

  • Our four top tips to not get caught creeping

  • Whether or not girls can make guy friends on the app

  • How you can tell if someone has deleted the app

  • Frequently asked questions.

Let’s get into it!

Does Bumble Have a Search Feature?

Unfortunately, Bumble doesn’t have a direct search feature. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find one on most dating apps!

A direct search feature would undermine the way the app is designed to work — that is, for users to make new, random, and spontaneous matches! Deliberately looking for someone on Bumble, therefore, is antithetical to their ethos.

However, Bumble is just a tool, and using tools for tasks they’re not designed for is practically human nature!

There may be some occasions where you want to search for a specific person, and in that case there are some workarounds.

Top Reasons Why You Would Want to Find Somebody on Bumble

Why would you ever want to find someone on Bumble? Well, there are a few reasons. 

It’s a Missed Connection

The most romantic reason you may be looking for someone on Bumble might be to find a “missed connection”.

Perhaps you met someone at a bar, or on a plane, and forgot to get their number. Maybe you want to know if they’re single, or what they’re looking for. 

A person’s Bumble profile will give you all that information, as well as a platform to make contact.

Keep in mind, if you’re direct searching on Bumble with romantic intentions, you might come off as kind of creepy. One man’s “infatuation” could be another woman’s “stalking”...! 

In plain English: please be mindful of your crush’s boundaries and privacy.

You’re Curious About Your Friends

Maybe you’re just nosy, and want to know which of your friends are using Bumble? Rather than asking them outright for their dating app links, you may want to just have a sneaky search and see what their profile says.

After all, who hasn’t done a Facebook stalk from time to time to see what their friends and acquaintances are up to!

You Suspect Your Partner May Be Using Bumble

Finally, and the most common reason: maybe, you’re feeling a little suspicious about all the time your partner is spending on their phone. 

Now, while we would always recommend that rather than starting to dive into detective mode, you should always have a conversation with your partner first, that may not always be possible.

In a relationship without trust or respect, finding a Bumble profile might be the only way to discover the truth.

The Ethics of Searching for Somebody on Bumble

Bumble users sign up under the assumption that other users will be acting in good faith. The tacit social agreement in online dating is this: users protect one another’s privacy. 

In the online world, however, privacy is a naïve expectation.

Although it's not totally accurate, there is an internet truism that goes something like, “everything online is forever”. That phrase is supposed to be a warning

If you don’t want people to see something, don’t put it online!

Some users who are particularly concerned with privacy, may even sign up for Bumble Premium’s Incognito Mode. This service hides them from anyone they don’t swipe on. Incognito Mode users are gambling on their swipes going to people who respect their privacy.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your priorities, tacit social agreements are not binding.

You might have any number of motivations for violating the privacy of a Bumble user. Perhaps you’re the victim of a cheating partner. Maybe you know something about a person that means — in your opinion — they don’t deserve privacy.

Catching a cheater is one of the most commonly defended reasons for direct searching on Bumble. 

But before you let your jealousy get the better of you, consider this: is this the healthiest way to address this issue? 

Effective communication and trust are both crucial to the success of relationships. If you really want things to work out, try talking to your significant other before you go searching Bumble. It’s a healthier approach, and maybe less effort.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to burn that bridge, fire up Bumble, and let’s dive in!

Can You Search Bumble Without Having a Profile?

You cannot search Bumble without a profile. As far as Bumble’s developers are concerned, why would you want to? 

Bumble is built for matching people with potential partners in their area who share interests and fall within a specified age range. It is specifically engineered to empower women and give them the chance to make the first move. 

This feature is supposed to protect women from the harassment and stalking they often face on other dating websites, such as Tinder. 

Additionally, Bumble encourages and occasionally mandates profile verification. They do this to discourage catfishing, shell accounts, and fake profiles.

Can I Search On Bumble Discreetly?

The only “discreet” use encouraged by Bumble is Incognito Mode

This is a feature available to owners of a premium membership with Bumble. Incognito mode only shares users’ accounts with the people they have swiped right on. 

Even with Incognito Mode enabled, you still can’t directly search for someone’s name or phone number on your device. Your only option is to swipe until you recognize photos or some other identifying content on a profile. 

The problem is, everyone with a premium account can go Incognito if they want to. And if your subject doesn’t want to be found, there is a good chance they will be using Incognito Mode.

Bumble’s Snooze feature also allows you to switch intermittently between a visible active account and an invisible dormant account. 

Keep in mind that even if you have the Snooze feature activated, when you’re swiping, you will be visible.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is on Bumble?

The simplest way to find out if someone is on Bumble is to get swiping. This is essentially just boring gumshoe detective work. Get onto the app and browse as many pages as you possibly can!

Depending on your motivations, you may want to take screenshots of profiles (Bumble doesn’t notify users of screenshots), or even conversations that you have on the app. 

If you’re dealing with infidelity in a marriage, for example, you may even want these records for legal reasons.

Remember, before you get too carried away with these instructions, be honest with yourself about your actions: are you exposing a cheater? Or are you acting like a stalker?

Make sure that you’re comfortable with your motivations for finding someone on Bumble before you continue, and if you aren’t, it may be time to close this page and look up some articles about trust and communication.

While it can be a little tricky to define the keywords that reveal whether or not someone is using Bumble, there are some potentially obvious signs. These include:

  • Their phone lights up with a Bumble notification

  • Their phone makes the Bumble notification sound

  • They are obviously swiping and being overly secretive with their phone screen

  • Someone you know has seen their profile on Bumble

  • You’ve become aware they’re using other dating apps, like Tinder (the chances that they’re on Bumble as well are very high)

  • The Bumble app is downloaded on their App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) account.

Those clues are dead giveaways, but there are other signs that might signal infidelity in general. 

For example, a partner who is secretive and defensive about their amount of phone use might be cheating. Sudden changes in sexual appetite (increased or decreased) plus periods of unavailability, might be cheating. 

Altered schedules, weird excuses, or strange expenses are all pretty suspicious, and they might indicate cheating.

Or, they might have perfectly innocent explanations. 

Another simple strategy is to ask mutual friends if they know whether someone is on Bumble. This is effective for finding a cheat, or for finding love. 

If you know that someone you are into is on Bumble, get on the app and swipe on their profile. However, if you know them already, then perhaps consider asking them out — off the app!

Tactics to Find Somebody on Bumble

Once you know someone is on Bumble, how do you go about finding them? And how do you do that without them knowing you’re looking? 

Well, here are our top three tactics.

Use a Trusted Friends Bumble Account

Do you have a close friend who uses Bumble? If you do, you might be able to persuade them to let you borrow their account. 

The thing about this maneuver is that you and your friend need to have mutual trust. They could expose you, or you could wreck their dating profile. 

Be sure to pick wisely.

Set Up a Fake Bumble Account

Before you dive head first into this one, you should be aware that it goes directly against Bumble’s guidelines. 

Creating a fake profile is definitely dicey behavior. It’s only one small step away from catfishing. But if you think it’s worth it, you might as well do it properly.

Ultimately it’s your moral compass that is guiding you. And we’re not here to judge!

As long as Bumble doesn’t request verification from you, it’s fairly straightforward to set up a fake account. 

The hardest thing to find is images you can use for your fake account. In the bad old days, catfish would steal another person’s photos and impersonate them. This is a pretty cruel thing to do, and amounts to low-level identity theft.

Fortunately, AI photo generators can create portraits of people that simply do not exist. Using one of these pseudo-photos for your catfish account is the least harmful way to create a fake visual identity.

Set Up a Real Account

Of course, one other option (and, we admit, this is the nuclear option) is to create an actual Bumble profile for yourself. 

If you suspect that your significant other is on the app and cheating, by creating your actual profile you’ll both know that you’ve caught them out. After all, they can’t confront or query you about your profile without you knowing why, and if you find their profile, they can’t deny it.

Just be aware that any of these options could get a little messy! If confronting someone about their Bumble profile could lead to you being in an unsafe situation, make sure that you have a safe place to go before you start playing detective.

Remember: it’s much easier to break something than it is to fix it!

Tips to Consider to Not Get Caught Searching for Somebody on Bumble

While we’re definitely more in the “honesty is the best policy” camp, your situation may need you to be especially careful if you’re trying to suss out if someone is on Bumble.

In that case, here are our top four tips for how to covertly search for a Bumble user.

Be Strategic With What Profile Picture You Decide to Use for Your Profile

Bumble requires you to upload at least one photo and up to six on your profile, and there are some specific rules around what sorts of images are okay.

Uploading photos that don’t belong to you is not only against Bumble policy, it’s also low-key Catfish behavior. In your profile, you’ll also need to upload a photo that clearly shows your face (ie, no hiding behind objects).

So, if you want an anonymous and inconspicuous profile pic, use an AI-generated one. This way, you don’t have to steal anyone else’s photos, or risk exposing yourself. 

Just be aware that AI images can get a little funky (six fingers per hand, anybody?) and its composites are drawn from other artists’ work, which can get a little tricky in terms of copyright.

If you do use an AI image and Bumble asks you to verify your account, you’ll also be caught out, so if you’re using this method, best to get in and out as fast as possible!

Ensure Your Location Settings Are Set Up Accurately

If you’re searching for a specific person, then make sure you make full use of your distance and location settings.

You want to be casting a net that can snag your target. This means setting a location that is close enough to include them, but doesn’t give you away.

Of course, if your profile is set up so that nothing on it could give you away, then you won’t necessarily need to worry about that. Use the location settings to really hone in on whoever it is you’re trying to find.

Be Diligent in Your Search for Your Target User on Bumble

This work is a grind. You’re essentially trawling through an ocean of profiles, hoping to catch one single fish. 

Swipe regularly. Swipe throughout the day. And swipe a lot.

Unless you get lucky, the only way to succeed is through diligence and time spent on the app.

Remember, with a basic Bumble profile you’ll only have 25 swipes per day, but we doubt that you’ll be wanting to spend money on this activity and upgrade to a premium account with unlimited swipes.

De-activate Your Bumble Profile Once You’re Done Searching for Your Target

Bumble has a Snooze function which makes your account dormant. It also lets you deactivate the dating option, while keeping the friends option open. 

Don’t use either of those functions once it’s time to discard your catfish account. 

When the search is over, do your best to scrub your account from existence. This requires a complete deletion of your account and your account data. 

Once your account is deleted, get the app off your phone. If possible, clear it from your Google Play or App Store downloads too. 

Can Girls Find Guy Friends on Bumble?

Girls can make friends with whoever they want to on Bumble, guys included. Bumble BFF is a function of the Bumble app that helps people make friends. 

It’s not romantic, and the user decides what kind of people they are looking to make friends with. That means girls can meet guys, non-binary people, or other women.

Of course, there are situations where friendships can develop into romantic relationships. But that’s just a normal part of life, and it happens on or off Bumble.

Bumble Bizz is another aromantic function of the Bumble app. Bizz connects professionals and encourages career-focused networking.

How Do You Know If Someone Deleted Bumble?

If someone deletes their Bumble account, any conversations you had with them will remain in your chat log. Where their name used to be, it will simply say “deleted profile”. 

However, if someone unmatches or blocks you, your conversations will completely disappear.

If you can’t find a person’s profile at all, this probably means they have either blocked you, or deleted their account.

Key Takeaways

The short report on this article is: there are no easy methods for directly searching someone on Bumble. There are, however, several difficult methods.

If you decide it’s worth it, borrow an account, or set up a (fake)profile. And get swiping.

Remember: there are almost certainly better ways to resolve a conflict, or make a connection, than catfishing on Bumble!

If you want to find friends, or make professional connections, use Bumble BFF or Bumble Bizz.

And, the number one thing we’d recommend doing if you’re trying to make better connections on Bumble, is upgrading your profile photos and getting in touch with The Match Artist!

Our professional photographers will work with you to level up your profile game, so that any potential future matches won’t be able to resist dropping you a like or a message. 

And, really, rather than searching for people you maybe shouldn’t be searching for, this way you can meet someone better suited to you and let them come to you!

Bumble Search FAQs

Can a guy see you on Bumble?

Guys can see you when you are on Bumble, if you are interested in men. People who want to meet men will be visible to men. 

The key difference between Bumble and other apps is this: if a woman swipes right on a man, only she can initiate conversation. This is supposed to encourage female autonomy in the heterosexual dating scene. 

In same-sex matches, either person can message first. 

Does your Bumble profile stay active even if you delete the app?

If you delete Bumble from your phone, your profile will most likely still be active.

The only way to deactivate your profile is by using the delete profile function within Bumble itself. Bumble also offers a Snooze option for temporarily hiding your profile.

Can I search on Bumble without being seen?

You can surf Bumble in Incognito Mode without being seen. This mode is offered to users of Bumble Premium.

Also, if you want to intermittently hide your profile, you can activate the Snooze feature when you are not swiping.

The truth is: neither Snoozing nor going Incognito will allow you to perform direct searches on Bumble. Either way, you will still have to swipe through many profiles to find the person you’re searching for.

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