Swipe & Spill: How Do Women Master the Rejection Tango on Bumble?

Blogpost written by Beyza Çay and Neetu Kanwal 


  • Ghosting to avoid awkward endings: Many women on Bumble choose to stop talking without explaining to avoid uncomfortable goodbyes.
  • Talking on Bumble can deepen understanding: Continuing to talk can help people know more about each other, even if a Bumble conversation ends in rejection.
  • Risk of feeling drained in online dating: People who use Bumble a lot might find it tiring, and they may not share more than they would in face-to-face conversations.

In the era of digital romance, dating apps have become a part of the modern journey of quest for love. As the second-most popular dating app in the United States, with over five million users, Bumble plays a significant role in reshaping traditional dating norms. It is called a “feminist dating app” empowering women to take the initiative. However, as more people embrace dating apps it becomes important to understand how users navigate rejecting partners. This study, conducted by Audrey Halversen, Jesse King, and Lauren Silva, delves into the largely unexplored realm of how female Bumble users navigate rejection strategies online.

Image by Freepik on Freepik.

The research suggests that as the number and length of messages exchanged increases, people tend to share more personal information about themselves, a phenomenon known as self-disclosure. Additionally, it explores whether the amount of personal information a person shares affects their communication patterns and other person’s willingness to share more about themselves. It tries to prove that using Bumble frequently encourages users to open up more and offers higher chance to find a long-term partner through the app.

Ghosting Trend on Bumble

The study sheds light on women’s rejection strategies on Bumble with a focus on „ghosting.“ Ghosting refers to ceasing communication without providing an explanation and emerges as a method of rejection on the app. This aligns with the nature of relationships begin on platforms where connections are often in their early stages and users may choose to ignore others because it is easy, and relationships can be temporary.

For the purpose of answering the research questions, 384 women who recently have rejected a Bumble match whom they had exchanged messages with but had not met in-person were recruited to take part in a scale-based online survey with the focus of seven key measurements.

Understanding Women’s Rejection Tactics

As the study unfolds, a compelling pattern emerges regarding how female Bumble users handle rejection. 90% of women prefer to reject their partners by different forms of ghosting such as sudden ghosting, deleting their online profile, unmatching the person, and becoming less and less available over time. While different ways of ghosting are commonly preferred among women, being upfront about their decision and confronting the match ranks at the bottom.

As suggested, study proves that when women exchange a greater number of messages and have a longer communication with their match, they tend to reveal more about themselves. Self-disclosure increases, so does the likelihood of finding a potential partner. As women share more about themselves, their perceived disclosure from their match also increases. Thus, it becomes more and more stressful to reject this person. Yet, how do all these factors affect the various ways these women handle rejection? Those with higher levels of self-disclosure, perceived partner disclosure, and stress of rejecting their match prefer to disappear from the platform altogether. They choose to ghost by deleting their accounts and leaving their rejected match with only the label „Deleted Account“. This not only shows disinterest towards the match but also online dating in general. In contrast, those with lower self-disclosure levels prefer to ghost by simply unmatching. This way, the rejector’s profile disappears from the rejectee’s conversation list, displaying a lack of interest while keeping their online profile for potential matches.

Effects of Ghosting on Others

The study reveals that unmatching is a more common strategy than deleting accounts, suggesting that many users continue to online-date on Bumble after rejecting a match. While unmatching is less direct, it lacks the closure that an open and honest rejection might provide.

Other rejection strategies mentioned are „sudden ghosting“ without unmatching and „slow fading“. In both scenarios, the rejector’s profile remains visible, suggesting the possibility of future interaction. Some women may use these tactics to minimize the emotional impact on the rejectee, showing empathy and potentially easing their own feelings of rejection guilt.

On the other hand, confronting a match, being open about the rejection and its reasons is the least favored strategy. Only factor that is positively associated with confrontation is age. Women tend to reject their match by being open and upfront as they get older, challenging the trend of preferring non-confrontational methods.

This study shows that women often use ghosting on Bumble to end early relationships without confrontation. Despite rejection, continued Bumble communication fosters mutual self-disclosure. Additionally, frequent online dating may lead to communication burnout, limiting disclosure compared to face-to-face interactions.



Halversen, A., King, J., & Silva, L. (2021). Reciprocal self-disclosure and rejection strategies on bumble. In Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (Vol. 39, Issue 5, pp. 1324–1343). SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075211055759

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