The word “hey” is a simple enough greeting in the real world. When you hear it, you probably respond in kind. But on dating apps, “hey” takes on an entirely new meaning.
Most likely, the word leaves you feeling confused: you’re excited that you got a message (especially if it’s from someone you’ve been eyeing), but you’re at a loss at what to say in response and maybe even a tad disappointed that the sender didn’t put a little more effort into that all-important first message.
That’s a lot of confusion for such a little word.
So the question is: What does one do when confronted with the word “hey” on Bumble?
Let’s untangle this little conundrum and get you past that first exchange.
Why Getting a “Hey” on Bumble Is Such a Big Deal?
If you’ve been on Bumble for more than a millisecond, then you already know that it’s different from other online dating apps.
On Bumble, women are tasked with messaging the guy first, and if they don’t, well then you’re out of luck even if you both swiped right. That’s right—your match will expire within 24 hours if the female half of the match doesn’t send a message.
That’s why getting a “hey” on Bumble is kind of a big deal. No, it’s not the most creative or titillating message, but on Bumble, it can still be kind of exciting.
It’s like getting past the first hurdle in a race, and in this race, love is the prize for first place! Ok, well if not love, then at least a date.
So yeah, being greeted by the word “hey” on Bumble is the bee’s knees, so to speak.
The only problem is that a simple “hey” doesn’t give the recipient of the message (namely, you) a whole lot to work with.
If you respond with a “hey” back or even a “how are you?”, you may miss out on your chance to spark a meaningful connection.
The ball is squarely in your court now, so if you drop it, you may not get another shot. It’s time to get creative and put your best foot forward.
How to Respond When a Bumble Match Opens with ‘Hey' or ‘What's Up'
When you get a “hey” on Bumble and you choose to take the bait, there are several different ways you can respond depending on your mood and personality. Here are some of your best options:
1. Respond back sarcastically
All women liked to be teased, and those who say they don’t enjoy it even more than the rest of us. When you get an initial message like “hey” in your inbox, use it as an opportunity to yank her chain a little and give her a hard time about her lack of effort.
Try the following opening lines for a sarcastic response:
Try again! ????
C’mon. Got anything better? ????
I’ll give you another shot at that first message if you want. ????
Let’s just pretend you said something more creative, shall we? ????
Notice that all of these responses are followed by a smiling or winking emoji (you can take your pick). This takes the sting out of your criticism of her first message and lets her know that you’re just joking around with her.
Without the emojis, these retorts are kind of harsh, don’t you think?
2. Make a specific observation about their profile
If you want to kick off a conversation with someone you matched with, it's important to show that you're genuinely interested in getting to know them. That means taking a close look at their profile and using what you see as a starting point.
According to dating coach Benjamin Daly, there are three steps to doing this right. First, greet them by name to make it more personal. Then, make a specific observation about something in their profile using phrases like “I noticed” or “I saw”. Finally, end with a question about your observation.
Your observation should feel natural and intuitive, so think back to what attracted you to their profile in the first place. Maybe you noticed they have an adorable pitbull and want to know if he's really theirs, or you saw that they've been to Greece and want to know when.
Or maybe you just want to keep it simple and ask what they've been up to this summer because they seem like a lot of fun.
3. Initiate a Celebration
Remember how we talked about what a big deal it is to get a “hey” on Bumble? So why not use your message back as a chance to celebrate the occasion together?
After all, once she’s messaged you, your match isn’t in danger of expiring, so you can relax and communicate freely.
Try these celebratory responses for size:
High five—we made it!
Whew! The hard part’s over!
Woohoo! Let’s break out the confetti and champagne!
A celebration message is a great response because it’s 100% positive and creates a moment that you can share together with your match. What better way to start the bonding process?
4. Compliment Her
Flattery will get you nowhere unless you’re on a dating app, am I right? Girls liked to be complimented (as long as you know how to do it properly), so when you get a “hey” message, it’s better than ok to resort to flattery as a response.
Here are some flattering replies to try on for size:
Wow! To what do I owe the honor?
I don’t usually respond to “hey,” but you seem special.
I’m genuinely surprised you messaged me.
It’s also ok to be a little self-deprecating (as in the last bumble response) when you use this technique, but don’t go overboard or continue talking about how inferior you are. A little humility is attractive, but low self-esteem? Not so much.
Receiving a “hey” on Bumble can be a little frustrating, but not if you know how to respond strategically. Once you get the conversation going, you’ll be so caught up in your playful banter that you’ll forget all about this lackluster first message!
Should You Reply to “Hey?”
But why put forth the effort at all? Some guys argue that a “hey” on Bumble isn’t even worth a response. After all, she’d expect more from you if the shoe were on the other foot, right?
It’s a fairly good point, and ultimately, the decision whether to respond or not is entirely yours.
Before you decide, though, it may be helpful to put yourself in her place for a moment. Historically, women haven’t been expected to make the first move, so we just don’t have a lot of experience in this area. (It’s true!)
She may not be lazy or apathetic; it could be that she genuinely doesn’t know what to say. You’ve probably been there yourself a time or two, no?
Your choice depends on Bumble or not will likely depend on two things: 1) how into the person you are and 2) whether or not you’re getting a lot of action on Bumble.
Instead of overthinking, you could just start a conversation; you can take help from our article Bumble Conversation Starters.