Insight: Bumble unpacks modern relationships and online dating in the Philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Bumble, the women-first dating and social networking app, unveiled insights from its inaugural Bumble Modern Relationships Study 2021 via a virtual panel discussion, which explored topics such as dating culture in the Philippines, dating during the pandemic, and why women should make the first move. Moderated by Ayn Bernos, the panel brought together Ana P. Santos, independent journalist, Dr. Margie Holmes, Clinical Psychologist and Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director, Bumble to discuss topics such as dating culture in the Philippines, dating during the pandemic, and why women should make the first move. 

Bumble’s recent study revealed almost half (49%) Filipinos surveyed believe it is possible for one to fall in love through dating apps. Over half (53%) of people in the Philippines are looking for a committed, serious relationship, whereas around one-fifth (18%) are looking for casual/non-committal relationships when dating or meeting new people online. 12% of people surveyed are dating with the intention of getting married. 

When it comes to dating and relationships, Bumble’s study found that most Filipinos prioritize personality over any other aspects when looking for a partner. Personality (79%) is the most important aspect when it comes to people looking to date or finding a potential partner, followed by emotional connection (47%) and level of financial ability (32%).  Filipinos are not interested in dating someone without ambitions or future goals as well as those who discriminate based on physical appearance, race, ethnicity or religion. 


“Way to go for Filipinos who choose personality! I always have this saying that you should be someone you want to date. So, when I hear Filipinos are looking for someone that’s future-oriented and ambitious that just means they are just the same. I think that now we’re looking for or we’re changing that definition of prince charming and how he should be the be-all, sweep me off my feet. Maybe now we’re looking for a teammate, an equal because you know the other three words that are really great to hear in a partner: I’ve got you,” shares Ana P. Santos, an independent journalist and relationship expert.


COVID-19 has normalised online dating

Amid lockdowns and safe-distancing measures, the pandemic has changed the way we interact and connect with people online. The Bumble-commissioned third-party independent study revealed 42% of Filipinos surveyed admitted that they have used an online dating app within the past year. 30% of people surveyed claim they are, in fact, using dating apps more since the pandemic.

Convenience and flexibility are key drivers of dating app usage in the Philippines. Being able to use dating apps whenever they want (51%) and the ease of screening potential dates (40%) were cited as top benefits for Filipinos when it comes to using dating apps. The study further found that almost two in five people (43%) surveyed have tried online dating and around one-quarter (26%) of people surveyed have been in a relationship with someone they met online. 41% of people surveyed also claim that they are likely to try online dating in the next one year.

While dating apps have helped people in the Philippines to connect virtually during the pandemic, the findings suggest that virtual dating is here to stay. People are likely to continue using virtual dating tools as a way to screen potential dates ahead of a physical meet-up. Now a key element in online dating, people can access Bumble’s Voice Call and Video Chat feature which enables them to make voice and video calls through the app without sharing personal information before they are ready, like a phone number or email address.  

Empowering women to make the first move

Bumble believes that one of the keys to equitable relationships is empowering women to make the first move — from small steps such as initiating personal conversations to bold strides to advance their careers. By encouraging women to make the first move, Bumble hopes to give them the courage to flip traditional gender roles on their head and shift power dynamics from the get-go. 

When it comes to dating and relationships, the Modern Relationship Study uncovered that more than half (57%) people surveyed in the Philippines believe that both men and women can make the first move when dating. However, 30% of men think they should make the first move, 36% of women are also likely to expect men to make the first move.

Bumble is determined to change these figures by showing women in the Philippines how empowering, exciting and fun making the first move can be as women in the Philippines are beginning to recognise the importance of taking charge of their dating lives.

Bumble was founded on the belief that equality and respect are the foundations of a healthy and happy relationship. By inviting women to exercise their agency and have control of their dating journeys by making the first move, we are creating a safer space for people to form meaningful connections that lead to lasting relationships.,” Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director, Bumble shares.

Commitment to safety

Bumble has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, abuse or hate speech of any kind and has built the app with the values of kindness and accountability and the centre. Bumble’s Safety + Wellbeing Centre serves as a resource hub within the Bumble app to help the global community have safe and healthy dating experiences. All members can stay informed on Bumble’s safety features, and find the appropriate tools and resources to date confidently. To see more about Bumble’s Safety + Well Being Centre, visit

As part of their efforts to prevent abuse from occurring at the first instance, their current suite of safety features includes Photo Verification, Request Photo Verification, and Private Detector. These features prevent catfishing, allow the community to request for their matches to verify their identity, and stop the sharing of unsolicited, nude images. Look for the blue check mark which means they have been verified to be a real person. Voice and Video Calls allow people to get to know someone better before meeting IRL without giving up their phone number or email. 

We know that all matches may not work out, so members can easily Unmatch. If the community has any safety concerns with their interactions or behavior from other people on Bumble, there are a number of ways they can report these incidents. There are options to Hide + Report or Block + Report, to easily report other users and then hide a potential match from their queue or block them if they’ve already started a conversation. They also have 24/7 moderation where human moderators on the support team work to enforce Bumble’s code of conduct and zero tolerance for bad behaviour in the app.

A recording for the discussion is available on Bumble.

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