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A bigger, flashier Bumble office was under construction, but for now the young staff jockeyed for space in a living room on the thirty-first floor, fashionably cluttered with the girl-world detritus of scented candles, promotional tote bags, and stacks of magazines.

A floor-to-ceiling window offered a sweeping view of downtown and doubled as a whiteboard.

She told me she wanted to put a Topo Chico refrigerator in the new space, but the accountant was fighting her on it.

“He keeps saying, ‘It’s a bottle, Whit—for water.’ ” She drummed her fingernails on the countertop.

She admires the Lean In author, but Whitney was only an okay student (her words), though she showed an entrepreneurial flair.

The first time I heard about Bumble, I was complaining about dating apps, a favorite pastime of those of us consigned to them.

This was December 2015, and I’d spent four months swiping right (but mostly left) on Tinder.

Men were the hunters, and a woman’s duty was to sit still until she felt his spear. Now in my early forties, I was part of the largest boom in single women ever. At first blush, the app looked suspiciously like Tinder, with profiles containing half a dozen photos and a short bio. This kicky bit of female empowerment is what distinguishes Bumble from other dating apps on the market. I had 24 hours to complete this task before the match disappeared.

Every once in a while, I would wake up to a message sent in the middle of the night. ” I wished I could create an after-hours bounce-back. Some days this demographic shift felt like a feminist triumph, and other days it felt like a dating disaster. The app had that famous swipe-right-to-match function, a piece of game play so brilliant it had become a cultural reference point. The soothing font, the chipper yellow design, but most importantly, the people. A countdown clock appeared, like I was some action hero trying to defuse a bomb.

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