Bumble's contact policy is what differentiates it from other dating apps like Tinder. With Bumble, women initiate the conversation. Similar to Tinder's interface, you will be shown match suggestions, and you swipe left if you're not interested and swipe right if you are. If they also swiped right, women will see that a match has been made. Now she has 24 hours to message the man if she's interested. If she messages him, he now has another 24 hours to message her back. If he replies to her message, then they can continue with their conversation freely without any restrictions.
For same sex relationships or platonic relationships, any of the 2 parties can message first, which the other party should reply to before the conversation can be continued freely. The 24-hour time frame applies here too. If this feels limiting to you and you want a messaging feature with more freedom, check out our Casual Dating category.