The dating apps are a humbling experience. No matter how perfectly you’ve curated your photos and answered your prompts to be as digitally desirable as possible, we can all relish in the shared experiences of a non-response, a canceled date, or being ghosted altogether (right?). While there’s no sure-fire way to guarantee a response from the latest cutie you’ve matched with, there are a few opening lines that stand out above the rest.
Skip the “heys” and “how are yous” and try one of these openers instead.
Pull something personal from their profile.
Show that you’ve done your due diligence and actually read through your match's profile instead of only swiping on an attractive photo. Are they a book lover? Ask what they’re currently reading. Avid traveler? Ask where they’re taking their next trip. People love talking about themselves, and they’ve literally given you a highlight reel of interests on their profile. Use this as a tool to your advantage.
Send a compliment.
This comes with a handful of disclaimers. While the apps are relatively superficial by nature, consider a compliment that digs a little deeper than “you’re beautiful” or “hey handsome.” Are they sporting a bold look in one of their photos? Let them know they look really lovely in *insert color*. Are you particularly attracted to their smile? Tell them! Sending a kind, personalized compliment (that isn’t sexually charged, I beg you) is a great way to start things off on the right foot. For the best results, include a question to help keep the conversation going.
“If you had to hit me with the opening line, what would it be?”
This one is best used for apps like Bumble that have requirements for who can message first. Conduct your own version of market research by putting the ball back in their court: ask them for their best opening line, then archive your favorite responses for your own use later on. And, hopefully, a successful conversation will also ensue.
“Let’s play a game.”
Just like ice breaker games in person, suggesting a game on the apps can be an entertaining and lighthearted way to get to know your match. If they’re in, try rapid-fire questions or Never Have I Ever (which works best if this is already one of their prompts). You can learn a lot about a person and their intentions by how they structure their questions (be prepared, it can go from wholesome to spicy quickly). If all goes well, suggest the winner/loser picks the spot for the first date.
Send a gif.
This method is much debated, but can be successful if it’s done right. A few dating apps (like Bumble and Tinder) give you the option to send a gif to break the ice, which can be a great opportunity to showcase your humor or tap into something personal from their profile. For example, if they’ve mentioned a favorite TV show or movie (like The Office), there are endless gif options to serve as your opener. Or, find a funny greeting to use as your default when you’re out of ideas.
“What’s your favorite…”
Another great way to leverage prompts is to get your match to expand on something they’ve already mentioned. If they nod to a particular food or hobby, lean into it by asking their favorite restaurant, book, movie, artist, sports team, etc., to kick off the conversation.
“What was the highlight of your week/weekend?”
Up the ante on “how was your day” (to which the answer will almost always be “good,” “fun,” or “busy”) with something more thought-provoking. Asking for a highlight lets your match reflect on their own experience and share what meant the most to them, and will hopefully provide an opportunity for deeper connection and continued conversation.
Match your own personality.
If you're a goofball by nature, set the tone early with an extra-cheesy opening line ("If you were a fruit, you’d be a fineapple"). As cringey as it may be, it's sure to make your match smile if you're compatible. On the flip side, consider asking about goals, intentions, or opinions if you're looking to establish a deeper connection right away.
Ask them what they want.
Not sure which direction to take your opening line? You can always provide options. Say something like “Would you prefer a compliment, a 'would you rather' question, or my best dad joke?” to let them guide you, just be sure to have solid answers prepared for whichever they choose.
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