What Are the Best Online Dating Icebreakers? This Study Has the Answers

Online dating can seem like sorting through a mess of foreign travelers, people looking for a casual hookup, some creepers, and finally, a handful of people you'd actually want to date. But once you do get to the eligible ones, what's the best way to break the ice when dating online? It can be hard to know what to say to make sure that you stand out from the horde of their other matches. Luckily, though, a recent study might have a few answers. The Daily Beast compares the study's results to Archimedes' famous "Eureka!" moment, and you know what? They're definitely not wrong.

The study is part of a meta-analysis complied by scientists from Barts, the London School of Medicine, and the University of North Texas. Their goal was to find an "optimal, evidence-based approach to online dating.” To that end, the researchers reviewed 86 psychology, sociology, behavioral, computer, and neurocognitive studies from around the world.

So, what can all of this research tell us about how to initiate a conversation with your most recent Hinge match? Studies found that the icebreakers with the highest response rates were open-ended questions, such as “What did you like in my profile?” or “How’s it going?” Asking open-ended questions allows your match to choose from many possible answers, and will keep the conversation flowing. Asking questions with a yes or no answer will just stall the conversation.

Initial exchanges also benefit from quick response times (which, perhaps surprisingly, weren’t found to be a turn-off), humorous comments, and exchanges of light-hearted personal information, such as silly allergies or whether or not you are an only child. It’s important to keep the tone of your first conversation fun, as the way that you present yourself here is how your match will anticipate future exchanges.

With that being said, don’t over think it! Mic.com points out that a 2014 study from OKCupid’s co-founder Christian Rudder found that the best messages with the highest response rates were only 40-60 characters long, and took less than a minute to form.  And hey — if you mess up your first few attempts at composing a flawless icebreaker, there are always many, many, more fish in the Tinder sea.

This meta-analysis covered a wide range of topics relating to online dating; from choosing the perfect screen name to finding the right profile photos. Here are a few of our other favorite tips:

1. Leave It On A High Note

Apparently, humans are hardwired to remember what happens at the end of a conversation. With this in mind, plan to end each chat on a positive note — leaving your suitor looking forward to the next conversation.

2. Don’t Over-Compliment   

Even if you think that your match deserves all of the compliments in the world, leave it to one short, positive remark. Over-complimenting will make your match suspicious.

3. Fight the Fade

If you are serious about meeting the person you are chatting with, aim to meet them in person within three weeks of meeting online. An earlier switch to face-to-face communication is associated with better outcomes.

So, my online daters, happy swiping, and good luck on your next chat!

Image: Fotolia; Giphy (4)

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