When it comes to dating apps, it's all about finding the best dating app conversation starter. Unlike meeting in real life, you can't really win someone over with your personality until you can find the right words to pique their interest and lure them in for more. In order to do that, you need an initial line that's going to deliver.
"What I advise my clients to do is to follow the formula of 'Comment + Question'," certified dating coach and host of the Dates and Mates Podcast, Damona Hoffman, tells Bustle. "Comment on something you see in their profile that intrigues you then ask a question that requires more than a yes/no response. While you can have some luck with the Master of None 'I'm going to Whole Foods, can I pick something up for you?' cut and paste style messages, I have a higher response rate with individualized messages. It doesn't have to be a novel, just honestly respond to the thing that made you swipe right."
While no one is saying you can't try to initiate a chat on dating apps starting with a friendly "hey," creativity, especially in the online world, goes a long way. Here are 21 dating app conversation starters that experts swear by.
"I Just Got Back From XYZ Place. Stunning. What's Next On Your Travel Bucket List?"
Travel buff? Fantastic. Their photos from their travels can easily give you fodder to start a conversation.
"Fellow Foodie Here. If You Could Eat Only One Meal Again For The Rest Of Your Life, What Would It Be?"
Any question that makes the person on the other end think, and this one is a major question for a foodie, is definitely likely to get a response — after they've pondered about it for a couple days. This is not an easy question to answer.
"Wow, Your Vibe Is So Upbeat And Positive!"
When it comes to online dating, it's easy to pick out the grumps from those lust-for-life positive types of people. It's when you come across one of these people that life coach and founder of After Defeat, Nina Rubin, M.A., advises you point out that positivity. Maybe they can tell you what makes them so cheery.
"What Was It Like To Pet The Tiger? Where Did You Do That?"
Granted, this isn't going to work if there isn't a tiger being pet in any of their photos, but you can see the point that Rubin is making: actually look at their photos, then formulating a conversation starter related to one of those photos.
"How Cool That You Love Going To Concerts. What’s The Best One You’ve Been To In The Last Year?"
Let's be honest, music is a great conversation starter. Not only that, but if they say the best concert they went to last year was Nickelback, then you know what your next step is going to be.
"Red Or White?"
"I think the key is to start with a direct question that is not too personal and allows for an easy answer," Stefanie Safran, founder of Stef and the City, a professional introduction service, tells Bustle. "Too many people say 'Hi' or 'How is your day.' [While] that might work in real life, it doesn't work online."
"Cubs Or White Sox?"
Naturally, if you don't live in Chicago, you probably want to change those teams, suggests Safran. But again, it's a question that gets things moving.
"What's The Best Thing About Spring?"
Or, if it's not spring, then ask about whatever season you happen to be in at the moment.
"What’s The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?"
"If [their] profile is empty and you don’t have a lot to work with, go for some fun random questions that help you get to know each other fast," Claudia Cox, founder of Text Weapon, tells Bustle.
"What Makes You Laugh Until You Cry?"
A sense of humor isn't just important but finding someone who has your sense of humor can make or break a budding online relationship. The question to this answer will speak volumes.
"What Three Things Are Always In Your Fridge?"
As Cox says, if you don't have a lot to work with, you need to dig a little deeper. Refrigerator contents may not seem like an exciting topic, but the three things that are always in someone's fridge can be really revealing.
"What's One Thing You Couldn't Live Without?"
Yes, a total "I'm trying to get to know you" question, but guess what? You're totally trying to get to know them.
"According to research done by dating app Clover, men reply eight percent more often when women use an emoji in their first message," Cox says. "Just make sure that you use the right emoji (smirking face, laughing crying, see no evil, etc.)." Women, on the other hand, respond five percent more, according to the research.
"I See You’re Also A Tennis Player. Are You A Baseliner Or Serve-And-Volleyer?
"Make it about them," Cox says. "Comment on something specific from [their] profile that you are interested in and can hold a conversation about."
All you need is one thing in common to get a conversation rolling. A shared sport, hobby, or even working in the same field is a great start.
"Your Taste In Music Is Impeccable! Have You Seen Drake Live?"
As mentioned above, music is a great conversation starter. In this particular example, you've eye-spied someone whom you know likes some of the same music as you and that definitely gives you a lot to work with because you can delve into your favorite albums by these artists.
"Is Netflix Or Mac N’ Cheese The Best Invention Ever?"
"Grab [their] attention," Cox says. "Be a little weird, but irresistible — think of yourself as salty caramel and cashew ice-cream (yum)." An off-beat question shows your playful side, while also potentially revealing a lot about their values.
"Do You Prefer Pancakes, Bacon, Lucky Charms, Or Netflix For Breakfast?"
If there's one thing most of us have in common, it's Netflix. So use that to your advantage.
"This Online Dating Thing Makes Me So Hungry. What’s Better, Hummus And Pretzels Or Cheese And Crackers?"
"Bring up the universal topic that you can both chat about in your sleep: food!" Cox says.
"What Do You Think Of My Photoshop Techniques?"
"Gauge their sense of humor by taking a photo of something from their profile and caption it with your style of humor and ask if they think it’s funny," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, tells Bustle.
If you doctor one of their photos for fun, you can let your sense of humor lead the conversation.
"What Do You Thrive In?"
"Gauge their personality by presenting a scenario that you thrive in and ask what they thrive in," Silva says. "This provides a snapshot into if they are introverted or extroverted, and your lifestyle compatibility."
When it comes to dating app conversation starters, you need to be creative to stand out. Creativity, especially when trying to get someone's attention, goes a long way. And, as Cox points out, don't be afraid to be a little weird. We're all a little weird and, ultimately, we want to find our fellow weirdos.