35 Opening Dating App Messages That Aren't Boring

If you've ever used a dating app or site you're well aware that the generic "Hey!" or "Hey, how's it going?" openers don't always lead to the best conversations. Sure, they're an easy, simple, and harmless first line (especially considering the aggressive messages out there), but sometimes these first messages on dating apps just lead to a dead end. In 2015, Hinge did an experiment to find out which opening lines work where their copywriters and data analysts wrote up over 100 original openers. Then, 22 percent of Hinge users received various conversation-starters to choose from. The one that received the least amount of responses? “Hey.”

Similarly, in 2009 OkCupid analyzed over 500,000 first messages, looking at at keywords and phrases, discovering it's actually better to use no traditional salutation at all and jump right into chatting. So what should that conversation be about?

Even though space on your online dating profile is limited, there are ways to convey your personality, whether it's through a picture or a quote on your bio. Dating apps like Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel make this a lot easier with icebreakers and questions to answers. Luckily, there are a ton of options out there to stand out with an original conversation starter, from asking about an interest to commenting on a picture of their cat to using emojis and GIFs.

"Leverage the uniqueness of the app, if possible," Drew Michaels, founder of Higher Level Dating and The Dating App Formula, tells Bustle. "For example, while it’s no longer the case, Coffee Meets Bagel used to give a canned question, inviting people who matched to answer (for example “What’s your favorite pizza topping?? Tell your match!”). What I would have my students do, in that case, is stand out by NOT doing it, and instead asking “Be honest, (name)… have you EVER used the Coffee Meets Bagel opener?? ;-P”. Gets a fun reply usually!"

Here are some real conversation starters that work for daters, because we're all better than a "hey!" opener.

1. Emoji Them

This went on for hours.

Michelle Toglia

2. Have Them Emoji You

Andrew's go-to line offers plenty of room for creativity and follow up questions.

Michelle Toglia

3. Comment On Something In Their Bio

My bio here was "I like puns and pizza" — and this guy nailed it.

Michelle Toglia

4. Pun 'Em

My bio here was "Lettuce turnip the beet." Again, puns FTW.

Michelle Toglia

5. Ask The Important Questions

TBH, it's better to know now.


6. Comment On The Picture Of Their Cat

Some experts will tell you to only include pictures of yourself, but Kathryn's picture of a cat and wine leads to a lot of great convos.


7. Get Political

You've already heard to toss the "don't bring up politics on the first date" rule out the window, but if politics is something you're passionate about, why not bring it up in the first message?

"I like my dates how I like my candidates for State Senate, well informed about the issues and committed to their civic duty," Sophie Kennedy tells Bustle. "So, when it comes to potential suitors, I get straight to the point. I work with BallotReady, a nonpartisan voter information guide, so I need to find out right away if a match is as passionate about civic engagement as I am."

Sophie Kennedy

8. Give A Compliment That Matters

Instead of commenting on someone's smile, give a compliment about their killer lipstick or style.

9. Ask About One Of Their Interests

This guy did his research.


10. Give Them A Recommendation

Lindsey mentioned she's into historical tours and this guy took the opportunity to give her his favorite one.

11. Discuss Drinks Of Choice

Lindsey's profile mentioned she likes Bud light — but you can easily ask someone their drink of choice, too.


12. Take Advantage Of An App's Ice Breakers

Here's an example of leveraging Coffee Meets Bagel's prompts — because how could you not with this piece of information?!


13. Joke Around

"Humor is something that one must use to break the ice when it comes on dating apps and websites," Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal, tells Bustle. "If this doesn't get a chuckle and a response, then its not meant to be."

14. Go With A GIF

Tinder lets you include GIFs in your message — take advantage of it! "GIFs not only make your message stand out from the crowd, but according to Tinder messages with GIFs are 30 percent more likely to get a response, and the conversations last 2x longer," Scott Valdez, Founder of Virtual Dating Assistants, tells Bustle.

Virtual Dating Assistants

15. Discuss Dessert

"We’ve found the best opening messages instantly grab the reader’s attention by sparking an emotional connection," Valdez says. "Whether it’s making [them] laugh or daydream about something delicious, a successful message always makes [them] feel something."

Virtual Dating Assistants

16. Poke Fun At One Of The App's Icebreakers

Like Michaels, suggested, using the app's uniqueness will get you results.

17. Ask A Question About Their Interests

"On dating sites like OkCupid and Match, messages can be a little bit longer, but the same rule still applies — catch [their] eye, and make [them] want to respond," Valdez says. "We’ve found a message like this one gets excellent results."

Virtual Dating Assistants

18. Compliment Their Personality

"[This is] the first message from the guy who is now my boyfriend — it showed me that he thought I was attractive, but also that he liked my politics and my mind, which felt flattering," Cat tells Bustle. "And he didn't talk about sex, which is a sad rarity!"


19. Show You Read Their Profile

"It's a gaming reference to "Pokemon Go", suggesting he's a nerd who read my profile," Cat says.


20. Comment On The Latest Craze

In this case, it was all about the "Pokemon Go" obsession.

Michelle Toglia

21. Combine That Trend With A Pun

Never hurts.

Michelle Toglia

22. Get Inspired By The Holiday Spirit

A funny question and great icebreaker.

Michelle Toglia

23. Especially When It's Holiday Food-Related

Who doesn't love holidays and food?

Michelle Toglia

24. Show You're Interested In Them

"Research tells us that if you show interest in a person they are more likely to respond and be interested in you," Jennifer Seiter, Co Owner of Exboyfriend Recovery, tells Bustle. "So if I see anything on a guy's profile that stands out or is unique I would try to make that connection in the first message."

Jennifer Seiter

25. Ask About A Seasonal Adventure

Who doesn't have one?

Michelle Toglia

26. Compliment The Pizza In Their Picture

Instead of complimenting someone's looks, go with their pizza.

Michelle Toglia

27. Joke About Overused Dating App Pics

"I have sent it out a bunch of times and 9 out of 10 times get a reply," Erin tells Bustle.


28. Discuss Common Interests

Enjoy something they mention in their bio or you see in a pic? Let them know there's common ground and go from there.


29. Find Out Their Caffeine Of Choice

Don't seem like a big drinker, or you're not? Ask about their #1 morning bev.

Michelle Toglia

30. Ask About Vacations

"Travel" is essentially everyone's interest. Ask about it!

Michelle Toglia

31. Find Out Their Favorite Places In Your City

Noticing a theme here?

32. Joke About Dating Apps With A Cheesy Line

"I met my current girlfriend on Bumble and the opener that worked for me was 'it must be fate'," Caballero tells Bustle. "I think it's a lighthearted way to kind of joke about the fact that both of you are being totally superficial but also perhaps foreshadow that there is even a chance that the two of you could one day end up married and that's kind of crazy when you think about it."

34. Discuss Your Latest TV Obsession

We've all got one.

Michelle Toglia

35. When In Doubt, Talk About Pizza

Works every single time.

Michelle Toglia