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.
2. Have Them Emoji You
Andrew's go-to line offers plenty of room for creativity and follow up questions.
3. Comment On Something In Their Bio
My bio here was "I like puns and pizza" — and this guy nailed it.
4. Pun 'Em
My bio here was "Lettuce turnip the beet." Again, puns FTW.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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.
21. Combine That Trend With A Pun
22. Get Inspired By The Holiday Spirit
A funny question and great icebreaker.
23. Especially When It's Holiday Food-Related
Who doesn't love holidays and food?
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."
25. Ask About A Seasonal Adventure
Who doesn't have one?
26. Compliment The Pizza In Their Picture
Instead of complimenting someone's looks, go with their pizza.
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.
30. Ask About Vacations
"Travel" is essentially everyone's interest. Ask about it!
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.
35. When In Doubt, Talk About Pizza
Works every single time.