Swiping on Bumble is all fun and games, right up until you realize it’s up to
you to send the first message. Instead of waiting for clever opening lines to roll in — or feeling as if the pressure is equally placed on both parties to say something more creative than “hey” — Bumble puts the ball entirely in your court.
So, how does one
get a conversation started on Bumble? Cheesy opening lines are always a decent option when you’re completely at a loss for what to say. But if you really want to have a zesty back-and-forth, have a scroll through their bio, see what you have in common, and ask a question that’ll make them come up with a robust answer. “Ask open-ended questions that hint at who you are, demonstrate curiosity [in their life], and elicit a discussion,” dating coach Lori Ann Kret, LCSW, BCC tells Bustle.
It’s also a good idea to keep authenticity in mind. While it can be
so tempting to try to “say the right thing” or be impressive when sending messages on Bumble, it’s much better to stay true to yourself and ask Qs that feel like they’re coming from a genuine place. “You may not get as many matches this way, but those who do engage will be higher quality connections for you,” Kret says.
If you don't hear back after reaching out, move on! According to dating coach
Veronica Grant, you won’t want to waste your time with someone who isn’t responding or matching your energy. The dating pond is vast and there will always be someone else to talk to on Bumble — and beyond. With that in mind, read on for 25 ways to get people talking on dating apps. “Your travel photos are amazing! When did you go to Alaska?”
“Travel always seems to make it onto people's dating profiles," Grant says, which is why this topic is often the easiest place to start. Scroll through their bio in search of a vacation pic, then go ahead and ask bout it.
“Where would you visit if you could go anywhere right now?”
While there may not be a ton of travel going on right now, it's still fun to talk about where you'd both like to go, what you love most about being on the road, or the best meals you've had abroad. Travel-adjacent topics truly are endless.
“Wow, I think you're the first [insert unexpected job] I've come across on this app!”
career stands out to you, let them know. Maybe they're a zoologist, or a coffee taste-tester, or a professional cuddler. Whatever the case may be, they'll likely laugh, agree that they have a weird gig, and then tell you all about it. “I'm a huge comedy fan, too. My favorite album is Maria Bamford's 'Ask Me About My New God.' hbu?”
People’s bios can start to blur together, so the moment you spot someone with a similar interest, cling to it like the proverbial life raft it is. If you're both obsessed with comedy, for example, ask if they've heard
your favorite album. If yes, commence bonding. If not, offer to send them a Spotify link. “I feel like I’ve seen everything on Netflix. Have you watched anything cool lately?” Marcus Chung /E+/Getty Images
“You can tell a lot about a person based on what they're watching,” relationship expert
Sameera Sullivan tells Bustle, so why not kick things off by asking for a show rec? It’ll also give you a reason to check back in a few hours later to share your thoughts. “There's something wrong with my phone. It doesn't have your number in it.”
Nobody likes it when strangers saunter up in a bar to say something lame, like "Hey baby, what's your sign?" But when said in a low-key, jokey kind of way on a dating app, cheesy pick-up lines can suddenly seem like
Use this one if it seems like the other person has a
good sense of humor and won't take you too seriously. Hopefully, they'll volley right back with an equally cringe response, and before you know it you'll be in love. “Here’s my best opening line: ------------”
For another knee-slapper, send a
literal opening line in the form of a bunch of dashes. (Get it?) It's perfect for when you aren't quite sure where to start a conversation, but still really want to say hi.
Again, this is just about breaking the ice and getting a convo rolling. Once they respond, follow up with a deeper
getting-to-know-you question, possibly by asking about where they grew up, what they do for fun. Oh, or if they'd like to meet up for a date. "I couldn't help but notice your bookshelf. What are you reading right now?"
Nothing bonds two people quite like a
shared love of books, so if you notice they're also a reader (like, maybe you spy a photo of their bookshelf or a shared reading list), use it to your advantage. You’ll be offering to swap books or go to a reading together before you know it. "Where's the coolest place you've ridden your motorcycle?"
Instead of saying "hey, cool motorcycle" or “hi, cute car,” ask if they’ve been on any fun road trips lately, suggests dating coach
Katie Grimes. She says honing in on someone’s unique interests is a good way to get them talking. “I'm super hungry rn and need inspiration. What are you making for dinner?” AleksandarNakic/E+/Getty Images
When in doubt,
talk about food, cooking, or recipe ideas — none of which can be a one word response. “What’s one thing people assume about you that isn’t necessarily true?”
It's tough to accurately represent who you are as a person on a dating app. Many people are secretly hoping to share more about themselves or explain their profile, which is why this line is such a good one. Chances are the other person will jump at the chance to clarify a thing or two, and maybe even tell a few fun stories about themselves.
“What usually attracts you to somebody? For me, it's always good style and a love of dogs ;)” Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, recommends being a bit cheeky and flirty on dating apps by pointing out appealing traits. "This line shows them you aren’t shy to take notice of the little things,” she tells Bustle. “A compliment can go a long way — just don’t overdo it!” “Cool Smiths T-shirt. What's the best concert you've ever been to?” Sonja Pacho/The Image Bank/Getty Images
For more inspo, think about how you start conversations in real life. Typically, you’ll notice something about a person, like their shirt, or comment on a shared experience, like the weather or how long the line is to get into a bar.
Grant says you can do something similar on dating apps by perusing a person’s photos or profile, picking up on small details, and molding them into a conversation. When the opening line feels natural, the convo will be, too.
“If you could only have 5 apps on your phone, what would they be?”
Trombetti also love this question as it ends up being oddly revealing about a person’s hobbies and interests.
“OK, two truths and a lie.”
Send them two truths and one lie about yourself and have them guess which is which. Trombetti says it’s an easy way to get to know each other — and again, get a bit flirty.
“Wow, it's really coming down out there. What do you like to do when it rains?”
This conversation starter feels casual since all you're doing is
acknowledging the weather. But it’ll also provide useful insight into what the other person likes to do on a chill evening at home. Do they like to listen to music? Watch Netflix? Bake? Their answer will tell you a lot about them — and hopefully lead to a cozy convo that lasts all night. “I'm taking a poll. Do you prefer X or Y?”
Choose a light-hearted topic and message them to
take a poll. Do they like savory or sweet? Beach or mountains? Staying in or going out? See what they say and ask why. “Anyways, I'd love to get to know you more. Would you like to set up a FaceTime call?”
If you don't hear back right away or are worried your opening line has fallen flat, Grant suggests sending this message to see if it inspires a response. Remember it isn't worth it to force a conversation or waste your time waiting around for someone to write back. Consider this a last resort, before gracefully moving on.
“What's the best (or worst) opening line you've received on here?”
Nancy Ruth Deen suggests this question as a fun way to halfway admit you don’t know what else to say. It could also result in a fun exchange about all the bizarre opening lines you’ve received over the years. “Your dog is so cute! And you aren’t bad either :P” South_agency/E+/Getty Images
"This is a great way to be flirtatious and get the conversation going,”
Sandra Myers, a matchmaker and relationship expert, tells Bustle. Because really, who can resist talking about their pet? “Hey! It’s nice to meet you.”
Want something straight forward? Dating expert
Mindie Barnett actually loves going in with a simple greeting like this one. It leaves a nice blank slate for further discussion, but also feels warm and inviting. “Please answer the following pre-screening questions:”
Myers also recommends coming up with a list of half funny, half serious “pre-screening” questions to ask from the jump. If you don’t like their answers, politely move on! That’s what dating apps are for, after all.
“If you could completely change careers, what would you do?”
So many people ask what others do for work on dating apps, and while that’s OK, it’s fun to turn the question on its head. “This one will get their attention without going too far off the beaten path,” dating expert
Melissa Braverman tells Bustle. “Hey! I’m glad we matched! What are you up to this weekend?”
If you’re on the cusp of a weekend, Barnett suggests following up by asking if they have any weekend plans or what they hope to get into. If you’re messaging on a Monday, simply ask how their weekend went to get them chatting. Easy peasy.
“If I saw you in a bar, I’d definitely say hi :)”
While there’s a lot of pressure that comes with being the one to
start a conversation on a dating app, try to look at it as a positive thing. Enjoy the experience and see who you meet. Dating experts: Veronica Grant, love and life coach Sameera Sullivan, relationship expert Katie Grimes, dating coach Susan Trombetti, matchmaker Nancy Ruth Deen, relationship coach Sandra Myers, matchmaker and relationship expert Mindie Barnett, dating expert Melissa Braverman, dating expert