After six months in self-isolation, that rando you followed on Instagram a year ago might be starting to look
pretty good. Their hair is a little longer, they've perfected their focaccia game, and most importantly, they're not in your quarantine pod, your family, or the US Postal Service (the only people you've talked to for weeks). With no parties or events coming up, knowing how to casually slide into someone's DM's can help you shoot your shot from a social distance. Whether you're reaching out to an old crush or putting the feelers out with someone new, "What have you been up to lately?" hits different during a global pandemic and international protests for racial justice.
Claudia Cox, relationship coach and founder of Text Weapon, sending your crush a DM shows an extra level of interest. "Like dating apps, it's not meant to be used to find out everything about them," Cox tells Bustle. "It’s just to give them enough of you to make them want to meet up IRL."
When penning the perfect opening message, Cox suggests being confident, but not commenting on someone's appearance. "Even if they are drop-dead gorgeous, go deeper and try to start a conversation based on things that you are both interested in," Cox says. "
Start with a common topic and then transition into other things."
Here are 17
ways to slide into someone's DMs, during a pandemic and always.
Your hiking pictures are always amazing! Where's the best place to go around here?
Complimenting someone's scenic landscapes is a great way to make a connection without literally saying, "I, too, am a nature person." Leaving a question like: "Where's your favorite place to hike?" or "What's your favorite national park?" opens the conversation up in a low-key way that invites them to share, then reciprocate.
I've been dying to get into rollerblading! It looks so fun!
Get excited about whatever your crush is passionate about! If they've been posting a ton about a new hobby or an activity, they're learning (or a hobby or an activity they've always been into), asking about it shows interest. It also opens the conversation to talk about your hobbies and interests.
I love all the books you've been posting in your story. What are you reading right now?
We've been following each other for a minute, and I've been wanting to say "hi" for a while. So, hi!
If you want to break the ice, but don't have a specific question or line, let them know that you've been thinking of reaching out and decided there was no time like the present.
You always have the best music in your stories! I'd love to swap playlists.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a playlist is worth a million. Offering to exchange playlists is a great way to learn more about each other's tastes in music and favorite bands.
I'm obsessed with your puppy! How long have you had them?
love to talk about their pets. Whether it's a fish, ferret, frog, or something furry, asking about their pets is a surefire way to start an energetic conversation.
I love how you've set up your home office. Where is your wall hanging from?!
The way someone decorates their room can say a lot about them. If you both have an eye for design, compliment something you like and ask them a question about where they got it.
Hey, do you still work at Dock Street?
Perhaps a mutual friend of yours just got engaged. Maybe their little sister just won a poetry competition. If you know your crush, asking them about something topical in their life can be a great way to start a conversation.
Living for all your travel #TBTs, where's the next place you want to visit, post-COVID?
Someday, travel will be safe again, and you'll cross every place you've ever wanted to go off your bucket list. Until then, you can look at people's Instagrams and daydream about your next vacation. If your crush also has the travel bug, ask them about the places they've been and the places they want to go next.
The story of your dad yelling at Siri killed me. My mom just asked me what "Snapperchat" is.
If family is important to you, you may be drawn to people that like to spend time with their parents and siblings. Making a connection about family is a great way to talk about your shared interests and values.
I'm jealous of your cooking skills, I can't even make toast without burning it!
A little self-deprecative humor can go a long way. No one wants a DM from Eeyore, but pointing out something your crush is good at that you are
not good at can be a cute way to get the conversation started.
Your at-home coffee setup is luxe! Where do you get your beans?
You don't have to be a real barista to know your way around a frother. If you see your crush is into coffee, try asking them about their caffeine routine.
I love T-Mom's! I dream about the honey-sriracha chicken wrap, like, every night. What's your favorite thing there?
If you're a total foodie, you may know all the restaurants that your crush posts about. Try asking them about their favorite places to go and things to eat. You know what they say, the fastest way to someone's heart is through their stomach.
*A topical meme or TikTok*
If you're breaking the ice with a new cutie, you may want to wait a few messages before sending a meme. (Or not! You know you!) But if you and your crush have chatted before, sending them a topical political meme or a clip from a show you know they watch is a great way of saying, "This made me think of you!"
*Send their recent post* OMG, I was just there!
Whether they posted about a trail that you walk your dog on or your favorite Thai place to get takeout from, making a connection with one of their recent posts is a super casual way to start a conversation.
I'm dying to know,
how do you make that green smoothie you always post?
If your crush is always posting about yoga class or shares pics of their dinner every night, they're clearly proud and excited about their wellness routines. Asking them a question or sharing your favorite at-home workouts can be a great way to learn more.
I thought I just saw you in line at CVS and said your name, but it wasn't you!
plenty of people out there who will hit your DMs, but refuse to wave to you in person. Sharing a cute embarrassing story is a sweet way to tell your crush that you were thinking about them. It also establishes from the start that you would, in fact, acknowledge them in person if you were both in line at CVS.
Cox's final words of advice for sending a casual DM is to try your hardest not to overthink it. As long as you're not disrespectful, there's no wrong way to break the ice.
Claudia Cox, relationship coach and founder of Text Weapon