How to start a conversation on a dating app? The obvious answer is by saying hello to someone. However, “hello” isn’t going to get you very far. You need something a bit more scintillating to get a good conversation going.
See below for some great dating app conversation starters.
Why Hello Isn’t a Good Idea
Before you ask: “Hello” isn’t good enough. Not if the other person is on the fence. They swiped right, but they may have matched with ten other people that day. Ten other people whose profiles were more interesting and photos were hotter. Or there was just more to go on, on their profile. If you only have two photos and no bio, the person who swiped right might not be fully convinced you’re worth their time yet (please, have more than two photos and add a bio!).
If you say just “hello” you appear a) less invested than someone who says something interesting b) less interesting than someone who says something interesting.
People using dating apps are generally flaky because there’s a lot of fish in the sea—they’re likely talking to several people at once and still swiping for more matches. What’s more, they haven’t met you yet. There is no real-life bond. They’re taking a chance on a profile. Therefore, the more fun/interesting you appear, the more likely they are to put in the effort to chat with you and meet up with you.
Don’t know what to say? Send a GIF. A funny and suitable GIF. Not just a GIF that communicates that your match is hot, but a GIF that makes your match smile. An ice-breaker.
If you insist on sending a GIF that alerts your match to their hotness, then choose one that’s also funny. Women especially are used to being told they’re good looking, or hot, and they want more than that. They want to feel like they’re more than just their looks and want to know you speak with them because of more than their looks.
Spin Off the Bio
If the person you just matched with has a bio, spin off it. Ask a question about something they said.
“You say you’re a great cook. What must I do to get a top-secret and very yummy recipe from you?”
“I see you did Harvard. I was at Yale. So I have to tell you this up front: Yale is better. Just so we have that out of the way. Now, for that sunny smile of yours in the shot in NYC—what made you smile so bright that day?”
“You say you love traveling—what are your three favorite hot spots?”
Ask About the Photos
This is same as the bio, but you might have to play a bit more detective to notice something in the photos that you can ask about.
“The elephant photo…let’ me guess…South Africa?”
“I see you enjoying chips in one photo. So from one chip lover to another: what’s the best chips you’ve ever had?”
Two Truths and a Lie
Two truths and a lie is a simple and fun way of getting to know (the crazier sides of) someone. It can be used to break the ice when chatting and often brings about a giggle. People tend to look for the craziest and most impressive things they’ve ever done. [Read: Tinder Pickup Lines]
“We’re a match!! So, let’s speed up this getting to know each other business so we can go for a coffee. Wanna play two truths and a lie?”
“Thanks for the match! Two truths and a lie: I swam with sharks, I had Jared Leto playing in my living room, I’m a certified pilot. Your turn. Impress me.”
Compliments are great way to start a conversation on a dating app (like tinder or bumble) as they make a person feel appreciated and, as a result, they’re more likely to open up to you. However, there are some rules for compliments.
First of all, they have to be genuine.
Secondly, they can’t be all about the sex. Meaning you can’t just go on and on about how hot someone is. They’ll think you’re just after one thing. So unless it’s a hookup app where you’re both after one thing, don’t go all in for complimenting someone on how sexy they are—you can build up to that.
Nor should you go on and on about how good looking someone is. Yes, it’s nice to compliment them on their looks. However, if they’re good looking, everyone else has already complimented them on that and, chances are, they’d like to be appreciated for more than their looks. You can include their looks, but don’t stop there.
Lastly, try to be innovative. You love their smile. That’s cute, but it’s also a very general compliment. If, on the other hand, you say something like, “I love your smile in the photo taken in San Francisco. You look so happy in that shot!” you indicate you’ve put in an effort. You really looked at the photos. What’s more, you care not just about their smile, but their happiness.
Other compliments in the same vein would be saying someone looks nice in a specific outfit in one photo, or that they seem beautiful inside and out. Or that they are intriguing and have a pretty smile. Try to bring together looks and personality somehow and if you know to little to compliment the personality, at the very least be specific. [Read: Tinder Conversation Starters]
Another approach is saying it as it is. “Hey, I’m so happy we matched. Nice to Tinder meet you. Loving your profile.”
From there, of course, you need to start asking interesting questions.
Asking if your match is up for a game of ten questions is an easy way to get a conversation going.
“Hey, nice to match! :) Up for a game of ten questions to get to know each other? I’ll answer truthfully if you do…”
As for the questions, here are some potential ones:
- Have you ever lived in another city/country? If so, where?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- What’s one place you really want to visit?
- What’s one experience you really want to have before you die?
- Do you have any role models? If so, who?
- What’s a superpower you’d love to have?
- If you had three wishes that could be granted, what would they be?
- What’s the best gift you ever got from someone?
- Who, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party for ten?
- Have you ever considered moving to another city/country? If so, where?
- What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?
- What’s your dream career goal?
- Who did you have a celebrity crush on in your teens?
- What’s your favorite song lyrics? (Or three, if you can’t choose one!)
- What artist would you like a private concert from?
- Do you do anything arty/creative?
- Are you into some outdoor sports?
- What’s one thing that frightens you?
- What’s one thing that makes you feel safe?
- What’s one thing you want to learn, but haven’t?
- What’s your favorite love story (in a book or movie)?
- Do you have a favorite restaurant? If not, a favorite dish?
You will want to ramp up the intimacy of the questions—start with something a bit more general/fun and heat things up from there.
The Do Nots
Starting a conversation with a stranger can be as easy as walking up to someone in a bar and saying hello. As mentioned, though, a mere “hello” on a dating app isn’t going to get the conversation rolling. And, truth be told, you need more than a “hello” in a bar, too. At least if you want an interesting conversation. [Read: How to Talk to Girls Online]
Apart from avoiding just saying “hello” also avoid clichés such as “How was your day?” and “How are you?” Both of these options are likely to lead to one word answers.
If you want to ask them about their day, get innovative. “Hello, nice to match with you! How was your day? Just another day at the office (if you work in one), or a did you have any interesting adventures? Happy moments?” Or, “Hello new match! :) Did anything make you smile today?”
“Hey, how are you? Feeling ready to roll for the week ahead, or already in need of a double shot latte and an even larger glass of wine? ;)”
Another cliché to avoid is the pickup line. By that we mean the kind of pickup line you find on a list on the internet. Such as, “Your father must have been a thief, because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes.” Not only could the person’s father turn out to be someone they’ve never met, they will also feel like you’ve got no imagination. Why use a pickup line from a list when you could make one up yourself?
Sure, GIFs are also picked from a list if you so like, but they are often fun and innovative. Pickup lines are things we’ve all heard before.