It’s a match! Uh… now what?
Tinder and other dating sites make it easy to find and narrow down a pool of potential partners. But, they don’t do the real work though– putting yourself out there. Yeah, sure, you’re there technically, doing the whole swipey thing, but you’re one ignored Tinder chat away from retiring to the missed connections section of Craigslist.
How to talk to girls on Tinder and how to approach dudes on dating sites is still as mystifying as in the real world. If you don’t message first (or reply with appropriate gusto), the number of dates you’ll end up with will remain zero.
Luckily, whether you’re initiating or responding, there are some easy-to-use best practices for Tinder conversations. And these will work for other apps and dating sites, too, so don’t worry if swipe culture isn’t exactly your thing.
But, Like, What to Say on Tinder?
This part isn’t about specifics. Above all, the first step to any conversation is saying something…anything. That’s the only way, and how to start a conversation on Tinder is no different.
You’ve got to overcome hang-ups about yourself or rejection. While you should always aim to be respectful and kind and mix conversation between listening, responding, and sharing, it doesn’t really matter what you say.
People will play games with you; people will ignore you; people will be ruder and less considerate than they might in person. There will be people with whom you cannot click, no matter how much you’d like to. Consider it good luck that you can remove them from your dating pool almost immediately.
This is simply the cost of doing romantic business, so try to prepare yourself and dive in. If you’ve ever said anything to another human being, even just a Tinder first message, you’re basically ahead of the curve.
When to Say It
Whenever works. It’s helpful to align it with when they’re shown as active. But that’s no guarantee that they’ll respond post haste anyway!
You two hardly know anything about each other. While you should be as courteous as possible with replies, rather than obtuse, don’t read into every delay like it’s a purposeful affront. Should conversation flow naturally after initiating it, you two will either fall into a rhythm, or you can straight up ask what days and times they’re free to chat.
And if your Tinder conversation starters aren’t getting responses right away, a follow up after a few days to a week is fine, but not required. Pick your battles.
How to Start a Tinder Conversation
Don’t write checks that can’t be cashed, as the saying goes. Be yourself. Don’t answer Tinder questions vaguely if possible, and don’t set up an opener that obscures your intentions.
Looking for a hookup? Go for the totally flirty line right away. Don’t ask questions as though you’re super interested in the person themselves, just to segue into dirty talk because you want to get to the action. One doesn’t necessarily exclude the other, but it feels like a bait and switch if you aren’t both on the same page at the same time.
If you’re looking to get to know someone, a pre-date screening? Absolutely keep the banter more casual and inquisitive instead. Maybe the date goes really well, and things move fast from there, but ultimately you’re trying to gauge compatibility and interest.
Keep your end goal in mind and craft your Tinder messages around it.
When you can’t think of anything else, simple greetings, such as “How are you?” and the like, seem like a safe bet. They will get you a reply if the recipient is feeling generous, and usually lead to a “What about you?” response. Well, now you’re talking, right? Mission accomplished?
While this has the trappings of a conversation, it’s not really how to start a conversation on Tinder. Tinder conversations will hopefully lead somewhere concrete, making plans or exchanging numbers. Acting like strangers exchanging pleasantries is an easy way for communication to fizzle out quickly, keeping the two of you strangers forever. It can soon put you back to square one if you guys aren’t great at small talk.
Below, we’ll offer a few ideas for simple openers that can be memorable and interesting, too.
By Reviewing the Materials
Check out their profile and all their pictures. Like, really take a look. That’s a standard piece of advice in articles about how to message someone on Tinder.
But everyone is also looking through that same stuff. You should be using it as a guide for what not to mention too heavily, because, come on, everybody has commented on the pet or the locale or insert interesting detail. If you’re really and truly curious, don’t let ubiquity stop you. Just save it for a few messages instead.
How to Message on Tinder Examples
1. Notice how we said how to message and not how to talk on Tinder? One big advantage of dating sites and apps is visual communication! When all else fails, a GIF is worth a thousand words — plus picking an appropriate GIF response is low stakes and pretty fun. That’s a good way to pave the way to a reply.
2. In the same vein, consider sending an underused emoji, an emoji mural, or cute kaomoji. They could work as a mysterious standalone message but otherwise can really spice up your opening line options.
3. Search up Tinder openers on Reddit, and it’s revealed that no advice is universal. Some people absolutely hate the common refrains and are just looking for someone refreshing.
Use your personal point of view to say, “You reminded me of this song I like” (then go in with the cute, flirty, funny YouTube link) or, “Your picture with the [blank] looks so much like this one!” (then hit them with a meme or a picture that actually has some resemblance, or whatever it is you’re going for).
No one can replicate what you’ll come up with, and the line is simple while feeling personal.
4. Instead of “Hey gorgeous, how are you? Having a good day?” try something equally open-ended and inoffensive, but based around a specific premise.
“The guy in front of me at Starbucks ordered quadruple espresso shots, so I really hope your day’s going better than his so far.”
It will land better if you can find something true to riff on, as you’ll be able to handle a follow-up question without being caught in a lie, but it doesn’t have to be something recent. If it also implies a small personal detail (you like coffee or tea), you can pursue that line of conversation as well.
“Are you pro- or anti- Starbucks, yourself?” “What’s your ideal breakfast? Mine is black coffee, a carb, and some fruit.”
5. Sometimes the best way to hurdle a barrier is to…knock it down. Launch right into a conversation like you’re regular chat buddies, and see if they bite. Best to tailor these to mutual topics of interest if you know what they are. Don’t attempt to talk video games with a hiking enthusiast who hates sitting around inside.
“Have you seen all this pope content going on lately? There’s the HBO one, and Netflix, and Apple…The last two are like the same show.”
When you give it a real effort, there are as many interesting ways to start a conversation as there are interesting people to talk to. But even with our best efforts, not every Tinder conversation starter is a winner.
The biggest takeaway, apart from these killer potential intros, should be: don’t waste your time or anyone else’s. Speak with intent, be honest about who you are and what you want, and treat people like the real individual humans that they are.
If you still don’t get a response after a couple of messages, or the conversation won’t really get rolling, let it go. Someone else is out there waiting for you to say, “Do you want to see the sushi roll I got that looks like a Shiba Inu?” They’re going to say, “Absolutely. I have a picture of one that looks like a poodle.”