There are a lot of elements to online dating, and each one can make or break your experience. Do you have a great time on dating apps and get more dates than you could dream of? Or is it all crickets, leaving you wondering what went wrong?
To get from dating apps to a first date, there are a few things you need to get right:
But getting matches on Tinder is only half the battle! If the point of online dating is actually going on dates, you need to master the art of the first Tinder message.
We know breaking the ice can feel scary, that's why this article is loaded with first Tinder message examples that can get your creative juices flowing. And hey, if you're really feeling overwhelmed, you can even copy and paste our first Tinder message examples with just a few changes to make them your own.
Read on for all of our best tips, or jump to the section you need help with right now.
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First messages are the real first impression on Tinder.
Sure, she's already seen your Tinder profile, but that just gets your foot in the door. It's what you say when you start a Tinder conversation that decides whether she'll respond, or whether the match is dead on arrival.
That's why a quality opener is so important. Remember, just looking at her list of messages will already give her an idea of what to expect. Are you going to be another guy using a boring line, or are you showing her something different?
There's an art to starting conversations, and we're going to break it all down for you — from the elements of a good message to actual examples of ways to start conversations. Read on to see it all...
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So, what are you waiting for to take charge of your dating life?
Your opening message needs to do a few things:
First, it needs to grab her attention — you need to make her smile, make her laugh, or make her curious. You need to do something that makes you stand out from the crowd so she actually reads what you've said.
Second, you need to inspire a reply. A conversation takes two, and that means that what you say needs to inspire an answer.
How do you do those things? We'll break it down for you...
I can't believe we still have to say this, but "Hey," is not a good first message.
And no, "Hey, baby," isn't any better.
Sending a one or two-word message is worse than not sending a message at all.
At least if haven't started a conversation at all there's a chance she'll send the first message, or that you can send a good message later. But once you've sent a lazy first message, there's no going back.
Let's be real — if you don't have anything to say to her, why did you swipe right? Even if you're just looking for a hookup you should aim to match with people you've got something in common with. Hookups involve conversation too!
It might sound obvious, but your message needs to be unique to the person you're sending it to. No matter how proud you are of the joke or pick-up line you've come up with, if the message isn't customized, it's likely to fall flat.
Girls get enough messages on Tinder to know copy-and-paste when they see it. So while it's not necessarily a bad thing to take inspiration from somewhere, or even to reuse an especially good line, part of the message needs to be unique.
Does her bio talk about her terrier rescue pup? Then your message can mention that you love dogs and that hers looks super cute.
Does she have a hiking photo on her profile? Tell her that you love hiking too, and mention your favorite spot in the area.
It shouldn't be too hard to find something from her profile to comment on — after all, you swiped for a reason. (And if the only reason you swiped is that you think she's hot? Try a flirty compliment that mentions one of her features.)
Your first message is only going to be a few sentences long, at most, so there's no excuse to mess it up. Make sure you've got spell-check running on your phone or better yet, use a free online service like Grammarly.
That way you can also make sure you're not mixing up their, there, and they're — or making any other cringe-worthy mistakes that can ruin a good first impression.
Don't get ahead of yourself! Starting out with Tinder messages that jump right to explicit content are likely to get you blocked or even reported.
Even if both of your profiles are full of thirst-traps and make it clear that a hookup is the goal, you still need to ask before diving into dirty talk (and certainly before sending photos.)
You want to start a conversation — that means you need to make it easy for her to answer your message. If you make her work too hard, she might decide to save a reply for later... which means she's likely to forget.
Girls tend to get a lot of messages on Tinder so not only do you need to stand out from the crowd, but you need to be easy to talk to. The examples below will explain what that means and how to do it...
Now you've got an idea of what first messages should and shouldn't include, but what do you actually say?
For starters, consider playing games, asking questions, and showing off your sense of humor. Here's how...
A classic for a reason, this game might as well have been made for Tinder.
It's short and sweet, it gives you an opportunity to share more about yourself, it's a chance to show how clever you are, AND it prompts an easy answer — all in one simple format that's endlessly customizable.
Ideas for what to include:
Here's an example,
"Two truths and a lie...
I got thrown out of pre-school for being a bad influence...
I ended up on the evening news thanks to a practical joke gone too far...
I had a brief career as a model when I was a baby..."
The idea is to hint that there's a story behind each tease, so whatever she chooses you can follow up with more information.
And don't forget to ask her to take a turn next! People love a chance to talk about themselves or to show off.
There are a number of ways to make this classic opener your own. If you're not familiar with the pickup line, it goes like this,
"I'm here now, what are your other two wishes?"
If you think you can pull off this kind of ego, feel free to give it a try. But consider the other ways you can use this format to your advantage. For example,
"Help! I just found a genie. First wish, obviously, unlimited ice cream. What should my other two wishes be?"
Use this format as an opportunity to bring things you have in common into the conversation.
Everything they say about our attention spans is true — and text without images gets boring quickly.
Even a one-line Tinder message can be made a lot more successful by adding a GIF.
GIFs really are a secret weapon — because they do so much of the work for you. And if you're anxious about what to say, this could be the strategy for you.
An animal waving hello? A visual pun? A reference to a favorite show or movie? The possibilities are endless.
People love to talk about themselves! There's a reason those online quizzes are so popular on Facebook. It's all about you — and you don't have to think too hard.
That's where the multiple-choice question comes in.
Sure, you could just ask, "What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?" That's still a lot better than, "Hey." But as opening lines go, it's still missing a little something.
Just asking a question out of the blue, and without context, can feel like an interrogation or a job interview.
But a multiple-choice question is a bit more playful.
The options get her thinking, they make answering easier, and the options you provide give a clue to your own personality, too.
"Best flavor of ice cream: dark chocolate, mint chip, or daiquiri ice?"
Throwing in a WTF option should get you a smile, and will likely make her want to learn more.
You can also turn this format on it's head by saying,
"What's the best flavor of ice cream and why is it bubble gum?"
Answering your own question turns her expectations on their head and doing something surprising helps you stand out from the crowd.
If you can use your opener to set yourself up to ask her out, all the better. Try something like,
"I'm new in town, what restaurant has the best guacamole?"
When she answers you can say, "That sounds great! Let's meet there."
Nine times out of ten she'll be impressed with how smooth you are and just like that, you've got a date. At the very least, you've started an exchange.
If you love a classic one-liner or dad joke, this is the strategy for you.
The twist is making sure the classics get a bit of an update if needed. (While some classics just need to stay retired.)
Avoid anything that's crude or offensive. Something that's cringe-worthy in a dad-joke way can work though, if it's clear you're both in on the joke.
Because you'll be communicating by text, try using the format to your advantage by using pickup lines that require the visual. For example,
"_____________________ <- That's my best pick-up line."
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Making sure your dating profiles are on point is just the beginning. If you actually want to start dating your perfect match, you need to master the art of conversation.
Remember that to start a conversation takes more than a funny pick up line, as few women fall for that these days.
Instead, you need to put in some effort and show that you've read the other person's profile and that you're making a real effort to connect, all while keeping things light and fun.
While it might seem like a lot to manage at first, the best Tinder messages actually come easy when you follow the tips we've spelled out for you here.
So don't leave your matches wanting to hear from you, dive in with our guidance and start taking these connections into real life.
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Ben is one of the best Tinder Experts I've ever met and one of the few that cracked the algorithm of Tinder. Every week, Ben is publishing new articles on ROAST, helping 1M+ of people to get more matches, dates, and find the one!