Deciding how to start a conversation with an online dating match can be tricky, but according to a survey by the dating app Hinge, some opening lines are definitely better than others. Unsurprisingly, the results showed that the classic but bland “Hey, what’s up?” wasn’t a successful way to get a potential match to respond. If you’re actually hoping to connect with someone in the online dating world, try one of these lines instead.
“If you were a fruit, you’d be a fineapple.” OK, it doesn’t have to be this exact corny pickup line, but yes, corny pickup lines are a good idea. They show that you don’t take yourself too seriously and they invite the other person to show off their sense of humor as well. Bonus points if you can personalize your punny line using the person’s name or other personal details on their profile — it shows that you’ve paid attention and haven’t been throwing out the same opener to twenty people.
“Aliens: real or nah?” Small talk is boring, right? Diving right into a yes-or-no question that asks about someone’s views on the universe is an easy way to get a conversation (and perhaps even a friendly debate) going. Stay away from anything to do with religion or politics for your opener — unless you have zero interest in speaking to someone who leans differently than you do — and stick with fun topics that will get the gears turning in their brain.
“Your taste in cars is 10/10.” Opening with a compliment is a great way to make someone feel good about themselves, but it has to be done right. Generic comments like “You have pretty eyes” or “Wow, you’re hot” could be applied to anyone, and they’re not going to make you stick out from the crowd. Instead, focus on something unique about the person’s profile and be honest — if you don’t like their flamingo board shorts, don’t lie and say you do unless you want them showing up to your first date wearing them.
“Two truths and a lie. Ready? Go!” The Hinge survey revealed that this was the most popular opening line, with users receiving a 31% increase in responses when they used it. It makes sense: the line is fun and unique, it enables you to get to know more about the person you’re talking to, and it allows the respondent to decide how personal they want to get. Plus, you two can go back and forth for as long as you want until one of you is ready to dive into “normal” conversation.
“Want to grab lunch this week?” This sounds pretty forward, but if you’re messaging a guy, that direct vibe is exactly what you want to go for — a whopping 98% of men were more likely to respond to assertive messages. Men face a lot of societal pressure to always be the one making the first move, so if you’re the one not only sending the first message but also asking them out right from the get-go, you’re going to stand out in the best way possible.
“Waffles or pancakes?” A fact that will surprise no one is that women love talking about food. The Hinge survey reports that women were 40% more likely to respond to messages that brought up food, and asking a “would you rather” question like this is a good way to get someone talking about what they love while keeping things light and fun. And don’t just restrict this line to women, either — talking about food is a great way to pique a man’s interest as well.
“If you were a drink, what would you be?” Leaning on the food concept once again, this opener takes the novelty of time-wasting internet quizzes and puts it into action. Not only will the answer to a question like this arm you with knowledge of what drink to order for your date if you two do go out, but it also lets you see how they view themselves: Are they sweet but powerful, like bottomless mimosas? Are they cool and traditional like a beer? You’ll never know unless you ask.
“What was your favorite thing you did in Guatemala?” Another one that says “Yes, I did read your profile,” this shows that you’re interested in the things your potential date has done in their lifetime. Plus, it’s an open-ended question that can invite more conversation. Travel is something that can really bring two people together, so swapping experiences and asking about each other’s favorite destinations is a good way to keep the conversation flowing.
“What would your ideal vacation be?” Swap out the word “vacation” for whatever else you’d want to know, whether you want to hear about what they enjoy doing on Saturday nights, lazy Sunday mornings, or on a first date. This is another question that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, and if things go well between you two, it can give you ideas to impress them if you happen to be together for whatever situation the question discusses.
“Do you find first messages as awkward as I do?” Sometimes, it’s better to skip the bravado and just be honest. Online dating can be weird, and calling it for what it is might be refreshing to someone who’s getting the same type of messages day after day. Some people can make the over-confident attitude work for them, but if you’re not that type, it’s better to just let your human side show right from the start.
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