If you’re no stranger to online dating, you know opening lines aren’t easy. You don’t have the advantage of body language, tone of voice, or your own attractiveness to help break the ice. So what do you do? The answer is you need a solid pick up line as an icebreaker for online dating.
You’ve probably seen a few great Tinder openers like this one, and you know they aren’t going to get a response… or at least not a good one.
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In this guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know to avoid dead-end lines like this one. You’ll learn:
- What you need to include to get a response
- What NOT to say if you want to get an answer back
- A list of some of the best online dating opening lines
So, if you want some advice on becoming a suave online dating pick-up line expert, read on!
What to include when you initiate a dating app conversation
1. Give them something they have to respond to.
If you want to get an answer to your message, you have to say something that in the least, merits a response. Simply saying “Hey” or “What’s up?” isn’t good enough, and will get a response far less frequently than almost anything else. One of the best approaches to take is to ask a question that requires the other person to reveal something personal.
Not just any question is suitable though. Asking someone their favorite color isn’t any more likely to get a response than “What’s up?” On the other hand, asking them about something related to any interest they might have talked about in their profile is likely to get an answer. It’s also always nice if you can come up with a clever way to ask the question that will actually pique their interest.
2. Make it personal, so you can learn something about them.
As we just mentioned, you have access to the other person’s profile and pictures before you message them, so take advantage of whatever you may know about them! If they mention favorite movies, talk about those. If you see them playing basketball in their profile picture, strike up a conversation about your favorite players or teams.
3. If you ask a question, make sure you have an interesting answer to it yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may reveal something personal about you as well. Getting just one response might not be enough, so you should bring up a topic you’re comfortable talking about. For example, try bringing up a subject that you have an interesting anecdote about.
Conversely, don’t ask about baseball if you’ve never seen a game! The person you’re trying to talk to probably won’t want to keep up the conversation if it becomes clear that you aren’t knowledgeable or have nothing compelling to say about their interests.
4. Make it unique, and try to be clever.
Think about all the messages you’ve ever seen or received. Did any of them really stand out to you? Remember that you’re talking to a real person who, if they’re familiar with online dating, probably isn’t expecting that much from you. If you can think of something clever to say, the person may be more likely to respond. In fact, some people will even respond to a person simply because they came up with a clever line.
A funny joke or something light-hearted is much easier to respond to than something overly serious or personal. Keep it light, and be as clever as you can when focusing on their interests.
5. Make your intentions clear off the bat.
You know what you’re looking for from a message, so be direct about that. If you’re looking for a casual relationship, it’s okay to say that. It’s better to be honest and make sure the other person knows where you stand from the start. You can still be clever and cute while keeping things straight, though… and the recipient of your message will likely appreciate your honesty and answer you.
What not to say if you want to get a date
Avoid these cliché, unoriginal, and sometimes creepy messages that often lead to no responses:
- “Hey, what’s up?” – This line is bad because it’s very overused and impersonal. You’re not asking something specific about your possible match, and you’re not revealing anything personal about yourself to them. In short, they likely won’t respond to this line because you’re not giving them much to respond to. You might as well be the person who delivers a pizza to their house.
- Something offensive – This is a big no-no. If you send a message that’s offensive, overly graphic, or rude in any way, you’re almost certain to get no response. In the rare event that you do get a response, it’s likely not going to be a very good one.
- An overly-forward message – While we mentioned that it’s good to make your intentions clear right away when dating online, don’t go overboard. If you cut right to the chase, you’ll likely give the impression that you don’t care to get to know the other person. Always try to indicate your genuine interest.
- The same message, to every potential date – The Internet, and social media in particular, make it easy for people to spread awareness of bad online dating pick-up lines… and who uses them. You wouldn’t want people to find out you sent the exact same message to everyone on eHarmony.com.
- “Great smile” – This line is a total cliché, just like “Hey, what’s up?” It doesn’t bring up anything specific about you or the other person. Avoid using it.
- Going too far, too fast – Don’t tell the other person you can’t wait to get married or have children with them! You’re still a stranger to them, and trying to move too far in the relationship too quickly will almost always scare them off.
- You want to do something to them/with them – They don’t even know you! You may think you’re being nice, funny, or clever by saying something like this, but more often than not, it comes off as creepy. Again, remember that the other person barely knows you, and a message like this can be taken as being overly forward.
Best dating app opening lines
Try these out to see if you can get a response. They’re cute, clever, and hard to ignore.
- Breakfast preference: pancakes, cereal, mimosas, or sleeping in until lunch?
Why it will work: Giving someone a small list of options to choose from to answer a question takes the pressure off them to come up with something on the spot. It also lets them tell you a bit about the kind of person they are.
- Two truths and a lie – go!
Why it will work: This is an easy way to get the other person to tell you literally anything about themselves. Any random two facts that come to mind and a fun little fib can lead to a great conversation.
- What’s the best way to spend a Sunday?
Why it will work: You’re giving them an opportunity to discuss something light, but also tell you a little bit about themselves. And no matter how they answer, you’ll be able to comment on how they like to spend their time.
- I saw in your profile picture that you play [any sport]. Who’s your favorite professional player?
Why it will work: You’re taking a genuine interest in an activity you know they like, and starting up a conversation that you can hopefully comment on further.
- If you had to choose one of these lame superpowers, what would it be: change your appearance at will – but only into a frog; sing, dance, or create any kind of art flawlessly – but you’re perpetually shy; or fly – but you can only ever get four feet off the ground?
Why it will work: You’re giving them a choice to reveal something interesting about themselves, and they’ll probably just be intrigued to hear how someone else would answer that question.
We hope that this guide helps you get on track with your online dating game. Remember to always be yourself, and to keep safe while dating online. If you need any more help, be sure to check out our step-by-step tutorials and courses for dating apps and sites like OkCupid, eHarmony, or Zoosk.