In the real world, going up to someone cute, saying “Hi” and introducing yourself can be really effective. But Tinder is another sort of world. When every other person has tons of matches and messages to go through, you’ll need to stand out if you want to see any success. Fortunately, a good opener can make all the difference.
According to dating coach Connell Barrett, the best Tinder openers have four key components. They’re personalized, the right length (two to three sentences is the sweet spot), playful but not sexual, and of course, never boring.
“Openers like ‘Hey! What’s up? How’s your day?’ work in real life, because it takes courage to approach someone,” Barrett says. “But on Tinder, too many openers are dull versions of hello, so the other person may not reply. They’re looking to smile, laugh, or flirt, not answer clichéd questions.”
So if you’re looking for an effective way to start a conversation with your Tinder match, here are some strategies you may want to try.
Ask personalized questions.
“Asking someone a question shows interest and invites engagement,” David Bennett, certified counselor and dating coach, says. It’s also as close to a real life opener as you can get without being too boring. All you have to do is find something in their bio or photos to comment on. For instance, if they have a dog, you can ask,“What’s your dog’s name?” It’s simple, yet effective. The key here is to not overthink it. As long as your question is personalized and not personal, you should be fine.
Ask a “Would you rather…”
Opening with a “Would you rather” question can be fun and unique, especially if it’s based on something that stands out in the other person’s profile. For instance, if they’re into traveling you can open with, “Hey! I see you love getting new stamps in your passport. Would you rather go to Paris or Rome?”
“‘Would you rather’ questions are effective because they’re easy and fun to answer, and they invite a reply,” Barrett says. “They get the conversation started, making it easier to ask the other person out.”
Puns are typically incredibly cheesy. But that’s the kind of thing that makes for a great Tinder opener. “They’re fun, silly, and the more groan-worthy, the better,” Barrett says. “The best pun openers use the other person’s first name, and are intentionally cheesy.”
Sophie: “I think your name is missing an N, because you’re Sophine you blow my mind.”
Noelle: “Wanna ‘cudde’ and watch Netflix? It’s like cuddling but with Noelle.”
Holly: “We matched. I think I’ve found the Holly Grail of Tinder.”
These are no doubt, super groan-worthy. But they’re also pretty clever and start the conversation off on a light and flirty note. If you’re not exactly a master of puns, there are a lot of different pun generators online that can help you out.
“Emojis help convey emotion in a way that words alone don’t,” Bennett says. “Adding a smiley face or other emojis can create an extra layer of feeling which makes a response more likely.”
The only thing to keep in mind here is to be smart with your emoji use. Remember, it’s all about being playful and not sexual. You also want to avoid anything that can seem “too much” like a heart. As Bennett says, smileys are your best bet because they’re simple and non-threatening.
Have a go-to opener ready.
You should try to avoid using copy-and-paste openers at all costs. More often than not, people can tell when you’re using the same line on everyone else. However it doesn’t hurt to have one ready, especially if the other person’s profile doesn’t have a lot of things you can easily work with.
According to Barrett, a good copy-and-paste opener should be playful, flirtatious, and silly. An effective one will also make it feel like you took the time to go through their profile. For example, “Wow! We matched. So, how does this Tinder thing work? Are we, like engaged now?”
You should definitely try other strategies before this one. But if you choose the right opener, it’s still a step up from, “Hey, what’s going on?”
Keep in mind, everyone’s different. A punny opener may work for one, but not another. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your opener, it just means that it didn’t work for that one particular person. The important thing here is to keep going. If you put in the effort to come up with anything other than a “hey,” you’re sure to find success.