You got a match on Tinder. Great.
But now you have to start a conversation with your Tinder match & turn it into a Tinder date or perhaps a Tinder hookup.
And if you say the wrong thing, chances are, no one will reply.
So how to start a conversation on Tinder successfully?
In this article, you'll get a list of Tinder conversation starters that work and also that don't work, so you can start the conversation on Tinder in the best way possible.
Should a Man or Woman Start the Conversation?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter. As a woman, I sometimes wait for a guy to start the conversation, simply to judge how interested he is. I also know that some men (not all), like to take charge (or at least feel like they do), so I wait. If I really like the guy’s profile and don’t hear from him, I write something.
As humans, we’re often lazy. What’s more, we’re busy. That also means it ends up in the bottom of a pile to send someone you don’t know a message. So if you like someone’s profile, shoot them a message!
10 Tips to Start a Conversation on Tinder
1. Never Start the Conversation With “Hi.”
“Hello!” seems like the most obvious & laziest conversation starter. It’s also completely impersonal and, if you get a lot of messages, terribly boring.
Sometimes I don’t reply to such first Tinder message simply because I find them so boring.
It’s also a sign that the other person either didn’t care to write something more (i.e. couldn’t be bothered), or doesn’t have the imagination to think of something better to say.
“Hi, how are you?” is right up there with “hello” in the boring department.
You can either reply you’re fine, or that you’re not, or give a long evaluation of how you’re feeling, which you won’t to a stranger.
You want to start a conversation. “How are you?” is a dead end one, where the other person will reply “fine,” and that was that.
2. Be Strategic With Compliments
As a woman I’ve had plenty of “Hello sexy!” or “Hey, you’re hot!” or “Hey cutie!”
I rarely ever reply to those messages. If the guy doesn’t have a profile that would make me run a mile just to meet him, I simply don’t reply. Why?
Because the guy is just focusing on the physical, which is a turn off. What’s more, it’s too much, too soon. I don’t know this person. Yet, he’s talking about how hot, or how cute I am.
Besides, do you think the good looking people have heard they’re good looking before?
So maybe they’re looking for something new.
On Tinder, we have this fabulous opportunity to meet so many people. The thing is, they have the same opportunity. That means there’s competition. This is why a good first message is important. You need to stand out.
3. Find Commonalities
A really easy and best way to get other person's attention is to find something you have in common.
“Hey X, I see you visited Greece! I love Greece! So many memories of sunsets by the sea.”
Instantly you have pointed out that you have something in common and you’ve given the other person something to talk about. It’s a Tinder opener that can go places.
“I see one of your photos is on a boat. I grew up sailing…I love the ocean! So tell me, are you a real sailor? Or do you usually fall off the boat at the first sign of a wave? 😉”
Again, you’re pointing out something you have in common, but there’s also a bit of a challenge asking them if they’re a real sailor. The challenging part may work better on men, than women.
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4. Send a GIF
Based on research, sending a GIF on Tinder is 30% more likely to get you a response, and your conversation will last twice as long.
GIFs can be a bit hit or miss because you sort of need to figure out what they think is funny. But as they can be funny, it breaks the ice.
Send a funny GIF of a dog doing a dance saying: “This is my way of saying hello, but I promise, I much better behave in real life.”
Preferably say something about the GIF, don’t just send it. Remember you’re initiating a conversation. Also, they don't read minds — they won't know your intention with the GIF unless it’s a blatantly obvious one.
What you don’t want is the red roses, hearts, etc. GIFs. That’s just creepy. Refer back to calling someone hot: you don’t know them yet. Too much, too soon.
5. Read Their Tinder Profile
Now, there might not be something obvious you have in common by looking at their profile. In that case, just find something else to comment on.
“That’s a lovely shot of you by the beach. That place looks epic! Whereabouts is it? :)”
You can also be a bit cheeky.
“I see you like ice cream. So tell me, are you the kind of person that shares your ice cream? ;)”
Or you can keep it simple.
“Love of nerdy films. Tell me more!” (I.e. they mentioned a love of nerdy movies in their profile. Anything they mentioned that you want to find out about, you can just say:
“I see you’re eating ice cream in one of your shots — so tell me, what’s your favorite flavor? ;)”
When they reply with something you can either say: “I knew you’d be a strawberry girl!” Or “Oh no, I had my bet on chocolate!
I’ll remember the strawberry for when we go on a date though 😉 Any fav ice cream place in town?”
That Tinder convo can easily lead onto going to a Tinder date at an ice cream place.
Inside Scoop: How to ask a Girl out on Tinder.
6. Ask a Question
If you can’t find anything in their profile to talk about? Start the Tinder convo with a question.
“So, tell me, are you the kind of girl I’d be going to the movies with, or bungee jumping? :)”
“Two truths and a lie…ready, set, go!”
“Tell me…if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?”
“Tell me…on a Sunday, is it cuddles in bed, or out and about exploring the city?”
Basically, you could ask about anything from their favorite Netflix show to binge watch to their dream travel destination, but keep it interesting, or relatable.
Inside Scoop: Questions to Ask Your Tinder Match
7. Send a Funny Opener
There’s nothing wrong with joking about, or being a bit cheesy. You know how Tinder shows you those messages when you match with someone? You can always spin off one of those with some jokes related to it. Sending a funny opener is a great Tinder Ice-breaker if done nicely.
“Tinder tells me I should send you a message. Something about them not being able to do the talking for me. What a lazy app! ;)”
“Tinder says we’ve been matched for 24 hours and I haven’t even said hello yet! Apologies for my appalling manners. Hey, I’m X!”
You show you care. You show you have manners. And if you have a man, seriously, that’s sexy. Being a gentleman definitively earns you points!
Inside Scoop: Funniest Tinder Pickup Lines
8. The Short Tinder Opener (Under-utilized!)
If they use their name in their profile, you can just say “X!”
Why would this work?
It’s short, it’s commanding and it’s personal — you used their name. For some reason, it works twenty times better than just the impersonal “hello.”
Inside Scoop: Best Tinder Openers For Guys
9. Proper Grammar & Spelling
People’s first assumption if you write poorly, it is not that you have dyslexia, but that you don’t care enough to write a proper message. Some people simply don’t reply.
Secondly, use their name, where possible. It’s so much more personal and creates an immediate connection.
Thirdly, it's better to send a message in the evening, as most people aren’t at work. For natural reasons, it’s easier to forget to reply to a Tinder message when you’re busy working.
Lastly, and very importantly: read their profile. I just got a message from someone asking a question that could have been answered if they read my profile. Immediately, my interest in them diminishes.
If he doesn’t care enough to read my profile, is he worth my time?
- What kind of guy is he?
- One who only looks at pictures?
- Only cares about the superficial?
Also, knowing someone’s read my profile, means I know he knows what I’m looking for. Or rather: not looking for.
I don’t want hook-ups right now, so if he reads that part, I know I won’t be talking with someone for a day and then get a “let’s meet and have sex,” message.
Even if people are looking for hook-ups, they want to hook-up with people who are fun, caring, etc. They’re looking for a good time. So show you can provide it.
10. Send a Follow-up When They Ignore
I’ve had people unmatch me on Tinder because I didn’t reply to a message within 24 hours. So, maybe according to some dating guru that means I’m not that into them.
Or it means I’m raising kids and I’m f#cking busy. Excuse the French.
The truth is, sometimes we use Tinder at times when really, we know we don’t have time to see someone. We still want to meet someone and opening Tinder is a lot faster than rallying your friends and going to a bar, or just, in general, trying to be social.
If you wrote a witty message, you can do a follow up on that message.
“So, tell me, are you the kind of girl I’d be going to the movies with, or bungee jumping? :)”
“Not into either? How about long chats over wine, or mixology cocktails at the hottest club in town?”
It could be that you weren’t their “first choice” and they ended up meeting up with someone else the week before, or chatting to them more. However, many people who aren’t someone’s first choice, end up winning the game once the other person realizes there’s chemistry.
It could also be that there was a death in the family. You don’t need to unmatch them after a magic number of days. If they don’t reply after a second message, just leave them alone. If you happen to scroll through your matches a month later, you can unmatch them.
On the other hand, if people keep being flaky after you’ve talked to them for a while and they don’t give you a reason, such as telling you they’re really busy right now, then they’re probably really flaky, or not that into you.
The best way to start a convo on Tinder or other dating apps is to write something engaging. If you find something in their photos, or in their bio, to write about, then do. It shows you took the time to look properly and connected with something in their profile. If they have no bio and really boring photos, or rather, photos that simply don’t show anything much you can comment on, then say something general like: “One lie and two truths…ready, set, go!” It will lead to a good Tinder conversation.