Tinder is fun, no doubt, but it’s not without its frustrations. If you’re tired of sending message after message to potential dates with no response, then it’s time to up your dating app game.
Online dating has changed, for better or for worse. Gone are the days when you could send a generic message out to a dozen different people and expect nearly the same number of responses. Nowadays, everyone is dating online, so the competition is fierce. You have to be creative to stand out from the crowd of potential suitors.
You might not always have the time or energy to sit around and think up the perfect quip, though. That’s why we’re here to help you out with some proven strategies.
Here are 15 Tinder icebreakers you need to try now if you want a date tonight (or ever).
1. Be original.
This might be the best tip on the list right out of the gate. For the sake of Pete, say something—anything!—original. Skip the “Hi beautiful” or “wassup” standbys, and use a line your match has never heard before.
It can be a fun piece of trivia, a detail about your day, or a curiosity you had while pumping gas this morning. It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s not the same old spiel she’s heard every night this week.
2. Use a GIF.
According to Tinder data, using a GIF or an emoji in your correspondence will make the other person 30 percent more likely to respond. GIFs are fun and light, which is exactly the tone you’re going for when you message someone on Tinder.
Get too heavy too soon and you’ll be blocked before you know it. Instead, choose a cute GIF along with an original comment, and you’ll be much more likely to get a response. For example, send a GIF of someone’s jaw hanging open with the caption: “Me when I saw your profile.”
3. Use a bitmoji.
Bitmojis—or cartoon versions of yourself—provide a fun, non-threatening way for you to introduce yourself online. They’re silly, yes, but they can be just what you need to lighten the mood and get the response you’re looking for. It’s a bit like poking fun at yourself and will quickly put your match at ease.
4. Try a profile quote.
We know you swiped right because of her profile picture, not her bio, but she doesn’t have to know that. Take the time to read the words she wrote, and you’ll stand out in her inbox, trust me! You can even use a quote—just make sure to add your own original comment or question to the mix.
5. Wet the appetite.
Healthy, beautiful people are hungry, and often. It’s something we all have in common, so use it to your advantage. Ask about her favorite food, or tell her yours. Even better, tell her about the meal you’re cooking up tonight. Maybe you can wet the appetite for something even more than lunch the next day—just sayin’.
6. Be relatable.
Everyone puts their best foot forward on dating apps, so to stand out, you may just have to do the opposite. Instead of bragging about your fancy new car or your executive office job (yawn), try admitting a fault for once.
This can help you come off as genuine and relatable. Don’t confess anything terrible, of course, just something small like “Why must I always spill coffee on my tie?” Get it?
7. Offer an unpopular opinion.
Few people can resist a good debate. Offering up an unpopular opinion like “Sorry, but the movie is always better than the book” may just hit a nerve and trigger a response.
Beware: This technique will only work for lighter topics; stay away from politics or controversial social issues unless you want to get the boot before things even get rolling.
8. Elicit sympathy.
It may seem a bit desperate, but a good old-fashioned tug on the heartstrings may just work in your favor on Tinder. Don’t get dramatic, of course, but share something slightly crappy that happened to you recently (i.e. “I was stuck in traffic for two hours this afternoon” or “I stepped in gum today”), and you’ll likely get a sympathetic response—hey, it’s better than nothing.
9. Tell a joke.
A sense of humor is attractive, so show yours off. Try a “knock-knock” joke, which requires your match’s participation. It may just be tempting enough to get a response. Just be sure you’re prepared with a good punchline! Don’t worry if it’s cheesy as long as it brings a smile.
10. Send a specific compliment.
Commenting on someone’s looks is a little tired, but if you can’t resist the temptation, at least comment on something specific. Skip the vague “You’re gorgeous” line, and say something genuine like “I’ve never seen eyes that color before” or “I love your curly hair!” Flattery does work sometimes, but only if it’s believable.
11. Ask a thought-provoking question.
If you can get your match thinking, then you’ve won half the battle. And don’t worry, thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean complicated. Ask something simple like “night on the town or relaxed bed and breakfast getaway?” to get the conversation going. Be sure to follow up with your own thoughtful response, too.
12. Play a game.
When it comes to dating, most people will tell you they don’t want to play games. But when it comes to fun distractions like “Truth or Dare” or “Never Have I Ever,” you’ll find that few Tinder users are able to resist.
As a bonus, the latter game is a great way to get to know someone new, and it’s sure to have you both laughing. “Truth or Dare” can spark more serious convos, too, so proceed with caution.
13. “What are you reading?”
People are tired of having their egos stroked because of their looks alone. Appeal to his or her intellectual side by showing some interest in the stuff between the ears. Ask about a favorite book or best subject in school. In doing so, you’ll sound smarter too!
14. Ask about their playlist.
Music is a powerful force for bringing people together, and if you can connect over a tune, you can form a quick bond. Ask about what your match is currently listening to, or send a favorite song and ask for feedback. This is a great segue to asking your match out to a concert or drinks with live music if the conversation goes well.
15. Just tell the truth.
If you really like someone, it’s going to show—as long as you’re genuine. It’s ok to let your guard down and show your match a glimpse of the real you. If his profile pic left you speechless, say so. He’ll appreciate your raw honesty. If you’re tired of thinking of clever ways to get someone’s attention, admit it. Your match may be feeling the same way; misery loves company, after all!
There you have it—the ultimate Tinder Icebreaker Guide. It isn’t guaranteed to win you a lifelong partner or even snag you a date, but it will help you start a conversation and give you the chance to put the charm on. Try these strategies out and see what happens. After all, if they don’t have the effect you intend, you can always swipe again, rinse, and repeat!