Swiping on a dating app is all fun and games, right up until you realize it’s up to you to send the first message. Instead of waiting for clever opening lines to roll in — or feeling as if the pressure is equally placed on both parties to say something more creative than “hey” So, what’s the best way to get a conversation started? Cheesy opening lines are always a decent option when you’re completely at a loss for what to say. But if you really want to have a zesty back-and-forth, have a scroll through their bio, see what you have in common, and ask a question that’ll make them come up with a robust answer. “Ask open-ended questions that hint at who you are, demonstrate curiosity [in their life], and elicit a discussion,” dating coach Lori Ann Kret, LCSW, BCC.

It’s also a good idea to keep authenticity in mind. While it can be so tempting to try to “say the right thing” or be impressive when sending messages it’s much better to stay true to yourself and ask Qs that feel like they’re coming from a genuine place. “You may not get as many matches this way, but those who do engage will be higher quality connections for you,” Kret says.

If you don’t hear back after reaching out, move on! According to dating coach Veronica Grant, you won’t want to waste your time with someone who isn’t responding or matching your energy. The dating pond is vast and there will always be someone else to talk. With that in mind, read on for 31 ways to get people talking on dating apps.


“Your travel photos are amazing! When did you go to Alaska?”

“Travel always seems to make it onto people’s dating profiles,” Grant says, which is why this topic is often the easiest place to start. Scroll through their bio in search of a vacation pic, then go ahead and ask bout it.

“Wow, I think you’re the first [insert unexpected job] I’ve come across on this app!”

If someone’s career stands out to you, let them know. Maybe they’re a zoologist, or a coffee taste-tester, or a professional cuddler. Whatever the case may be, they’ll likely laugh, agree that they have a weird gig, and then tell you all about it.

“I’m a huge comedy fan, too. My favorite album is Maria Bamford’s ‘Ask Me About My New God.’ hbu?”

Dating bios can start to blur together, so the moment you spot someone with a similar interest, cling to it like the proverbial life raft it is. If you’re both obsessed with comedy, for example, ask if they’ve heard your favorite album. If yes, commence bonding. If not, offer to send them a Spotify link.

“I feel like I’ve seen everything on Netflix. Have you watched anything cool lately?”

“You can tell a lot about a person based on what they’re watching,” relationship expert Sameera Sullivan tells Bustle, so why not kick things off by asking for a show rec? It’ll also give you a reason to check back in a few hours later to share your thoughts.

“There’s something wrong with my phone. It doesn’t have your number in it.”

Nobody likes it when strangers saunter up in a bar to say something lame, like “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” But when said in a low-key, jokey kind of way on a dating app, cheesy pick-up lines can suddenly seem like fun icebreakers.

Use this one if it seems like the other person has a good sense of humor and won’t take you too seriously. Hopefully, they’ll volley right back with an equally cringe response, and before you know it you’ll be in love.

“Here’s my best opening line: ————”

For another knee-slapper, send a literal opening line in the form of a bunch of dashes. (Get it?) It’s perfect for when you aren’t quite sure where to start a conversation, but still really want to say hi.

Again, this is just about breaking the ice and getting a convo rolling. Once they respond, follow up with a deeper getting-to-know-you question, possibly by asking about where they grew up, what they do for fun. Oh, or if they’d like to meet up for a date.

“Where would you visit if you could go anywhere right now?”

While there may not be a ton of travel going on right now, it’s still fun to talk about where you’d both like to go, what you love most about being on the road, or the best meals you’ve had abroad. Travel-adjacent topics truly are endless.

“I couldn’t help but notice your bookshelf. What are you reading right now?”

Nothing bonds two people quite like a shared love of books, so if you notice they’re also a reader (like, maybe you spy a photo of their bookshelf or a shared reading list), use it to your advantage. You’ll be offering to swap books or go to a reading together before you know it.

Article As Seen On Bustle