How To Nail Your Online Dating Opening Message

Let’s face it, dating is hard. It takes a lot of willpower and confidence to put yourself out there knowing full well there’s a chance you’ll get rejected, or even worse, left underwhelmed. Women are taught to be passive and complacent especially when it comes to dating, but honestly it’s 2017 and we don’t care to play hard to get anymore. We want ours! But many women still harbor a lot of anxiety when it comes to making the first move, which is unfair on both genders, but understandable.

(Image: bumble)

Courtship was an uneven playing field, but then along came Bumble. Flipping heteronormative gender roles on their ass and getting you out of your comfort zone, Bumble makes it so you have to make the first move - no surprise then that it’s been dubbed the “feminist dating app.” Usually, I prefer to let other people begin an awkward conversation for me, but in this case you don’t have a choice.

Even though you may have the advantage, don’t get it twisted, you don’t have all the control. Although you have to take the initiative, it's still up to your match if they're willing to chat with you or not (but why wouldn’t they? You’re awesome). Once your message is out there, the ball is in their court: you can’t control how it’s received. But at the very least you get to initiate the conversation you want to have, on your own terms. It also means you don't have to deal with cringe messages like “I want you to sit on my face” *eyeroll emoji*

It's still a two-way communication, so nailing that perfect opening line is - well, terrifying - but also crucial. There’s no perfect pick up line to attract the bae of your dreams but there are a couple of guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re more than a bubble in someone’s DMs.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from TV shows experience, a simple “hey” will lead to boring, dry convos with someone whose personality you’ll never get a sense of. Swiping right may be mostly based on looks but conversation and personality are what really matter when it comes to dating.

You can’t go wrong with an opening message clearly meant for the person you’re engaging with, so you have to treat ‘em like more than just a face in a sea of matches. Try referencing something you saw in their photos, or the reason why you swiped right on them (besides finding them hawt, obvs). I once opened a convo with a match with “Parklife 2016” because I recognised the festival in one of his pics, and what followed was an engaging conversation about music (other stuff happened but that’s none of your business *wink wink*).

In the second season of Master of None, Dev uses the now-classic line “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?”. It eventually began making the rounds on dating apps for real, so I wouldn’t recommend using it (although even a stolen one joke is better than sliding into someone’s DMs with a vanilla “hi”) but you can take a page out of his book. I can’t speak for every woman, but if you show up to our date with fancy hummus chips and an overpriced juice I’m yours forever. I know, I’m the quintessential millennial hipster.

A good opening message is also the perfect balance of ‘friendly enough to text to a friend’, and ‘not so familiar that you’re being creepy’. Which leads me to the most important point: don’t be gross. You’re not off to a great start if your opening line is “I want you to sit on my face” (trust me). Let them find that out once you’ve met IRL, possibly after a round of dirty martinis. The last thing you want is to leave a paper trail of crude, blundered opening lines.

(Image: bumble)

 

Making a real connection is hard enough, so the sooner you break down the wall the better. I know I’ll sound like a broken record if I tell you to be yourself but I’m a big believer in letting your real self shine. If all else fails, though, here are some tried and tested opening lines I’ll let you borrow:

The Trust Fall: “Can I have your Netflix password?” - a test of true love.

The Big Lebowski: “What do you do for recreation?” - the only acceptable answer is: “The usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback?” Anything else means he’s never seen The Big Lebowski, which means they have horrible taste in movies. Nope, onto the next.

The Pun: “Let’s get ready to Bumble” - cause dating can sometimes feel like a boxing match.

The Dad Joke: “How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice” - this opening line has a built-in humor barometer. A sense of humour is paramount.

The Would You Rather/Fuck Marry Kill: see if they’re good under pressure. Also, a great way to weed out any sociopaths.

The Carly Rae Jepsen: “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy… but here’s my number, so call me maybe” - that song was a banger and anyone who won’t admit it is just lying to themselves.

The Compatibility Test: “What’s your hangover food of choice?” - the last thing you want on a Sunday morning is to fight over what will best soak up last night’s poison with your new bae. Side note, if they don’t say pizza they ain’t a keeper.

The 2 Truths And A Lie: possibly the most over-used “get to know each other” move, but also one of the most effective. It’s also a great way of confessing to a murder… not that I’d know anything about that.

The Joey Tribbiani: “How you doin’?” - must be accompanied by a Joey gif. This is IMPERATIVE.

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