Wondering how to start a conversation on Tinder? While it used to be the “hookup app” that nobody really took seriously, Tinder is now a huge part of how we meet people. But how do you start a conversation on Tinder with a woman who literally gets 100 messages a day or more?
First, let’s go back to how things were IRL for a second. If you wanted to get to know an attractive woman you met in person, would your first line really be:
NO. Just no.
(Yet sadly, this is real. And yes, I have tons more like this.)
The truth is, if you want to really connect with someone on an app, you’ve got to first treat her like a real person, which isn’t that hard if you keep a few principles in mind.
Here are the main things to remember when crafting your first message to a woman on Tinder. Follow these rules, and watch the magic happen.
Ask Her About Something She Cares About
I’m sure you can relate to this: Being on a dating app can feel really impersonal after a while. After swiping for days, sending out messages, and often getting nothing but radio silence in return, the whole thing becomes super exhausting.
But imagine now that you’re female. Not only are you exhausted by the whole process, but you’re getting an insane amount of messages — most of them along the lines of “Hey cutie, wanna %^%&?” At the risk of understatement, let’s just say you’d eventually feel like no one sees the real you.
So if you really want to know how to start a conversation on Tinder, first read through her bio and figure out what’s most important to her. This is what you’ll center your message around, because it’ll show that you’re actually paying attention to who she is, rather than just what she looks like.
Don’t get me wrong: Looks are important. But most men who approach her are going to focus on her appearance, or worse, say hardly anything at all. And you want your message to feel different.
So here are a couple of ways to find out what she cares about most.
1. Focus on the Most Emotionally Charged Parts of Her Bio
If you landed on this article to solve the question of “how to start a conversation on Tinder?” it’s important you be strategic. Look in her bio for information in one of these four categories: family, favorites, hobbies, pets. These are the most emotionally charged details in a woman’s profile that are likely to strike a chord when you mention them.
For example, when I created a Tinder account to do research a while back, one thing I mentioned was how much I loved bulldogs. Seems like a random thing, but again — pets are very emotional for a lot of people, and I’m definitely one of them. So I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this message come in:
I mean, come ON. The cuteness! Yet in all seriousness, this message came across as heartwarming and real. He obviously read my profile, and to his credit, picked up on the detail that was most likely to give me an emotional reaction.
Not only that, but showing me pictures of his own bulldogs instantly created a connection … which brings me to my next point.
2. Figure Out What You Have in Common with Her
If she doesn’t directly state her interests in her bio, then look at her images. Maybe half of her photos are scuba-related. Maybe one of her group shots is in front of a restaurant you recognize. Maybe she’s wearing the logo of a certain sports team on her shirt. Or maybe you just recognize the barstools in her apartment as being the same ones you’re thinking of getting at IKEA. Whatever.
The point is: Do you scuba? Have you been to that restaurant? Do you love that sports team? Had you been looking for barstools just like that?
Try to find genuine commonalities, because dating someone with similar interests is a great way to start and grow a bond. Then, once you know what you have in common, you’re ready to rock. Send her a message that hits an emotionally charged topic, preferably that the two of you have in common.
Oh, and one more thing …
Make Sure to End Your Message in a Question
Craft your message so that it relates to one of the four most poignant topics I listed above, and then end it in a question. Here’s an example of a guy who noticed a couple of my favorite things and leveraged them perfectly:
A message like this stands out way more than the usual, “Sup?”
Even better, if you can stick to ONE sentence that ends in a question, you’re already 90% more likely than your male counterparts to get a response, in my opinion.
Regardless, the winning formula is:
Relate + Add Value + Ask a Question = A Practically Guaranteed Connection
Relate to her by choosing an emotionally charged detail in her bio to focus on. Add value by showing that it’s something you actually have in common, and be sure to ask a question so you’ll engage her.
You can’t go wrong with that. Unless of course, you’re trying to talk to a woman who’s given you hardly any information to go by (and your best detective skills are coming up short).
In that case, I’d remind you that trying to talk to someone on Tinder who obviously never made the effort to fill out her profile can be an uphill battle. But if you think it’s worth it, then there are still other strategies you can try. For instance, you could …
Throw Out a Fun Fact
If you can’t find anything personal to start with, try starting your message with a fun fact and a question. This will do a couple of things.
First, it can showcase your intelligence or sense of humor. An unexpected piece of trivia can be surprising, funny, or thought-provoking — which are all qualities you’d want her to associate you with. Second, it’ll stand out because, let’s face it, how many guys are going to start a Tinder message like that? But that’s precisely why it works.
Of course, you get bonus points if you actually can relate your fun fact to an emotionally charged topic she’s interested in. Tell her something she didn’t know about that museum she visited, the breed of dog she has, or her favorite sports team, and you’re likely to get her attention.
Make a Joke
Being genuinely funny is a skill not everyone has (but thinks they do!). That said, if you send a message that actually makes her laugh, she’s bound to remember you … and likely respond.
I got a few really funny ones when I was on Tinder that still make me chuckle to this day. Something like this, for example, works great if you have nothing else to go on:
Not only is the line funny, but so is the visual — which is another good strategy you might want to consider.
Use an Image or GIF
Ok first, I’m going to stop right here and address the obvious: Nobody wants your nudes. If you’re thinking of hitting her up Anthony Weiner-style by sending an unsolicited photo of your nether regions, please think again.
On the other hand, images or GIFs can enhance things, especially when they’re used well. For instance, asking “Here for business or pleasure?” is cute. But when you tack on a hilarious image of Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber, suddenly it’s next-level.
Animals also work great as visuals, since they are so emotionally charged for us (remember the four categories?). After all, there’s a reason cat videos on Youtube are some of the most viewed videos online. People just love cute animals. So use this fact to your advantage and try sending a cute animal GIF.
No matter what type of image or GIF you choose, I recommend you still follow it up with a compelling question that requires a response. That way, you’ll be more likely to hear back.
Call Her By Her First Name
Everyone’s favorite word is their own name. In fact, not only does hearing your own name activate your brain in unique ways, but it’s even been known to activate brain activity in people who are in a vegetative state! (Maybe some of the ladies you’re talking to on Tinder have already hit this point.)
So, if you want to jolt her out of her Tinder coma, definitely use her name.
But when you do, don’t start with “Hi.” Actually, avoid using the words “hi,” “hello,” “how are you,” “how was your weekend,” “how is your [holiday] treating you,” etc.
Why? These are what I like to call “H-Factors.” They’re so overused and meaningless that they’ll actually reduce your chances of getting a response. Instead, save that precious real estate for compelling words that will get a response — like her name.
Avoid Obvious Turnoffs
When I was on Tinder, I saw so many no-nos when it comes to messages, that I feel compelled to list a few of the worst offenders.
- Write super long messages. Would you walk up to a woman IRL and start off with telling her your life story?
- Begin with a compliment. This may seem counterintuitive, so let me explain. Women love compliments, but when it comes from a stranger on a dating site, it can feel the same as getting catcalled. It’s even worse when your “compliment” is sexual. Again, what would you say to her in real life? Just play it safe and try to relate to her instead.
- Make spelling errors. Trust me, she won’t be able to focus on anything else.
- Use generic greetings. No more “Happy Friday!”s.
- Send nothing but a smiley face, or make a statement that requires no response. If she doesn’t know how to respond, she won’t.
Try an Open-Ended Question, Even If It’s About Something General
There are lots of ways to try to get a woman’s attention on Tinder, but as I’ve mentioned, asking a question is one of the most powerful. This can be true even if she doesn’t give a lot of information about herself.
Just try to make sure your question is open-ended. If she could answer it with a simple yes or no, that might be all you get back from her (if anything).
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You run the risk of being too vague if your open-ended question isn’t at least original, relatable, or humorous.
Like, here’s a bad example: “How was your Mother’s Day?”
Sure, it’s a question. And if she has kids, then being a mother is probably important to her. But this message isn’t compelling because probably everyone else is asking that exact same thing.
Instead, try to at least put a slant on the question and ask in a way that inspires her to respond. For example, you could say, “Did you get anything good for Mother’s Day? Last year on Father’s Day, my son got me one of those keychain bottle openers and honestly I wondered if he could read my mind.”
Don’t Freak Out If She Doesn’t Answer
Even after you give it your best shot and craft a killer first message, chances are, she still may not get back to you. What you don’t want to do in that situation is freak out. Don’t send her multiple messages expressing how annoyed you are; she’ll definitely ignore you at that point.
To be honest, a lot of times silence isn’t personal. Here are a few likely reasons you didn’t hear back:
- She likely gets 25-100 messages per day, so your message is buried.
- She already started the dating process with another guy and wants to see where it leads before answering messages from new men.
- She’s on a few dating apps and just not checking Tinder as often any longer.
- She might have her notifications off because she doesn’t want her coworkers to see that she’s on a dating app and has forgotten to check back in.
Or an endless amount of other reasons. Just take it in stride, and keep up your strategy.
How to Start a Conversation on Tinder: Wrap-Up
Tinder certainly isn’t for the weak. While you’re furiously typing up messages to all your best matches, there are probably 1o other guys writing to her at the same time. The best you can do is to be yourself and get strategic. And if you want her to notice you, then you have to notice her first (as a person!) by reading her actual profile, and taking it from there.
But if you’ve tried that and are still having a hard time getting into the groove, then there’s no harm in taking things a step further and getting some coaching. If you book a 1-on-1 New Client Skype session with me, we can review your dating profile together, as well as some of your messages, to see what’s working for you and what isn’t. We’ll also determine if my 3-month Signature program is right for you. Happy swiping!