How To Start a Conversation on Dating Apps

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So, you want to know how to start a conversation on dating apps? How to stand out, capture attention and get more replies? Well, my friends, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, not only are we going to look at how to start a conversation on dating apps – but I’m also going to give you the formula for crafting a killer message, with (even) some helpful little templates.

Uh huh, by the end of this, you will be fully prepared, feel super confident, and have more fun conversations (as opposed to going through the motions and it all feeling very “samey” and repetitive!)

How NOT To Start a Conversation

So before we look at how to start a conversation on dating apps, I want to give you one “rule for how NOT to…

And this is to avoid the “Hi, how are you?” chat AT ALL COSTS. I repeat: avoid, avoid, avoid.

This also includes avoiding anything like:

  • Had a good day?
  • What you up to?
  • Much planned for the weekend?

It’s all very polite, harmless even, you’d think. And maybe it is…

But that’s not how you’re going to grab attention. It’s also not going to be very inspiring for you and is actually pretty difficult to respond to!

I mean, how do you respond to “hey” on dating apps?! It’s not the best, is it? And adding in a standard question with it, isn’t much better either.

I always say…

I don’t want to know HOW you are, I want to know WHO you are.

How NOT To Start a Conversation

So small-talk is fine, checking in on people is fine, taking an interest in their day and what they’re doing – also fine. But you can’t start with this.

I mean, think about it – who’s really going to tell you they had a cruddy day and feel absolutely pants?

No-one. No-one in their right mind. Not to a stranger on a dating app where first impressions matter the most.

So cut out the standard chat, and instead, always start a conversation on dating apps with something that’s a little more interesting, fun or personal!

There’s heaps of fun & original dating app opening lines, and then even more fun & interesting dating app questions to keep the conversation going and flowing…

So swat up and create your own “templates” to refer back to!

How To Start a Conversation on Dating Apps

Now, before I give you some example templates for how to start a conversation on dating apps, I want to give you a few key tips.

1) Say What’s On Your Mind

Honestly, the first thing that springs to mind. Some of the templates I’m going to give you shortly are based off this method.

They’re original. They have personality. They’re honest and open. If you match with someone and think “WOW!” – don’t give them a cheesy line.

Speak from the heart. Show that it’s genuine. Pay them a complement – or an exaggerated one to make it more jokey.

Either way, they’ll appreciate it – guys like complements too. You’re not coming on too strong, you’re being fun and “out there!” That’s why you should make it as humorous or lighthearted as you can.

After all…  the real lookers are probably going to get a lot of complements. You don’t want to just throw them the same lines.

 Also on the topic of “what’s on your mind”, you might like to:

  • Pick up on something you notice in a picture and make a little joke about it.
  • Comment on something they’ve written and share your initial reaction to that (especially if it’s also pretty humorous!)
  • Challenge them on something… But in a way that’s NOT confrontational. Be flirty with it!

2) Find Ways To Relate To Them

We’re all searching for this connection, right? So if you can find something to relate to the other person with, right from the get-go, this always makes a great opening message.

Let’s say you have similar areas of work – don’t make a comment about that (BORING!), instead, bring up a plus-side or a struggle to working in that industry.Go one step further with it.

Or, let’s say you both love travel – don’t just make a note about that. Like we’ve said before, doesn’t pretty much EVERYONE loves travel?

Instead, notice a location it looks like they’re in, and share your thoughts / experiences in that country. (As opposed to just saying you’ve been there too!)

Make it light-hearted and fun – not too lengthy, but enough to get them thinking!

3) Tease Them

It all goes back to school-days right? If you want to see why teasing is such a good way to flirt, and how to do it properly, click here. Use these “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to your opening message.

So for example, if you’re going to tease a stranger – don’t go for anything that could be potentially insulting. Instead, keep it light.

For instance – you might like to pick up on something they’ve joked about on their profile and tease them on that. Or perhaps they’ve thrown a crappy opening line over to you, like “hey” and you can fire back “Is that the best you’ve got? ;)”

4) Joke Around With Them

For the same reason that teasing someone is a great opener, using humour is also equally as effective too. The most important thing? To use YOUR humour.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not or say things that aren’t really you. After all, we’re trying to find people that YOU click with, so it’s important to be your authentic self and never try to simply impress.

If you’re a naturally pretty jokey person, I don’t need to tell you how to find something to joke about. It will just come to you. (Remember: we don’t want templated lines. We want something that comes from you.)

Again, simply look at their photos or the things that they’re saying, and find something that makes you smile… then share it with them!

Expressions are always a good thing to pick up on in a photo. Or if they’re sharing a funny story – build on that humour to show you get theirs, you find it funny too, and this is what it made you think of.

Recommended Read: 50+ Funny “Dating Me Is Like” Jokes To STAND OUT!

5) Interpret What They’re Saying

The best way to explain this is with one is with an example.

So let’s say a guy’s profile speaks a lot about how trust is so important and that it’s hard to find, hit him with an opening line was “I’m guessing you’ve been hurt a lot in the past, NAME? I feel you…” He certainly won’t expect that!

Try to do this wherever you can. It’s personal, shows you’ve actually taken the time to read into them a little, and if you’re a pretty intuitive person – this will come fairly easily.

6) Add Some Different Words or Extra Expression

A super simple way to differentiate your opening lines is using different vocab or extra expression to get across your personality.

So for example, you’d get more personality across with something like,

“Ummm, HOW DREAMY ARE YOU?! Damn!”

You see? Extra words, the use of extra syllables, plus capitalisation – it all helps to better get across how you might be speaking at that moment.

You could also use ‘funny’ words or phrases like,

“Sweet mother of Mary, you are remarkably attractive! XD’

It shows you’re not being 100% serious, you’re just having a laugh and joking around – but the complement is still there. It’s a strong opener because it’s unexpected. So it gets you noticed.

See, you can change how you come across by the way that you write.

LITTLE POINTER: If messaging isn’t your thing, try sending a voice-note instead. It instantly adds more personality, and again – makes your message stand out.

7) Tie It Into a Question

So you’ve found something you noticed about their profile – maybe they have cute eyes. You’ve then made it more personal, by saying they’re “like little brown bears!” 

Great, they’re going to like that. But does it inspire a response? Well, is there much more to respond other than “thanks”? Maybe not.

And sure, if they’ve got anything about them, they’re going to be able to carry the conversation from there – but with so many profiles, so many people, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. 

So with the eye complement for example, you could say something like…

“Wow. How cute are your eyes. Like little brown bears!
What a way to suck a girl in hey ;)”


  • You been single long?
  • Do you do much dating?

Pick a follow on question to go from it, which links to the fact that they’re – clearly – very attractive, but gets the conversation flowing. Because that’s what it’s all about…

When it comes to how to start a conversation on dating apps, you want to think – what would be an interesting discussion point? How can I get it flowing from here? And how can I direct it through to the thinks I want to know?

8) Try To Avoid Overly Obvious Questions

When it comes to asking questions in initial messages, you also want to avoid the obvious.

So for instance, if they say that they have a lot of travel photos on their profile. They even have a picture somewhere you recognise and you think, “great! I can tell them I’ve been there and ask if they’ve done much traveling.”

The thing is, they’re probably going to get this question a lot. And after a while, there’s only so many times you can say the same things, so if it’s the first thing that springs to your mind – it’s probably the first thing that springs to anyones. Especially if it’s generic.

You can still ask related questions, but try to ask them in a different way, or from a different angle. So for instance, with the travel fanatic you may ask something like…

  • Where was the last place you visited?
  • Have you got anywhere booked up for your next trip?

This leads me onto my second tip when it comes to questions…

9) Ask Questions That Are Fun And Easy

If you ask a real hard-hitter, a question that requires more of a paragraph as a reply over a couple of lines, it’s easy for a person to “put off” replying and forget. It takes far more time and effort.

And you’ll get to those flowing paragraphs with the right person. They may even choose to answer your questions in more depth from the get-go. (It’s up to them!) But don’t make it mandatory.

Fun, simple, easy to get that first response, then take it from there. Remember: 

It’s good to be inquisitive, but it shouldn’t feel like an interview!

10) Have Fun With It

My final tip when it comes to how to start a conversation on dating apps, is to do it with a smile. Whatever you say, whatever approach you make – have fun with it, enjoy the whole process of dating!

Starting conversations shouldn’t feel like a chore. Each person you match with, each person you speak to – they’re a new opportunity. They could be the person who turns your whole world upside down!

So when you pick up your phone and log into your apps, have a smile on your face.

Not everyone will reply, and that’s nothing to take personally. You could also match with an ABSOLUTE BABE – get excited, and see that the chat just isn’t there. That’s just the luck of the draw, how it goes.

But if you’re going to do this, if you’re currently dating, make sure you make the best of it and fully enjoy it! Deal? Deal!

How To Start a Conversation on Dating Apps

How To Start a Conversation on Dating Apps

So we’ve got the basics out the way when it comes to how to start a conversation on a dating app.

But what else can I give you? Well, some juicy little templates if you’re still struggling for “fresh material!”

So here’s some template messages to get the ball rolling. They should hopefully also start to give you more ideas for your own.

The key? To tweak them. Make them a little different. Add them. Adapt them. That’s what makes them more effective.

Two rules actually, if you like:

  1. You must match them to the right person. The more relevant they are to that match, the better.
  2. When you send the line, say something else with it to show this isn’t just a “copy and paste” job. Send these in real-time as messages below. So for example…

SENDING TO: A Fitness Fanatic

  • [Cheesy Chat Up Line] Do you know karate? Cause your body is really kicking.
  • WOW… that was actually terrible. Even by my standards.” [Humility. Realness.]
  • You are insaneeeely hot though. Like, seriously!” [Bring It Back To Them]

You see? With most of them, they will work far better if you bulk them out a little. The templates should only be a base. Got it? Okay awesome. Let’s jump straight in then…

Template Opening Lines

Here’s 15 template opening lines to get the ideas flowing.

  1. Oh. My. Word. You are ACTUALLY [INSERT OVER EXAGGERATED WORD HERE: My personal favourite: ‘Godlike’ or ‘A dream!’]

    If you use this one, be sure to follow it up with extra messages, like in the examples above.

  2. Do you like [INSERT RANDOM THING HERE]? And yes, yes I am going somewhere with this…

    Make this tie in with either a date idea, or one of your ‘joke’ deal breakers. Just don’t tell them the reason why you’re asking until they’ve answered! It will get them guessing…

  3. So I’m free Thursday night, say 7pm. That work for you?

    It’s bold, it’s ballsy but make sure you only send this one if their profile wows you and you really want to jump straight into that date. Also make sure you carry on the conversation so that you get to know them better before you do get together.

  4. Okay so I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of the small talk… so let’s get DEEP 😉 [INSERT BIG QUESTION HERE]

    When it comes to the question, again tie it into something on their profile – something they’re passionate about, something that’s important to them, and something that should require a fairly meaty reply (without being too complex that they can’t be bothered to answer it!

  5. Serious question now… you ready? [Follow on with something small, jokey, yet relatable.]

    Note: please don’t use the standard ones like, “pineapple on pizza?” You want to ask something they wouldn’t expect.

    You can then also go on to make it even more personal by GUESSING what they’re going to go for and why. This makes it more fun, and again, shows it’s not just copied and pasted.

  6. I wonder how many times you can match with a person on different apps, before it gets a little embarrassing? 😉

    For all those people you’ve matched with before…

  7. Your face looks awfully familiar… If we’re going to be regulars on these dating apps, we may as well start getting to know each other a little…

    For the people you keep seeing. Make sure you follow this up with a question that ties in with something on their profile.

  8. [SOMETHING] or [SOMETHING]? Cast your vote!

    Comparison questions are great openers when you take something you know that they like (based on their profile) and tie it into the question.

    Again, if you want to go further, try to guess what they have to say, or go on to tell them what you’d go for – this gives you an opportunity to show your personality.

  9. I love that… [Something about their profile.]

    Keep it simple, yet original, giving your honest opinion on something they’ve written. Tell them how it comes across and how you can appreciate that in a similar way too.
  1. I feel like nothing can summarise you better than this… [Insert funny gif] Or okay, maybe this… [Insert another funny gif.]

    The double gif works well because it comes across as less scripted, and shows a little more personality. Gifs undoubtedly have to be included on the list however, as they’re PROVEN to increase responses! The more personal to a person, the better.

  2. Is this the start of our love story now then? First matched on [APP] – then there was no looking back? 😉 Yep, I think so. I can totally see that.

    A little bit of sarcasm, again, use of humour. But it will take them aback. You’re not making it easy for them. They still need to be qualified. But you’re showing confidence and a bit of character!

  3. Okay, so do you know who you remind me of…?

    Of course they have to look like someone. It’s actually better if it’s not someone well known and they won’t have heard it before. It will spark a response though because they’ll want to know! Just try to make sure it’s complementary!

  4. So I don’t mean to brag but I happen to be EXCEPTIONALLY good at [something here] I know, I know, you will be totally sold now. I would be if I was you too…

    Again, try to tie it into something in their profile or something you’d gather they’d like. On this you can either go for something standard (like giving great massages to the high-flying lawyer or broken-bodied football player)or something quirky (like being a top smoothie maker, or an expert bag carrier.)

  5. Okay so if you love [something from their profile], I don’t suppose you fancy going to [an event relating to that] next weekend?

    Bold, brave. Try it!

  6. So you’ve definitely got the looks, but have you got the chat? Come on [NAME]… Pleeease say you’ve got the personality to match 😉

    You can leave out the please if you like, or re-phrase it to sound more like something you’d say, but you get the gist! This is all about finding the SPARK and as we all know, it’s a hard combo to find someone who is physically what you’re looking for, plus on the same wavelength as you.

Liked these? Then click here for more opening message templates. Uh huh, by the end of it, you’ll be BURSTING with ideas!

That’s All For This One

So there we have it… How to start a conversation on dating apps. So what are you waiting for? Log on, get swiping, and put these new opening lines to the test!

Some other useful articles you may also like:

Good luck!


How To Start a Conversation on Dating Apps
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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