Turns out, in order to stand out and appear different and unique in the hectic world of online dating, a few pretty pictures and an interesting bio, while certainly very important, can only get you so far.
According to a study conducted by sociologists from the University of New Mexico and Stanford University, two people are more likely to meet online (39%) than through mutual friends (20%).
Being matched with another person through an app or dating site is only the beginning. If you don't make sure your first message to them is unique and interesting, then you can forget about ever receiving a reply. Too short or too long of a message can be a huge turn-off, effectively destroying your chances with that person outright.
Now that the conversation is about to begin, you have the opportunity to make a great first impression that will instantly hook the other person.
3 Excellent Conversation Starters (1-3)
An amazing way to shoot yourself in the foot is by starting the interaction with a "Hey, what's up?". You see it everywhere these days. There's only one way to put this: "Hey" is lame, it's boring, it's not interesting. Do yourself a favor and drop it - completely.
There are so many, much better alternatives. However, you really don't have to make this first message incredibly complicated. A simple and unique message that has a bit of thought put into it is sure to get their attention.
1. Personalized: Hi, [insert name]! I See You Like [favorite band]?!
Immediately stand out to them by using their real name or username. Also, read their interests on their profile. Nobody likes receiving the same, boring cookie-cutter message from everyone they come across.
2. Ask a Question: Are You Going To Their Concert This Summer?
By asking a question, you are incentivizing them to respond, especially when your message is, so far, only three sentences long. In this short and sweet message, you have proven to them that you have gone through their profile and asked a pretty normal question.
The person you are talking to will probably respond that they would love to go to that concert. If you are especially lucky, they might already have a couple of tickets and are looking for someone to take with them.
3. Match Percentages: Hi, [insert name]! Match.com Thinks Were 98% Compatible, This Is Really High, Care to Find Out Why?
Certain apps like OkCupid and Match will show you just how good of a match you are with another person. The companies behind the apps will not reveal how this works exactly, but you can use this mystery to introduce intrigue to the interaction. If you matched with a score above 90%, you should absolutely use this fact in your first message.
This sentence is sure to get a response from that person after they have checked out your profile too. They will also be curious about this, thus sparking an interesting conversation.
The conversation may also be the two of you trying to figure out why exactly you got matched. They might realize this is because of your mutual interests. If you like the same show, you could end up talking about its most recent episode.
Funny Conversation Starters (#4)
Everybody loves people with a good sense of humor. However, you should not neglect to show people how good you are at cracking jokes and being light-hearted. I will share this gem I found from a Facebook friend that is sure to draw a smile on any face:
4. Life Without You is Like a Broken Pencil. Pointless.
There are many silly jokes like that on the internet if you search long enough, most coming from people with amazing comedic talent. Brainy Quote is a great resource to check out, just be kind enough to give credit to the people who came up with the quote.
Conversation Starters For Women (#5-6)
Men love a woman who is intelligent and can hold her own in a conversation. If you need inspiration as to what to write to him, check the most recent news to find something interesting.
5. The Weather: Hi, [insert name]! Do You Have A Sailboat I Can Borrow In This Crazy Weather?
We all know how mundane it is to talk about the weather, even though bad weather can really mess up our plans. If the current climate is giving you a hard time, use it to initiate the interaction and put a humorous spin to it.
Since earthquakes are a regular occurrence in California, try asking them if they just felt the ground shake.
6. On Bumble: Hi, [insert name]! Something Tells Me You Might Disappear in 24 Hours
By reminding them of the ever-present time constraint, men cannot ignore you and will jump on the opportunity to continue the interaction. They are likely to point out how smart you are and then proceed to give you their number.
Bumble is also great for those users who are feeling at a loss for words. After you match with someone and just before you type your very first message, you can find a number of cool suggestions by clicking on the right arrow above the text field. You can find suggestions such as:
Which TV family is most like yours?
Hi! Want to bypass the small talk? How are you actually doing?
What' s the most interesting thing you've seen or read this week?
If you had to go a week without your phone, could you do it?
Conversation Starters For Men (#7-9)
Women like a flirty compliment, so be sure to give her one if you want to make a great impression on her. Scan her profile for anything that you personally like and incorporate that into your message. Be sure to use phrases like:
7. Hi, [insert name]! I Bet Your Fantastic Smile Could Stop Traffic!
She'd have to be crazy not to reply to something like this. At the very least, she will reply with a simple thank you.
If she has uploaded photographs of her on vacation in Europe, try saying:
8. Salut mademoiselle! When Was The Last Time You Visited France?
Your French is sure to grab her attention. Online dictionaries or Google Translate can help you figure out what to say if you don't know any foreign languages.
A lot of people list some of their favorite music. Ask her a question regarding her taste:
9. Hi, [insert name]! I See You Like Music. I Play The Guitar and I Wonder What Kind Of Musical Instrument Would You Want To Be If You Could Turn Into One?
Keep it short. And don't send them the old and tired "Tell me about yourself". Nobody wants to write their entire life story.
Should Women Wait For Men To Start The Conversation?
Many women still cling to the old-school philosophy of waiting around until a man steps up and approaches them. Nowadays, with the help of technology, this doesn't need to be the case.
In today's digital world, women should absolutely make the first move. This is why dating apps like Bumble are so popular since on that platform, it's the women that need to initiate the interaction. Men are quickly quitting the online dating game as their messages very rarely receive any replies. This is why when a woman makes the first move, men are immediately surprised. After the initial contact, women can sit back and let the man take charge and ask them out.
What Do I Do If The Conversation Becomes Stale?
Once you are matched, do not sit around - you should immediately engage in conversation and figure out whether this is a person you can see yourself dating. To keep things fresh and to stop the other person from losing interest, mix up your messages with a few GIFs.
Tinder, as well as Bumble, allow their users to use Giphy in their messages. According to Tinder, messages with GIFs in them are 30% more likely to be opened than those without any GIFs.
How Long Should You Talk To Them Online Before Meeting Them IRL?
Chatting is all fun and games. However, don't forget that the only way for this relationship to kick off is for the two of you to meet offline. You need to schedule a meeting to see how it all works out.
Make sure to swap phone numbers early on (we're talking after 3-4 exchanges). That way, you can more effectively organize where and when to meet up. If you live close together, then the current or the next week are ideal as far as time is concerned.
Have Your Dating Toolkit Always At The Ready
Similarly to an email you send to your boss, you don't want any silly grammatical or spelling mistakes to ruin an otherwise perfect message.
According to PlentyOfFish, 58% of the 2,000 singles in the USA that were asked said that bad grammar is way worse than bad sex.
Now that your toolkit is fully ready, get out there and chat with all the amazing people at your heart's content!