Since when did dating become a job interview?

If you’ve spent any amount of time using a dating app, you understand how saturated the “market” has become (unless you’re exclusively using The League, I guess).

We ask and answer the same stupid questions over and OVER again… and is anyone else BEYOND sick of being asked “how are you?” as an opening line? As if you care…

To be fair, not everyone can easily go up to a stranger or even just DM something interesting on an app that’s beyond “how ’bout that weather we’re having?” I know I can’t, which is why when I first started using Bumble back in the day and was FORCED to make the first move, looking up clever ways to start a conversation was one of the first things I did.

The key here that I learned, is for a conversation to not only progress beyond the boring but also to move off the app, is you need to be authentic. You need to start a conversation that’s worth being engaged in. Don’t ask about where they went on their last vacation if you DGAF about travel. Duh.

And yes, you can use puns and wit… but dear God, please only do that if you are actually funny or punny IRL. Otherwise you’re just a let-down.

So, whether you’re a dude OR a chick, here are my 7 conversation starter tips: 

1. Show them you read their bio.

Ok, this should seriously go without saying, but it’s here because it’s the biggest “easier said than done” on this list. However, it really goes a LONG way in showing someone that you’re not just one in a billion people they hit up every day. Like, pretend for 5 minutes that you’re not just a shallow human swiping based on photos for once.

2. Do NOT open with how attractive they look.

Dear God please, do NOT… under ANY circumstances… open up with “you’re so pretty/handsome,” “I love your hair,” or “do you work out?” because even if someone is so-so attracive, guess what: THEY’VE HEARD IT BEFORE.

It also doesn’t facilitate any sort of conversation beyond a reluctant “thanks,” so do everyone a favor and hold off on that until you meet them IRL.

3. Be punny and/or witty.

A bit of personal bias here… I love a good (re; BAD) pun. Like I mentioned before though, if you’re not actually punny (or funny), this will probably backfire. Along those lines, you can’t guarantee a reply if you open with a pun, because you might not be messaging someone who has a sense of humor.

Then again, it’s a great way to weed those losers out, if that’s important to you.

  • “Titanic. — That was a bad icebreaker.”
  • “Are you a bank loan? Because you have my interest!”
  • “I can’t believe they let me use this app from jail… so how are you?” 

4. Say something (not anything*) about their pet.

Ok, I know my dog is ADORABLE, but please don’t tell me JUST that. You’re (hopefully) a grown up with more than half of a brain, so be a little more clever. Same goes with asking what her name is.

But here’s the thing: People LOVE to talk about their furbabies, and if they have them featured in photos or their bio on a dating app, they’re obviously important. If you ask the RIGHT question, this conversation might not have an end.

For instance, if you’re witty, you might ask if it’s more imporant to impress your dog than your father. If you have a dog too, you can also flip the conversation to setting the dogs up… but don’t make it weird.


5. Initiate a story…

IMHO, stories are a much better way to get to know someone than a game of 20 questions. It’s more personal and you can learn about their behaviors and quirks not only by how they tell you the story but also by what they say or how they embellish. Plus, it’s a great segway to meeting IRL, if a story is a little too long to text.

You can open up with a quick (2-3 sentence max) story of your own, and then ask about their experiences… or you can use context clues from their photos and bio. Choose your own adventure.

Personally, I think offering a quick anecdote about a bad date is a great icebreaker, but I guess it depends on what happened.

6. Use emojis and GIFs.

We live in a world where we can have an entire conversation, on an electronic device, without words… so why not play off that?

This is also a great way to judge how serious a person is. Send them a bunch of emojis (NO EGGPLANT PLEASE), and see if they reply… and what they reply with.

Ask how they would describe themself in 5 emojis, or even what their favorite GIF is. Why not – it’s 2018!

7. Think of a unique question… and one worth asking.

There are seriously SO MANY QUESTIONS other than “how’s it going?” or “what do you do for a living?” that you can ask another human being. So why are we stuck on that bullshit?

IDK. But I have a few suggestions for other unique questions you can ask a person… but my key piece of advice here is that you only ask a question if you actually give a fuck about the response and/or you have something to add to the conversation with it. Maybe even – *GASP* – a follow up question?

Think of it this way: Ideally, you ask something that, if you were to maintain a relationship (of any kind) with this person to where you’d have some sort of anniversary or event to celebrate, you would have something personal to lean back on for a gift that says “you didn’t think I’d remember, but guess what – I do!”

  • “Do you collect anything?”
  • “What’s your theme song?”
  • “What’s your spirit food?”
  • “Deal breaker: Taco Bell or Chipotle?”
  • “Of all the food you’ve eaten so far today, what was your favorite?”
  • “What do you geek out on?”
  • “Where’s your favorite place to eat ___ in town?”
  • “What’s your most epic Halloween costume?”

7. When in doubt, discuss pizza. Or tacos.

Duh. Everyone’s got strong opinions here.

Also… a perfect intro for a date. 😉

Do you have a go-to line that works every time?


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