If you've been using dating apps for a while now, chances are you've received more cringe-worthy opening lines than you can count. From the other angle you've also, perhaps, sent a few awkward ones yourself. Its' so hard to land on the perfect opening opening line for Hinge — or any other app, for that matter.
While you don't want to come on weirdly strong, you also don't want to swing too far the other way, and blend in with the crowd. “Online dating has provided people with an abundance of choice,”
Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and relationship expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. “You need a way to show that you’re unique and have a distinct personality. That’s where the first message becomes important.”
According to a spokesperson for Hinge, you'll also want to say something that can lead into a conversation. “
Hey” may feel like a safe bet, but it a) won't make you stand out, and b) is super easy to ignore. Instead, think about fun, open-ended questions, that help you start to get to know each other.
For some inspiration, take a peek below at some casual and cool opening lines that will lead to a good back and forth — and hopefully an even better first date.
1 “I see you're from Tuscaloosa. What was it like growing up there?”
Asking someone where they're from opens the door to sharing
a little more detail about your lives. Use this as your opening line, and soon you'll be yapping about state fairs or what it was like to ride to school on the subway. 2 “Tell me more about how your parents met!”
Hinge does help get the conversation started by offering profile questions, like “how did you parents meet?” So you can always pull from one of them, and ask for more info.
Maybe they met in elementary school, maybe they had a one night stand and never saw each other again, or maybe they met bumping into each other coming off a bus, rom-com style. It's always interesting to hear how it happened back in the day when people had to meet IRL.
Plus, this line will give you some insight into their family, which can spark more conversations.
3 “What was the best part of your week?”
This question may seem simple. But one does, after all, want to get a handle on a potential date's day-to-day, and their overall attitude and view of life, right?
Their response won't give you all the answers you're looking for, but asking about someone's week and what they've enjoyed so far is kind, specific, and shows you are interested in what they've been up to.
4 “Your job seems cool! How’d you get into it?”
This is America, after all, and people love to talk about work. So dig in! There are simply so many different occupations out there, and the person you want to hit up might have a lot to say about the work they do, like why — or if — they are really interested in it, and how long they've been involved.
Not to mention, they might share a whole story as to how they got where they are today, which can reveal a lot about their likes and dislikes, and their character. It's also another question that will lead to you sharing about your life and work as well.
5 “Does your dog have an IG? My pit bull Lola wants to follow her.”
When you’re trying to connect with someone new, poke around their profile and try to start a conversation around something they might want to talk about. “What dog-loving parent doesn’t want to wax poetic about their cute pooch?” dating coach and matchmaker,
Emyli Lovz tells Bustle. “Once you tell them about your furry child you’re just a message away from a doggy play date.” 6 “I love your artwork!”
Or their interior design, garden — whatever catches your eye.
If there is a picture where a person has displayed some of their creative work, and you like it, don't be bashful about letting them know! It's a good way to open a deeper conversation, as well as extend some flattery.
Flattery never hurts, especially when it doesn't seem shallow or simply connected to the way someone looks. Move past all that, my friends. It will be sure to win over some hearts.
7 “I've been to the Kunsthistorisches Musem in Vienna, too! How'd you like the trip?”
People often post pictures of themselves on holiday somewhere cool, doing something they like to do. Whether it's lying on the beach, white-water rafting, horseback riding through the desert, or yes, enjoying a nice audio-tour of a famous art museum,
asking about someone's trips is a fun way to talk about their interests and memories.
And (you guessed it) it's the perfect way to share a few stories of your own, for an instant bonding sesh.
8 “You seem like a big outdoors person! Where's a good hiking spot around here?”
If this person has multiple pictures on mountaintops, or hanging from ravines, you might do well to start a conversation about their love of Mother Nature.
Perhaps the two of you can enjoy a stroll through a local park, or at the very least relax on a bench by a lake. It's kind of a "hello" and a date idea all rolled into one.
9 “What was your first AIM screen name?”
Well, depending on your generation, of course, maybe it's your first Insta handle that you're inquiring about, or
whatever option for chatting you might have had when you became a super cool, independent middle-schooler trying to low-key chat with your crush.
In any case the answer is probably going to be pretty funny, and give you some adorable insights into the kind of person your potential date was when they were a youngster. Bonus points if they are still using the same name as their handle or email address today.
10 “Quick, what's your phone background?”
Just quickly take a screenshot and send it and ask them to do the same,
Krysta Monet, a relationship expert, tells Bustle. Is it a pic of a family member? An album cover? An abstract painting? A meme of some kind? There's a lot to learn from the image someone sees every single time they open their open.
View this unique little detail as a sneak peek into this person's psychology. You might be surprised as to what impressions this simple request might make when the two of you exchange these pics.
11 Make a story out of emojis
Perhaps you are more of a visual communicator, and maybe your Hinge crush is, too. So what if you tried to ask someone on a date using only emojis?
Think the ice cream emoji plus one of two people holding hands equals the cat with hearts in the eyes? Plus, I don't know, a helicopter because you're really going to go all out?
Or go for the
soup bowl plus snowflake. 12 “I used to get detention for being late every morning, too!”
Another profile question on Hinge asks how you got detention when you were a rebellious little student. (If you did, of course.) So feel free and ask about it.
It could be that your date-to-be got in trouble for talking all the time, or maybe they walked out to defy authority at a pretty conservative school. Either way, getting a little information on their rule-breaking side is always fun.
13 “Did you have a family nickname growing up?”
Buzz. Jimbo. Peaches. Junebug. A nickname is cute, or embarrassing, or funny, and of course, is a great avenue into a longer explanation.
In fact, it might make a person feel a little vulnerable (in a good way) and may even lay the groundwork for more and more stories. A wonderful icebreaker, IMO.
14 “Which lunch table did you sit at?”
You know that meme labeling different lunch tables in a cafeteria?
Well, whether you're talking about school or you're talking about the workplace, the people you sit with at lunch and how you self-identify as a social being can be insightful.
“I was at the gamers table, too,” you can say, while stars form in your eyes.
15 “What's your most played song on Spotify?”
Could you imagine if it was the same song or artist? Music is the key to a person's soul, in one way or another. Or at least it gives you insight on what they like to dance to...
Of course, you won't want to use this as an opportunity to be judgmental! Just ask what about the songs they like, what genres they listen to, and maybe, just maybe, share your fave playlists.
16 “Pop quiz! Is pineapple a good pizza topping?”
On the surface, this is a fun way to start talking about food — and to potentially set yourselves up for a first date. But deep down, it's a test. If they say
pineapple on pizza is no good, you'll already know it was never meant to be. 17 “Would you rather...”
Come up with a fun "would you rather" scenario and throw it their way. This type of question is fun and light-hearted, but it'll also a great way to start learning fun facts about each other, right off the bat.
18 “You said you make the perfect breakfast burrito? I need details...”
If they've listed some impressive skills — like the ability to make a perfect breakfast burrito — that's your in. Ask for their recipe, or what their secret is. Bonus points if you can somehow spin it into a first date.... making breakfast burritos.
19 “Quick! What movie should I watch tonight?”
This is a cute way to make them feel connected to you right out of the gate, because movie recommendations are serious business.
20 “I'm also a drummer! How long have you been playing?”
Pinpointing a hobby that you have in common is a great place to start. So do yourself a favor and scroll through their profile (thoroughly) before reaching out. The more specific you can make your opening line, the better!
21 “What does your ideal Sunday look like? If it involves soccer and mini golf I’m in.”
Naturally, open-ended questions are more likely to get you a response than statements. “This question is perfect because their response will tell you quite a bit about their personality,” Lovz says. It also gives you a chance to reveal a little bit about yours.
22 “Hey, let’s swap secrets.”
If you want to make a bold, flirty first move, this is a great one to start with. As Lovz says, “If there’s one thing Hinge users lack, it’s originality. Show them you’re one of a kind with this opener.” It’s the type of opener that shows you’re confident. If there’s a mutual attraction, this could lead to an interesting back and forth exchange that eventually leads to a first date.
23 “Before we get to know each other, I just need to put it out there that I will kill all the spiders for you.”
This is another playful opener from Lovz. For the most part, no one wants to be caught alone in a room with a spider. “Knowing you would be their knight in shining armor is a great and playful way to open,” she says. “Just don’t use this line if they have a pet tarantula.”
It's tough to know how to get a convo going with a stranger, but "if you can say something funny or personal (e.g. based on a bio), it will increase your chances of getting a response," Bennett says. Try out one or two of these opening lines, and chances are you'll have a packed social calendar in no time.
Experts: Jonathan Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert Krysta Monet, relationship expert Emyli Lovz, dating coach and matchmaker