Conversation Starters Tips and Examples For Tinder

For many, Tinder is the first foray into online dating. It’s the most popular dating app on the market and it’s the most widely known and referenced in pop culture. It is the dating app that started the left-swipe, right swipe era. Nearly every dating app out there has copied their innovative approach including Match and OkCupid which were largely desktop first platforms that eventually gave into mobile apps.

Despite its straightforward design and structure, there are many, many folks who struggle with the app. Most fail to get matches, some fail at initiating a successful conversation, others fail at taking the conversation offline and meeting IRL. Many guys end up spending lots of money of various bells and whistles to help their case with minimal success.

First Thing To Know Before Creating A Dating Profile

Like many men who throw away instructions and start to put together furniture or building items for the house, men of Tinder often opt for this approach – trial and error. While that may work for other projects, Tinder is a little different. There are some irreversible or at least hard to overcome actions when you venture off into the world of online dating. As soon as you create your profile and go live (regardless if you start swiping or not), you are being judged.

Unlike profiles on Match.com where you can browse, sort and filter profiles and view them all at once on the same screen, Tinder serves up profiles one by one to users as soon as the profiles are created. Sure you can change your radius, age and select other preference but Tinder will decide who and when to show your profiles to others and vice-versa.

How Does Tinder Decide Who To Show You? ELO Score

Tinder has what’s called an ELO score which is its way of scoring and ranking users. The idea behind it is that it tries to guess your attractiveness – the more you are swiped right on, the more your score goes up, the more often you are shown to others. This general framework seems straightforward but people often try to game the system.

What about new profiles with no or little swipe activity?

Good question, new profiles are treated well for a couple reasons in that they are shown many profiles and attractive profiles. This is done for two main reasons – 1) this entices users to the platform to get them hooked on the idea that are many desirable people around them and 2) it helps to kick the algorithms off by showing you to many folks so it can quickly collect how they respond to your profile. Soon enough, Tinder has enough data on your on your experience will regress to the mean – if you are viewed unattractive by others, you will be shown less desirable profiles and fewer profiles in hopes that you will pay more to view more profiles and better profiles.

But Photos First

Dating apps like OkCupid and Match were primarily profile first platforms that contained a lot of information about users in addition to their photos. One had to click through the profile to send a message or like the profile. Now dating profiles are heavily photo-driven in nature. You need good photos in order for your bios and messages to have any chance for success. Read this guide on some tips on what photos to use and which to avoid

Why Bios Are Important

Before you start to worry about your opening lines, you need to focus on your bio. After your photos, you bio is the next important aspect of your profile. Before you can message someone you need to match with them and before you can match, the other person has to review your photos and secondly your bio. If your bio is weak, you will receive fewer matches. Fewer matches means fewer opportunities for opening lines. A good bio is unique, confident, creative, witty and insightful. They should complement your photos and set up your opening lines. Many of the examples online are used frequently and are obviously copy and pasted. Good luck trying to separate yourself from the rest.

Bio Frameworks

A good bio should be consistent with your photos and your appearance. Too many guys try to be the most interesting man in the world and try to be the jack of all trades. If you are looking for something casual or looking for something with LTR possibilities, you need to communicate that directly or indirectly. Be specific, cliche bios are boring. Travel and Netflix offer no insight. Things you find odd, random, interesting, are passionate about are great. Instead of writing Netflix, reference a specific character on a lesser known show like Akiva on Shtisel. Self-deprecating humor is great when not too harsh. Avoid emojis unless to save space and limited to a few. Lists that flow well are great: Great at ‘X’, Awful at ‘Y’, Aspiring ‘Z’ but settling for ‘A’. Avoid adjectives and use descriptive nouns and examples. Also, avoid duplicate info in the fields above (job, height, company, location). Avoid being negative.

Bio Examples

Corn-fed from the Midwest, moved to the SF last year for green pastures. In search of great coffee cocktails, morning runs to start my day 6 days a week and long-time couchsurfer.

A bio like this communicates quite a bit in a few characters. Runners and couchsurfers are pretty distinct lifestyles and offer specific details about one’s priorities, travel style etc.

Ethically ambiguous, expert seat grabber at NOPA, big cities > resort vacations currently trying to figure out what to do with all my ceramics pieces from class.

This bio invites speculation about ethnicity, origins as well as conveys loves of food in addition to travel style. As a bonus, shows your current classes taken. Well-rounded without spilling all the beans at once – leave something for the imagination.

I live for GTL on the weekends – Galleries + Tea + Lacrosse. Currently planning for my trip to X and learning how to replicate the Y dish at Z but failing miserably – any tips? 

An alternative to the obvious show reference but reveals some consistent hobbies and activities you enjoy (art, tea and physical activity in lacrosse) along with new items you are trying to pick up . 

Opening Lines

Avoid the obvious here. Guys tend to focus on looks way too often. Focus on bios, photos, background of photos, outfits, activities etc. Women that are bombarded by their looks have heard it all before, be unique. Show some thought and interest in the person. Ask open-ended questions. 

What’s going on in this photo? Any tips for XYZ? Do you miss ABC from your hometown? Have you ever tried X? Did you check out ABC on your trip here? 

There are clever ways of asking the above but to avoid others copying and pasting tired old lines, I wanted to provide some ideas for you to let your creativity flow. Opening lines should be specific to the user. They should be timely. Lastly opening lines should be sent not so soon after matching as to seem desperate or likely you are online 24/7 but not too far out that the person doesn’t feel prioritized.