Bad Hinge Conversation Starters: Boring, Cliche, One-Word Answer Prompts To Avoid Using In Your Dating Profile. Better Prompts To Use Instead.
As many good prompts that exist on Hinge there are also some questions you want to be careful of. Answering a certain way can sabotage your profile or make you seem not so interesting, weird, or creepy.
Hinge has over 75 prompts to choose from and unfortunately not all of them are great. In fact, many of them invite lazy one-word answers or cliche responses that many others are using.
Some of these prompts are designed to be used as debate topics on Hinge but it’s hard to engage if you come off sounding awkward, rude or immature.
Here are some such questions and the ways they can go wrong quickly. As you can see, many of these questions don’t reveal much, ask the person to do something, reduce chemistry or attraction to one item or illustrate some sort of defensive or negative attitude.
Related reading: Good Hinge Prompts To Use In Your Online Dating Profile.
A random fact I love –
More than likely someone will copy/paste or paraphrase something from wikipedia, facebook, or instagram. This prompt is the modern day version of inspirational quotes. Empty, cliche and doesn’t reveal much about someone other than their ability to copy and paste.
Give me travel tips to –
Could be a good idea to crowdsource your trip and show what kind of traveler you are but it can also invite penpals (not dates) and suggest you are lazy in your own trip-planning efforts or don’t have friends to get this info from. It’s a great way to see if someone is compatible and knowledgeable but you can come off as seeking a tour guide vs a date.
We’ll get along if –
Boiling down compatibility to one trait, hobby, passion, interest is a bit overly eager and presumptuous.
You should not go out with me if –
Stating deal-breakers and being negative is usually frowned upon but your sense of humor can catch someone’s attention. Additionally, you should be able to reasonably screen out someone with the trait below by looking at one’s profiles and not having to mention it in your own.
Don’t hate me if –
Usually people will list something like pineapple on pizza which is a bit lame and too cliche. Taking an unpopular opinion is only helpful here if it is original, thought-provoking rather than insignificant.
Pet Peeves –
This is an obvious prompt to maneuver carefully around. Most people will list something to the effect of something they cannot tolerate (political affiliation, players, etc.) Rather than focus on what annoys you, I recommend conveying what you appreciate it. What you can do instead here is list something mundane to show a playful side of you but make sure your other prompts and answers are more substantive.
The Sign Of A Great First Date –
This is rather an ambiguous and misleading prompt in my eyes. Most people convey something too structured, too fairy-tale like, or something too specific. A great date can be had in a variety of ways so trying to engineer the perfect answer to this seems a bit too robotic.
How My Mother Would Describe Me –
For men, this can quickly associate you as a momma’s boy. Nothing wrong with that but leading in with this can be tricky unless there is an incredibly witty and creative answer to follow this up. This is the most challenging prompt to be successful at in my opinion.
The most spontaneous thing I’ve done –
If it is not that spontaneous or interesting it can make you seem dull. It doesn’t have to be the item that garners the most Instagram likes but something that took courage can be effective.
Fact about me that surprises people –
If it is something obvious or not that interesting nor flattering it can make you seem dull. Some things that are surprising about you might be better suited in person with context, build-up.
Try to guess this about me –
Seems a bit lazy, vague or self-centered. This is one of the worst prompts on Hinge but I like that it remains but it outs people easily through self-sabotaging efforts.
A Shower Thought I had recently had –
Things could get weird quickly, tread lightly. With that said, this is you best chance to be random.
The one thing you should know about me is –
This could be a bit too revealing too quickly. It could also be a warning that makes people think twice or give pause. If you can spin this in a way to be a little silly or self-deprecating you might be better off here.
I’ll pick the topic if you start the conversation –
Lazy, unoriginal. Again one of the worst prompts on Hinge. Glad it exists to out people easily.
The biggest risk I’ve taken –
Make sure it’s risky yet not weird nor wreckless. Injecting some humor here can help reveal that you are not totally stiff.
Something that’s non-negotiable for me is –
Your answer can come off as being too negative even if your match is agreeable. Use some humor when in doubt to reveal a stubborn silly obsession.
The best way to ask me out is by –
Can seem conceited, high maintenance or imply you don’t get asked out enough or your time is wasted by those that play games or are indirect. Injecting humor helps to soften the blow. Think carefully about this. ‘Just ask’ is the worst answer to this and all prompts.
Also makes the other person wonder: what else are they going to give me instructions for? How to kiss? How do I like to be held?
Teach me something about –
No one wants homework or assignments. Most people using this prompt can be seen as lazy or unmotivated. However being honest about something you want to learn more about and are shy i.e. women asking about sour beers can perk up attention.
Qualities I’m looking for in a plus-one wedding date –
You can appear to be prioritizing finding a date so you don’t show up to a wedding by yourself vs actually looking for someone you are are interested in. Be careful how you approach this.
All I ask is that you –
This can come off as having very low standards or expectations. Be creative if you use this. Use some humor or silly request.
I’ll pick the first part of the date, you pick the second –
This can be mighty presumptive and eager possibly. You don’t want to seem to rigid with plans or want to lock yourself into a long date without an out.
The secret to get to know me is –
It’s not a secret if you tell them. Also, giving people homework by using the cliche response is a no-no.
I’ll fall for you if –
Some guys might approach this as an engineering feat, if I do X you will be mine. Be more demanding. Be silly here. Most cliche answer: ‘if you trip me’ – try harder.
Similarly, putting conditions on your match early on is a bit overkill. Some things are implied. Case in point –
My last meal –
This can be as insightful as your favorite coffee drink or place (nothing to get excited about). Unless you get specific or something unique (say the Cognc Lobster Spaghetti from Joe Beef), you might be wasting space here.
Where to find me at the gym –
Posting and answering this question is the equivalent of posting a gym selfie or getting marathon stickers for your car. Your physique should speak for itself.
Unusual skill –
Is you skill relevant, interesting? Most are mundane. You could redeem yourself if this is a great bar challenge or something interesting if not, use another prompt.
Dating Me Is Like –
Dating me is like – this is a tough prompt to answer. It teeters on self-awareness, confidence but suggests you have dated A LOT of people. Usually these comments are biased (self or friends and family). Rarely are they humble brags, accurate or modest.
What are you looking for –
While this is not a Hinge prompt, inevitably you will get asked this by a few people (mostly by women but men too). It’s a rather loaded, abrupt and intrusive question to ask up front on a first date or early messages. Asking this seems like an interview question of where do you see yourself in 5 years? There are plenty of indirect, related questions that are more subtle and insightful and less obtrusive. It also suggests distrust, insecurity or inability to screen people based on prior experiences. Look for clues in their photos, bio, passions, priorities, texts, etc.
Tell me about a time you -
Lazy, giving someone homework. Don’t do it.
Three emoji that describe me -
Epitome of laziness. Why are you even on dating apps?
Favorite childhood book -
Are you hoping someone is looking to date the child version of you? Is the book still relevant to you today? Likely not. Only include it if you can use it to make a reference to something else more interesting about you than an outdated book.
Tattoos I have -
If you think tattoos make you interesting, you need help. Tattoos are fine and all but best left to be discovered in person or when you get naked.
The one thing I'd love to know about you is
Unless you are divulging something about yourself or find a way to be funny, interesting then you are self-sabotaging your dating profile and love life with another example of dodging questions about yourself. Shame.
Now that you have an idea of what Hinge prompts to use, make sure you are not using any cliche, overused, boring or generic answers.
Make sure your bio is filled out and make sure you have good photos that are good conversation starters otherwise it might be too awkward or hard to initiate a reply or initial message with little to go on.
Short messages, incomplete bios, delayed replies, not initiating messages (only replying), bad grammar and more can self-sabotage your dating efforts.
For tips on how to get more matches on dating apps, read this helpful post.
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/
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