Bad Openers, First Message Ideas On Dating Apps: Conversation Starters To Avoid On Hinge, Tinder, Bumble,, Coffee Meets Bagel & More

If you have spent enough time on dating apps, you will notice dating apps can sometimes feel like a numbers game. Sending out likes, attachments comments and messages and A/B testing lines are ways people try to increase match counts on dating apps. Strategizing when likes and messages are sent, resetting profiles and paying to see who likes you are tactics people employ to get an edge over the competition.

Most people spend most of their efforts and rightfully so. Photos are the #1 thing people notice when they come across a profile. The next thing that people notice are biographical information (location, height, age, religion, politics etc.).

Next comes any prompts and answer to prompts. These times can make or break a person’s chances to solidify a match. If you manage to get by all those hurdles you are rewarded with a match – congratulations!

View additional online dating app messaging etiquette here!

Matches are a key metric in assessing your online dating efforts and should be acknowledged. There are many people who go on dating apps and never get a match. Some do get a match but only to find out it’s from a spammer from overseas, a military catfisher, an Instagram model or someone with an inanimate object as their profile photo. These things happen enough on all dating apps (some more than others) but the key thing to realize is that matches don’t really mean anything.

There are a number of people who swipe right without looking at their phones. There are other people who swipe right based on the main profile photo only or just the photos only to review the profile in more detail after a match is established. Then there are others who wait to see what kind of first message is sent by a match before they start to consider any time on said person.

Matching on dating apps means nothing until you start to exchange several messages back and forth – don’t get your hopes up on the match even alone.

I am not trying to discourage you from getting matches on dating apps but rather set realistic expectations. You don’t need a corny, cliche, over-the-top, flirty comment to get attention (those may work on apps like Tinder that are more for entertainment and those looking for hookups) but you should pay attention to your match’s photos, bio, photo captions, prompts, answers to prompts, facial expressions, attire, photo backgrounds, locations and environments when trying to come up with something interesting, unique.

Many women on dating apps get bombarded with likes and messages to the point where it can be overwhelming, frustrating and sometimes burdensome. Seeing the same repetitive pickup lines and/or low-effort, lazy introductory messages is a great way to go unnoticed.

Nothing is more anti-climatic than seeing someone post something from r/Tinder on Reddit or from a PUA site online. Seeing these messages dozens and possibly hundreds of times each day is exhausting.

For this reason, I have decided to list out the worst introductory messages, first messages, pickup lines and conversation starters on dating apps for people who are focused on meeting people of substance with relationship focused possibilities.

Hi, Hey & What’s Up (Arguably the laziest, most unoriginal message of all).

How Was Your Day, Week, Weekend, Holiday?

How Are You?

Hi Beautiful.

What Are You Doing? What Are You Up To?

How’s It Going?

Why Did You Swipe Right On Me?

What Are You Looking For?

(This can be hit or miss, you might get people who will lie, you might come off as being defensive or you might come off as being too abrupt. There are plenty of ways to ask this directly or ask this after a few messages have been exchanged and you like the person but asking right off the bat can come off as transactional).

How Long Have You Been On This App?

You Have Beautiful Eyes / Face.

(Insert Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp info)

(Insert hand wave emoji)

Commenting on or asking a question about the most obvious thing on a profile that everyone else is asking about.

Many of these lines are mere salutations. Others are so vague they can appear lazy. Others suggest or imply a sense of familiarity which is premature. Matching is the first step towards mutual attraction but it is not a definite indicator.

Rather than ask open-ended questions, use defensive language, or begin a conversation without using the person’s name, take a pause review the profile and make a connection, provide a counterpoint, add context to your profile, take a guess at the context of their photos. Take a chance, be vulnerable.

Coming up with good intro lines are only half of the equation, if your profile lacks conversation starters, depth or interesting anecdotes, don’t expect opening lines to bail you out. If someone unmatches you immediately after a first message, assume you are not creative enough or your profile needs help.

If you do get a response using one of these lines, be prepared for the person to match your lack on enthusiasm, effort and creativity. I personally would ignore lazy and low-effort people and recommend clients not giving into or making excuses for such people. It’s not ghosting if you unmatch after you receive a bad opening line.

Do you really want to waste your time on someone that is susceptible to such lazy efforts and cliche pickup lines?

More on Conversation Starters:

Why Hi, Hey & What’s Up Are The Worst Lines To Use On Dating Apps.

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.

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