You got a match! Congrats! …Now what?
At this point, it’s all about which person is going to break the ice first by taking the next step and sending the first message. Whether you swiped right first or he did, there is no true online dating etiquette absolving either party of the responsibility from sending the first message. In fact, tactful aggression in the realm of online dating is highly encouraged.
First impressions are just as important online as they are in person. However, online dating has its perks because you have time on your side to craft the perfect first message. The first message can either make or break your chances in going from matching to dating.
Not sure how to take initiative without coming off as desperate? We’ve got you covered with these first message tips to find out if that Tinder match is actually a match made in heaven!
The Goldilocks of first message lengths
Have you ever received a, “Hey ;)” or even worse a novel length first message from a recent match? Think about how either of those made you feel when opening up the Tinder app. Both send subliminal messages on very opposite ends of the dating spectrum.
Short messages like the aforementioned don’t really open anything up for conversation and scream unoriginal. With that being said, avoid the following intros if you’d like to stand out from the rest of potential dates in his inbox:
● “What’s up?”
● “How are you?”
In contrast, you don’t want to send an essay about what attracted you to their profile either. Keeping things short, simple, and open ended encourages him to want to respond in order to see where the conversation can lead.
Engaging first messages for your Tinder match could look something like these:
● “I see that you’re a little adventurous from your profile pic. Have any recommendations for some good hiking spots that are local?”
● “You seem like a good time—how’s your week going?”
● “I couldn’t help but notice the band tee in your profile pic. Have you ever seen them live?”
The key to creating engaging conversation is to get the other person to open up and the easiest way to do that is to get them to talk about themselves.
Men love compliments, too!
This first message tip for Tinder is one of the easiest low hanging fruits at your disposal. Unfortunately, society has us geared to thinking only giving compliments to women is the norm.
However, we usually read a book by its cover (read: profile picture) with online dating apps. So what’s the harm in actually acknowledging that you appreciate the merchandise? Unfortunately delivering compliments that are body specific have a tendency to come off as either creepy or desperate. We suggest that these types of explicit compliments wait until the two of you have taken the time to get to know each other and your intentions (e.g. are you looking for a relationship or a fling?). Therefore, we recommend stroking his ego by showing admiration for any of the details he’s given about himself through his profile, here are a few first message tips you could tailor for your potential knight in shining armor:
● “Wow, you really compete in the ________ marathon every year? You must be pretty athletic.”
● “I’m a sucker for men who give back to their community. Do you volunteer anywhere else besides __________ ?”
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Make him laugh with your first message
Making a potential suitor laugh right out of the gate can ease the tension for both you and him. It keeps things lighthearted and shows that you have a sense of humor. This isn’t advice to tell knock, knock jokes; however, light teasing and joking framed as an open ended question has a higher likelihood that he’ll respond instead of leaving you on read.
● “I’m confused. Your profile says that you’re a football fan, but I see that you’re wearing a 49ers jersey in one of your photos. Clearly the Patriots are the superior team. Explain yourself.”
● “I’ve gotta know, is that dog in the photo really yours or do you just use him to get swipes? :-)”
● “You can’t be a native Californian and never been to the beach. We need to talk!”
Go back to the basics for the first message
Sending that first message on Tinder doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, just go back to the basics. Ask common, simple questions that you would ask anyone else when you first meet to get to know them better.
● “Hey! Your profile says you’re originally from Texas. How long ago did you move to the area?”
● “It’s great to meet another avid horror movie fan! What are your top 5 favorite horror flicks?”
The objective isn’t to play 20 questions with your potential match made in heaven, but taking advantage of the opportunity to get to know him with a give and take conversation. All of the above first messages present open ended questions that can easily be turned into meaningful conversations that’ll help either of you determine if you’re ready to meet in person.
Read his profile
This first message tip for Tinder goes without saying—read his profile! Basic information about him is at your disposal.
Is it linked to his social media account? It’s not creepy to acknowledge that you saw his recent Instagram post or spotify anthem, because they have obviously enabled that feature for a reason: so potential matches can view them.
Can you find anything else interesting about him that you might want to share within the first message? Do you two share anything in common? Finding something to say about him while relating it back to yourself shows you’re attracted to his interests while also demonstrating that you share common interests.
● “Wow! I saw your recent Instagram post about your trip to Bali. I’m actually planning on going there next summer. Any recommendations for my trip?”
● “Gym rat, huh? I’d like to consider myself somewhat of a fitness connoisseur myself. What are some of the worst workout epic fails you’ve witnessed at the gym?”
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