Updated: February 4, 2023
If you want to make the first move or send the first message while online dating, more power to you. But don’t panic and fall back on a cheesy pickup line, or you run the risk of coming off as demeaning and predatory. Instead, let’s explore opening lines that will actually get you somewhere. These work especially well for online dating. These are specific to me, so adjust accordingly.
1. “Hi, I’m ____.”
It’s mind-blowingly simple advice, but oh-so effective: Just say hi. The most overlooked word in the online dating world is hi. There’s some merit behind Jerry Maguire’s “You had me at hello”—sometimes “hi” is the perfect thing to say. Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.
2. “I’ve visited St. Louis before, I almost went to WashU for grad school.”
Don’t you hate it when somebody messages you and asks, “So, where are you from?” or “What do you like to do for fun?” It makes you feel like they skipped the profile and just messaged you as part of their numbers game. I can’t stress this enough—actually read their profile! Commenting on something he or she wrote in their profile shows that you actually took the time to read what they wrote.
3. “What did the fish say when he swam into a wall? DAM!”
Another online dating first message tip is to break the ice with a (clean) joke. It can work wonders for clearing up any awkwardness you might feel during the first few messages. It’s not, however, an excuse to infuse the conversation with sexual innuendo. A joke could technically be classified as a pickup line, but I think as long as you tell it with good intentions, you’re in the clear.
4. “You look great in hats.”
I can’t tell you how thrilled I would be to receive this message from a potential match. It’s more specific than the expected “You have nice eyes” go-to compliment. The person might genuinely have great eyes, but try giving a compliment that’s a little quirkier and tailored to what they show in their photos. It will show that you actually absorbed information and remembered the details of what they presented to you in their profile.
5. “Hey, your profile caught my eye”
The formality of the initial message exchange can be a little slow at times. If you’re genuinely interested in pursuing someone, why beat around the bush? Instead of exchanging polite banter back and forth, sometimes it’s just better to go for it in person.
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