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When it comes to dating online, it’s no surprise that most singles state in their profiles that they’re interested in meeting someone with a great sense of humor.
A potential match will determine whether you’re swipe-right worthy based on both their attraction to your primary photo and the all-so-important intriguing first message that winds up in their inbox.
With all of that pressure to stand out, avoiding clichés in first liners is essential. That’s why the overused “How was your weekend?” or the one-word salutation “Hey” is out. Here are a few opening one-liners to help increase your reply rate.
The simplest way to get a response from your match is to ask them a question when their profile piques your curiosity. Avoid the deposition-style line of questions and keep it simple by asking only one question that shows you’ve viewed their profile and put some thought into your initial message.
I recommend always personalizing your opening line to include their first name or their dating app username. That way you won’t appear like a spammer who sends the same cut-and-paste message to all potential suitors.
Ask a specific question about one of the pictures they included on their profile:
If you’re stumped on where to start, a great fallback is to look at a holiday calendar. Consider it your go-to cheat sheet. The one I think is fun and works well can be found on Time and Date’s website, where you’ll learn about holidays from Hug Your Cat Day to Drive-in Movie Day.
I recommend viewing the calendar to find some interesting events in the upcoming week, so your date will view you as a master of trivia.
Some fun summer holidays include International Picnic Day, Onion Ring Day, International Joke Day, Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, and World Emoji Day. By using this calendar, you can ask questions like:
A picture, indeed, is worth 1,000 words, but what about animated photos?
Data from Tinder shows that if you add a GIF to your message, you’ll have a 30% greater chance of getting a response.
Other apps, including Bumble, allow you to spice up your message with built-in humor by adding an illustrated GIF to your message.
Here’s how it works. Once you’re matched and in communication mode, you’ll see a GIF icon to the right or below where it says Your Message. Click on that icon, and it will allow you to search through the GIF library.
You can send a rose to a potential date along with your opening line, or send a bottle of digital champagne or a glass of wine. Type in the word “sunshine” in the search, and you’ll find a collection of happy GIFs to wish your date a good morning.
Along with the gift of a GIF, it’s fun to include a happy face or wink emoji in your messages to show that you’re flirting.
One of William Shakespeare’s most notable quotes is, “If music be the food of love, play on.”
Talking about music is a great ice-breaker, which is likely the reason several dating apps include a feature that syncs your Spotify account to your profile.
Both Bumble and Tinder have partnered with Spotify to help you match with others based on shared musical taste. Now you can easily figure out your date’s favorite style of music.
Concerts are back on the calendar, and festival lovers are adding groups like the Foo Fighters at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and BottleRock to their dream lists. You can ask your potential date these questions to see if you’re a musical match.
Apps like Tinder allow you to post your favorite song as your musical Anthem. For example, I’ve used “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones to attract another Stones lover. Posting your anthem song makes it simple for someone to ask you if you’ve seen that artist or band live in concert before, and if so, where and when.
When you see someone’s theme song posted, and you like the same music, I recommend sending your match a message where you fill in the blanks with another lyric to the same song.
What’s on your travel bucket list? It’s one of the most popular questions on dating apps.
People today have a pent-up demand for going on vacation, and most singles like to share their favorite travel stories.
If your match hasn’t included travel photos or a list of their dream vacations in their profiles, it’s time to ask a question: “If you could travel anywhere now, where would you like to go?”
If your match is a travel enthusiast and has posted 30 photos of trips to the Caribbean, Italy, or safari in Africa, it’s time to ask them about their adventures: “How lucky that you got to travel to Italy before the lockdown. Which cities did you visit?”
Posting that you’re COVID-19 vaccinated is one of the sexiest things you can add to your dating profile. It will let your date know that you take safety seriously, but did you know that most singles don’t name the vaccine manufacturer in their profiles?
If you see that your date has a vaccination badge on their profile, it’s time to say:
Remember that the vaccine icebreaker does have a shelf life, and at some point, COVID won’t be a focal point for an opening line.
Streaming has become a regular pastime for many singles since so much of dating went virtual. So whether you were binging alone or with a family member, chances are your date has some fave shows they’ve viewed, and now’s the time to ask.
While Netflix and chill turned into quarantine and chill for most singles in the past year, chances are your date has spent hours and hours in front of the TV binge-watching his or her favorite shows.
Now’s the time to get some expert entertainment advice, courtesy of your future date by asking for a recommendation on a binge-worthy show. Asking about these shows will guarantee a response.
You can get more specific and write a message based on genre, but know that talking about comedy is usually a good call. A good opening liner would be: “I just finished watching Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ and am super excited about the second season. What’s the funniest show you’ve binge-watched in the past year?”
Food is an aphrodisiac, and while I don’t recommend sending an eggplant emoji, asking your match about their favorite food, restaurant, or recipe is always a great icebreaker.
I’m always intrigued by match percentages, and you should be as well. On some dating sites, such as OkCupid and Match, you can see the percentage of compatibility with other members.
While there’s no replacement for offline chemistry, these percentages are an excellent place to start.
If you notice that the app states you’re a 90% match or higher, it’s a great icebreaker to find out why you’re compatible or where the shortfall is.
My recommendation is to say the following in your opening message:
It should go without saying that flattery goes far, and the reason you’re on a dating app is that you want to find someone you’re attracted to.
When you see a photo of someone sporting a killer smile or with a puppy, it’s your cue for a perfect first message.
Try one of these to get started, and remember to include their name:
Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly who you have written to in your quest for love online. Match.com helps you by allowing you to view your history, but you still need to be original and creative.
By having a variety of one-liners for any occasion, it will prevent you from sending the same message over and over to someone you’re interested in. That uniqueness will be cute the first time, but it will backfire if you’re copying and pasting the same messages to the same people.
These tips for one-liners will help improve your response rate, so get ready to start chatting because once you hear back from your digital crush, you’ll need to keep the banter going until you put a date on the calendar.