Best Openers For Dating Apps

Online Dating

9 Best Openers for Dating Apps (2024)

Mackenzie Buck

Written by: Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck is an experienced writer who earned a master's degree with distinction from the University of Manchester. Her relationship advice has been featured on the New York Post, among other publications. She has worn a variety of hats in the digital marketing space over the years and is excited to bring her unique voice and storytelling chops to DatingAdvice.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!

You know how, when you have an argument with someone and three days later while you’re doom scrolling or walking the dog or unpacking your groceries, you come up with the perfect comeback to a point they made? Internet dating is kind of like that, except (hopefully) without the fighting. 

Thanks to the technology used in dating platforms, we’re given the benefit of time and space when it comes to communicating with online matches. This means we can go about our conversations at our own pace and take as long as we need (we’re talking a couple of hours to a day or two) to come up with a killer opening line. In a world where first impressions are potential deal breakers, this is a huge advantage. And if you’re still not sure where to start, we’ve got you. 

1. Hey, How’s It Going?

When the ol’ writer’s block starts turning into a headache, it may be time to take a pause on the one-liners and go back to the basics.

OkCupid first message word graph
OkCupid users who say “howdy” see higher response rates than those who say “hi.”

In fact, our dating experts encourage you to ditch the one-liners for good. Lock them away in a tiny box in your brain, never to be opened again.

OkCupid data suggests saying “howdy” is a good enough opener. The charm with a simple opener like “How’s it going?” or “How’s your day so far?” is that it’s simple. Maybe not the most exciting line in the world. But it gets the job done every time. 

Besides, most people love the opportunity to talk about themselves. Asking them this open-ended question gives them the perfect chance to tell you about their lives. 

2. You Mention ___ in Your Profile…

Since the rise of dating apps, the phrase “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” has never felt more true. But as much as it’s great to have options, it can also make singles feel hopeless in the pursuit of standing out. 

Mentioning something specific in a person’s profile shows them that 1) they’re not just another “swipe” to you, and 2) you’re interested in them enough to take the time to read through their profile with care and adequate attention.

I promise, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Here are a few examples: 

  • “I saw you’re a coffee lover, too! Do you typically go for iced or hot?”
  • “Wow, you work at an animal rescue? I’d love to hear your favorite rescue story!”
  • “I visited Croatia last summer, too! How was your trip?”

3. What’s Your Favorite Thing to Do on a Saturday?

Call me millennial, but I find work talk to be one of the most insufferable topics there is. Unless you’re Tom Cruise or that one guy who was hired to watch over the Great Barrier Reef (does anyone else remember this?), you’ll probably agree that the stuff you do outside of working hours is a lot more interesting.

This opener gives you a glimpse into your potential match’s personality — and what a weekend with them might look like should things go well! 

Plus, if one of their weekend go-tos line up with yours, this is a great segway into asking them out on a date in real life. For example:

  • “Oh, you love Sunday morning yoga? I’ve been meaning to try this new studio downtown — Would you want to come with me?”
  • “I used to love rock climbing, but haven’t done it in a minute! Maybe we can go together sometime?”
  • “I’ve never had boba tea before, but I’ve been wanting to try it! Do you have a favorite place that we could go to together?”

4. Where Were You in This Photo?

Like Queen Clarrise once said to Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” What she means by this, of course, is that pictures tell a story. And when it comes to online dating, you can use these stories as a great jumping off point when trying to get to know each other.

Something as simple as “Wow, this pic is sick! Where is this?” or “I think I’ve been there before! What’s this place called again?” can work wonders in establishing a fun conversational flow, or even pinpointing similar interests. 

And who knows? Maybe this question is the beginning of your next big travel adventure!

5. Send a GIF

If you tend to be pretty GIF-averse in your digital interactions, you might want to reconsider.

Tinder logo

According to a study conducted by Tinder, sending a GIF in a message to a match increases your likelihood of getting a response by 30%. Additionally, conversations with GIFs are proven to last twice as long as those without them.

What can I say? They’re hilarious. They’re easy to use. And they convey a message that some words simply can’t. 

Start adding these bad boys to your online dating artillery by heading here.

6. What’s Your Favorite Thing About Yourself?

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: People love to talk about themselves. Or, if anything, they appreciate a good question that makes them do a little bit of reflection.

Asking a person to reflect on what they admire about themselves will give you a glimpse into their inner world and shed light on what they value in life. For example, if someone replies “I love my guitar skills and sense of compassion,” this tells you that music and kindness are likely important to them (and that you might be attending a lot of open-mic nights in the near future). 

Plus, if they’re familiar with standard codes of conduct, they’ll probably pose the same question to you, giving you a chance to share a little something about yourself, too. Call it tit for tat.

7. If You Could Be a Character on Any Television Show, Who Would it Be?

This is a question that crushes almost every time. Why? Because I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like watching TV — or, at least, a person who can’t name a single TV show they’ve enjoyed over the years. It’s a pretty safe go-to for an interesting conversation.

Photo of a texting
Online dating messaging doesn’t need to be complex. Try asking about favorite shows!

Asking your match a question about their favorite shows lays the groundwork for plenty of follow-up questions and further exploration of each other’s hobbies, likes, dislikes, the whole nine yards. It could even serve as inspiration for a first-date idea (“Game of Thrones” marathon, anyone?). 

8. What’s a Cause That’s Important to You and Why?

If you’re looking for an FWB rather than a life partnership, this may not be the opening line for you. But for those on the search for the real deal, aligning with another person on shared values is especially important as you begin the dating process.

Asking about a cause (social, political, environmental, etc.) not only shows your match that you’re interested in getting to know them on a deeper level, but gives you an opportunity to discover what’s important to them in life. This is vital for gauging potential compatibility. 

For example, if they respond that they care about animal rights, you two may discover a shared love for pets (and even a dream of owning three Great Danes, two ferrets, and a family of exotic birds). On the other hand, if you lean left politically and they respond that they’re pro-life, you may decide that moving forward isn’t the best choice for you. Either way, you might get some important (albeit uncomfortable) conversations out of the way sooner rather than later. 

9. What Are Three Things on Your Bucket List?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Whether your match is an adrenaline junkie, a slow life aficionado, or somewhere in between, you’ll be able to find out pretty quickly once you get a glimpse of someone’s bucket list.

Those who appreciate adventure may have bucket list items that look something like this: 

  • Run an Ironman triathlon.
  • Hike to Machu Picchu.
  • Swim with sharks off the coast of South Africa.

Others may prefer to soak in the beauty of life in other ways. For example, they may have goals to:

  • Enjoy a glass of port wine on the Douro River in Portugal.
  • Spend a summer in Sicily making pasta from scratch.
  • Sleep under the northern lights of Tromsø, Norway.

No matter their answer, you’ve 1) started the conversation off on an exciting note, and 2) opened up the opportunity to learn more about the person beyond their job title or favorite color. 

Don’t Overthink It! Just Get Chatting

Trying to pinpoint the perfect way to capture your match’s attention can feel like finding a golden retriever puppy that no one likes — in other words: close to impossible. And as much as we believe you should put your best foot forward to come up with great openers, the reality is there is no perfect opening line. The best way to start the conversation is to, funnily enough, start it! 

The more you think about it, the further you get from being able to show up as the real you. Step into the unknown as your authentic self and see who matches your energy! The rest is up to the dating gods (or whichever deity you put your trust in).