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8 Tinder First Messages That Actually Start a Conversation

Maybe I'm rare... i've never used a dating website.   It wasn't as normal when i started dating my wife.  Now, a LOT of relationships get their start on a site like Tinder. 

MEN'S HEALTH put together these ideas for messages that actually work.  Do they help?   Let me know!

1. "Hey" is for horses.

Many women believe that for men, Tinder is nothing more than a numbers game. In many cases, they're not necessarily wrong. “Let’s face it — Tinder is an easy way to get a lot of women’s faces in front of yours,” says John, 40. “A lot of guys just swipe right as many times as they can just to see who matches.”

But that's not to say that there aren't guys on the app looking to forge a genuine connection. If that applies to you, and you’re looking for something more than a quick exchange of nudes, you need to make an effort to stand out from the crowd. And that means never, ever using the dreaded three-letter word: “hey.”

2. Take the time to read the other person's profile.

The whole point of dating is to make the other person feel special, which is why the easiest way to get someone to respond in a Tinder conversation is to actually read the other person's profile. (Yes, this sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many men don’t.) Make it polite, personalized, and without any hint of sexual innuendo.

As an added bonus, any of these clues also can come in serious handy when planning future date ideas.

3. Be prepared to learn something new.

Maybe her profile says she’s PADI-certified, and you have no idea what a PADI is. (It’s an association for diving instructors, by the way). Or maybe he's really into veganism, and you've been thinking about adopting a plant-based diet. Either way, if you spot something on the other person's profile that piques your interest, even if you know nothing about it, ask.

“I’ve found I’ve been successful when I ask about something she’s doing that I know nothing about, especially if it’s something I’m interested in learning, too,” says Ben, 37.

There is, however, one caveat: “Don’t make things up," Ben warns. "Don’t tell her that you’re interested in yoga if you have no intention of ever trying it with her.”

4. Hold the cheese.

Cheesy pickup lines are almost worse than, “Hey.” They're obnoxious, unoriginal, and worst of all, they're usually not funny. You should also avoid "edgy" greetings; you might think they make you sound clever and ironic, but usually, they just make you seem like an idiot. Example: A friend of mine once messaged 50 random girls on Tinder, “Wanna bang?” to see if anyone responded. (Needless to say, no one responded in the affirmative.)

5. Don't be shallow.

We all have the ideal perfect mate in the back of our minds, and anyone who says they don't is probably lying. Still, coming off as shallow or overly concerned with physical appearance is a major turn-off. So is asking rude questions about someone's age or reproductive status.

6. Ask about their weekend plans.

This one is incredibly simple, but it works: if you've already got a conversation going, ask what they're doing for the weekend. (But in a light, friendly, non-creepy way: you don't want them to think you're tailing them all over town.)

“Is she going out with friends? Visiting family? Working out? Beach? Ordering takeout because she had a long week? So much can be revealed by one simple question,” says Derek, 32. It's a good way of finding out what the other person likes to do in their spare time, without having to directly ask that question (because that would make you sound less like a prospective date and more like a college admissions interviewer).

7.  When push comes to shove, don't do either.

Tinder messaging is a delicate dance. You don’t know this person yet, so you don’t want to be texting them like you would an old friend. Tinder should be used as a staging ground to get you to the real date. It should not be used as a way to find a digital pen pal. Don't get too bogged down in your messages, and take your cues from the other person when replying. “If she’s replying quickly, feel free to fire back. If she’s taking a while to respond, don’t jump to conclusions that she’s over it, but don’t bombard her with messages either,” says Evan, 32.

8. Be yourself.

It’s so simple, but it's so true: when you're in the dating game, the best thing you can do is stay true to yourself and your own gut feeling. At the end of the day, being genuine and engaging, without being cheesy or gross, is still the most successful tactic. Don’t overthink it. Don’t try to figure out what the other person wants you to say. In the end, if you’re both pretending, it’s not going to work out, anyway.

And if someone does not respond to you for whatever reason, just try to remember that they're not rejecting you — they're rejecting whatever digital version of yourself you’ve put out there. Dating apps are great for so many things, but they're not good at conveying body language, voice, physical chemistry, or any of the other tiny things that go into actual attraction. And at the end of the day, Tinder is a dating app, not the "Will I Ever Find Love or Will I Be Lonely Forever" Olympics, so try not to take anything that happens on there so personally.


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