Opening with "Hey, what's up?" on Tinder is akin to ordering vanilla ice cream at a Michelin-star restaurant.
Help! I'm already bored. This isn't AOL Instant Messenger circa 2006.
It's hard to start chatting with a stranger when the only information you know are his age, and what his face looks like.
Pro tip: Scan his photos for any particularly interesting details. An opener asking your match why he has a picture with former veep Joe Biden is much more likely to lead to actual, stimulating conversation.
Questions are most definitely the ultimate opener, even if there's no selfie with ultimate zaddy Biden to comment on.
One of my BFFs recently shared her favorite dating app pickup line with me, asking, "What's the weirdest city in America you've been drunk in?"
I would be so down to answer that question if someone sent that my way. (Milwaukee.)
This works because the conversation has a organic next question built-in. "But why were you in Tallahassee?" will teach you a lot more about your match than if you were asked, "How's your week going?"
That said, there are some questions that are better left unasked. When courting future cuties on Tinder, here's what you should stray away from saying:
1. Going to Whole Foods, Want Me To Pick You Up Anything?
The reason this line works on Master of None is because it is entirely original, thus meriting an equally original response.
This was fun to receive on apps for approximately three days after season two was out. Now, it's tired and played out.
While this may be used as a lesson to try and be as creative as genius television writer, Aziz Ansari, do your best to come up with your own unusual question.
2. What's Someone As Awesome As You Doing On An App Like This?
Uh, hold the phone. Both parties have swiped and matched at this point so... you're in the same boat. If there's some threshold of desperation to being on Tinder, you're both there.
It's like at a family gathering when your Nana asks you, “Why aren't you seeing anybody?”
And then, even if you are happily single, you feel shame and start muttering about the guy you're breadcrumbing. Then, you have to explain breadcrumbing, when you should've just said, “I don't know,” and had your 85th piece of cheese from the cheese board...
Just stray away from using bizarre, single-shaming lines as a single person yourself.
3. Why Did The Coffee File A Police Report?
Short answer: "Because it was mugged."
I actually received this message on an app once, but didn't reply. As a serious fangirl of cheesy jokes, I would not recommend them as a line on Tinder. The answer, while funny, feels even less original and specific to me than the above-mentioned Whole Foods line.
Dad jokes like this should only be used on second dates or... never.
4. What's Your Sign?
Le sigh, does anyone even use this anymore? The answer is: Yup.
I totally get it. It can be fun to know if your sign is compatible with someone else's, but it's more fun to discuss in person over a nice glass of wine, especially if your match isn't as familiar with the stars as you are.
So tuck in your Pisces-boner until then so as not to come across like a little bit of an astrology-obsessed weirdo.
5. What Do You Mean By 'Entrepreneur?'
From my swiping experience, seeing a general "entrepreneur" listed under the job section on Tinder is a major red flag for "unemployed."
Usually, a place of employment is involved in entrepreneurship. Case in point: Mark Zuckerberg would write "Founder of Facebook" for his.
That said, let's not shame someone before we know his whole story. Maybe he really has his hands in a lot of different places (job-wise, of course) and wants to keep things concise.
Job conversation is usually pretty mundane anyway, so ask him just about anything else except what he does.
6. Who's That Girl In Your Second Picture?
I know it's tempting to find out why there's that blurred female face in two of four of his pictures, but previous relationship chats are for later. Also, guys can be pretty oblivious when it comes to setting up a dating profile, so don't hold this against him too much.
Don't set yourself up for failure by comparing yourself to that girl you assume to be his ex from the get go.
If a blonde stranger with her arm around a man you have not met is making you jealous, you may need to re-evaluate your swipe game on Tinder with a different plan of attack.
Let's be real: It's probably just his sister, anyway.
7. How Do You Feel About Donald Trump?
Sure, it's best to weed out the Trump misogynists, but when has engaging in political discussion on the internet ever been conducive to having a good day?
Political preferences can be really important, but let's learn these things about each other in person.
A better approach: Be on the lookout for dudes who get defensive at the mention of "feminism" or women's rights. You already have enough patriarchy in your life.
While divisive topics that go a little deeper than normal definitely start conversation, that conversation might not be the one you are looking to have via a tiny app on your phone.
On the other hand, sending a waving hand emoji is bland and Mike Pence-level boring. Find another way to get noticed.
When you ask questions on Tinder, try not to be too vanilla without offending, or geting overly personal.
A good rule of thumb for all you Tinderellas out there is to not ask your matches anything you wouldn't ask a friendly bartender who is serving you drinks. You want to be nice, asking things that expand in conversation with the hopeful outcome of a date, just like being nice to a bartender leads to a quality martini.
Yes, I know dating is hard, especially when using Tinder, but there are plenty of ways to get noticed... without using these questions.