Because “hey” isn’t going to cut it.
What do you do when you get the urge to text that cute guy or girl you're kind of into, but you have no legitimate reason to start a conversation? You could use a cheesy pick-up line like everyone else, but you don't want to come across as cliché. And you already know a “hey” or a “wyd?” probably won’t get you very far. If your goal is to learn how to start a conversation with a crush that’ll grab their attention and get them so excited to chat, you’ve come to the right place. Sometimes, all it really takes for the object of your affections to open up is a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Don’t stress — orchestrating said nudge is actually easier than you think. Knowing how to text your crush will be easy with a little bit of dating expert-backed advice. But as for what you shouldn’t do? “Try to avoid general messages like ‘Hi, how are you?’ or ‘Hey, how's your day?’ and put more thought into saying things that are meaningful to this person,” breakup and dating specialist Cherlyn Chong from Steps to Happyness tells Elite Daily. And try not to overwhelm them with a billion texts, while you’re at it. The most important thing is to be thoughtful.
Consider sending your crush one text, and maybe a second after a few days. If they respond (especially to one of the ideas below), you might be on the brink of a convo that could not only be super fun, but that could also shed light on your compatibility. For all you need to know about how to chat with your crush, here’s what the relationship experts recommend.
1. Ask A Leading Question
Opening the conversation with a question can be a good strategy, but asking something they'll definitely know the answer to is even better. "That will get the conversation flowing more freely," says Shannon Smith, a dating expert at Plenty of Fish. If you're both into the same sports team and you're not able to watch the big game, send a text asking about the score. Have a class together? Ask them a question about the homework. Who knows? Maybe you can even set up a future study date.
Example: “What was the name of that [insert previous conversation point] you were telling me about again?
2. Jog Their Memory
"If you know a little background info about your crush and you've spoken before, bring up something you remember from your last conversation to show you were actively listening, like a band or movie you both like. It's a great way to pick up right where you left off," says Smith. By reminding your crush of your last interaction, you're expressing your interest while also piquing theirs. For example, if you recently talked about your shared love of sci-fi films or indie music, you can send them a relevant movie or song suggestion.
Example: “Have you heard of [insert band name]? Give them a listen and tell me what you think!”
3. Say Something Sweet
If you’re texting someone for the first time, Smith suggests mentioning something that made you laugh or made you think of them. A genuinely sweet thought is never bad, and even if the relationship doesn't progress, your text has the potential to brighten their day. Try sending a message that will both flatter them and get them to talk. “A more flirty but still genuine text can be one complimenting what you most like about them,” Chong says. “That should get you a pleased ‘thanks!’ and many people will return the compliment.”
Example: “Just saw a comedy show and it made me think of you. The performers hadn't quite mastered their 'yes, and’s’ the way you have.”
4. Bring Up A Shared Interest Or Experience
The most effective way to start a convo: “Commenting on a shared interest or experience," says Smith. Start by looking at their social media feeds or dating app profile to see if you can find any details you have in common. If they post a lot of Instagram photos of their dog, and you do too, suggest a puppy playdate. Or maybe you both went to the same literary event, and you can ask them if they've read another one of your favorite titles.
Example: “OMG you’re also into [insert shared interest]? We should go together next time!”
5. Send An Emoji
According to Smith, a Plenty Of Fish study found the wink face, kissing face, and heart eyes emojis are the most likely to get a reply from singles, in that order. Consider using one of those in your initial text to show off your flirty side and increase your chances of getting a response. “It's always best to keep it light and positive, and possibly funny,” Chong explains. “People will reply to interesting and thoughtful messages.” So, if you do send a flirty text, keep it coy and casual — not super over the top.
Example: “It was fun seeing you last night! You never told me you were such a good dancer 😉.”
6. Be Genuinely Curious
People appreciate when you actively take notice of them and their personality. It’s one of the biggest indirect compliments out there, because it shows that you are paying attention to their idiosyncrasies and inner self, as opposed to just outer looks (though it’s sometimes nice to be noticed for that, too). Show that you are genuinely interested in them by asking them about something related to their likes and personality. “To keep the conversation going, ask curious questions,” Chong says. “Sometimes it's not easy to find a mutual topic, but ask them about themselves and seem genuinely curious about them and they will respond.”
Example: "I remember you saying you like to go hiking. What are some of your favorite trails around here?”
7. Invite Them To Something Casually
Sometimes you’ve already been talking to a crush a little bit over text messages and you’re looking for ways to get to know them even more — so why not do it in person? “To end the conversation, you can casually ask them out,” Chong says. “You can say something like, ‘I'm headed to [local cafe] this afternoon, would you like to come have a latte with me?’ This shows that you already have plans, but want them to come along.”
Example: “I’ll be at that bar near your place tomorrow night with some friends if you want to stop by and say hi!”
And remember: Ultimately, you want to chat with someone who wants to chat with you, period. That’s why it’s so important to just be genuine. "Try not to get too caught up in your own head when it comes to conversing with a crush. Just being yourself is always the best approach," advises Smith. "And remember, if it doesn’t go exactly as planned, don’t sweat it. 85% percent of singles are more than willing to give things a second chance after a less than stellar first convo."
Starting a conversation with someone you're into can be intimidating, but making the first move is super bold and can help you stand out in a positive and memorable way — especially on dating apps that are flooded with people. Your crush or match will be flattered that you took initiative. And remember: If they don’t respond, you’re just practicing for the next cutie you have your eye on.
Cherlyn Chong, breakup and dating specialist at Steps to Happyness
Shannon Smith, dating expert at Plenty of Fish
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