One of the toughest parts of the dating game is keeping the apps feeling fresh. It's difficult to come up with smooth pickup lines for dating app matches that would actually get replies. Luckily for you and I both, I was on the apps for long enough that I managed to master the art. And now I feel as though it's my duty to you, dear reader, to share some of my best pieces of wisdom.
The trick to crafting an absolutely perfect opening message on a dating app is to understand first what you're looking for with this experience. Some pickup lines work extremely well if you're trying to just hook up with someone. Others are great if you're trying to just start a conversation and see where it goes. Then, finally, there are the ones that could lead you towards something a little more substantial — they're relationship-material and shouldn't be deployed unless you're open to a potentially deep connection. No matter what you're looking for, I have got you totally and completely covered, my friend. Charge your phone before you read these because it's about to start blowing up. Ready?
If you're looking to get to know them better...
OK, let's say you're attracted to this person but you're not getting a whole lot of intel on who they are based on the two grainy group pics from college and the empty bio that comprise their entire profile. You'd like to get a better sense of who this person is before you commit to spending (at least!) an hour of your life hanging out with them IRL, so I'd suggest you initiate a conversation with one of the following questions to give you some more intel on their personality:
1. "Ready for a game of 'F*ck, Marry, Kill?'" Games are a great, light-hearted way to get to know someone a little better.
2. "It's Friday and you just got off work after a long week. What's next?" This question can be a huge character tell and, honestly, a great way to weed out people who may not be a great match for you right off the bat. If you're a super social person, you're probably not going to do well in a relationship with someone who wants to spend the weekend in their apartment binge-watching shows alone. Might as well get it all out there from the start.
3. "If you could quit your job and do anything with your life, what would your next move be?" This is a great way to tap into someone's dreams to see if they at all align with yours. Your dreams, of course, don't have to be the same but it's a great way to see what the person is truly passionate about.
4. "What would you do if you won the lottery?" This question helps you get to know the person on so many levels. First, you get to see how they handle money (are they savers or spenders?). Second, you get to see what they choose to spend their money on, which can offer you some pretty great insight on what their values are.
5. "Where was that third pic taken? It looks amazing." Asking about your match's adventures is a surefire way to get them talking.
If you’re looking for a quick hookup…
Let's say you want some no-strings-attached fun. You're not looking for anything serious, you just want to get laid. Or, at the very least, get a solid make-out sesh in. Your best mode of operation here is to be as up front as possible with one of these straight-forward messages:
1. "You're hot." This is not the sort of message you send someone when you're trying to build a lasting, meaningful relationship. It's saying you're only interested in one thing about them and it largely has to do with appearances. But it's also making your intention clear while also flattering them. Win, win.
2. "So, what are you looking for on here?" Rather than blurting out, "Are you DTF?" this opening line puts the ball in your match's court. It implies that you're pretty direct and have a goal in mind. If you want your hookups delivered almost as quickly as your Seamless orders, this line could be a winner for you.
3. "You wanna come over and not watch a movie?" This is funny but it also makes it clear that you're not just trying to, like, go on a date.
4. "I'd love to kiss your lips." Kinda sweet, no?
5. "Hey sexy." This strikes up a conversation with your mutual physical attraction right at the top. Warning: It might get steamy.
If you’re looking for something more substantial…
Whether it's because you've just never been a casual dater or because you've casually dated so much that you've finally hit your limit, the fact of the matter is you're no longer looking for something light and easy. You're officially now only interested in finding the real deal and you can find partners who are also interested in finding that by sending the following messages:
1. "What's your schedule looking like this week? You seem like someone I'd want to hang with IRL." First of all, hanging out IRL is no easy feat these days — so that's impressive. Second, this message is cutting to the chase. It's not dilly-dallying and it's not getting you in the dreaded text loop where the two of you chat for weeks on end but never ask each other out. If the person is down, you'll go on a date. If not, you'll move forward without having wasted your time.
2. "You free [day of the week you have something going on with friends]? I'm going to this [event] and would love a date if you're down!" If this person is going to be a serious partner, you're going to have to make sure they're able to keep up with your friends and family. So why not throw them in the line of fire right off the bat? Invite them to an event you have going on and see how they react. If they're down to tag along and act as a great date, you may have just found yourself a great potential partner.
3. "I'm looking for something serious, does that at all interest you?" If you're looking for something serious, it's important that you're only talking to people who are also looking for something serious. One of the best ways to do that is by just asking right off the bat. If someone doesn't respond, avoids the question, or just blatantly responds that they want something casual, then you can move on with minimal time wasted.
4. "It's this exact day in the year 2045. What are you up to?" A huge part of being in a serious relationship is having similar goals and values. There's no quicker way to find out what a person's goals and values are than asking them what their life is going to look like almost 25 years from now. Are they married? Do they have kids? Do they think they're going to be dead because the world is ending? Get a feel for whether or not they're worthy of a substantial relationship by asking this question.
5. "Favorite Netflix show? GO." I mean, let's face it. If you wind up dating this person, a lot of what the two of you will be doing together is lounging on the couch watching shows. So why not make sure you're into the same stuff right off the bat?
OK, now go forth and swipe!