6 Tips For Sliding Into Someone's DMs For Foolproof Flirting, According To Experts
So, you've got a crush on a person you follow on social media, but you don't know what to do. The good news? There are plenty of tips for sliding into someone's DMs that can help you achieve foolproof flirtation. If you're concerned about sliding into your crush's DMs or you feel like it's too invasive or creepy, don't worry too much — the key is to keep things casual, play it cool, and don't get too forward. Take it from me and my personal experience (I've had successful dates and made several friends from a well-done DM slide), and, you know, from the experts.
I spoke with Alessandra Conti, personal matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City to find out her best advice for successfully sliding into someone's DMs. The first thing she told me? Sliding into people's DMs is not anywhere near as taboo as it used to be, and it can actually be a good way to meet new people.
"With the way that our culture changes so quickly — even dating apps, a few years ago, [they] were taboo and now they're so normal," Conti tells Elite Daily. "That said, there are definitely different ways of going about sliding into the DMs, and some ways [can be] incredibly shady."
So, to avoid being shady — and to give yourself a real chance at making a connection with someone through their DMs — here's what you need to know before you make any sort of moves.
Don't Be Too Forward Or Sexual
The number one thing you have to remember when you're sliding into someone's DMs, Conti says, is not to open with a message that's sexual or talking about the other person's physical appearance, even if you mean it as a compliment. This is especially important if you're a man sliding into a woman's DMs, but in any case, starting with something physical, sexual, or overtly forward in any way implies that you're only interested in hooking up, and is usually considered a turnoff or a red flag. (If that is what you're going for, then fine — but make sure you're respectful with what you say regardless.)
My two cents? I never respond to people who send me sexual messages out of nowhere — and not only do I not respond, but I usually block the sender, too — so I would never lead with something overt no matter who I'm messaging. Conti confirms that this is the general reaction from most people, too, noting that most too-forward messages get left without replies.
So, if you're genuinely looking to make a real romantic connection with someone from this DM slide, steer clear of any heavy flirtation right off the bat.
"If a guy or a girl is actually looking to connect with that person, instead of saying something about the physical, they should say something that's more indirect in terms of the content of the message," Conti says.
Find Something You Both Connect With
So, what's a more indirect way to message someone and connect with them? Conti shared some examples, like bringing up a mutual friend to them, or asking them about a concert or a festival they recently attended. Another option that works if they live in your area (and while this hasn't gotten me any dates, personally, it did actually land me one of my closest friends, so I can confirm it works!) is to message them if you think you saw them at the store or out somewhere. Conti says that even just a "Hey, so random, but I think I saw you at Trader Joe's before — was that you?" can work.
"The best way to DM someone is to say something that is non-threatening, and very much just kind of opening a conversation," Conti says.
Personally, I find sliding into someone's DMs to be a lot easier when I've already established some sort of rapport with them by interacting with their posts in a less private way first (as in, we both follow each other and reply to or comment on each other's posts, especially on a platform like Twitter). I also prefer that to be the case before someone DMs me for the first time. While it can be a good idea (I mean, it can't hurt — if you're already interacting, then you definitely have something to message them about), Conti says it's not necessarily a must.
"I don't really think it's that necessary to be interacting publicly before DMing someone," Conti says — it should just be enough if you follow them and they follow you.
Know What You're Getting Into
Something to keep in mind before you make the move to slide into someone's DMs is that it can help to feel out their profile a little bit first. For one, check their posts to make sure they're not already seeing someone to avoid DMing someone who's not single. Conti suggests, especially on Instagram, taking a quick look through their tagged photos (this can help you figure out if they're dating someone!) or their following list and what sorts of accounts they comment on a lot. (On Twitter, you can also look at their replies section.)
You don't need to fully stalk them, but Conti says you should definitely take a look — a cursory scroll can't hurt. Before you message someone or get too involved with someone who has slid into your DMs, this can give you a good idea of how they're interacting with other people, too. This is mostly just to save you from wasting your time by messaging someone who is already in a relationship or talking to someone who isn't seriously looking for a connection.
Move Things Offline When Possible
If you have managed to successfully slide into someone's DMs and start a conversation, congratulations! That's the first step — the next one, once you've created a conversation that's flowing, is to turn that URL connection into an IRL one by meeting up in person.
"The biggest struggle that I see with this generation is that a lot of people are talking a lot, but it's almost like they have a million pen pals," Conti says. "Whether they're meeting on an app or they're meeting through sliding into the DMs, it never goes past that stage of just commenting on the other person's stuff."
"It is important to lead the conversation into a physical introduction," Conti says. And whether that's asking someone to meet up for coffee or offering them your extra ticket to a comedy show, there are plenty of options for asking them to meet up in person.
In my personal experience, the best thing you can do is establish a little bit of banter and not wait too long to ask the other person to hang out. It's my mantra for dating apps (hey, we matched with each other on those apps for a reason, right?) and it definitely translates to DM slides.
Conti also agrees with the idea of meeting up sooner rather than later. "You do want to get it from the DMs to real life as soon as possible, because also, if you're talking for months, it's just like the momentum is dead," she explains.
Ask A Friend For Help Connecting You
In general — AKA both online and offline — Conti says that the best way to make a connection with someone is through another person, like a mutual friend. In terms of DM sliding, if you're new to a city, for example, Conti says Facebook is an option for meeting new people in the area who are friends with your friends.
"You can totally just message them and say something like, 'Hey, I see you're friends with [this person], I'm brand new to the city and would love to meet some cool people. How's it going?'" Conti explains.
But, if doing that makes you nervous or you're worried about coming off in a creepy way, you can also take things a step further by asking your friend for an introduction, Conti says. You can tell your friend that you're looking to meet new people and even mention specific people you might be interested in to get them to make a connection for you.
Move On When It Doesn't Work
The absolute worst thing you can do when it comes to sliding into someone's DMs? Harassing them if and when they don't respond to you. The thing you have to remember is that some people just aren't going to be interested, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you. There are so many factors that go into being attracted to and interested in getting to know someone, and you can't force it.
"Say one thing, and then let them reply," Conti says. "If they don't reply, do not keep reaching out... Don't take it personally, and just move on. You really can't put too much [expectation into it.]"
So, shoot your shot, but don't go into it with high hopes or expectations — and if you don't hear back or you get rejected, let it go. Eventually, through a DM slide or not, you'll meet someone who feels like a perfect fit — but you're definitely not going to get there by bugging people who aren't.
And just for the record, if sliding into someone else's DMs — especially on Instagram — scares you too much, Conti says that a common way people show their interest (and thus, get the other person to DM them first if they're also interested) is by liking a few of their photos in succession. Just don't go overboard — two or three will do.
"If someone who is not as forward wants to go that route, liking a few photos is fine," Conti says, noting that it's just another way of showing that you're interested without being too direct about it.
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