Tinder is five years old this year and still flying high. It is still the default app for most people under 50 who want to date or hook up. If you’re new to the dating app and want to know how to meet people, get those right swipes and then start a Tinder conversation, you’re in the right place!
Also see our article How To Reset your Tinder Account
Let’s assume you have read the other Tinder guides on TechJunkie, have your profile sorted, have some good quality images, don’t have any obvious social diseases and can play nicely with others. How do you start a conversation on Tinder?
We all know ‘Hi, how are you?’ just isn’t going to cut it and will likely get you ignored right away. We also know that ‘Hey, love your pic, wanna hook up tonight?’ isn’t likely to work either as it is too forward too fast. While one in a hundred might say yes, you have already alienated the other ninety nine for all time.
First, a little psychology.
Likes and liking on Tinder
Tinder is used by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. Singles use it to mingle and date, some use it purely to hook up. Some use it to get revenge on their cheating other half who also uses it. Some just use it for validation purposes, because being swiped right makes them feel good.
You don’t know why the person you swipe on is using Tinder. They may tell you in their profile but there is no telling if it is true or not. You also don’t know what kind of mood the other person is in when you start a conversation. They may be in a great mood and receptive to everything, they may still be in the mourning phase of a relationship and hate everyone. We need to bear all these things in mind when starting a conversation.
Timing is everything
Now you get the picture, let us quickly talk about timing. Replying the instant you get a match just shows desperation. It is much, much better to wait a little while before starting a conversation. Studies differ in their opinion but range from waiting 24 hours to up to 48 hours.
Wait as long as you can bear to before messaging your match. If you can wait 24 hours, your success rate will increase exponentially.
The only time this doesn’t work is if you or your match is traveling and are using Tinder somewhere you won’t be around forever. Then start a chat after an hour or so.
Starting a Tinder conversation
Coming up with that opening line can take longer than putting an entire profile together. It doesn’t have to be that hard though. Here are a few tips for starting that first conversation.
Look carefully at the profile and the pictures. Look for common interests, common histories or common anything. Use that in your opening line. For example, if one of their profile pictures as a guitar in the background and you play guitar, that’s your starter. If they are wearing a Dallas Cowboys top and you like football, that’s a starter. Look and read carefully to pick up clues.
Complements get you everywhere. Both girls and guys like being complemented if it is sincere. Guys should avoid complementing looks wherever possible. Girls can get away with it more. Complement a pet, a feature of the bio like a masters degree or something or some other element of the profile.
Check yourself before hitting Send. Tinder is an investment. An investment of time, effort and often money so getting the most out of that is essential. To get a conversation flowing, you need to check before you send. Ask yourself, how would that person take this message? Am I being too forward or direct? Is it easily understandable? Does it come across as too confident or arrogant? Am I being myself? That last one is essential.
Time your replies. If you managed to wait 24 hours before starting a conversation, replying to a message in five seconds flat is going to seem strange. Leave it at leave five minutes and then gradually reduce the time as the conversation flows. As you share more messages, you can reply faster as it conveys interest.
There are lots of websites offering cool first lines and conversation openers. Some of them are actually clever or amusing. The trouble is, the person you’re trying to talk to may have read those same websites and know exactly what is a line and what is genuine. If you are suspected of using a line, your chances of success with that person plummet.
It is always better to just be yourself, pay attention to the profile and use common ground to spark a conversation. It works in real life so works just as well on Tinder!