Ever heard of the phrase ‘break the ice’? Yeah, it’s a common one used to describe getting a conversation going, especially with strangers. One place that phrase would not go amiss is in the sometimes wonderful, always strange world of online dating. If you are one of the many trying your luck to find a mate through online dating (firstly going to congratulate you on your stamina, online dating can be a lot of dark clouds before the sun comes out) then you’re probably aware of the dreaded point where one of you has to start a conversation, or break the ice.
It can be daunting. Not to be too dramatic, but it is a make or break moment. I have been known to not reply to a ‘conversation starter’ because it seemed like a weak/lazy attempt on their part. So, to help you budding lovebirds out, here are some tips on how to start a conversation when online dating.
1. There Are More Ways to Greet Someone Than Just Hi
Raise your hand if you will throw your phone against the wall, if you get another message from a dating app that just says ‘Hi’, ‘Hey’ or anything else along those lines. Oh great! Not just me then! Don’t actually throw your phones though, not worth it, insurance and all that. Let me explain though, because I imagine some of you are saying; “what’s wrong with starting a conversation with ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey’?” It’s polite, it’s the way we have been starting conversations for a long, long time and if it’s not broke, don’t fix it etc. Just think of it statistically with me for a second; you’re trying to stand out to your match. Assuming you are not that person’s only ever match, if every match they have ever had always starts the conversation the same way, they’ll get bored. You’re already blurring in with the rest of the people from their online dating experience!
Let’s be honest, just saying Hi doesn’t take a lot of effort. You don’t have to really look at anyone’s profile to just say Hi. I don’t care how good looking someone is, no one puts effort into writing a bio and choosing pictures for a message that just says Hi. Be creative! Comment on something from their profile, their profile is almost there as a guide on how to connect with them. Use it wisely 😉
2. Text Message Language is so over
Once upon a time, not too long ago I like to think, when I got my first phone and mobiles with full keyboards hadn’t been created yet, I used to send all my texts in ‘text message language’. You know; u, luv, gr8 and all that. God, it actually hurts to write that now… it’s official, I am truly old! Anyway, back then this desecration of the English language was acceptable. Without a full keyboard, it was quicker to get your message across. Now, however, there is no need. We all spend so much time texting and we can all easily write way longer messages, in less time. You have the time to write full words, use it! The only exceptions being LOL and hahaha, of course.
While we’re on the subject of writing full words etc., I have another word for you; GRAMMAR. As you can see, it’s in capitals. The feels over this one are real. No one wants messages riddled with text message language, typos and grammar mistakes! It’s bad enough having to decipher some potential amore’s text with friends (what does it mean when they say “talk to you later?” As in later today, later this week?! So vague!) It’s more than enough to try and figure out if a message has a deeper meaning, there’s no need to add on the challenge of wondering if the message is even using real words. Just read through your text before you send the message. Online dating is all about how you present yourself, that includes not just how you start a conversation, or what you say in it, but the way you say it too. Also, nothing kills the mood more than having to keep correcting someone who is using ‘they’re’ and ‘their’ wrong.
3. Common Interests are the Key – Use Their Profile
I glossed over it earlier, but your best tool in starting a conversation when online dating, is looking at that person’s profile. It can be difficult when someone only has one picture or no bio at all, but when the person has gone through the effort of uploading a selection of pictures and putting a witty bio with their interests and dislikes, it is because they want to narrow down the selection process. They want to attract someone who will be interested in what they have to offer. Now, I know that everyone has a different way of swiping. Some people just swipe right for everyone, some swipe based on where people work or went to school, some examine the whole profile before they swipe. Whichever way works for you, go for it but, at some point, you should have a look at their profile to help you out.
If you start a conversation with something from their profile, it shows that you pay attention and that you are looking to make a connection. Someone is way more likely to respond to a person who has made an effort to try and find the best way to bond with them. If you see something in their profile that is a common interest, even better! Let them know ASAP. If that doesn’t get a conversation going, I don’t know what will… Also, common interests come in handy if you get to the stage where you both want to go on a date and are trying to figure out what to do.
4. Use Your Imagination (Not That Way! Get Your Mind out of the Gutter…)
A common way to start a conversation when online dating, is with a compliment. Nothing wrong with that, the human race is not known for turning down flattery after all, but try to be original with it. Another note, don’t go over the top! Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too many compliments. If the whole conversation is just one person telling the other how attractive or amazing they are, it can get to be too much (e.g. see Frankie Coccoza from Celebs Go Dating.) You start to wonder if that’s all they like about you.
Starting a conversation with the same old ‘You’re hot’, ‘You’re beautiful’, ‘Your eyes are amazing’ etc. is the same situation as starting a conversation with ‘Hi’. It is very likely that your match has heard it all before as a way to break the ice. Trust me, they’re ready for something new. Another quick point to mention about using your imagination; copying and pasting the same message to all your matches? Just don’t. We can all tell what’s happening and that you probably use that ‘trick’ all the time. No one’s falling for it! Please tailor your message to the person you’re messaging, they’ll appreciate it.
The main thing to remember with online dating is that it is such a big part of how people connect today. Millions upon millions of people download, and use, dating apps every day, so with numbers like that… you need to give your matches a reason to reply to you. You have to stand out. Going to use one of my favourite sayings here; be a beautiful cupcake in a world full of muffins!
If you want to test out these tips, why not try them out on CLiKD? It’s the creative dating app to help you meet people who are on your wavelength.