Whether you’re trying to start a conversation on Tinder or keep the discussion flowing properly, it can be hard to know if you’re messaging somebody correctly. For a lot of guys, the question of “what do I say to a girl on Tinder?” doesn’t actually have a single, reliable answer – but that goes for every other conversation you’ll have on the site, too.
Here are some quick tips for how to construct your first message towards a new Tinder match. Remember, not all conversations are going to go the same way, so the first message can completely change the flow of everything that comes after it.

Check Their Profile

Let’s say you match with a girl and you have the chance to send a message straight away. Always check her profile before you start typing, because that gives you a better understanding of what she’s like as a person. People who fill out their profile are usually doing it to try and show off who they are, so it saves you the need to ask as many questions.

This can also help when starting a conversation, since you’ll be much less likely to send the wrong kind of messages. You might make an accidentally-offensive joke or say something that instantly kills the conversation, so you want to understand the kind of people you’re working with.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of effort, and it shouldn’t actually take that long to check their profile. It’s good to at least skim it for 30 seconds and see what you can glean from the information there. You’re basically advertising yourself, and like all advertisements, you want to suit the audience you’re aiming for. That doesn’t guarantee success, but it makes the messages far less awkward.

…But Not Too Much

Looking like you’ve skimmed their entire profile and noted everything down can come across as creepy, though. Even if you know where they live or what they do for a living, it can sometimes be a good idea to ask questions related to it anyway. The one thing you don’t want to do is create a feeling of familiarity where there isn’t one.

For example, a lot of guys on Tinder tend to bring up the locations of the girls they chat to without mentioning that it came from their profile. Often, it’s better to ask questions about things like that, since it makes the whole conversation less awkward for whoever you’re talking to, as well as opening up opportunities to keep the discussion going.

Remember That Matches Aren’t Perfect

A match isn’t a guarantee that two people will be suited to dating, and it also doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily get people who you’re even able to date. Profile checks can be a good way to confirm that – maybe you have incompatible religions or their life doesn’t allow them to travel very far for a date. Stuff like this might not be obvious through the match itself.

That doesn’t stop you from being able to send messages in the app, so remember to check every profile on Tinder first, no matter how much you trust the match system.

Send Your First Message

This is the starting point for any conversation, and also the part that can fall apart most on dating apps. A lot of the time, you want to forget that apps like Tinder are dating apps altogether, since treating a brand new boy or girl as a date straight away can be a great way to ruin the conversation.

Looking for the perfect message is going to be hard, because every person you match with can be different, and there’s no “right one” that works as a perfect example of a good first message.

DON’T Be Sexual

Overt sexuality, especially when talking to a girl that doesn’t even mention anything sexual on her profile, is a no-go. Some girls will appreciate it, as will some guys, but most of the time it makes them want to avoid you. Remember: just because you’re in the mood for something like that doesn’t mean that they are too.

Even if they’re receptive, it’s a dating app – the people who use dating apps to get that kind of satisfaction might not actually be interested in anything more, so the conversation might end the moment you both cool off. This doesn’t help your dating prospects in the slightest unless you’re very, very lucky.

DO Compliment How Guys Look

If you’re looking to date guys, then complements can be incredibly effective. Most guys will get a much lower amount of people that swipe right for them, so a compliment can mean a lot. It’s a real person on the other end of the conversation, and in most cases, guys are going to really appreciate stuff like that.

Still, don’t use compliments as a way to try and replace normal conversation. It will start to lose its meaning if you can’t think of anything to say but compliments, and it can quickly become creepy to the point that guys may want to avoid responding.

DON’T Compliment How Girls Look

A girl doesn’t need to be reminded of how they look, and unlike guys, the average girl will get plenty of compliments like that already. They’ll appreciate it, but it won’t be as special – it’s just another addition to the pile most of the time.

There’s nothing wrong with complimenting them if you do it well, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your message. Tinder is a dating app, and that means that Tinder messages are also meant to focus on the personality of the people involves – subtle compliments here are there are good, but an overt obsession with how a girl looks can be downright creepy.

DO Take Notice of Their Photos

When physical compliments might not be suitable, you can still use their photos for something. Try to find ones that have some obvious detail you can use, like a brand of clothing they’re wearing or a particular holiday they might have been on. That gives you ways to ask questions that show you’ve checked their various pictures.

This gives you a way to start the conversation off right and chat about something personal to them, even if it’s just a vacation they went on two years ago. It gives them an opening to talk about their life without revealing too much, and it can help you learn more about the person as you chat with them, but also doesn’t back either of you into a corner.

DON’T Just Say “Hey”

“Hey”, and other short greetings like “How’re you doing?” can work, but they’re uninspired. If someone has dozens of messages and chat conversations going on, they’re not going to notice another “hey” with nothing behind it. Your first messages need to have some kind of value to them: a hook to draw in a question, or something that may make your chat partner curious about you.

If you can’t find anything that makes it easy to tailor your messages to the person (they don’t have any identifying details on their profile or hints about anything they like), then something better than just “hey” can still really help. Even just using their name – something you know the moment you swipe right – can make you stand out.

DO Consider GIFs

GIFs are one of the great constants of internet life, and that can make them a great trick to get a free message option if nothing else seems to fit. You would think that using things like a simple GIF would get you nowhere, but in reality, an appropriate GIF can actually get fairly reliable responses from a match.

Of course, you want the GIF to suit the person you’re messaging and the kind of message you want to convey, so you can’t just use anything. Think about the thing you’re trying to get across, since you only get one chance at messaging for the first time. If you see any unfortunate implications in your GIF that your match could pick up on, try and find a better one.

MAYBE Be Unconventional

Some of the most common “message on Tinder” posts you’ll see online are those that involve a joke message, something silly, or basically any other unconventional question sent as a first message. These can be a great tool for messaging a match and locking them down for a longer chat – if they work.

The thing about deciding to swipe right on Tinder is that you still haven’t met your matches yet. While you might think of a funny question or riddle that can prompt a response, it has to be a good question or riddle deserving of an answer. If you just ask something completely random and unfunny, it won’t always make a difference.

The same can go for things like astrology or spiritual talk, like asking about spirit animals or star signs. For example, many matches could welcome a chance to talk about that stuff, which gives you a free pass into a lengthy chat. However, there are just as many people who see absolutely no value in those things, especially atheists or people who don’t believe that spirituality matters.

Basically, try to be appropriate for who you want to message. If you ask or say things based on a specific concept to someone who doesn’t know or care about that concept, then you may need to work extra hard to get the conversation flowing properly again.

Maintaining The Chat

Once you get a conversation steady and stable, you need to hold onto it. Messaging isn’t just about sending that one message, but by keeping your messages consistent enough to make a potential date happy that you both swiped right. The best way to do that? Be yourself, but still work on trying to keep each message feeding into the next.

DON’T Lose Your Style

If you can draw matches in with a good opener, you don’t want that to be your only trick. Falling back on boring topics or rambling about your life may lead to them trying to avoid you, especially if you drew them in with a great opening line that just… didn’t do anywhere.

Imagine that you’re a blog, and that your matches are your readers. You’d want to give them related articles – things that relate to what they’re interested in – rather than flooding them with content they don’t actually give a damn about. Your messaging habits need to try and follow that same concept, using what you know your matches respond positively to.

Of course, no two matches are the same, and you may find that two conversations divert wildly in terms of what you end up talking about. That’s perfectly normal – you can’t expect someone to be exactly the same as another person, so just try to keep it natural and consistent.

DO Listen

If you’re prompted for an answer or a message as a response to something your potential date says, actually read it and think about a smart rely. For example, if you ask what their spirit animal is and they tell you, dive deeper into it by asking questions like “why that animal?” or “why (animal)? Because you like (food animal likes)?”

This is a much smarter method when you need to answer a message they’ve sent, and you can use it to start asking questions of your own. If they ask what you’re doing and you’re watching TV, for example, it may be a good idea to answer with “(show/movie name). Have you ever seen it?” instead of just the name and nothing else.

DON’T Push For An Answer

There can always be value in trying to put your potential date on the back foot and make them work to chase you, but it has to be done well. If you bug somebody to reply or give you a certain answer, you’re just going to make them take longer to respond, if they even respond at all.

Begging for a date is always a no-go zone. It can be a good option if you need an answer, but that won’t be the answer you’re looking for, and you won’t usually have another chance with the same person if you screw it up that badly.

DO Ask For Profiles Outside The App

Once you’re close enough, it could help to try and move outside of the Tinder app. Whether it’s other social media or something along the lines of an email address, this can be a good option for keeping in touch with someone on Tinder who you aren’t quite at date-ready levels with yet. An email address won’t seem useful at first, but having an email address gives you a fallback message option.

Of course, you need to take your time with this. Doing it when you’re first starting out would look very creepy, but once you get to know someone better, you could drop Tinder entirely when talking to that certain someone – no Tinder, no easy ghosting or misunderstanding, not to mention far fewer distractions.

Asking Them Out

If you’re ready to ask someone out via Tinder (on a proper date), then there isn’t really a guaranteed technique that will always work. Tinder users are varied, and the best option for one special someone on Tinder won’t necessarily work as well on the next Tinder user.

DON’T Wait Too Long

There will always be a time where your Tinder match is closest to wanting to date you. For some people, this would be in the first 20 Tinder messages, whereas some others may be best prepared after the first 100 Tinder messages or more. When you send any message asking for a date, being in the right place at the right time matters a lot.

It’s best to ask your Tinder match for a date when they’re actively responding (as in, they aren’t busy with other things), clearly care about what you send, and aren’t just replying with token “haha” or “lol” messages. If you miss that point, it’s possible to wrap it right back around, but you need to be very good with the messages you’re sending if you aim to re-ignite that spark.

DO Aim For A Mutual Date

Tinder conversation dynamics are just as complex as they are in the real world, but ideally, you should send a Tinder message about a possible date that gets them to agree in the same manner. It shouldn’t be something you send out of nowhere, and it should funnel the match towards being able to say yes or no comfortably.

Remember, people on Tinder are generally there with the expectation of a date. Not all Tinder users are specifically aiming to find one straight away, and Tinder is technically a social network app, but most people on Tinder are there for a specific purpose and it’s an open secret between most people who are aware of how it works.

DON’T Assume Failure is Failure

If your Tinder matches don’t say yes straight away (usually because they have stuff to do, or at least claim to) don’t give up. Tinder is a dating tool, after all: you can always try to send another message again later on.

There are two types of failure on Tinder: failure, and critical failure. Failure is when your date offer is rejected, but not badly, and definitely not in a way that suggests they’ll not be interested in the future. A critical failure, though, is when that Tinder connection basically breaks apart.

Am I Ready?

Whatever you do, you should make sure that you and your Tinder date are both comfortable, start working towards asking them out. There are a lot of ways to try emotional trickery or a dominant attitude, but to be honest, all Tinder users are different. Not all of them will respond how you predict they will, and you can’t boil people down to basic numbers and traits easily.

A Tinder conversation is similar to any other conversation: nuanced, unpredictable, but easy to salvage as long as you avoid the obvious pitfalls. Sometimes, all you need is some practice and a few failed attempts to understand where you’ve been slipping up.

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