Opening Lines for Online Dating: Tips From a Dating Coach
The cursor is blinking in your face, seemingly mocking you: “be charming,” “make them want to write back,” “make them like you.” It’s all too much. You’re feeling pressured to write opening lines for online dating that get through to someone who’s supposedly compatible based on the algorithms used by dating sites like eharmony or match.com. You send countless messages, and in return, all you get is radio silence.
Luckily for you, I’m here to help.
I’m Jamie Faye, International and Certified Dating and Relationship Coach. My expertise is helping individuals and couples create understanding, fun, and sustainable relationships. However, before a relationship begins, someone has to break the ice. Therefore, I’m here to help you write opening lines for online dating that will get a response and ignite authentic conversation.
Set your intention
Before we get to writing effective opening lines for online dating, we need to clearly set your goals and intention.
The most important question, to begin with, is: why?
- Why are you on an online dating site?
- Why are you looking to date?
- Why do you want to be in a relationship?
Your why questions frame every message you send out and every conversation that ensues. Stop and think about it for a few minutes and write it down. Review it every time you log onto a dating site before you write to a new person.
Setting your intention and reviewing it often keeps you aligned to your greater purpose for dating. You’re looking to find a partner. However, if this currently isn’t your goal, then don’t message those who state that’s what they’re looking for. Keep it real and date with integrity.
Now that you’ve set an intention, you’re ready to start writing opening lines for online dating.
Basic tips for all opening lines for online dating
Regardless of what kind of opening line you’re going for, or what your intention is, these simple tips will help guide you to craft a genuine message that will inspire your match to respond.
- Keep it simple and short. Write between 1-3 sentences.
- Address your match directly. Use their name in the beginning or within the first sentence.
- Bring up topics that you are genuinely interested in.
- Check your message for typos and grammatical errors.
- Ask at least one open-ended question.
- Remember quality is more important than quantity. Your message doesn’t have to be long to be impactful.
- Try to be funny if that’s not your strong suit.
- Ask only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.
6 tips to write opening line for online dating
1. Inspire a story
You may be thinking, how are you supposed to inspire a story with your first text? It’s pretty simple. Try something to get them sharing and get a conversation going.
“Hey there, how long have you lived in NYC? I moved here 3 years ago for work and love the brunch spots but could live without the subway in August. How did you end up here?”
A line like this works because most people like to talk about themselves, especially when there’s no pressure to go too deep. Furthermore, inspiring them to share part of their personal story is an easy way to get them talking about something neutral but unique to their life experience.
If they don’t go into details in their response, you can follow up with a similar question, like “you’ve been here for 5 years, what keeps you here?”
Be mindful to compliment attributes of substance and avoid physical compliments in your opening lines for online dating. Here are some examples:
“Your profile is refreshing. I love what you wrote that you’re looking for someone to travel the world with. That’s also important to me. Have you got any travel plans on the horizon?”
“I love that you’re a bookworm. I enjoy biographies myself. What was the last book you read about?”
Complimenting your match on something in their profile that you genuinely find attractive and intriguing does two important things. First, it shows you took the time to read it. Second, it demonstrates that you’re interested in something deeper.
When is it safe to compliment your match on their physical appearance? Wait until the conversation gets going and throw in a casual comment that isn’t too aggressive. Something like: “I didn’t want to offend you by just complimenting you on your looks at first, but I have to say, your smile makes me smile.”
3. Be charming or funny
For most of my clients, a sense of humor is a non-negotiable trait in a partner. Getting someone to laugh at the start of your interaction would give you major bonus points.
We’re not talking about the tired and cliché opening lines, such as “how much does a polar bear weigh?” Most people have heard these dozens of times before, and it is more likely to elicit an eye-roll instead of a response. Instead, come up with something new. You don’t need to write a whole stand-up comedy routine to break the ice, but sometimes asking quirky questions can make your match excited to answer, and can work to reveal something about them in the process.
“If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?”
“Who’s your favorite Disney villain, and why?”
“If you had to eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
Keeping it light is a great way to break the ice and get them to smile. You’ll give them relief from the monotony of online dating with a good chuckle. This reaction is likely to open their mind and want to get to know you.
4. Keep it real
You’re scanning your inbox hoping to start an online dating conversation with someone who seems different from all your other matches. Just any opening text to a match won’t do. Keeping it real and showing the softer side of you could be a great way to write opening lines for online dating that get responses.
Try something like this: “I’m going to be real with you. Online dating has got me wishing there was another way to meet people. What’s your trick for navigating the world of online dating?”
Online dating can feel like quicksand. This works since sharing your feelings early on you’re your match can inspire trust. Furthermore, they’ll be relieved that someone else shares the same feelings towards online dating that they do. You’re bonding over this shared experience, even before you’ve shared any real-life experiences together. You’re also showing that you’re looking to build something real and you’re not afraid to be vulnerable. Authenticity always wins!
5. Show you mean business
By using the opening lines for online dating that I’ll share below you can speak directly to the underlying fear that many online daters have: that the person on the other side of the screen is not sincere and is only there to play games.
Try being very honest upfront: “I’m so glad I came across your profile, it seems too good to be true! Are you also on here to find a meaningful connection?”
While it may feel risky to be this forward from the get-go, it’s all part of putting yourself out there. You’re stating that you’re serious and looking for something more than a casual fling. Messages like this can help weed out members who are not serious about being in a relationship because they’ll be uncomfortable by the clear declaration in the message. Not to worry if they don’t answer, on to the next one!
6. Exude confidence
Opening lines for online dating that exude confidence catch attention. However, when some people try and be overly confident they can come off and disingenuous or arrogant. When crafting an opening message, you want only genuine self-confidence to shine through.
Confidence requires a certain level of forwardness, so don’t be afraid to go for it. Try something like: “you seem like a confident person and I find that super attractive. What do you think is your biggest strength?”
Once you’ve established a rapport, your confidence can help you throughout the rest of the conversation. Try a bold line like “how about we continue this conversation over some drinks? What are you doing tomorrow night?” You don’t need to wait to find out everything about a person in your initial conversation. Due to your self-confidence, your match should already be hooked and interested in meeting up with you.
Ready to craft your own opening lines for online dating?
Now that you’ve got some serious inspiration as to how to write effective openers, make sure your profile is at its best by following this helpful checklist. Next, get ready for your first date with these great dating prep ideas.
Remember: the best way to approach online dating conversations is to make them your own. Be authentic. Use online tips and ice-breakers as inspiration, but always make sure your authentic, funny, and confident self shines through above all.
Once you’re ready to give it a try, browse some of our favorite online dating sites like Zoosk, EliteSingles, or eharmony to test out your new openers!
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THANK YOU for your article! It is very inspirational, motivational, and very well written! You have wonderful way of writing, very insightful!