women starting a conversation on tinder

25 Do's and Don'ts for Starting a Conversation on Tinder

Dating apps have become a staple for single people in the digital age, and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. Tinder is one of the most popular platforms and used by millions around the world, so there’s certainly no shortage of potential matches!

Whether you’re new to the Tinder world or an avid user, it never hurts to brush up on your Tinder etiquette. (Odds are, you’ve probably broken some unspoken Tinder rules without even realizing it.)

If you’ve been struggling to make a connection with a match, the issue might be a simple fix! Think about how many awkward initial conversations you’ve had on Tinder — probably a lot, right?

It can be intimidating to start a discussion with a potential love interest online, but fear not!

We have 25 do’s and don’ts for starting a conversation on Tinder:

1. Do Compliment a Photo

But don’t be weird about it! (I.e., don’t go straight for the physical features.) For example, if they have a picture of a beach, compliment them on what an awesome photo it is and ask where it was taken.

2. Don’t Start With “Hey”

Sigh. When starting a conversation on Tinder, no one likes opening up a message that says “Hi.” Doesn’t show a lot of effort right? They say “Hi,” back, you respond “How’s it going,” and voila—it’s officially the most boring conversation in the history of dating apps. (And won’t get you anywhere.)

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3. Do Send Something Flirty

It’s okay to flirt a little, as long as it doesn’t come across as creepy. Try a bit of teasing, such as, “You actually like pineapple on pizza? I’m going to need an explanation.” (Insert wink emoji.)

4. Don’t Wait for Them to Make the First Move

Guy or girl, it doesn’t matter who makes the first move! If you’re interested, go for it. You never know unless you try, right?

5. Do Ask About What They’re Into

Figure out their hobbies and interests to see if you have anything in common. (After all, there’s nothing better than realizing you’re both super into true-crime documentaries.)

6. Don’t Be Overly Aggressive

While you don’t want to keep your initial greeting too short (looking at you, people who say “heyyy”), you don’t want to come at them with your whole life story, either. You also shouldn’t bombard them with messages until you get a reply.


7. Do Keep it Simple

Starting a conversation on Tinder should be simple, but engaging. Something like, “Hey there! You seem like a lot of fun, got anything exciting planned this week?”

8. Don’t Wait Too Long to Reply

If you’re into them, show it! Of course, give them a chance to take their finger off the enter key before shooting back a reply, but don’t wait long enough for them to assume you’re uninterested.

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9. Do Ask a Question

Think of a good question to get the conversation flowing. It can be as simple as, “You seem to like the same corny humor as I do, got any good dad jokes?”

10. Don’t Talk About Super Deep Issues

When starting a conversation on Tinder, no one wants to hear your political or philosophical commentary right out of the gate. Save the deep conversations for when you’re actually dating.

11. Do Check Your Spelling and Grammar

Typos happen, but if they’re overtly bad, it can take away from the conversation. (And all they’ll want to do is correct “your” to “you’re”).

12. Don’t Skip Over Their Profile

Read it thoroughly! If you’re truly interested, take the time to get to know as much as you can before starting a conversation on Tinder. (And it might just help you figure out what to say.)

13. Use in-app features to your advantage

Check out their embedded Spotify playlist. If a particular song or artist sticks out that you’re into, let them know!


14. Do Use a GIF

Who doesn’t love a good GIF? Just make sure it’s appropriate for whatever you’re trying to convey. (And funny, of course.)

15. Don’t Be Creepy

Starting a conversation on Tinder with an inappropriate comment about a body part isn’t just borderline harassment, it’s totally creepy. The same goes for “stalker-type” messages. (How in the world did they know you had braces in 1995?)

16. Do Take Hints From Their Bio

Whatever they have in their bio must be important, right? See if you have anything in common or a question about the information and start with that.

17. Don’t Harass Them if You Don’t Get a Response

Send the message and let it lie. If they’re interested, they will respond—it’s as simple as that!

18. Do Point Out Similarities

Whether you’re an “opposites attract” or “birds of a feather flock together” person, it’s always good to have things in common. Something like, “I see you play the guitar! I just started myself, I could definitely use some pointers!”

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19. Don’t Go Overboard with Emojis and GIFs

GIFs are funny, but too many of them are just annoying. Emojis are fine, but too many of them...not sexy.

20. Don’t Go Straight to Looks

Sure, you can talk about looks without being creepy, but try to refrain from it in the initial message. It might be okay to compliment their eyes later on in the conversation, but focusing on their body right at the start might not send the right message.

21. Do Use Humor

Everyone scores extra points for being funny! Try to figure out the type of humor they enjoy from their profile, or just go for it with a cheesy (yet innocent) pick-up line like, “Are you a bank loan, because you have my interest!” (They’ll either literally LOL or ignore it, but that’s a risk you have to take, right?)


22. Don’t Be Too Cliche

Your “Netflix and chill?” line isn’t impressing anyone! Most Tinder users have caught on to the typical pick-up lines, and they’re not buying them.

23. Do Be Straightforward

No one likes playing games, especially on a dating app. Avoid starting a conversation on Tinder with a lie (saying you’re into something when you’re not, exaggerating your height) or trying to act like someone you’re not. Give a first impression that shows who you really are!

24. Don’t Be Condescending or Rude

A pickup line like, “The more I drink, the more attractive you get!” is downright rude. Along these lines, if you send a message and don’t get a response, following up with “You were fat anyway” is a great way to let them know they dodged the ultimate bullet.

25. Don’t Get Discouraged

If you’re doing everything right and still can’t seem to connect with anyone on Tinder, try not to let it get you down! Sure, we’re about to sound as cliche as we told you not to be, but there truly are plenty of fish in the sea. (Especially in the Tinder sea.)

Starting a conversation on Tinder doesn’t have to be complicated, even if your eventual relationship might be. (Kidding. Sort of.) By keeping it simple, straightforward, and honest (and funny doesn’t hurt), you’ll be connecting with a match in no time.

Don’t get discouraged over relationship issues! With your 7-day free trial with Relish, you’ll gain access to therapist-approved quizzes and a personal relationship coach.

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