OMG. Now you have a full set of six sexy tinder pictures and a bitching bio to boot. That’s given you an actual MATCH!!! So now don’t fuck it all up and start your tinder messages with the infamous “hey”. Remember, this isn’t a text convo you’re having with your best friend. Your aim here is to engage and entice and get a number. We are still marketing here – but now for that all-important date, not just a swipe. You’ve shown that you’re smooth, now the stakes have been raised…
*This article is written to help the poor godforsaken men of tinder convert matches into dates and the tone of it is geared towards guys, but the same tricks can and should be used by women as well.
This is part of a series of articles geared towards figuring out tinder and getting you dates. Here’s what else you need to know:
But anyway, let’s figure out the messaging minefield first.
Post-match stupidity 1: Not messaging
‘A First Look At User Activity On Tinder’ found that women are 21% likely to send the first message and men are 7% likely to. Wait WHAAT?! So you made all that effort with the bio and now you’re not sending a message?
This stupidity is probably because women have a higher screening procedure, so she will have matched with you for a reason and is therefore going to want to talk. You on the other hand may just be doing it for the thrill/not knowing what to say/have your phone eaten by a dog.
If you both match then you look like you’re ghosting her, she may get more picky in her selection, cranking up the horrible feedback loop of tinder bias against the male tinder population…
Besides, what’s the worst that could happen from that first message? They’ll un-match you (maybe even report you if you send something truly awful…) but why are you afraid of a girl behind a screen?
Post-match stupidity 2: JUST saying “hey”
DON’T blow it faster than Scarface’s line and JUST say “Hey”. As a girl, if I get 15 matches in a day, 12 of them will say “hey” and nothing else – I’m not saying you’re stupid or judging you; in fact I completely get this guy’s points. When I talk to people in real life, I start with “hey” 95% of the time. But this isn’t real life. This is the marketplace of tinder and we’re here to get a date, not to blend in with the other 11/15. There is no problem with saying “hey” BUT you need to add to it by following the advice below.
Tinder messages – What to do:
1. Read my profile.
Like you did after reading this, I made an effort to write a cool bio meant to engage you and lead you in with a call to action – so fucking be engaged. If I have a picture scuba diving, you can comment on that in the tinder messages. If I have an engaging question at the end or a shared hobby, talk about it. If you wrote a dissertation and the professor gave a random mark and commented “OK”, would you not be frustrated?
2. Send a strong first message
Jesus, Tinder even gives hints on tinder messages: “Hey is for horses”, “Insert compliment below” etc. You’ve already shown your match that you’re clever and literate in your bio. So now, use what you’ve learnt from stalking it!
E.g. “Hi Zainab, where was your last picture taken? I’m into hiking too and think the view looks great. Also, you have a nice smile 😊”
“Hey Zainab, if the world ended tomorrow, I would ask you out today (after building a rapport and having a conversation, of course)”
Are both waaaay better than just “Hey” or “Hi”. The first one shows a shared interest and a compliment and the second answers my bio question with a compliment (note: it’s not a sleazy compliment – more on that later). They both show that they’ve read through my bio and are making an effort to get to know me. See what a good job I did there of chatting myself up?
Also note how it’s important to say my name, because scientists have said it makes my brain light up when you do – it’s true, I feel super-special.
Here are some more fun opening tinder messages – See if you can spot all the places they’ve been personalized and all the places that they’re engaging the recipient’s imagination. WARNING: Do NOT copy these word for word. Like my tinder bio examples, I found these on the internet, so personalize them before using them, because if she’s seen them before, that will screw up your novelty factor.
And there’s plenty more where that came from on the internet… – they have some great ones HERE.
3. Be witty
Like I said, this isn’t a normal conversation. You don’t need to go OTT, try and be someone you’re not and use ridiculous sounding language in your tinder messages. But do know that stuff like “wuu2” is a waste of my time and yours. When you email a client, you use professional language. Likewise, in a tinder message, be smooth.
4. Use GIFs
This is an awesome tinder feature – use it! GIFs makes you look unique and funny without doing any work. You can use them to say “Hey” without making the godawful mistake of saying “Hey” and you can use them in later messages too (not in every message though). Research shows you’re 30% more likely to get a response in tinder messages if you use a GIF. I like this one right now:
And look, it works:
Notice how I didn’t just leave the GIF, I added a message for good measure and personalized it with something he’s said in his bio (he thinks he’s a ‘trendsetter’). From his response, I can see that not a lot of women approach him like this, which is great for me. (Yes, I do have a tattoo on my thigh). This dude is a ‘social media manager’ and so is savvy with how to engage an audience, so it’s cool that he’s impressed with this.
5. Chat the right amount
Congrats! Now you have a conversation going! Take note: I don’t want to be committed to a date with you straight away, but I also don’t want to be left hanging around for 5 days without you asking me out. As a girl, I’m not afraid to ask guys out myself, but not all women do this. The key is to build rapport but be moving in a direction. I agree with GQ that 12 is a good number of messages to send before asking someone out, but only if she indicates that she’s enjoying the conversation.
6. Get that number
Then it’s time to be bold and ask for a Whatsapp number or give out yours. E.g. “Hey is it OK to use Whatsapp? I find it easier to see messages on there. My number is 123456.” Simple.
How to ask to meet up? “It would be nice to meet up tomorrow if you’re not busy. Would be cool to go and see X event/grab a drink.” Again, keep it simple. Then keep the conversation flowing and make sure they know you’re interested in them, not just getting a number.
*Ladies, similarly don’t be afraid to ask the poor guys out. They spend so much time worrying about not getting matches and are relieved when we do the asking, often finding our confidence and assertion sexy (trust me, I know). Being bold is a great thing for either sex.
So to recap what to do in tinder messages:
- Read the bio of your hot recipient.
- Grow some balls and send the first message. Make it a GOOD first message.
- Chat for about 12 messages in a witty way.
- Ask to meet and get the hell off tinder.
Tinder messages – What NOT to do:
Nothing is worse than an anticlimax when you get a hot match but they fizzle out in the messages like a damp firework. If you do a combination of these, I will be totally and utterly disappointed in you and unmatch your ass; thus all your hard work on making a brilliant bio and fantastic set of pictures will go down the drain. Do NOT do the following:
1. Be boring
You have twelve tinder messages. Use them wisely. “Whatcha doing?’ “Have you eaten breakfast?” “How’s your day?” Oh purleeeease. Is that the best you can do?
“I see you’re into horror movies… Have you seen Annabelle?” Is better. It isn’t hard, just something with some sort of direction to talk about – you’re eventually aiming to ask them out not find out about their fried eggs.
2. Be too familiar
‘Babe’ is not acceptable before you meet someone and it’s sleazy – The ladies on Men’s fitness think so too. As are ‘sexy’, ‘gorgeous’, ‘luv’ and ‘hun’. Dude, I don’t know you enough for those terms of endearment and it suggests you have no boundaries at this point.
3. Be clingy
EWWWW. If she doesn’t reply, then leave it. Similarly, girls – don’t complain when guys ghost you – we do it all the time. Sending 10 messages in 5 minutes will only add to the stench of desperation. Forget them and keep swiping. If you have an awesome tinder bio and some great pictures, then you’ll have another match in no time. Don’t be this dude that I ignored.
4. Be indecisive
“What do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do you wanna do?” Conversations where nobody takes the reins are frustrating and you’re killing valuable date-getting potential. If you’ve already secured a tinder date and are dithering over the place to go, fucking go on Tripadvisor or Google. Even better, take a look at my tailor-made Date Spots for your area.
5. Use too many emojis
Don’t use it in your tinder bio (here’s why) and don’t use it here. You are not a thirteen-year-old girl who’s started getting all hormonal.
6. Use text speak
Dis aint sexc lyk bruv. Honestly, the amount of effort to translate your thoughts into something I can understand is such a time-waster. You sound lazy and uneducated. This is not MySpace, it’s tinder. OkCupid found that if you use these ‘words’ in messages on their site, then you’re screwed.
7. Talk in a wall of text
Another form of clinginess/bitterness. It’s also really intimidating to be faced with a solid wall of emotions to plough through. It is way too early in the game for revealing your soul to this extent. The image below isn’t tinder, but just don’t be this chick. If something doesn’t work, leave it and swipe on.
Would you say you’d like to dick me hard in person if I’d never met you? No. and if you did, I would punch you. There’s a difference between flirting and sexting – Don’t get slapped before you’ve even met a person.
9. Use an over-used tinder chat-up line
I’ve had that before and it was cheesy then. Now it’s cheesy, unoriginal and awful. “Is your middle name Gillette? Because you’re the best a man can get.” Dude it’s been done and it’s not personal so I feel like you’re just copy and pasting it around in your tinder messages.
This applies to tinder pictures, your bio and tinder messages. If you want to meet people, then don’t lie. Maybe, just maybe while we’re online we’ll believe the fake pictures of Channing Tatum and give you a right swipe. But what will you do now? Don’t expect us to be moved by your great personality and forgive you if you’re a compulsive liar. Putting your best foot forward is not the same as lying.
According to ATTN, people lie most about marital status, appearance and age. If you’re unhappy with your looks, then hiding behind fake pictures won’t help. Age I can see why you’d do it if you are way out of the 25-34 bracket (even though I don’t condone it) but marital status? That hurts a lot of feelings and is not cool.
Now go get 10 matches. Read and re-read their profiles and closely analyze their pictures. Note down a badass first message for each individual match to send and say it out loud to see how it sounds (be alone in a room when you do this exercise, it’s NSFW). Write each personalized message to your 10 hotties and click that send button. SIGN UP to my mailing list below and email me if you want some starters on what to message for a specific profile. Now watch the magic work! If you thought this was helpful, then make the world a better place and share this on social media ;).
Hey and if you want to know about conversation starters for talking in… you know, real life, then I actually have 101 first date conversation starters here ;).