"There’s something wrong with my phone. It doesn’t have your number in it."
Bumble puts the ball in your court, and while that may make you feel on your game, it can also be intimidating. Instead of lying back and waiting for messages to roll in, you’ll have to think up a few conversation starters for Bumble — and prepare yourself to be a little bit brave.
Try catering to each individual. Showing that you’ve actually taken the time to read their profile will help you stand out and make it easier to start a witty back-and-forth. And avoid literally just saying hi to someone on a dating app, because nothing kills the mood faster than an opening line that leads nowhere.
But those aren’t the only things to keep in mind when sending messages on Bumble. "When you’re talking to someone on the apps, try to make it feel as ‘real-life’ as possible," Veronica Grant, life and dating coach, tells Bustle. "Pick up lines feel gross if you’re at a bar, and the same goes for online." (I will, however, get into a few funny "pick up lines" later on.)
If you don’t hear back after shooting your shot, move on! When the person doesn’t give you much to work off of, Grant says, it isn’t worth it to keep pushing. But if your conversation starter is a success, she suggests making plans to meet up in person or on a video chat date — ASAP, as that’s the best way to truly assess if you’re a good match.
Below, some fun ways to get people talking on dating apps, so you can message anyone who strikes your fancy with confidence and ease.
As Grant says, "Food and travel seem to always make it onto people’s dating profiles," which is why this question is often the easiest place to start. Look for a gorgeous vacation picture, or a mention of their favorite meal, and ask about it.
While there isn’t a lot of traveling going on right now, it’ll be fun to talk about where you’d both like to go, what you miss most about being on the road, the best meals you’ve had abroad — the topics are endless.
If someone’s career stands out to you, let them know! Maybe they’re a zoologist, or a beer taste-tester, or a professional cuddler. Whatever the case may be, they’ll likely laugh, agree that they have a weird gig, and then tell you all about it.
When perusing dating apps, it often feels like you’re adrift in a sea of dudes who fish on the weekends, and that’s pretty much it. So, the moment you spot someone with a unique interest, cling to it like a proverbial life raft.
Of course, it’ll be even better if you have a hobby in common. For example, if you’re both obsessed with comedy, ask if they’ve heard your favorite album. If yes, commence bonding. If not, offer to send them a link.
Nobody likes it when strangers saunter up in a bar to say something lame, like "hey baby, what’s your sign?" But when said in a low-key, jokey way on a dating app, pick-up lines suddenly seem like fun icebreakers.
Use this one if and when it seems like they have a good sense of humor, and won’t take you too literally. Hopefully, they’ll volley right back with an equally cheesy response, and before you know it, you’ll be in love.
For another knee-slapper, send a literal opening line in the form of a bunch of dashes. (Get it?) It’s perfect for when you aren’t quite sure where to start a conversation, but still, really want to say hi.
Again, sometimes it’s just about breaking that ice. But you will want to follow up quickly with deeper getting-to-know-you questions, like where they grew up, what they do for fun. Oh, and when they’d like to meet up for a date.
Nothing bonds two people quite like a shared love of books, so if you notice they’re a reader (like maybe you spy a photo of their bookshelf or a shared reading list), use it to your advantage. Soon you’ll be offering to swap books. And once that happens, you’re as good as eloped.
Remember, this is all about conversation starters, so if you focus on asking open-ended questions based on what you see on their profile, they’ll be way more likely to answer.
For example, instead of just saying "hi, cool motorcycle," ask for details about a recent trip they went on, Katie Grimes, dating coach, tells Bustle.
From there, be ready with a follow-up question, she says, to keep the conversation going. Something like, "What’s the most unbelievable experience you’ve had on the road?" would be perfect.
This is a) a valid question and b) a conversation starter that will get you talking about food. If you want an excuse to hang out, nothing will open that door quite like mentioning what you like to eat, fave restaurants, what you cook at home, etc.
Think about how you strike up conversations in real life. Typically, Grant says, you notice something about a person — like their t-shirt — or comment on a shared experience — like how busy the bar is.
You can do something similar online by perusing their photos or profile, picking up on a small detail, and morphing it into a conversation. When the opening line feels natural, Grant says, the convo will be, too.
It’s tough to accurately represent who you are as a person on a dating app. Sure, you try to choose the best photos and answer all the profile questions. But everyone’s secretly hoping to share more, which is why this line is such a good one. Chances are, the other person will jump at the chance to clarify a thing or two and tell a few fun stories about themselves.
This is a cheeky way to admit you’re attracted. And it’s also a sleek way to offer a compliment, which is an important part of flirting on dating apps.
"A compliment can go a long way — just don’t overdo it," Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. "Show them you aren’t shy to take notice of the little things!"
This conversation starter feels casual since all you’re doing is acknowledging the weather. But it’ll also give you insight into what they do on a drizzly evening at home.
Do they like to listen to music? Watch Netflix? Bake? Their answer will tell you a lot about them — and hopefully, lead to a cozy convo that lasts all night.
By "taking a poll," even if you’re literally only asking this one person, you can (hopefully) pique their interest. Choose a topic you’d like to know more about, or that you have strong opinions on yourself — savory vs. sweet, summer vs. winter, mountains vs. beach — and see what they say
If you don’t hear back right away, Grant says, or fear your opening line has fallen flat, say this and see if it inspires a response.
Remember, though, that it isn’t worth it to force a conversation or waste your time waiting around for someone to write back. So consider this a last resort, before gracefully moving on.
As Nancy Ruth Deen, relationship coach, tells Bustle, these questions show that you "don’t want to be inauthentic while dating" but are "trying to come up with a witty line to grab their attention."
So if nothing else on this list feels quite right, this one may be your best bet. "[It] helps the convo move smoothly," she says, "while being real and adding a little fun in the mix.".
Veronica Grant, love and life coach
Katie Grimes, dating coach
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker
Nancy Ruth Deen, relationship coach
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