how to start a tinder conversation

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How to start a Tinder conversation without sounding awkward

So, you matched with someone cool—now what?


Kristen Hubby


Posted on Mar 7, 2018   Updated on Dec 29, 2023, 10:08 pm CST

When it comes to online dating, the most nerve-wracking dilemma is the question of who should message first. Luckily, all you need are some good Tinder conversation starters to fire the flame. Get it right and you’ll never be left on read again.

So toss out that dusty, hand-me-down copy of The Rules because it doesn’t matter who says what first. Just say something! Here are the best Tinder conversation starters for girls, guys, and anyone else looking for a date.

The best Tinder conversation starters and tips

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via @RanoCeros/Twitter

1) Take a look at their profile

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via @RanoCeros/Twitter

The first step on any dating app should be to scout a person’s profile. A profile can tell you a lot about someone—like whether they have a booming social life or if they hunt animals in their spare time.

If you haven’t already stalked their entire profile before matching, take a look and see if you can find a commonality. Tinder gives users the option to display their taste in music with Spotify and link to their Instagram account, so there’s plenty of surface-level material you can mine from when it comes time to start the conversation.

Don’t like what you see? Just swipe left or unmatch. It’s no big deal.


2) Think of a clever line

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via Tinder

Pick-up lines get a bad rap. Most are offensive and the majority of those that do land well don’t get any kind of meaningful follow-up. However, if you think you have what it takes to make your match laugh, don’t hold back.

Sending a humorous pick-up line as a Tinder conversation starter instead of a simple “Hi” will not only make you stand out, but it’s a great way to see if your match shares your same sense of humor. Just be prepared. Not everybody can handle a good pick-up line, and you may be left in the dust without even a pity laugh.

Here are a few starting lines that should prompt them to respond:

  • “Where was that first picture taken? Looks awesome!”
  • OMG, I also love [insert show here]! Can we talk about [choose episode]?”
  • What’s your favorite restaurant in town?
  • I see you love [insert hobby here]. How did you get into that?

3) Use a few GIFs

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via Tinder

Sending GIFs or memes to your match adds more to a conversation than a few emoji ever can. If you want to send a GIF, just press the “GIF” button and use keywords to search and find the perfect one to convey what you’re feeling.

If you’ve matched the right person, you could keep a whole conversation going with GIFs, which is more exciting than a boring paragraph of text. Just beware that sometimes your match may not catch the reference, or worse, get bored. Be sure to use GIFs effectively and not just as a substitute for actual getting-to-know-you conversation.

4) Envoke emotion

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via Tinder

If you’re the type of person who wants to get down to the stuff that matters and figure out if your match is right for you, ask questions that really make them think. Playing 20 questions and seeing how someone views certain situations creates a base of understanding. Plus, it’s a good way to gauge someone’s sense of humor and playfulness.


5) Find common ground

How to start a conversation on Tinder
Screengrab via Tinder

You could also just skip the introductory conversation and chat as if you’ve known each other for a while. Keeping a casual (but still clearly interested) demeanor will help ease any nerves floating in the virtual ether. In any conversation, the goal is to find a common thread to keep information flowing. A great place to start is by asking about something you really care about to see if your match feels the same way. Odds are, if they do, they’ll reciprocate with the same kind of questions for you.

In Body Image
Screengrab via Tinder
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Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

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*First Published: Mar 7, 2018, 5:30 am CST