From the cheesy to the creepy, online dating first messages can vary from disastrous to perfect. Since many people receive hundreds of messages every month, breaking through the ice and making your message stand out can be challenging.
Thankfully, the art of dating is very much a creative one. With the right combination of wit, charm, and cool, you can avoid having your messages fall into the ‘ignore’ pile and start getting responses, friendships, and dates!
These 10 online dating first message ideas range from observations to jokes. Try to use each tactic once as you message people you’re interested in and see which style is the most effective for you.
As usual, you’ll want to have a carefully optimized online dating profile before you start messaging anyone. Enroll in our Success in Online Dating course to learn the fundamentals of developing a great profile before you get started.
The Classic “Hey!”
Who says you need to be creative to be successful? Sometimes the best online dating messages are straightforward and simple, and it’s hard to get more simple than “Hi!” or “Hey!” sent to someone you’d like to know.
This kind of message works because of its simplicity. If you see someone you feel an immediate connection with, a short message is a great way to break the ice and let them start a conversation.
The Cocky Message
Tired of asking them for permission to chat? Flip the script and send a message that combines cute and cocky to catch them off-guard. Instead of saying “We should get to know each other,” turn it around and ask “So when are you going to message me?”
Cocky messages work when you’re certain there’s already attraction. Send one when you’re certain you’ve found a great match, especially when their profile shows their sense of humor.
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The Interest Opener
You’ve spotted someone you’d like to meet. Before you message them, read their profile to see if you have any common interests. If you do, you’ve found a topic to use for your opening message.
Keep it short, sweet, and focus on what you’ve got in common. Favorite bands and artists are great topics for the interest opener. Events, books, and movies are also great ways to break the ice and start chatting with each other.
The Picture Opener
Picture openers are perfect for bonding with people that share a similar interest in world travel. If you see a picture of someone in your favorite destination, use it as a way to start a conversation with them.
There’s no need to restrict picture openers to travel. If you spot someone using one of your favorite products, mention it in your first message. Other great ideas include pictures with animals, especially if you’re a pet owner yourself.
Here’s a brave move that can really work: instead of just asking to chat online or on the phone, ask them on a date in your first message. A lot of people will be impressed by your forwardness and accept your invitation in their response.
Make the date invitation work by keeping it straightforward and simple – a café or restaurant close to both of you is a great idea. Try to avoid night dates, as they can seem more involved and forward than a quick coffee-and-chat daytime date.
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The Self Deprecator
If cocky messages aren’t your thing, try the opposite strategy. Find a characteristic that’s the exact opposite of yourself and joke about it in your first message to make use of the ultimate seduction skill: humor.
If you’re bald, find someone with a wacky hairstyle and comment about how you’re thinking of getting it next time you visit the salon. If you’re slim, find someone that loves to work out and challenge them to an arm wrestling competition.
Most people are inundated with boring messages. Break the mold and use what you think of as a weakness to your advantage; you might be surprised by the results!
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The Smart Compliment
Here’s an uncomfortable truth of online dating: physical compliments often aren’t as flattering as you think they are. Why? Because they tend to be what everyone else is sending out, meaning they get old and repetitive very quickly.
Instead of using a physical compliment in your first message, use a creative, unique complement that they haven’t heard before. Compliment their taste in movies, their name, or their interests – just avoid anything overly physical.
The Super Short Message
Have you ever tried sending a one-word message? You might be surprised at how effective a short, punchy message can be at attracting interest. Try a short opener like “Yo” or “What’s up?” to quickly jump into a conversation with someone new.
Super short first messages are ideal for people that are inundated with long emails and boring descriptions. If you think someone’s super popular, keep your message short and simple so they’re more likely to read and respond to it.
The Opinion Message
Get creative with their interests and craft a message that asks for their opinion on something topical. A great opinion message should ask them to pick a favorite from the bands, movies, places, or people they have listed on their profile.
Everyone loves to be asked their opinion about something, especially when it’s one of their interests. Use the opinion message when you find someone with a long and detailed profile that tells you a lot about their personality.
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The Ironic Message
Use irony to your advantage with a classic pick-up line. From “How much do polar bears weigh?” to “Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?”, cheesy lines can work to your advantage when you acknowledge that they’re cheesy.
Track down your favorite cheesy pick-up line and send it, followed by a winking smiley. If they’ve got a sense of humor, they might send back their own favorite pick-up line for you to respond to.
You’ve got a response! Now what?
Getting a response is a great signal. Make the most of your connection and plan the perfect first date. Need some ideas? Read our blog post on choosing the perfect first date idea.