What To Say To Guys On Tinder To Start A Fun Conversation

7 tips that'll up your dating app game.

Last updated on Jan 11, 2023

woman holding cellphone wondering what to say to a guy on Tinder Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

So you’ve set up the perfect online dating profile with your best profile pic. What’s next? While there’s plenty of fish in the sea, you want to catch one. And it’s hard to get the girl (or guy) if you don't know how to start a conversation on Tinder.

But what good is sending a Tinder first message if you can’t even get an initial response?

If you want a reply, you need to know exactly what to say to guys on Tinder — and we want to help you out.


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Here are 7 tips for how to message guys on Tinder to start a fun conversation.

They're not just flirty, they're not just about hooking up. These messages will actually get you somewhere and get the conversation going. And they work on lots of dating sites, but are tried-and-true with Tinder!


1. Say something unusual.

Start strong with your salutation. You’ll want your first impression to do just that — make a good impression — nobody wants to stand out for doing something awful or embarrassing. So, use an unusual greeting.

Three of the most popular ways to greet someone in an online dating message are actually bad beginnings. These top 3 intros to avoid include: "hi,", "hey," and "hello."

Sorry if these have been your go-to’s, but it’s time to switch things up. Sending a message on Tinder or another dating site shouldn't just be habitual. You should put some thought into it!

Instead, opt for options such as the next three most popular greetings, which perform better with response ratings. These include: "how’s it going?", "what’s up", and even "yo". These are likely to get more replies than the more standard "hello's".


In fact, it’s better to use no traditional salutation at all than one of the top 3 introductions listed initially. Just jump right in. What makes her profile interesting? What is happening in the world (nothing too controversial, please!) that you can comment on? Try, "Hey there, how are you handling this heat?" or something that's uncommon — but still general enough not to scare anyone away. For more on this, scroll down to my second point.

Overall, more informal standard greetings do very well.



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2. Start with a question that will actually go somewhere.

It's OK if you don't know how to talk to girls on Tinder (or women or men, obviously!). But of all the online dating message tips, this one is simple. Lead with a question to get your online dating conversation started.

First, find common ground with your girl or guy. Then, begin a conversation about it by asking a question.

People normally like talking about themselves, so opening with a question about him or her to get the ball rolling is a good way to improve your response rate.

The goal is to start a conversation, not ask a one-sided or super general question such as, "what’s up?" This will more than likely leave you hanging.


While "How are you?" or "How’s your weekend?" are indeed both questions, these don’t actually start a substantial conversation.

Questions are the gas that keeps a convo going, so think of something more interesting or specific to ask than a boring "what’s up?"

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3. Don’t compromise the convo with physical comments and compliments.

Avoiding physical compliments will benefit you in the end. Tinder conversations are meant to be just that — conversations! As much as we all like compliments, they don't open up an opportunity to really get to know someone through real, authentic conversations.


While this advice holds true for both sexes, it is mostly directed at men, considering they are more likely to mention looks.

It might sound strange, but no one wants to hear these physical compliments.

As much as guys might like to hear these words (or think they would!) themselves on a dating app, sending compliments like "sexy," "beautiful," "hot," and "cutie" to women will likely cause you not to receive many responses. Most recipients can see right through them.

Although, as we all know, people normally enjoy compliments, they’re not as big on pick-up lines. This especially holds true in situations when you have not met in person.

So, instead of messaging someone that they are "gorgeous," mention the words "awesome," "fascinating," or "cool," if you want to give a compliment. These words show much higher response rates.


what to message a guy on Tinder

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4. Be specific in your Tinder conversations.

If you’re hopelessly messaging and not really looking for a response (which likely isn’t you if you’re reading this post), then go ahead and continue holding vague and general conversations. But if you want to hear back, bring up specifics.

Specific interests and precise reference words for those — such as "zombie", "band", "tattoo", or "literature", to name a few popular ones — are shown to be successful.


Leave the basics behind. Research shows that most "niche" words have a positive effect on messaging.

Try talking about particular things that interest you or details that you might have in common with your message receiver.

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5. Avoid slang and misspellings.

You can consider all the online dating message tips in the world, but if you aren’t literate when you put them into practice, it won’t do you much good.

What do netspeak, bad grammar, and bad spelling say about you? Well, it’s not good, as these are all huge turn-offs and tend to make a terrible first impression.

Language is a strong deal-breaker. "Ur," "u," "wat," and "wont," likely won’t get you any replies.


Instead, put your elementary education into play by using correctly spelled, fully written out words, with apostrophes where appropriate.

Correctly written but otherwise everyday words such as "don’t" and "won’t" (notice they include the appropriate apostrophe) have nicely above average response rates of 36 percent and 37 percent.

There are exceptions to every rule, however. In this case, the "no netspeak" rule isn’t set in stone since expressions of amusement are in fact accepted.

Go ahead and use "haha" and "lol" as you please because both turned out in the sender’s favor with 45 percent and 41 percent reply rates, respectively.

Although less popular than "haha" and "lol," another success was "hehe," which received a 33 percent chance of response.


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6. Keep it short and simple.

Your first message should be sweetly simple and stay short. Express your interest in their profile and add in a question or two about things you share in common.

A long message with many lines or paragraphs is too much and can overwhelm and turn the receiver (if they even finish reading it all). The more you over-write, the more likely you are to come on too strong.


Since the goal of your first message is to continue the convo, leave the receiver wanting more (as opposed to already knowing too much)! Also, maintain a message that is simple to start.

While some people make the mistake of leading with a long list of questions on a range of topics, it’s best to just pick one detail you think is cool or something you’re curious about and stick with it to start.

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7. Don’t let your message ratio get out of whack.

The key for learning how to text on Tinder is to always aim to maintain a 1:1 message ratio. Multiple messages will overwhelm the receiver. Unless you want to be classified as a nut job or annoyingly needy, keep your messages to this plain ratio.


Messaging someone more than once without getting a reply is the quickest turn-off you can try. Think of that person who texts you over and over again, even when you don't reply. Annoying, right?

So then what do you do once you’ve messaged someone? It’s simple — you wait. Even when it's hard or you've thought of something new to say!

Either have patience or set your sights on something new, such the thousands of other single people who could reciprocate interest.

Whether you realize it or not, repeat messages send even another message on top of what you’ve explicitly typed: "I am a creep with boundary issues."

So, resist the urge! Do not send multiple messages.


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Claire Bahn is a dating coach and CEO of Online Profile Pros.