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Start an Epic Conversation on Tinder | Make Getting Dates Easy With These 14 Tips

This is how you start Tinder Conversations that turn into dates! Works with all other dating apps too!


Kenneth Erickson


Feb 25, 2023

How To Start a Tinder Conversation That Gets Dates

  • First Impressions
  • How to Start the Conversation
  • Conversation Do's and Don'ts

First Things First: Is How to Start a Conversation with a Guy Different from How to Start a Conversation with a Girl?

The answer, "No, not really.".

There’s not much difference at all. It’s natural for both sexes to feel a little nervousness and anxiety when starting a conversation with someone they’ve just met whether that’s in person or via online dating apps.

We all have similar desires and fears like:

Making a Good First Impression

You want the other person to think you’re cute, funny, basically attractive in general during a first meet or first impression. Another important part of a good impression is how they feel as well.

If the conversion ends with them feeling fun, joy, and excitement about the possibilities with you, they’ll naturally want more. Good first impressions definitely improve the chances of more interactions.

Wanting to Say the Right Things

Hearing them laugh at your jokes, making them feel good when you complement them, and getting them engaged and excited with what you’re talking about, all feels really good and is a great sign for both of you.

When you're flirting and hinting that you really like them, it's especially in the back of your mind about how they'll respond. The way to get it right is to follow the advice below and you'll be just fine. People can pick up on the effort so make sure don't skimp.

Worrying About Saying the Wrong Things

Keeping the conversation flowing smoothly is a common worry. Both women and men can worry about what topics to bring up, how to avoid awkward silences, and how to keep the conversation enjoyable and engaging.

Nerves and fear can sometimes play havoc with your dating game and the best way to overcome this is to go into any given situation prepared and understand the person on the other side has the same wants and fears as you.

Being prepared, starting small, and keeping things light initially will help you:

  • Get rid of those butterflies!
  • Give you some early conversational wins!
  • Let you really start to relax, be yourself, and enjoy the conversation!

When this happens for you, chances are it’s happening for them too!

Starting an Online Dating App Conversation

1. Understand Their Profile

Even limited information can provide clues to their interests and personality. Do they mention any hobbies, favorite tv shows, books, or travel experiences? Do they have pets? Use these details to form questions or comments to initiate the conversation.

Starting a conversation on Tinder is like starting a conversation with anyone else you've got limited information about. Actually, it really is significantly easier.

You get the bonus of a kick start with inside information provided in advance! When you pay attention to this info, written and unwritten, you’ll have successful conversations on Tinder that improve your IRL dating.

Let's look at what you know, typically, right off the bat from their Tinder profile:

  • What the person looks like - This one is obvious, but you're looking for ways to appropriately compliment them, so think!
  • From their profile pictures, beyond just their looks, you can get a sense of their personality, the things they like to do, and maybe how social they are, or possibly something more about the pictures they took or had available to post.
  • Are they all selfies? Is the primary picture a professional portrait? Are they with a lot of other people always? Do they have any pictures that are just showing them off in a natural candid way? When you scroll enough pictures you can get positive feelings about a person from specific pictures. When you do, mentioning this can definitely be a way to break the ice.
  • Bio info which can provide a significant amount of info about likes, dislikes, education, profession, wants, and needs. This is low hanging fruit. If during a phone or text conversation, you say something that triggers a, "Did you even read my bio?" question, it's gonna be a tough recovery.
  • Any other information a user provides - Playlists, Ig profile, there's tons of easy, personalized conversation starting material available!

2. Find Common Ground

According to the "Similarity-Attraction Theory", we are more likely to be attracted to people who we view as similar to us. Starting a conversation by finding common interests is a good first step to initiate a successful conversation.

You’ve matched, so there's also already an established interest between you and the person you want to start a conversation with, right? Hopefully you weren’t swiping blindly and looking to improve your odds by going for quantity. Quality will win every time and make the whole process more enjoyable. 

Quality Swiping

Quality swiping means swiping right on people that are realistically a good match for you. Think Intentional Dating! Take the time to read profile bios and think about more than just what they look like.

Do their profile pics show them on a lot of trips and their bios say they love to travel? What if you hate travel and think it’s a hassle? This wouldn't be a great fit, even if they look like your favorite movie star crush. This match doesn’t seem like it would go the distance. Good conversation starts with good matching!

Once you’ve matched with someone, that clearly has similar lifestyle and/or activity interests, having something you both enjoy or love to do is a great place to open up conversation. It’ll feel less like a test or survey and more like a fun, light, no pressure, get to know you. Here’s an  example of a conversation opener or intro text:

"I couldn't help but notice you were wearing a Red Sox cap in a couple of your pics! Are you from the area or just know a great team when you see them?!? I’m actually from Boston originally and have a bunch of caps myself 😀. "

This opens the door for them to talk and also provides some great “inside baseball” about yourself that they can use to ask you questions. Perfect!

Knowing a little bit about the psychology of interactions with people and how to get them to trust, open up, and peak their interest is a fantastic skill in online dating and life.

People typically enjoy talking about themselves, specifically about things they're interested in. They like conversation that makes them look and feel good. Pay attention to the details they provide and you'll find those conversation openers that'll accomplish this.

3. Use Active Listening

Active listening means not only hearing but understanding and responding to the other person. This forms a basis of trust and shows respect. You can reflect on what the other person says and respond in a way that shows you’re engaged.

Finding the clues to enable someone else to talk about things that make them happy is a skill, and to listen and respond in a way that augments and moves the conversation along is an artform.

"That’s amazing! So, you can really throw a curveball??? I’ve tried and failed miserably. I can never get enough spin on it. I’m guessing it’s not something you can easily explain over text, so just saying… I’m open to pitching lessons."

Next, you need to also realize they will eventually need something from you too, as much as they probably enjoy speaking about things that interest them, they will want to see if you are a match for them.

You may already know what they are generally looking for based on what they've put in their profile, but it's more than just checking the boxes. There needs to be that chemistry that people always talk about. A balance between sharing and listening and a feeling that both sides are active and contributing to the conversation.

The use of self disclosure is a perfect way to lower the other person's walls, build trust, provide information about yourself and, ideally, establish a common interest with the two of you.

People want to teach, but they also get excited by learning new things and this is what helps to keep things interesting. To successfully generate interest, excitement, and curiosity in a conversation is how you improve your chances of future conversations and an IRL meeting.

4. Keep Things Light Initially

Heavy or personal topics are typically better suited for later conversations once a rapport has been established.

Start with more general, lighthearted topics to create a comfortable conversation space. If you really want to get a sense of how serious they are about getting to know you, you could ask them something like this:

“I’m super curious… What was it about me and my profile that got you to swipe right? I mean, I’m just asking because I really enjoy online dating and was thinking I might go professional…?”

Obviously, sarcasm is implied because most people don't love the work that goes into online dating, but it opens the door with some humor to commiserate a little on the experience.

Do this only if you can deliver it with just the right amount of sarcasm and snark to pull it off. You could easily expand on your ”professional dating career” to demonstrate your wit, or possibly (subtly) drop the notion that you, now that you’ve met them, will probably start considering other future career options.

Careful: You don't want to put them on the spot and be prepared to provide your own reason for swiping right. This does open a door for some compliments and flattery! 

5. Use Positive Bounce or Volley

This refers to the exchange of positive actions between people. For instance, you share something personal, then they do the same.

This can deepen the connection between you, as it allows you both to see that the other is engaged in the conversation.

When you answer a question you should follow up with asking a question. Try to keep things balanced so you both get a chance to share your story and learn about each other.

6. Relax and Be Authentic

Genuine curiosity and authenticity will almost always shine through and will likely elicit a positive reaction.

Don’t use pickup lines. Actually, it’s super helpful to not even think about this as a prelude to a romantic relationship. I've always tried to make any online dating interactions more of a fun social encounter.

“Can I have fun just being myself with this person?” How hard or effortless does the interaction feel? In the beginning just look for natural flow and connection, not whether this person checks all your boxes.

There’ve been times when I've had great connections with people on Tinder and we’ve become legitimate friends. Not everyone is a great romantic relationship match. Something as simple as kids vs no kids could be a reason things can't go in the serious relationship direction.

Maybe an exercise you can try is not thinking about this person as a potential romantic partner. Take the pressure off both of you right away. If you can't have fun and be relaxed because you're so worried and busy cramming in a bunch of wants and needs, this can mess with the vibe.

Pro Tip: Don't get hung up on how finding someone through online dating is so tough and you're ready to pack it in. This could be perceived as a red flag by your match. “Is there something wrong with this person?”

7. Just In Case - Emotional Intelligence

Just like in any social interaction, there’s the possibility the conversation could take a more serious turn or touch on a sensitive or emotional topic.

Using empathy and being respectful are qualities that your match is likely to appreciate and remember if this situation arises. Knowing you reacted well demonstrates that you can likely be depended on in the future.

Be aware of the emotional tone of the conversation and react accordingly. If the they seem uncomfortable or bored, switch the topic or adjust your approach.

There’re Also Some Don’ts That Go Along With These Do’s

8. Avoid Being A Diva

Be careful not to come across too extra, needy, or high maintenance in the beginning. Drawing a line in the sand and listing all your wants and deal breakers may be a bit much in the first or second conversation.

You may have gone through some stuff in the past and know what you want, but people may wonder if this aggressive unbending might be how you are with everything. There's nothing wrong with being clear about your wants.

You shouldn't settle and you have a right to be happy, but sometimes that first impression and your initial delivery paint a picture of you to your match. Just keep this in mind!

9. Avoid Dominating the Conversation

Make sure it's a dialogue, not a monologue. Let the other person share their thoughts and experiences. You may be excited and want to share all your thoughts, but make sure to pause every once in awhile!

10. Avoid Negative or Controversial Topics at the Start

Particularly in initial interactions, it's generally best to steer clear of topics that could lead to disagreements or discomfort. There are definitely some hot topics like politics and social movements that are best introduced after at least one conversation that checks the chemistry between you two.

11. Don't Make Assumptions

Be open-minded and don't jump to conclusions about the other person. This can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. If they something important to you and you're not exactly sure what they meant, give them a chance by asking a clarifying question.

12. Avoid Being Distracted

Make sure you're focusing on the conversation at hand. Constantly checking your phone or looking around, if IRL, or long delays before you respond to a text can signal disinterest.

If your match gets the feeling they're not really a priority at this sensitive moment, what does that say about how they'll be treated if the two of you ever start dating???

13. Avoid Being Boring

Sounds like common sense, but sometimes when we’re at a loss for a conversation topic we slip. Avoid asking questions that are too generic like, what do you like to do for fun? Or what's your ideal vacation spot?

These questions, unless it’s a natural part of the conversation, scream boring and a lack of imagination. Try to match questions with things they’ve provided via their profile to show you made some effort on their behalf. 

14. Avoid coming off too forward or creepy

Commenting on looks or body can definitely trigger some alarms if it's too early in the conversation, feels forced or rushed, or just not part of the conversation at all. People are always weary and on the lookout for this.

Truth be told, there are a lot of creepers out there so read the room. There's nothing wrong with compliments, but we all know what's nice and flirty, and what's crossed a line.

Stay True To Who You Are

Lastly, remember change can be fun, but you can’t really change the core of who you are. Same goes for your match!

Example: You LOVE going to breweries and your match hates breweries, what do you do? This is good information out the gate before too much time is invested, but do you keep digging?

Is there something else there that will make the brewery thing irrelevant or seem trivial? Would you guys be on the same page if your match liked hanging in and watching movies 5 or 6 nights a week when you LOVE going out 5 or 6 nights a week? Could it work? Maybe, but probably not.

Be honest up front so no one’s time is wasted, even if she or he is super attractive and sexy! Only you really know what you’d be cool with, but don’t fake if that’s really not you. That’s just false advertising.

Make sure your profile is designed to attract the type of people you're most likely to match up with. If you LOVE anime and playing video games, make sure to put it in your profile. You want that anime lover on the other side to see your profile and say "that's my person!"

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Disclosure: This article was not written by a medical or legal professional, unless specifically stated otherwise. Advice or support content is not intended to be either professional medical or mental health advice or recommendations. All support and advice is from direct and/or anecdotal contributor/author experiences and topic research. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency or mental or physical abuse, please seek professional support. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us, at no cost to you when you decide to purchase a reviewed product.



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