In the age of modern technology, it seems that “putting yourself out there” has taken on a new meaning. Instead of heading to parties and bars, today’s surefire way to find a partner or one-night stand is by syncing up your Facebook with one of the many dating apps out there. It might have all started with Tinder, but now there’s OkCupid, Bumble, Her, CoffeeMeetsBagel, Plenty of Fish and so many more. I haven’t tested the waters of every dating app out there but, as a millennial, I thought I might as well dive headfirst into the world of swiping right.
I always find the hardest part of these so-called dating apps to be sending the perfect first message. It’s easy to silently judge people safely behind the screen of your phone or computer (just ask the alumni who once trolled the late Overheard at William and Mary page), but it’s a little more difficult to give a good first impression via text. So, in the hopes of helping my many fans find love online, I have scoured the interwebs in search of the best tips for sending a first message.
Before I hit you with the cold, hard facts, let me set the scene. Two weeks ago, as I lay in bed, I pondered the conundrum of what to say to a cute boy I was messaging on Tinder. Let’s call him Drew. Drew and I had matched that evening, and before I could get to planning the intimate details of our life together, like how we were definitely going to get married on the Cliffs of Moher, I knew deep within my being that I needed to send a message.
I messaged Drew, and a couple other matches on both Tinder and Bumble, the same message. It read as follows: “I’m going to the grocery store tomorrow — need me to pick up anything?”
So, I got on Google and did a quick search for “how to send the perfect first message on Tinder.” Unfortunately, most articles about this are catered to those of the male persuasion. And while it may be universally agreed upon that a simple, “Hey, how’re you” doesn’t have enough “je ne sais quoi,” there’s a little bit of debate on how to introduce yourself properly. The website tinderseduction.com suggests that you aim to evoke emotion in your first message by offering a compliment or telling a joke. There’s also an app called Dating App Cheat that’ll help you craft the perfect first message as well.
After scrolling through bad, adverse and creepy examples, this is what I came up with: the internet has no idea how to talk to people on social media without the side effect of sounding perverted or misogynistic. Whatever you do, do not — I repeat, do not — take the advice of betches.com or Cosmo. Instead of listening to the poor advice of the web, I came up with my own witty response to test out.
I messaged Drew, and a couple other matches on both Tinder and Bumble, the same message. It read as follows: “I’m going to the grocery store tomorrow — need me to pick up anything?” The responses rolled in. Some asked for condoms, others really wanted spicy ramen. Either way, they responded.
I tested out another phrase: “Who’s your favorite serial killer?” Again, I got far more responses than your typical “Hey, hello, how are you?” Most guys weren’t super creative and chose instead to name themselves rather than Richard Ramirez or Ted Bundy. Whatever, I’m not picky. The moral of the story is this: there’s no right or wrong way to send a first message on Tinder. Stop listening to the internet and listen to your heart! Then maybe, just maybe, you will find your Tinder love.