5 Golden Rules of Tinder Pick-Up Lines, According to People Who Have Seen Some Things

In the same vein as that, while you want to suggest you wouldn’t murder someone, do not mention it! You shouldn’t have to say it! A friend of mine, Angela, got a message that said, among other things: “We can do this in a public area so you feel like you have lower murder odds.” Violence isn’t a good joke.

4. If You Can’t Be Creative—Don’t

If you’re going to do a “creative” opener, it has to actually be creative. This means you should not, under any circumstances, do a bit about the person’s name. Because guess what? They’ve heard it before. Allegra, 28, from Fort Collins, Colorado, says that “at least once a week, someone makes a joke about allergy medicine. I’m 28, I’ve already heard every version of ‘I have allergies, can you help?’ or ‘Are you better than Zyrtec?’ It’s an immediate block.”

Creativity doesn’t negate the don’t-be-crass rule; Marissa, 26, from Arlington, Virginia, had a man write a rhyming couplet for her (a bit too much, but I guess nice effort), which was ruined when he rhymed her name with “your ass I would fist-a.”

5. Ask a Question

If you want an easy route to stand out and keep the conversation going, ask a question. It doesn’t have to be wildly new, but it should not be “coffee or tea” or “Coke or Pepsi” fodder. What’s your favorite power tool? If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be? What’s the worst vacation you’ve ever been on? What’s the worst meal of the day? Anything harmless and nonsexual works. And no, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” does not count.

To illustrate the tone you’re going for, let me introduce you to Bobby, 32, from Philadelphia. When anyone’s Hinge profile would ask, “What’s your hottest take?” he’d answer with: “The original version of ‘All Too Well,’ which is great, is way better than the ten-minute version of ‘All Too Well,’ which is bad.” It’s his actual opinion—I asked—and very low stakes. But it also invites conversation and is a unique topic! As you can imagine, this has led to lots of dates for him.

The goal in all of this is to come across as fun and nonthreatening, down for a good time but not cartoon-level awooga horny. The more specific and genuine you are, the better. Don’t get too deep or too naughty too quickly—if you wouldn’t say it at a bar, don’t say it in your opening message.

Above all else, do not mention face-sitting until at least eight messages have been exchanged between the two of you.

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