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Top 10 Online Dating Pickup Lines to Use As a First Message on the Apps

Morgan Mandriota
Best Online Dating Pickup Lines
If you’ve ever used a dating app before, then you know just how hard it can be to strike up--and keep up--a solid conversation with someone you barely know. You quite literally don’t know anything about the person besides what they choose to share on their profile, and now you have to make the first move by sending an engaging first message.

Will they reply? Or will your attempt fall flat? Nobody knows! And THAT is the game of online dating, my friends.

Do you usually struggle to come up with fun and flirty one liners on online dating sites? Here’s our guide of 10 of the best pickup lines you can kick off conversations with people on dating apps. First, we’ll start off with the classic, safe openers that will score you a good first impression. Then, we’ll progress to the riskier, more creative lines that “may” get a response… or get you blocked.

1. The classic “hey”

Is your match’s profile pretty bland with nothing in their bio to use as a jumping-off point? Don’t worry. “Hi, how are you?” is the simplest, most traditional opening line that you can send on a dating app when all else fails. Why? Because you can’t really go wrong with it. “Hey” and “hi” are super neutral openers that basically always warrant a reply. Just expect to receive an equally dry “Hey! I’m doing well, thanks. How are you?” in return.

2. Send a GIF

Images can speak louder than words. A super casual opener is to send a GIF depending on the type of vibe you’re going for. If you’re trying to replace a “hey,” use a celebrity, animal, or person from a popular TV show enthusiastically waving hello. If you’re aiming for a more sensual or sexual approach, drop one of someone raising their eyebrows or something more risque. Beware that you might get rejected for the latter, though, so choose carefully. Use clues from the person’s profile to gauge what type of GIF they might respond well to. 

3. Thoughtful questions

The quickest way to most hearts is to be thoughtful and kind. Ask what the best part of their day is, or ask a question based on a photo they shared or something in their bio. Are you into astrology? Why not try asking them what their sign is and seeing if you’re compatible? If you like their answer, you can pull a (corny) line about your fate being written in the stars, but that’s super cheesy so be careful.

4. Check in on how they’re doing

Between the global pandemic and other chaotic events, this last year has been a whirlwind for our lives. A “hi, how are you?” might work (see #1), but how is your match *really* doing? Take the considerate route and check in to see how they’ve actually been during recent events. You don’t need to play the therapist role, but taking note that things have been heavy for a while now can lead you to a deeper, more intimate conversation.

5. Play with food (not literally)

Everybody loves food. If someone says they don’t, then they’re obviously lying (and nobody wants to date a liar). Use this fact to your advantage by sending a first message that’s somehow related to food. “Pancakes or waffles?” is a surefire way to start a debate (and show their true colors). “Do you like bread?” is a no-fail option, because who doesn’t like bread? Or, you can go for a punny food joke, like “do you like Mexican food? Because I want to wrap you up and call you my baerrito.” Cringy? Maybe a little bit. Cute and worth the shot? We think so.

6. Cheesy pickup lines

Speaking of food, CORNy pickup lines are another solid first message idea. If they can’t appreciate a lame pickup line, then they probably have a poor sense of humor, and you don’t need that type of negativity in your life. Chances are, though, that they’ll at least entertain the message. From there, you can progress onto a more solid conversation. “If we were triangles, then you’d be aCUTE” and “if I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together” are two cheesy options to choose from, but the list is basically endless. The choice is yours.

7. Funny jokes

If you sense that the person you matched with can take a joke, and even spit one back at you, then send something funny. If you’re on a casual platform like Tinder or Bumble, throw a sarcastic curveball like “so when are we getting married?” (because you’re definitely not getting married anytime soon). “Can I have your Hulu password?” is another one of my newest favorites that almost always gets a response. Looking for a more timid, yet still funny opening line? “Are you a structure used by beavers to block water flow because DAM!” should do the trick.

8. Compliment them

Jump straight to the point and tell your match how attractive or funny you think they are. If you’re ready to blindly throw caution to the wind, then toss them a straight-forward “hey, beautiful” or “hi, handsome.” And in case you’re wondering, this isn’t a shallow move either. Dating apps are all about impressions. You literally matched with them based on their looks, their bio, or both. So be kind, drop a compliment, and see where it goes!

9. Ask them out

Looking for something serious? No need to play games. Skip the small talk and let them know that you want to take them on a date sooner than later. You can ask if they want to grab a cup of coffee, meet for lunch, or join you for dinner at some point throughout the upcoming week. After all, wanting to date them is the main reason why you matched with them anyway, right? 

10. Get sexual

Warning: This tip is not for the faint of heart. If a casual hookup is all you’re after, then why not get straight to the point with a sexual one-liner? “You know, there’s no non-sexual way to eat a banana” is along the tamer lines. However, a quick and dirty “DTF?” will also get the job done. Keep in mind that if the person you matched with isn’t into a friends-with-benefits situation and they want something more serious, you might get yourself blocked. So prepare to ruin your chance with this person… or get lucky! 

When to Play It Safe or Play a Game of Risk

So when is it smart to stick to something safe, and when is it worth taking a calculated risk? This totally depends on how you feel the person might receive your message. Check their profile for clues. Do they have fun content on their profile and seem like someone who would enjoy a raunchy joke or two? If they have silly pictures, consider taking the leap. If they don’t offer much to work with and seem a bit timid or shy, maybe skip the dark humor and save it for someone else. 

Whatever you decide to send, make sure to outweigh the potential benefits or risks associated with your message of choice. You don’t want to sabotage any chance you have with someone you might really like. May the online dating odds be ever in your favor!

You may also like:

10 Flirty Emojis to Help Improve Your Dating Game

10 Tips for Making the Most of Dating From Home

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota writes for top10.com and is also a freelance sex and wellness writer with bylines at Betches, Health.com, and BuzzFeed. Her insight has been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Tinder, The New York Times, and more. When Morgan isn't writing about orgasms, dating struggles, or CBD, she loves traveling, eating tacos, and training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.