Dating App Opening Lines You Should Never Use: Expert Advice



  • Amy Nobile is a dating coach who helps singles make profiles and use them to find compatible matches.
  • When her clients match with someone new, she helps them get the conversation going.
  • Nobile said to never lead with negativity, ask for a date right away, or tell a joke as your opening line.

Dating coach Amy Nobile has spent the past four years helping her clients create eye-catching dating app profile to draw in compatible matches.

With her business Love, Amy, Nobile uses iPads with her clients’ dating app logins. She signs in as them and shows them the step-by-step process, including how to initially message a match and secure a first date.

According to Nobile, having curiosity about a match, rather than focusing on obvious commonalities, is the key to successful app-based dating. When messaging a match for the first time, Nobile said to lean into that curiosity while avoiding opening lines that could come off as weird, overbearing, or boring.

A simple ‘Hey,’ or ‘What’s up?’

Sending a quick “What’s up?” allows you to get to a match right away, but it’s not the most tactful approach, according to Nobile.

“They just seem like there’s no excitement or energy behind them,” Nobile said.

She also said she often sees men open with some version of “Hey, beautiful” or “Hey sexy.” Nobile said this wording comes off as too friendly for a first chat.

“It’s just too much too soon. Even if you think the person’s beautiful,” put more effort into your message, Nobile said.

A joke, or the setup for a joke

According to Nobile, a person’s sense of humor is difficult to read over text, especially if you’re reaching out for the first time.  She said to save wisecracks for after you get to know someone better. Instead, ask a match a question you genuinely want to know the answer to.

She said one of her clients uses the same opening question with all of her initial matches: “Hey! How’s it going? What’s your favorite outdoor sport to do in Los Angeles?”

According to Nobile, this approach works because it highlights her client’s hobby of recreational sports.

“It’s automatically this olive branch. They could automatically have this connection to surfing or to hiking,” which can lead to interesting conversation, Nobile said.

If you’re really into brunch, podcasts, or board games, ask a question about that, Nobile said.

Asking to go on a date

Navigating the apps is overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you should skip ahead to asking for a date with a match, said Nobile.

“It’s almost like, ‘Where’s the foreplay?’” Nobile said, adding that some matches may feel objectified by this approach.

Instead, ask your match a question about themselves and see if there’s a semblance of chemistry before you try to meet in person.

Vague questions

While an open-ended question like “How was your weekend?” is a better opener than “Hey,” vague inquiries tend to fall flat, according to Nobile.

“People find them hard to answer for some reason. They feel like it’s a test and they have to give the right answer,” Nobile said. This could lead a match to not respond at all if they don’t know what to say.

Nobile said specific questions are easier to answer, and suggested ones like, “What’s the last book you read and loved?” or, “What’s a show you’re binge-watching right now?”

Anything that could have a negative connotation

Nobile said you shouldn’t write anything negative in your dating profile, and the same goes for your first message.

Even if the negativity is in jest, like asking a match about the worst date they’ve ever been on, it’s better to save that for the first date, Nobile said. The same goes for starting with a playful dig about details a match put in their profile.

“You have to remember that when you’re in person and you’re trying to, in a sweet way, make fun of somebody, you can read the inflection and the tone and the energy, but not online,” Nobile said.

If you have any concern that your message could be misinterpreted, nix it, she said.



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