It is estimated that by 2026 80% of relationships would have started through online dating or dating apps. So, needless to say, learning the online etiquette could be our ticket to finding lasting love.
Whilst you may have found someone you have matched with while swiping and browsing, the key is to begin a conversation that could allow for a deeper connection.
And it’s that first hurdle of saying hello and ‘breaking the ice’ that can sometimes feel like the hardest part to do.
Even if you have a solid Tinder bio and great photos that show off your physical appearance in the right light…your conversation is what will make or break your Tinder date.
Benefits of Using an Icebreaker
Starting a conversation with a complete stranger whom you are attracted to is not easy for everyone. Attraction puts extra pressure and expectations on the situation which can affect your level of confidence.
That’s why having an icebreaker to ease your way into the connection means you can start off on the right foot.
Here are a couple of benefits of using a prepared icebreaker:
It allows you to feel more prepared to reduce anxiety – If you are someone who struggles with thinking on the spot when you are under pressure then having an icebreaker will work for you. It allows you to know already what you need to or should say in order to feel you have a sense of control over the situation.
It can set you apart from others – Chances are the person you want to speak to is also being approached multiple times by other. So, standing out can be as simple as using the right icebreaker to gain their attention.
It can set the tone straight away – Saying the right thing from the beginning helps to set the right impression and clarify your intentions.
It gives you more confidence – This is because you feel prepared and in control and aren’t relying on the powers of spontaneity!
Whilst an icebreaker is a great way into a conversation with someone, we have to remember that continuing the conversation is just as important, so let’s look at more on that next.
General Rules for Writing on Dating Apps
Before we jump into the different type of icebreakers you can use, it’s important to cover a few basic dating tips when it comes to writing on apps like Tinder or Bumble.
Because there are over 1500 dating sites and millions of users, we have to learn how to maximise these apps through both photos and conversational exchanges instead of just relying on algorithms to do the work for us.
Here are some general rules for writing on dating apps:
Keep the conversation casual – Steer clear of anything too deep too soon. Keep the conversation light and casual in the beginning so that you can set an easy, safe and relaxed tone.
Keep asking questions – Asking questions is what keeps the conversation going. Try not to have closed sentences as this leads to stagnating exchanges.
Learn to escalate to a date – The goal should always be to eventually take that person on a real date. Therefore, the conversation should have a mix of curiosity, flirting and enough information to impress them to want to meet you in person.
Write full sentences – Even though it may be more convenient to write responses such as “K” or “Hey“ it really isn’t going to get you anywhere far. Put the effort into texting full sentences with the right punctuation. This effort shows respect and reflection of your level of interest and investment.
Keep it light on the endearing names and compliments – Too many compliments or cute names too soon make anyone come off creepy and with the wrong agenda. Use their name instead of ‘babe’, ‘beautiful’,’ handsome’ etc.
Allow time in between – Give some breathing space in-between exchanges so that you can create some chase and curiosity whilst also giving some perspective to see how interested they really are in you.
Interesting dating icebreakers to get the conversation going
If you want to stand out from the sea of crowded fish, you have to get creative with your icebreakers! This doesn’t mean you need to be elaborate, but rather catch their attention through a different approach.
When you have matched on Tinder for example, using the right Tinder opener for the first message is the key to being able to strengthen a connection.
Here are a few out of the box ways to break the ice:
Write a poem – A little old school romance can go a long way. The funnier and cheesier the poem the better as it keeps the tone light and will most likely make them smile and have a giggle!
Ask them to help you solve a riddle – Draw them into a quest with you to solve a riddle that you found or one that you have made up and if they don’t solve it they have to go on a date with you.
Write an emoji conversation – This doesn’t work on everyone, but it can be a fun way to start a conversation by using ONLY emojis to state what you want to say. Or alternatively have a convo with just GIFS !
Play a game – Induce a little competitiveness or curiosity by challenging them to a verbal game. This could be something like Truth or Dare or a simple guessing game about each other. Make sure that there is a clear winner so that you can suggest a date as a prize.
If all else fails scale back to using comfortable opening lines, however don’t be afraid to try something new if you aren’t getting anywhere with your opening lines.
Icebreakers to introduce yourself
The initial stages of dating are all about communicating who you are whilst learning more about the other person.
Dating apps have changed the way we start dating, however it’s not to say you can’t still come across calm and confident.
So naturally you will be wanting to know how to introduce yourself in the best way possible. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction:
Don’t turn yourself into a job candidate – Even if you are someone who has a lot to offer, doesn’t mean you should be sending them a list of everything about yourself. Tell them a few key things and let them learn more about you over time as you assess them as well.
Be authentic – Whilst it may be tempting to exaggerate certain things or even make them up to impress your match, it’s not going to be easy trying to live up to them. Authenticity means you don’t have to pretend to be someone else in order to be liked.
Focus on your good points – Granted no one is perfect, however this isn’t a ticket to turn yourself into a victim. Focus on what strengths you bring rather than faults you wish you could change.
Funny icebreaker questions to make you stand out
If you are ready to make a splash, then it’s time to get creative with your opening lines. Here are a list of a few good icebreakers and funny Tinder openers that are a little cheesy but bound to get a response:
“Excuse me? Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice. Hi, I’m….”
Stopwatch you’re doing and talk to me.”
“Are you a keyboard? Because you’re just my type.”
“You’re so beautiful that you made me forget the rest of my pick-up line.”
“If you could be any type of drink, what would you be?”
“If you were an animal, which one would you be?”
Granted, some of these are quite corny, however they at most will get a laugh which is always a good start to building a connection.
Should I use an icebreaker joke?
Humour is also a good way to start a conversation, however not all jokes are going to be perceived as funny. If you have your heart set on sending them a joke as a way to break the ice just remember these rules:
Don’t make the jokes sexual – Sexual jokes aren’t funny as an opening line. Try for something with a bit more finesse and class.
Don’t make the jokes offensive – steer clear of making fun about their appearance or jumping to conclusion about them and then making blatant statements.
Steer clear of sleazy pick-up lines – Trying too hard or using jokes that make you seem ingenuine and sleazy is not going to make anyone laugh. Instead use wit and dry humour or good old fashioned ‘dad jokes’.
The best jokes are ones that are relative to their profile or the situation. If the goal is to make them laugh don’t forget you can achieve that throughout the conversation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be with the first opening line.
Clever Icebreakers That Actually Work
Using a clever icebreaker gives you an advantage above the rest, because it means you are being a little more tactical with your approach.
A great icebreaker is one that has intention to grab their attention and stand out from the rest. It usually catches the match off guard and breaks their swiping or scrolling rhythm because it makes them think and keeps them curious.
Here are several ways you can make your icebreakers clever:
Use the element of surprise – Ask them something that they will never expect like what they think killed the dinosaurs or who would they choose as their zombie apocalyptic partner? Keep it light and fun and the more absurd the more likely you will get an answer from them!
Incite their imagination – Take them on a journey by asking them a series of adventurous questions that makes them think outside the box. For example, if they had to be stuck on an island and could only take 3 things and one person who and what would they be?
Ask for their help – This gets the other person curious as well as activating their human emotion to be needed. Saying something as simple as “I was hoping you could help me with something…” or “Now that I have your attention, I need your help with something …” are great ways to do this.
Focus on something specific from their profile – Catch them off guard by noticing something special about them from their profile and then building the conversation from that. Try to not make this feature sexual.
Icebreakers to use with females
Statistically speaking there are more males then females on dating apps and online dating. Therefore, the stakes are higher for men trying to grab a female’s attention.
A lot of the time women will be wary as they are concerned for safety and don’t want to be sent creepy and disrespectful messages.
Therefore, there are several things that one must keep in mind when approaching a woman online:
Don’t send pictures of body parts – It doesn’t matter how big, beautiful or incredible your appendage and chest is, if she hasn’t asked to see it then don’t assume she wants to be sent pics of it!
Don’t ask for nudes – Asking her to send you sexy photos is a sure way to degrade her and yourself to the point of being blocked and deleted. Even if her photos and comments are provocative, it isn’t permission to ask for intimate photos of herself.
Steer clear of sexual compliments – By all means give her a compliment, but don’t make it sexual. Instead focus on something that is beautiful about her whether it’s her skills, eyes or personality.
Add an element of chivalry – Women love to feel that romance is not dead and will respond to chivalrous conversation much more as it ignites one of her female desires.
Lead with respect not ego – Whilst most women want to be lead from the beginning, they don’t want to feel dominated. Create a safe place for her in the conversation by asking her questions and then listening to what she is saying without pushing your agenda.
Top icebreakers to use with men
Approaching a man – in real life or online – can be something taboo for women as it’s usually the other way around. However, men love to see a woman initiate a conversation!
This is your chance to shine on an online dating profile and boldly make your move, so here are a few things to remember:
Don’t just ask him about work – Whilst it’s great to know what he does for work, if you focus too much on that it can set the impression that you only care about status and how much he earns.
If you chat about work ask questions more along the lines of what he likes about it, is he passionate about his jobs and what his goals are.
Get beyond the surface – Ask about his dreams, family and passions. Try to go beyond the surface pleasant questions and show him that you genuinely are curious about who he is and what makes him who he is!
Keep the curiosity – One of the best ways to keep a man’s interest is to keep him guessing by leaving some mystery about yourself. Keep the conversation upbeat and don’t give away too much or overshare.
Stay confident but humble – Men love a woman with confidence, but they usually lose interest when she starts to act entitled or egotistical. Keep things down to earth and honest when having your conversation.
How to break the ice on a first date with someone you met online
After you have initiated the conversation online, the next step is taking that connection further on a real in person date. If you are nervous about the first meeting have a list of prepared conversation starters and questions.
These can include the following areas :
- Family and upbringing
- Passions and future projections
- Friends and social life
- Travel and adventure/experiences
- Ideals on relationships
- Guilty pleasures
You don’t need to learn the best tinder icebreakers by heart to be successful in real life. One dating expert’s tip to guarantee a fun first date is to start a little icebreaking game, for example two truths and a lie or would you rather.
Remember that first dates are just the tip of the iceberg, so even if you do break the ice and it looks like you’re getting along perfectly, you still have some way to go to know if you are compatible and if the chemistry is sustainable.
Founder of one of the top 30 global dating blogs and Australia’s number 1 dating and relationship blogs The Dating Directory, Renee Slansky had been educating men and women on love since 2013.
Renee contributes advice to some of the largest online publications in the world including The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Your Tango, Elite Daily and more. Shehas been a dating and relationship advisor for eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, Happn, We Date and RSVP.com and continues to fuse the gap between technology and finding love. And her teachings have been written in educational textbooks that are distributed throughout the whole of North America.
Her Youtube channel has over 94k subscribers and her work has been translated into several languages including German , Spanish and Russian.
Renee is often called to present as a relationship expert for Channel 7, Channel 10, SBS, talk shows, podcasts and commercial radio globally.
Her involvement with the ABC TV show Ex-Files saw her work alongside psychologists to provide dating strategies for each contestant. Her methods are based on providing a strong foundation of self-love and sustainable solutions. Renee has curated several online programmes for women and continues to speak globally at events around the world, making love education accessible for all.