They love pineapple on pizza! They hate pineapple on pizza! They thought Buffy and Angel made sense on Buffy! – it could be an opportunity lightly! playfully! flirtily! engage them on it in a way that is angling for Banter, the way that hip rom coms have taught us we should identify our one true love. “Buffy and Angel! I am, respectfully, horrified. What about when…” This can be an easy way to start talking to someone, and also a good way to tell if you have any kind of overlap or chemistry with someone, at least over text; does the back and forth flow? Are you laughing? Is the other person getting too competitive and taking it too seriously and therefore not fun? There you go.
However, much like other rom-com activities like carrying large cue cards across a city and orchestrating a secret declaration of love with them or having beachy waves every single day, playful banter is actually pretty hard, and if you are feeling unsure of this option or like you aren’t confident you can do it without coming off as argumentative, I would encourage you to honor that feeling! That is fine, there are other things you can say.
If “hi” is the absolute bar on the floor of first messages, the followup is “How’s your day?” This is a good question to ask a close friend or coworker or something, but much like with the question “how are you,” when a stranger asks you there is almost no way to respond to it other than “fine!” The things that are happening to us on a day to day basis are frequently boring, often not under our control, and sometimes embarrassing. We don’t always want to talk about them with strangers! However, asking about future plans is something that’s under the other person’s control, and also probably aspirational and cool. “How’s your summer been” is likely to get a “fine;” “do you have anything you’re excited about for this summer?” might get you to a discussion of a farmers’ market or, idk, plans to get a commercial vehicle license. You’re off to the races!
Although all of you have been previously instructed to actually fill out your bio, thereby giving other people something to actually say to you, many of you are still reluctant to do so, OR have done the thing where you just put one quixotic and mysterious line (“eyebrows of an angel, septum piercing of a sailor”) (what. does that mean?) which may potentially make you seem hot and above it all, but is also virtually impossible to respond to. Luckily, Kayla has got you covered already with her comprehensive yet approachable guide to sending the first message on Tinder, which often takes the approach of basically, well, an icebreaker. Borrow one of hers (I’m partial to “do you have a favorite Fast Furious movie?”) or follow along in the same spirit and Spieler-Dating nur Verbraucherberichte create your own.
Is there any guarantee any of these will work? Absolutely not. Can you at least say you tried, and maybe get into one or two good-natured arguments about casting on the L Word? Yes, for sure. Tell us your favorite/least favorite first message strategies!
This! This article you just read wouldn’t be possible without support from readers like you. In fact, we wouldn’t be here AT ALL without reader support. We keep Autostraddle majority free-to-read, but it isn’t free to create! We need YOU to sign up for A+ to help keep this indie queer media site funded. A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year. If you can, will you join?