In 2019 many people connect with other humans by swiping in one direction or another, whichever way life takes them, on their phone screen. Even after an app informs you that someone you think is cute also thinks you are cute, however, someone (two someones, really, if this is going to go anywhere) have to speak to one another! Sometimes that goes swimmingly, and others it is a disaster. Let us learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. Here are the best and/or worst things people have said to us when trying to date us!
Heather Hogan, Senior Writer & TV Editor
On the dating app of Twitter, which is where I met Stacy, she used the opening line of just a gif of Paula Deen getting hit in the face with a ham. It was very effective! I was like, “Well, now who is this weirdo.” Nine years later we share an entire life. The worst pick-up line anyone has ever used on me on an app was, “Harry Potter is overrated.”
Erin , Writer
One woman began a conversation with something to the effect of “Link me your Instagram so I know this isn’t a catfish account” (which says so much about my whole deal, that this needed to be clarified) before the obligatory “hi,” which told me she wasn’t here to play around and I appreciated the establishing of a direct line of communication. The worst was “Hey I think I follow you on Twitter!”
Rachel Kincaid, Managing Editor
“What’s your cat’s name? She’s beautiful. And so are you. I bet you’re finding lots of people to show you the city, but if you need another, I’d be honored.” This was so good! She complimented me AND my cat, and also invited me to talk about my cat! I want to talk about my cat and be told I’m pretty all the time!
Alexis Smithers, Writer
Best: Tie between:
Hello bunch of mental illnesses in a trenchcoat, I’m Dad. What sci-fi show were you yelling at
(an aside, can you tell what my tinder profile says)
Hey I don’t have a witty opener. I just think you’re super cute! *heart eyes*
Worst: I literally reopened all the accounts on all the apps and literally have just had nice messages so I’m gonna say the worst opening line was an unsolicited dick pic from a cis man
Molly Priddy, Writer
OK don’t judge me, but I’m always the one using the opening line. I have yet to have anyone use one on me! Well, maybe one, who said, “Hey,” which is pretty uninspired to be honest. It all goes so much smoother when you stop thinking about them as “lines” and more like “communicating with another human being who is also cute.” So you mention something specific from their profile or photos, to show you paid attention. Then go from there!
Carolyn Yates, Writer
Best: My profile at the time opened “Kinky, sub-y, poly, hard femme.” Their first message was “Kinky, Top/Dom, poly-adjacent […] . How do you do?” There. For. It.
Worst: “Did I see you at [coffee shop] earlier?”
Riese Bernard, CEO
Okay, so I met an ex through tinder (although we had lots of friends in common), and back when we still talked about being together forever, we were pleased that we wouldn’t have to lie about meeting online in our wedding vows because our meeting online story would’ve been really cute in that context.
Her opening line was “this is the most important thing that has ever happened to me.”
I liked my ex’s opening because it wasn’t coy, it was totally transparent if hyperbolic, serving to inflate my ego and acknowledge that she knew who I was and was into it. I asked her what the most important thing that had ever happened to her was before matching with me on tinder and she said “probably when kristen stewart said she was gay on SNL” and because that had happened a few days earlier i was like “wow this must be a big week for you!” and then the rest is history. History that eventually… ended.
A lot of people say “are you riese from autostraddle?” which like, yes! and then… WHAT THEN!!?? NOTHING. It’s definitely cuter if, when that’s the angle, the person actually references something relevant to me / autostraddle that can start a conversation.
The worst is probably just like, “what’s up?” If you’re not a smooth texter, just say ‘wanna get a drink this week?’ and then we can talk about what’s up.
Sarah Sarwar, Design & Marketing Director
Best: Any over-illustrious GIF that exudes ATTRACTION, i.e. — a winking banana unpeeling itself.
Worst: “Hi Sarah, what’s giving you life right now [seedling emoji]”
Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor
My old OKCupid handle was ze_monsta, a play on the excellent PJ Harvey song “Meet Ze Monsta,” and I kept hoping someone would get it and sweep me away with their romantic understanding of Polly Jean. Nobody ever did, except a tall hot Texan babe with a lip ring who caught the reference and told me about her favorite PJ songs and honestly? That’s all I need. We ended up being lifelong friends. I very rarely send the first message and am very, very shy when I do; dating apps are so awkward and it’s so hard to start a conversation!
My absolute worst dating app pickup was a guy who sent me something like five paragraphs about the OKCupid compatibility question wondering if you’d ever fuck in a graveyard, complaining about the false equivalency with necrophilia that he felt was implied, and wondering what was so bad about that anyway. However, my favorite OKCupid pickup of all time was the guy who wrote only, “Look a little crazy huh” with no punctuation.
Reneice Charles, Writer
I wish I had an answer for the best opening line i’ve ever received but not a single thing is coming to mind, I DO however have one for the worst. Back when I still dated men one particularly confident specimen sent me a message that started with ” You are desperately fetching”. His message moved on from there into some of the worst soft-core porn scripting I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading rife with objectification and highly problematic racial and fat exoticism. It was so bad that I couldn’t believe it was real. Like this man TRULY believed this was an appropriate way to go about finding a date? Wow. Also, desperately fetching??? just…what? I deleted the app the next day.
Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor
I actually opened my Tinder to look at concrete examples for this and all the best opening lines include some combo of a greeting, a compliment, and a suggestion to hang out. I like to use Tinder to meet babes but I’m not looking for an extended pen pal situation – I have enough friends to text with. Get in, ask me to meet in person, get out! Let’s see if we have sexual chemistry ASAP, ya know? I don’t really have any terrible opening line stories – maybe that’s why I’m one of the only queer women who actually likes Tinder?