Every Opening Line I’ve Received and Sent on Tinder Since the Pandemic Began

Hi Drew! Hope the weekends treating you amazing.

How are you liking all this social distancing? It’s cool that you write for Autostraddle

hi (black heart emoji)

Hey! (leaf emoji) (twinkly stars emoji)

love a fellow curly banger. what did you do to stay sane today?

I love dating. I’ve tried to fight this truth. I’ve tried to say I love meeting new people or I love romance, but that’s a lie. I genuinely love the act of dating. Or at least I did before the pandemic.

You’re so cute. Like devastatingly cute. Where are you moving to LA from?

What are your favorite Lana songs?

It’s truly astounding how ugly all of their boyfriends are. Grateful every day that I am gay.

So many of the pleasures of dating — including off-line dating — have been taken away by our isolation. It seems like every day I log onto Twitter dot com to discover another mutual of mine somehow found a pandemic soulmate, but for me forming long term connections has felt hopeless. And yet I keep swiping! Because, again, I love dating. Even under the circumstances.

Funnily enough, I remember reading your article on Sciamma's Portrait de la jeune fille en feu a couple months ago. You write beautifully


Hey cutie. How are your survival skills?

God writing about lesbian cinema and sex? dream job

Hii drew how r u

There have been several people who I’ve matched with and started talking to and even FaceTimed with only for it to eventually fizzle out. It’s not that it’s totally impossible to see someone safely — it just takes a lot more effort. I spent all summer in my friend’s one-bedroom apartment and if someone else was also able to isolate we could have met up. But that’s a lot of commitment for a first date and it’s hard enough finding someone you like, let alone like and who has a similar relationship to pandemic safety as you. And yet I’ve kept swiping.

What led you to be looking for people in LA? Other than the fact that we’re famously hot, of course.

How are you coping being nomadic during quarantine?

Camp counselor energy is definitely one of the top three hottest energies so congrats

What are the turtles' names?

Throughout the pandemic I’ve gone through periods where I really enjoyed chatting with people on apps, and periods where nothing could interest me less. Sometimes swiping is less about actually meeting people and more about remembering that other people exist. When faced with actually forming a texting relationship, the exhaustion of the moment can make that feel impossible. Dating is always a bit Sisyphean, but during the pandemic so many of the things that make it worth it are gone.

Hi! I’m Cap Moon Rising Sag What panel was that Rita Moreno pic from? I work on ODAAT



Hi! I think ur so beautiful

Hey! Why have you been up to with your quarantine boredom?

Hiii (cherry emoji)


Sometimes someone will message me and I won’t respond not because I’m not interested in them, but because I’m just not interested in anyone. I’ve definitely messaged first a lot less in recent months than I did in the beginning of quarantine or before this all began.

Okay now I’m imagining going to the botanical garden and you’re gorgeous so obviously that’s a plus but also JUST IMAGINE BEING OUTSIDE AT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been inside for two months or if you’re just really hot but “let’s play with each other’s hair

As a Capricorn sun, Leo rising writer who is also bad at small talk and likes big questions I feel like we should have a lot to talk about

I started thinking about the opening lines people send to me and I send to people and wondered if there was any consistency in when they lead to conversation and more. The answer? Not really! It seems to have much more to do with our moods and how much we like each other — at least on my end.


Hey! Your twitter is funny

Ur so cute it hurts!

Cutie (smiley face emoji)

Hey (eyes down smile emoji)

Drew what’s up

hello drew (blushing smile emoji)

Why hello!! I’m sure u get it all the time but like. ur eyes r amazing (crying emoji)

As a long time Autostraddle reader, thank you for your service (prayer hands emoji)

Hi (blushing smile emoji)

(heart eyes emoji)

But what I discovered instead was a sort of pandemic dating log. Even now — especially now — we’re still looking for connection and whether we express that in a “hi” or in a wordy flirt I think it’s really lovely to witness. Dating might suck sometimes, but it’s also a space where people are vulnerable and take risks and learn about others and themselves. Even if I haven’t fallen in love, I’m grateful for the people I’ve met and the virtual moments we’ve shared. I’m grateful to have something that pushes me to keep swiping — even if all evidence says just wait until 2022.

I looked at your art on instagram and it's as stunning as you are

You were really crushable when you guested on To L and Back

2020 is tough competition but I think I could ruin your life.

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 567 articles for us.


    • Oh, I thought it was a pretty funny first line for dating during the apocalypse. And practical too! Survival skills are useful as well as sexy.

  1. This way too relatable, though 90% of the time I’m the one to message first. Including matching with the same person on two different dating site & using two different opening lines, but never a reply. I don’t get it.

  2. As an autistic who is unsure exactly what to write as opening lines on dating sites, thank you for these examples. Whenever I consult The Google, it’s a bunch of boring straight people shit.

    • Basically my approach is I pick something from their bio or pictures to comment on usually with some sort of compliment or flirt attached. But honestly? I’ve responded to plenty of people who just message “Hi” haha

  3. Oh, I thought it was a pretty funny first line for dating during the apocalypse. And practical too! Survival skills are useful as well as sexy.

    • Thanks for demystifying Tinder. As someone who hasn’t even dabbled in online dating, you’ve made it seem less daunting. I’d love an article on Dating Profiles 101 for Queer people. What kind of stuff should be included? What sort of stuff should be left out?

  4. Some of these legit just made me go “Gaaaaaaayyyyyy!”

    Lol. This made my night. Also I clearly need to step my opening line game up. Whew

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