3 Tips for Forming Connections on Dating Apps

Conversation Starters for Dating Apps

At the beginning of September I was texting one of my friends about a Bumble date I had lined up for the following evening, and she responded, “So you’re getting in on Cuffing Season early, I see.”

My response was, “What the hell is ‘Cuffing Season’? Is that something dirty?!” Because, truly, I am always completely oblivious to dirty lingo. And the fact that she said, “Just Google it” made me even more concerned.

Thankfully what I discovered was super PG and very blog-friendly. Here is The Huffington Post’s brilliantly descriptive definition of Cuffing Season to help explain… “During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

How to Form a Connection on a Dating App

As we’re now in the middle of Cuffing Season, I’m guessing many of you will be approaching online dating with a renewed sense of energy. And, if you’re hoping to boost your chances of forming a genuine connection online, read on for my top dating app tips…


Avoid starting conversations with “Hey, how are you?”

Bumble has pretty much become the dating app of choice for single ladies living in big cities. The consensus amongst all of my single girlfriends is that Bumble has the most eligible men, and I currently agree with that analysis.

But, because it’s the woman who has to message first whenever a match is formed on Bumble, there’s a lot of pressure to craft the perfect opening line.

Personally, I think as long as you stay away from “Hey, how are you?” you’re already on the right track. “How are you?” gets you nowhere. And, if you don’t believe me, here is an accurate breakdown of all conversations that start that way – whether they take place on Bumble or any other dating platform…

Romantic Lead #1: Hey, how are you?
Romantic Lead #2: Good thanks, and you?
Romantic Lead #1: I’m good!
[Hours, days, weeks and months pass. The two never speak again.]

If you can, start the conversation with an open-ended question about something you’ve noticed in that person’s photos or bio. But if you don’t have much to work with in that regard, fear not! I’ve put together a helpful PDF featuring 5 Conversation Starters for Dating Apps, which you can download here>>

Conversation Starters for Dating Apps


Don’t play hard to get

Over hundreds, if not thousands, of years we’ve been hardwired to believe that all hetrosexual relationships should follow a certain pattern. The man does all of the chasing, the woman plays hard to get, the man wants the woman even more, the woman eventually gives in, they live happily ever after.

But, whether or not you subscribe to that formula, playing hard to get will not work on dating apps. Why? Because there’s SO much choice. If you play games and take ages to respond to messages, the person you’re talking to will quickly lose interest and move onto their next match.

This isn’t to say you need to appear over-eager and reply within seconds of receiving a  new message. Just don’t actively try to slow the process down in the hope that you’ll appear mysterious and alluring.

Conversation Starters Online Dating


Test the connection IRL

Aziz Ansari got it right in his magnificent book, Modern Romance, when he described apps like Tinder as “introduction services” not “dating apps”. If you’ve exchanged a few messages with someone you’re intrigued by, it’s time to get off the app and discover whether you have a connection IRL.

If you don’t feel comfortable being the one to initiate a date by saying “Do you fancy getting drinks after work later this week?” there’s another route you can take. Simply write, “I don’t usually spend much time on this app, so if you’d rather text here’s my number.”

Most straight men will take that as a sign that you like them. And if they’re interested in you too, it will give them the push they needed to ask you on a date. Honestly, I have a very high success rate using the “here’s my number” line. Try it!

What are your favourite conversation starters for dating apps? And are you being proactive about forming connections this Cuffing Season? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…

P.S. How to stand out from the crowds on online dating websites

Photos by Victoria Metaxas at The Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden | Knit by Jumper 1234