I may not know everything about happy, healthy relationships, but I do know this: I'm a pro at whipping up conversation on dating apps. It's one of my favorite things! You and this other person you're attracted to have a few lines to establish textual chemistry or lock down a date using only a keyboard and perhaps a GIF or two. While this pressure can also be a lil' daunting, think of it as a fun challenge. Here are some time-tested icebreakers to whip out next time you're at a loss for words on an app:
Low stakes enough for anyone to answer, and for you to not feel bad if they ghost. Which, hey, it happens.
We love puns! Who doesn't love puns? By being the first person to whip out a dumbass pun, you take all the pressure off them to mess up. It's like charity, basically.
It's cool to be corny.
"FMK: [insert three non-sexual things here]"
Fuck, marry, kill is not only a fun game, it's also a super easy way of learning each other's personalities without overthinking it. Ask him to FMK Netflix/Hulu/Amazon, and suddenly you've got a ton of talking points on favorite shows, least favorite shows, and most overrated shows. FMK Waffles/Pancakes/French Toast, and you've got a cute moment ripe for inside jokes should you ever go out to brunch together some day.
"Best beer flavor?"
Everyone's got an opinion on this! If you really wanna hook him in, pick a controversial flavor, like coconut, as your favorite.
"Thoughts on Game of Thrones?"
It doesn't matter if he loves the show or not, you guys will definitely have something to talk about that'll last you longer than just a few volleys of convo.
"Is that your dog?" [Regardless of if they have a dog in their photos or not]
Honestly, this line works almost better if they don't have a dog. You can play it off like their dog is their friend in the second picture or a fence in the background or whatever. Or you can just be like, "*sorry, I meant 'What's up?'"
I don't really know why the enthusiastic cowboy emoji is so sexually charged and irreverent, but it is. And you should use that to your advantage.
"Sing to me, Paolo"
Anything niche that requires explaining gets you at least a response back asking for clarification. Bonus points if he grew up with sisters or watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie at some other point for any reason. Then you can easily transition to a FMK: Aaron Carter/Ethan/Gordo follow up and boom, That's What I Call Rapport!
"Do you wanna grab a drink on Thursday?"
Seriously, just do it. Learn about each other IRL. Make solid plans so neither of you can flake and just do the damn thing.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.