Online dating is unlike dating in real life. In real life, you get to express your feelings through eye contact, body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. Whereas when you’re online, your conversation starter needs to carry a stronger first impression and we hate to say it but, a hi isn’t going to suffice ??‍♀️

We’ve been on both ends of the stick and we’re over it. Here are 10 ways to start a conversation online. 


1. Introduce yourself 

My name is (your name). Nice to meet you!

This is a no-brainer but make sure to introduce yourself! A polite introduction goes a long way as compared to a hey. Not only does it show that you have proper manners, but it also echoes as something you would actually say in real life when meeting someone new. 

Power introductions are another way to start the conversation and hopefully leave them so taken by the confidence you carry that it leaves them with no choice but to reply to you. 


2. Pay attention to their profile 

It’s true that photos are always the first thing people look at when on dating apps, and it’s no different when sugaring. When someone’s profile photo catches your eye, make sure to pay attention to their profile before you send the first message.

This shows that not only did you make the effort to read their profile and also to pay attention to the details they presented in their profile (a huge bonus!). So if they have a photo with a dog on their profile, start the conversation with a casual That’s a cute dog, what’s its name? It’s a fact that people love animals and want every opportunity to talk about them. 


3. Ask them about themselves

So you’ve gone through their profile, and they’ve written that they’re interested in water sports. There’s no way because you’re interested in water sports too! Try this conversation starter: I’m a fan of water sports too, what’s your go-to? 

Having shared interests when in a relationship is an added advantage that people often overlook. People tend to gravitate towards those with similar interests but don’t worry if you don’t have shared interests. Showing interest in their interests is just as important.  


4. Be upfront 

Online dating can be exhausting. Take it from us, we’ve been in the online dating scene since 2017. This is why some people like it when the other party is straightforward with what they want and expect when online dating. 

So you’re interested in this person but noticed they haven’t specifically mentioned what they’re looking for on the app. Start the conversation with a I’ll cut to the chase, what are you looking for? 

Whether or not you think you’ve got the confidence to pull this off, this is a conversation starter that’s bound to get you a reply. 


5. Compliment them

Was it their bio or a photo on their profile that caught your interest? Don’t be shy to use that to your advantage and compliment them as a way to start the conversation. Who doesn’t like getting compliments?

Just remember before you shoot your first message, don’t give shallow compliments. 


6. Flirt

There’s no harm in leading with flirtatious first messages, just be sure not to lay it on thick. Coming in too strong with flirty messages can give off the impression that all you’re after is a physical relationship. Here are a few examples:

  • I’m interested, what are you gonna do about it? 
  • There’s only one way my day can get better, and if it’s you reply me. 
  • If being sexy was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged. 


7. Suggest date ideas

You’ve read their profile and you’re confident that they’ll be OK with a forward first message. Drop them a message asking if they’d like to go out on a date to get to know each other better. Try a simple Drinks this week? or I know a great brunch place, care to join me?


8. Ask an unrelated, but interesting question

When presented with a question in real life, the most natural response would be to answer. It’s no different in the world of online dating, so be sure to use this to your advantage. 

  • Who’s your favourite Spiderman? 
  • Are you a dog or cat person? Why?
  • What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you? 


9. Pick-up line 

Pick-up lines are foolproof openers to slide into their DMs. A study showed that pick-up lines garnered more attention over basic compliments and can lead to better online relationships. If you’re a naturally cheeky person who likes to crack dad jokes, this might be the best opener for you! Here are a few of our favourites. 

  • Are you sure your name’s not WiFi? Because I’m feeling a connection. 
  • If you were a triangle, you’d be acute one.
  • Do you like raisins? How do you feel about a date?


10. Be original 

Being yourself might be the most cliche advice to hear, but truly it’s the most important. Authenticity is not only charismatic, but it’s also attractive. Trust that when you send them that first message that you feel best represents you as a person, they’re the right kind of people with who you’ll connect with. 


Now that you’ve read about the different ways to start a conversation online, here are a few things you should avoid. 

1. The Hs

What are The Hs you ask? The generic openers (kindly nicknamed by a writer on Medium) are hi, hey, hello or any kind of variation of these boring ways to start a conversation. It’s not that these greetings aren’t appreciated, but when you’re on the receiving end of over five hey’s and nothing else, it doesn’t seem so bad not replying. 

People put effort into their online dating profiles and one way to show that you respect that effort would be to not slide into their DMs with The Hs. 


2. Texting without a flow

Ever talked to someone in real life who has a habit of jumping from topic to topic? This is the online version of that, and with people’s attention spans getting shorter and shorter, try this instead.

After having a steady stream of texts from both ends, stick to a certain topic you feel like you’d want to get to know more about the person. Make sure to give and take, and that will allow the conversation to flow naturally. 


3. Repeated questions

We’re torn between deciding if this or texting without a flow is worse. Asking repeated questions (“What did you say your job was?”, “Your favourite colour is blue right?”) shows how disinterested you are when you text them. They’re going to feel like everything they’ve told you goes in one ear and comes out the next. 

Take a step back and try to decide if you’re interested in the person you’re texting, if you’re not, don’t lead them on with repeated questions that show your lack of interest. If you decide you are genuinely interested in them, you wouldn’t be asking them repeated questions. 


4. Ghosting

Ah, our old friend, the good ol’ ghoster. What’s ghosting you ask? Ghosting is when one party cuts off all communication without any form of explanation, and completely out of the blue. 

When you ghost someone it shows how little respect you have for them. Men’s Health defines this as rejection, just without the finality. Ouch. 

Don’t make ghosting the norm. When you feel that there’s no spark, or that there’s no interest (either on your side or both sides), make sure to tell them. Don’t make excuses for how you feel but be sure to give them the same respect you would want in return. 


5. Heavy texter

There are so many different types of texters today. A heavy or compulsive texter is someone who bombards your notifications with unnecessary texts like Hey, just woke up or a I’m going to the toilet now lol. If this sounds like you, you might want to tame it down. 

Understand that some people aren’t glued to their phones, might be busy, or might not be fast at replying. Try to dilute the texts and only text what’s necessary. 


It’s not as complicated as you think. Simple moves like coming up with the first message can seem intimidating when you’re starting a conversation online. But once you’ve hit send, there’s nothing stopping you from crafting another first message. It’s not as complicated as you think. Don’t worry sugar, you’ve got this!