Sending a first message on Tinder comes with a lot to consider. Am I being too forward? Should I be funny or serious? Am I coming off thirsty? Should I just say “hey?” In my experience, it can be even trickier if you are a woman messaging with other women, in part because there are no rules — however outdated — about who does the asking out. That said, waiting for someone to message you first is cancelled in 2019. This upcoming year, I’m sending the first messages, and I’m vowing to (do my best to) do it with no fear.

That’s why I spoke to nine queer women to find out their fail-proof Tinder opening lines, the ones they save for the matches they really want to impress and eventually meet IRL. Of course, not every line is perfect for every match, but these come pretty close.

1. Would You Rather?

“Asking rosé or Champagne is a simple (yet vital) question. It starts a conversation easily and is helpful if you’re going to choose a place to go on a date. You already know what drink to have waiting for her when she arrives.” —Katharine, 25

2. That’s Amore

“This line is lighthearted, and people usually have an opinion, so it’s a good way to start a conversation. Also, if someone puts red sauce on elbow-shaped pasta, they need to stay away from me.” —Nicole, 25

3. Let Your Freak Flag Fly

“I started using this line after getting bored of ‘hey’ or trying to strike up a conversation from someone’s photo and getting lame responses. This line usually prompts a response showing me if I would get along with them and share their sense of humor.” —Alaina*, 25

4. An Open Book

“I’m really shy and suck at flirting. But I love to talk about books, and I find that a bookstore first date is cute and non-intimidating. Asking for bookstore recommendations or someone’s favorite book is an easy way to plan a first date.” —Alicia*, 30

5. Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

“I like to give a specific compliment that isn’t cliché — ‘you’re beautiful’ is sweet but so boring and can be sent to everyone. This match had such perfect skin, so I told her. It shows that I paid attention to her pictures and am attracted to her. Plus sometimes I get free beauty tips!” —Bri*, 20

6. I Saw The Signs

“First of all, girls love astrology. This line inevitably gets us talking about our signs, and that’s a good icebreaker. It’s cheesy but it works.” —Michelle, 22

 

 

7. The Next “Master Of None

“A guy sent me this line, and I thought it was [uncool]. But then I started using it for myself on a whim because it seemed less cocky coming from a woman. I actually get a lot of responses — and very caffeinated dates.” —Sienna*, 30

8. Just Do It

“Sometimes with girls, the lines between friendly and flirting can get murky, so I’ve gotten used to being very direct.” —Nia*, 24

9. Thank U, Next

“I love pop music, and I don’t have time for dates that think it’s stupid. This is always a good conversation starter. It gets us talking about music and makes it easy to suggest a music-related first date. (I love a good drinks-and-dancing first date.) And if she doesn’t have a favorite Ari song, I say ‘Thank U, Next.’” —Jamie*, 22

*Names have been changed.