First impressions are, when it comes to online dating, almost everything. While you may have caught your match’s eye with your profile, you want to make sure they stick around. And the first message you send can make or break the conversation. I’ve been on the receiving end of my fair share of bad messages — shoutout to the person who said I was “almost as hot as his ex” — so I know a quality opener when I see it. To the people pursuing women on Tinder: don’t fall victim to these unimpressive messages.

“Hey”

This may seem like a foolproof way to slide into your match’s inbox, but while you are unlikely to offend anyone, you are also unlikely to make yourself memorable. So for God’s sake, get a little more personal. Whether it’s a sweet compliment, a relevant pick-up line, or a message that refers to her bio or pictures, you want to show you’re paying attention. If something about her stands out to you, mention it. Sharing similar interests is a good way to earn a reply.

“Can we move this over to text?”

Of course, there is a point at which you should totally should do this, but that point is not within the first five minutes of talking. Asking a girl for her number or on a date before getting to know her even a little bit is a no-go. Ease into a conversation — she’ll be much more inclined to save your number later on.

“Your body…”

Commenting on your match’s physical appearance isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but make sure you’re pointing out an appropriate physical attribute. Try a kind word about her eyes or smile. In other words, don’t be thirsty. And remember, compliments can extend beyond her physical features. If she has her Spotify linked to her Tinder, you can bring up her excellent musical taste and strike up a more interesting rapport.

“I’m sorry for Super Liking™ you. When I first saw you I was overwhelmed, now you just seem regular. No offense.”

Insulting your match by saying her bio is basic or that you don’t typically go for redheads won’t do anything but turn her off. The phrase “boys are mean to the girls they like” has been thrown around since we were kids, but it’s extremely problematic. If you aren’t into her profile, you don’t need to Like her. Because there is one nugget of childhood wisdom that holds true: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

“On a scale of one to America, how free are you tonight?”

Yawn. Yes, sending your match a pickup line can be a good way to get and keep her attention, as long as it’s interesting and original. If you feel like the message you’re about to send is played out, 1. it probably is and 2. maybe try running it past one of your female friends to get their take. Like the very vanilla “hey,” an overused line won’t make you stand out. Change it up to avoid blending in.