Matching, meeting, and dating get plenty of press. What we don’t talk enough about is messaging a match on Tinder. It’s the bridge between a right swipe and a real-life meetup, and doing it well is an art too few have mastered. 

The people who have are the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re willing to be the butt of a joke and laugh at themselves, and they can turn ordinary, even less-than-appropriate, messages into fun, charming, and often hilarious banter. To get a better idea of what this looks like, go no further than the place where the best and worst Tinder messages go to retire: r/Tinder. They may not always lead to dates, but they are fun in the moment. And sometimes that’s all you need. 

1. Know that even an “accident” can be funny.

“It was a genuine miscommunication, and I thought they meant they were conceived accidentally,” said Zoe, 24. We’re not sure what the accident in question really was, but Zoe’s match probably got a kick out of her misinterpretation.  

2. Experiment with subterfuge.

Credit: Reddit u/taylaj

While no date came of this exchange for Taylor, 26, we only hope a long nap did.

3. Turn an insecurity into a joke.

Credit: Reddit u/Benteke1993

If you’re nervous about disclosing your living-at-home status, you can always call your parents your roommates like Ben, 25, did. Nobody will buy it, of course, but they will be amused.

4. Deflect crude comments.

Credit: Reddit u/slatersgator

Don’t be afraid to turn to the innocent fun that is Oreos. 

5. Be self-deprecating in small doses.

Credit: Reddit u/alexandre658

This woman didn’t reply to Alex, then 21, but that really seems like her loss.

6. Just make your Alexa joke already.

Credit: Reddit u/TayWu

Ahh, the perils of dating while being named “Alexa.” In this case, the response is the funniest part. Why is it always “Despacito,” you ask? This meme is why.

7. Invoke your mom.

Credit: Reddit u/drunkwhitegirl

This message is not a bad strategy if you’re looking to convey both thirst and charm.

8. Make their dog jealous.

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Dogs are nothing if not loyal.

9. Avoid all Jay-Z comparisons.

But if you do, you can cry “Lemonade” like it’s “uncle.”

10. Just go with it.

And, of course, don’t repeat past mistakes.