Messaging anxiety is a real thing. You want to be more creative than “hey” (if you thought this was a good line, please think again), but you also don’t want to spend hours agonizing over what to say. So, what’s the happy medium? A handy list that you can refer back to in times of icebreaker apprehension, that’s what. In these uncertain times, the least we can do is provide some thought-starters.

1. Ask about something on her profile.

“Your second picture is so cool. Where was that taken?”

Why it works: You paid attention to her profile. That’s it. 

2. Solicit her opinion.

“I’m having a debate with my roommate about whether a Pop-Tart is a calzone or not. Can you help settle it?”

Why it works: Literally everyone likes to have their opinion heard (whether it’s requested or not). Based on her answer, you can either bond over your shared values or engage in a fun debate, which can open up a whole new topic of conversation.

3. Give her a non-creepy compliment.

“You have the best bio I’ve ever read. I think I might have to steal that line about how gymnasts look like thumb-thumbs from ‘Spy Kids.’” 

Why it works: Women on Tinder are likely to receive a compliment about the way they look at some point — giving props to their personality rather than their appearance goes a long way. You’ll set yourself apart and show that you took the time to see what she’s about.

4. Play off of her name.

what to say to girls on tinder read

“Sorry it took me so long to message you, I was running some Erins.”

Why it works: You get to show off a sense of humor and indicate to Erin (or insert her name here) that she’s not just another match — you took the time to try to work her name into a punny message.

5. Use her bio as a jumping-off point.

“So you have the cutest dog, you travel a lot, and you love pizza. What’s your dog’s name, your favorite travel spot, and the best pizza you’ve ever had?”

Why it works: Just in case we haven’t stressed this enough, it’s extremely important to pay attention to someone’s profile. It shows that you care enough to stop to read amidst your Liking and Noping. Starting off with questions about things you know she likes is pretty foolproof, and it gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about something she’s obviously into.

6. Poke fun at the fact that you don’t know what to say. 

“*panics about what message to send you, hopes that you give me a break* So, hey, how about this weather?”

Why it works: It shows off your playful side and that you’re a little self-deprecating. It’s also flattering, because it tells her that she made you a little nervous. 

7. Ask a “Would You Rather” question.

Would you rather have Joe Exotic’s haircut from ‘Tiger King’ or Edna Mode’s haircut from ‘The Incredibles?’

Why it works: Who doesn’t love a classic game of WYR? You’re asking a question while also giving her a scripted answer. If it’s one she’s never heard before, she’ll be impressed by your creativity.

8. Go with humor.

“Choose your unoriginal pick up line:

A: Hey

B: Hey there

C: Well hello 

D: None, give me something to work with.”

Why it works: You’re playing off of the classic “hey” trope (again, humor) while giving her the option of what type of message she wants to receive. How many matches do you think do that?

9. Engage in some future talk.

“I see you like to try new restaurants. Where would you suggest for our third date?”

Why it works: Again, it shows that you paid attention to something she shared about herself. It also gives her the opportunity to answer a number of ways. She can talk about the meal she’d want to eat, ask about what kinds of foods you like, or even inquire as to why you’re so confident that you’d make it to date three.