Tinder Tips: how to start a conversation on Tinder

Watch our FREE video with the 10 biggest mistakes guys make on Tinder and when texting women.

In my first Tinder tips article on how to use Tinder I explained the app's general principles and how to set up a great account.

In this Tinder tips edition I’ll go over the nuances on how to start a conversation on Tinder. Since a lot of you will ask, I’ll soon write a specific article about openers too (hint: they don’t really matter).

The goal of Tinder is to get your match out on a date (or straight to Netflix & chill). You do this by following some principles while calibrating your messages to her responses.

I’m going to start by explaining the principles and I’ll end this article off with some practical stuff.


The truth is that a big part of how your match will respond to you has nothing to do with you.

If your match just got on Tinder after a break up and she’s looking to quickly hook up with a guy, you’re lucky. If she’s still on Tinder but is just getting involved in something more serious, you’re out of luck. I know quite some girls with boyfriends on Tinder. Your game is just a small influence in these situations. The same goes for if she’s in a good or bad mood. And not to forget, a lot of girls just have Tinder for the validation that it gives them, without wanting to actually meet people. Knowing that guys like them feels good. I literally took the picture on the side while writing this.

There is good news though. If a girl likes you on Tinder, she actually (kinda) likes you. Attractive girls match with over 95% of guys that they like. They can’t afford to be sloppy and not filter most men out. So if she chose you, she thought you looked good and you have to go for it.

We guys tend to right-swipe most okay looking girls. We’re usually less picky because we have a lower reciprocity rate (or maybe standards, but it’s good excuse ay). But as I said, women put in more thought, so if you have that match, you have a chance! So how do you start a conversation?

→ As I said in my first Tinder Tips article on how to use Tinder, this app is visual. She chose you because you looked good. So keep that in mind that when you start a conversation. Goal number one to start the convo is to not mess things up and kick off the best possible start. Let's do it.

Timing of your first text: anticipation

Do not immediately text her after you match. Almost all guys send a text as soon as they match. They send it so they can get it over with. It’s not innately wrong if the text is okay but there are better ways.

I told you in the above paragraph that girls put thought into who they like. So this means that they will notice it when you two match. Combine that with the fact that most men send something (lame) immediately and you have the perfect way to separate yourself. That and you can get stuff done without checking your phone all day every day, hehe.

Our team (including students) has tested the difference in response rates between texting immediately and waiting at least 24h up to a week. Waiting resulted in the same or more replies every single time.

The sweet spot seems to be to wait up to almost 48 hours. This resulted in the highest response rate. Even with boring openers like ‘hey! :-)’ almost all girls responded. Sometimes girls did wait with texting you back a bit longer than usual, but that doesn’t matter.

We also had a couple of super good looking guys with great photos test this. With them timing didn’t matter, but for us average looking guys with good profiles it seems to help. (Yes looks do help, geesh.)

Why does this happen? Waiting creates intrigue and anticipation. Because the girls notice you and because you don’t respond immediately it makes them wonder. They’ll be curious about why you’re not texting them. The more they think about you the better. If you then do text her after a couple of days she’ll be happier and more excited about it.

Research around addiction has shown that the brain has more dopamine activity when it anticipates a reward than when it receives the reward, especially if you add in unpredictability in there. That’s how gamble addictions work. We’ll use these principles below.

→ So the take away, try to wait at least 24 to 48 hours after matching to send your first text if you have the patience.

Disclaimer: Use common sense. If you’re on vacation or if you see on her profile that she’s travelling around there is no time to wait. Text them a couple of minutes after matching and try to set up a date asap.

Watch our FREE video with the 10 biggest mistakes guys make on Tinder and when texting women.

So what do I text

Look at her pictures or description and comment on something you see. Maybe her amazing curls, maybe her pet, maybe that fact that she also plays guitar… Just comment on something you see with a statement and see how she responds. Keep it lighthearted, fun and preferably about her. This should evoke some emotions in her. Just don't be boring with just a 'Hey', My next article will be devoted to examples of the first text, but this is the general idea.

If she didn’t answer it after a day or two, you can send a follow up text. Something like: Earth to Jenny, our kids want to talk to you!’’ can be a funny thing to say, key is to not be too boring and send her a ping text, I'd suggest to even send a follow up text to that one if you still didn't get a response. Nothing to lose here.

Timing of your follow ups: unpredictability

By waiting to send your first text you improve their reply rate. Now how do you continue the conversation and how long do you wait between texts to reply?

You guessed it, be unpredictable so that she anticipates your replies, this happens automatically if you have a life outside of checking your phone by the way. You waited quite a long time before the first text so answer a bit quicker this time…

The worst thing you can do in general is immediately answer all of her texts within the minute. It just conveys unattractive qualities like being needy or having nothing more important to do except for checking your phone.

I’d always leave in at least 2 or 3 minutes between every reply and sometimes let her wait a couple of hours. Now we’re already over analyzing the crap out of this so don’t take it any further, Please try to keep it somewhat natural.
When in doubt, lay back and wait a bit longer. The point of this paragraph is to not reply too quickly and to mix it up a bit, even if you immediately read all incoming texts on your phone.
Again, mixed response times happen naturally if you’ve got things going on in your life.

To clarify: in your follow ups I wouldn’t wait for 24h or more to answer because the iron is still hot when the conversation starts, that’s when you talk a bit so you can go for a number or Facebook. More below.

What you gotta do

When the conversation has started your goal is to set up a date or get a number or Facebook pretty quickly. It shouldn’t take 30 text exchanges to do this. Often times you can ask this pretty early on after some basic information exchange while bantering.

Again I’ll soon write an article fully devoted on openers and on getting a date, but I’ll give you the principles here:

Use the guidelines from above for your first text and follow up texts, create anticipation and be unpredictable.
When texting with girls, keep it short, lighthearted and fun. When deeper convo’s start forming ask for a phone number or date. Ideally you set up an exact time and location asap, when she’s still in your conversation flow.

Find ways to amuse yourself through texts like teasing, saying somewhat silly things and making them qualify. This is often enough for them to want to see you if you go for it. After a couple of texts, tell her that you guys should get a drink or ask her number or Facebook to continue the conversation.

As soon as you have a number or Facebook, again be lighthearted, have fun and try to set up a specific date asap via those channels. If you get a number, try calling her to set up a date. Give her a heads up that you're going to call her and set up the date while talking. It will be a lot easier for her to agree to go out with you if she's actually had a conversation with you on the phone. It will also be easier to find out when she's available through phone.

Troubleshoot: If a girl stops responding to you after asking a number or date, just like with the opener from above you can ping her one or two more times. Just take the focus off of what you asked her and bring it to amusement. Ex: Don’t say: ‘Hey, so what was your number?’ but something like: ‘You’re the worst gf ever, your communication skills are so bad!’. After she responds to your fun text say a thing or two more and then go for the number or Facebook again. If she doesn't comply to this stop texting her because she will just waste your time.

That's it for this Tinder Tip!

Use the above principles when you want to start a conversation on Tinder and you'll convey the attractive qualities needed to get your data.
My next Tinder Tips article will show you specific and practical examples for starting or opening the conversation and for setting up a date. (The article is out now, check it out here: - Tinder Tips: Tinder openers.)

All thoughts or questions are welcome in the comments.
Thank you for reading and until next time!

Terry Travis

Watch our FREE video with the 10 biggest mistakes guys make on Tinder and when texting women.


Comments 2

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:46
Thu, 02 Mar 2017 15:55

Eme Flores

I enjoyed reading. It's very informative.

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