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7 tips on sending the perfect opening Tinder message (according to experts)

A simple guide to text flirting etiquette

7 tips on sending the perfect opening Tinder message (according to experts)

Success. You've got her number - the hallowed goal of contemporary courtship, equivalent to 'your mate telling her mate that you fancy them'.

But how do you go about making the all-important first digital impression? Brief and chatty or pointed and alluring? Do you include emojis? WhatsApp or old fashioned text?

To help navigate the minefield that is textual dating, dating columnist "Dr Nerdlove", online dating coach Patrick King and a number of other dating experts have shared their text tips with LifeHacker.

Read on for insights into ensuring your latest Tinder match actually messages you back.

Don't bother playing the waiting game

Forget about waiting a day or two before texting - the sooner you establish contact, the better.

Dr Nerdlove recommends texting them in the same day or night you get their number, to maintain emotional momentum and solidify yourself in their memory.


Expand on "Hi"

"Hey/Hi/Hello" isn't a good opening message. It's terrible, in fact. 

While writing the comical investigation of dating, Modern Romance, comedian Aziz Ansari and Dr Eric Klinenberg found that focus groups unanimously agreed that a text saying just "Hey" was dull.


Try to make some plans

Several dating experts agreed that you can damage any potential date with too much texting conversation in the build up. By the time you actually meet them, you might have to dismantle any text-based preconceptions you've built up.

Instead, try to arrange a meeting after establishing text conversation. Offer an actual date rather than a vague "some time next week?". 


Grammar and spelling are important

Don't use text shorthand (l8r) and try to get basics like "you're" and "your" right.

Ansari and Dr Klinenberg found in their interviews with focus groups that bad spelling and grammar was a total buzz kill. 


Don't be pushy

"Text sparingly," advises Dr Nerdlove. "If a conversation starts, great; if not, don’t stress it. Some people don’t text much... If you *are* already talking, follow the flow of conversation."

Wait at least a day if they haven't replied to your last text.


Mind your tone

The art of tone is a tricky one on text messages: something that could be meant as a light, jokey comment in your head could come across as overly intense or badly phrased.

 A study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychologys suggested that the use of Emoji in these instances can help clarify tone and sarcasm. 


Know when to stop

Not getting a reply? Don't worry. Dating expert Joan Actually (...actual name) suggests sending a message that doesn't carry a question or immediate response: "I've just finished the new episode of Serial - so intense!" 

If she's interested, she'll find something to reply with. If not - take the hint.