Many guys resort to using witty or funny openers online. I did it in my time, until I arrived to the conclusion that it was a very bad idea. If you asked me why I went through that difficult exercise at the time, I had many answers ready for you. I wanted to stand out from the crowd. I thought it would demonstrate the superior power of my intellect to girls. I also thought that if a girl was pressing for some quality opener (in her profile), she would probably be of higher quality herself — whatever that meant for me a few years ago. All seemingly noble reasons to waste some precious time building that perfect magical catch phrase opener.
The truth is uglier. I was mostly under the influence of debilitating demands exposed in front of my eyes while browsing through countless girls’ profiles. You know what I’m talking about. Aggressive reactions to an opening I didn’t even do yet…things that look like that:
“Just so you know, yes I’m fine.”
“I have countless messages every day so please be creative.”
“I don’t answer to “Hey” or “Hi” messages”
…and so on.
What they basically say is “please entertain me”. And while witty or more elaborate openers can work, you have no reason whatsoever as a man, to start your conversations with carefully crafted pieces of humor every time you like a girl’s pictures on an online dating site. The downsides are numerous.
First, you’re manipulated into investing a lot of energy right off the bat on someone you don’t know and that’s not what I would call an empowering frame. It can work, the frame can be reversed, anything can happen really, but that’s not a safe start.
First it’s time consuming — time that would be better spent going out or working on whatever personal projects you have. If you’re dating online (hopefully as an addition to your days or evenings out) you know it’s a number’s game. Don’t waste your precious time.
Second, even if you’re good at it, you’re setting up a high standard you’ll have to live up to during the next phases of the seduction process. And the less you talk, the better. The danger here, is that at one point, because you’re tired, bored, or running out of witty answers, you’ll slip. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will go unnoticed.
Also, don’t fool yourself thinking that complying with her demands will grant you some special advantage with her in the future, or that your non compliance will annihilate your chances to make an impression later. Quite the contrary. If they look reasonably good on their online photos, girls receive hundreds of messages from men in a matter of days, sometimes hours. Your clever opener may initially leverage her attention but more oftent than not, it is short-lived. Not satisfying her demands is what sets you apart from the crowd.
And finally, with online apps like Tinder, women screen guys by looking at their pictures. They just want to check if you’re not a total idiot besides that. If you’re good looking, any spark of intelligence will do. If not, well maybe online dating is not such a good idea. I’m not making the rules, I learned it the hard way…So there’s really no point in causing yourself some brain damage into thinking long hours about a clever opener to blow her mind.
Honestly, the better online opener you could use is just “Hi”.
Just like that. No punctuation betraying some excessive enthusiasm. No clever joke about something you noticed in her pictures. You’ll have plenty of time to do that later if you think that’s a good idea. It conveys some minimum investment from your part and won’t vacuum your free time. It’s respectful and polite. And the frame is neutral at this point. You’re engaging the conversation, because it’s your job as a man, without exposing any prominent intention at that point. You’re beginning the process of assessing her worth through her answers (as she surely does with yours).
I’ve occasionally run into some rude girls early at this point. Ironically, those specimens of poor education and character will mock you or scold you for using that simple “Hi”, without reciprocating it. Be merciless with them. On Tinder, the right course of action is to unmatch them instantly without the privilege of an answer. Anywhere else on the web, stopping all communication will do. She might start to question her behavior and you’ll deny her the pleasure of dismissing you instantly as “not the right guy”. Don’t sweat it though, you’ll be better moving on to the next girl.