First impressions are everything. That’s trite, but very true—especially when you’re navigating the online dating scene. All you’ve got to win someone over are a few photos, a short bio, and some solid opening lines. These days, however, not only do romantic meet-cutes not happen over dropped books in quaint bookstores, but also they aren’t just limited to online dating sites. Rather, they happen anywhere and everywhere on the internet, even where you don’t necessarily expect them. By this, we mean that it’s just as common to find someone on Tinder as it is for a few well-placed likes on Instagram to turn into flirty comments, which turn to DMs, which turn to “let’s take this offline,” and, well, then anything can happen.
No matter where you find a potential online or IRL love match, in order for things to go well, pay attention to the advice of Emily Bartz, from NextAdvisor.com, who says one of the worst things you can do when online dating is “open up a conversation with someone you matched with in a way that is off-putting or offensive.” Instead, she advises making your opening lines personal to your new match. “Daters should take the time to read their match’s profile and initiate a conversation by asking an insightful question regarding something they mentioned on their profile,” she says. “Not only does this show a potential date that you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them, but it’s also a chance to touch on something that you might have in common.”
On the flip-side, rattling off an elevator pitch about yourself or being overly complimentary “can come off as bragging or being too self-absorbed.” Old adage pickup lines, too, should be avoided because, as Bartz says, “The internet is full of unoriginal ideas, and your match has more than likely heard them all before.” Your best bet is being polite, short, and sweet. “Online dating is tricky for everyone,” she says, “so cracking a joke might be just what you need to break the ice.”
For a little inspiration, 10 real-life couples who met over the internet shared their first interactions with us. Love isn’t necessarily dead; it takes persistence, individuality, curiosity, and an openness to humor. That’s a modern-day adage we’ll swipe right to all day, any day.