One of the greatest pains when it comes to online dating is how to start a conversation with someone you’ve never met. It's annoying, it's awkward, and when you've had to do it thousands of times, it becomes boring. Yet that initial first impression still speaks volumes about a connection—perhaps even whether or not you have one. Silly, right?
Dating apps like Sweet Pea are trying to solve this conundrum by helping users make more meaningful connections with their matches. There are a few ways to do this, but the new app is betting that icebreaker questions on your dating profiles are the key to making the whole swipe, match, repeat process feel much less aggravating. As users fill in their bios, they're directed to ask an icebreaker question, which is featured front and center on the profile, underneath the photo. Matches must answer it initiate a connection, but it's an easy, pressure-free way to begin a convo (and decidedly more interesting than "hey, what's up"). So to help put those good ol’ fashioned conversational skills to task, here's a list of tension-melting opening lines you haven't heard a million times.
1. Tell me your life story in five emojis.
This is a non-intimidating way for someone to tell you who they are and a chance for your match to show off their cleverness.
2. If it was your last day on earth, what would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Their answer gives you insight into their palate, as well as provides some potential dinner date ideas down the line.
3. If someone made a costume of you, what would they wear?
An opener like this one explores their sense of self and how they think the world sees them. If your interest is piqued, it's a great excuse to meet them quickly to see if their self-awareness measures up.
4. On my way to the grocery store—what can I pick up for you?
A shopping cart item is worth a thousand words.
5. What's your proudest moment?
If they respond that their proudest moment was getting out of bed that morning, you may not want to take this offline.
6. Fill in the blank: I can’t help but laugh when...
Humor can be very intimate. You’ll get a sense for your comedic chemistry—and potentially, a few inside jokes to share in real life.
7. Tell me about a time you were injured.
Whether it’s a bizarre tale of getting a straw lodged in their nose as a kid or spring break mishap in undergrad, everyone has a good “ouch!” story to tell. It’s a topic that’s guaranteed to get a dialogue going.
8. What’s the most embarrassing song you know all the lyrics to?
This is a step up from the typical “What kind of music do you listen to?” question because it’s not about taste, it’s about guilty pleasures. It offers a nice moment of vulnerability, and hopefully some laughs. Just don't forget it at karaoke.
9. What's the worst gift you ever got? (And did you return it?)
This is an easy way to find out about your match's likes and dislikes—and if they're politely sentimental.
10. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
A little nostalgia is a guaranteed way to elicit a positive emotional response. If you both end up naming some of the same shows, then you may have just met a new binge-watching partner.
11. What was your favorite birthday?
Wondering if they’re lying about their age? This one might make the truth slip.
12. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Maybe they’ll suggest you stay over that night to find out. But maybe they start the day with a morning mile run—not unlike you, hey!
13. Which family member are most similar to?
This one kills two birds with one stone. In describing what they're like, you'll get some scoop on their family, which can reveal a lot about someone you've never met.
14. What’s the worst opening line you’ve ever used?
Striking up a conversation about dating disasters can help nip any tension in the bud. After all, you’re just two strangers doing your best to connect, so acknowledging the situation—awkwardness, platitudes, and the possibility that both parties are perhaps just going through the motions—might have an outcome that surprises you. It might even be a spark.