15 Best Online Dating Conversation Starters


Last Updated: October 30, 2023

Dating Tips

With the best online dating conversation starters, you can be sure that your time on dating apps is efficient and successful! No more using cookie-cutter responses that don’t get the results you want. With these ice-breaking topics, you’ll start building a connection from the very first message!

Let’s get the ball rolling!

1: Comment on their profile picture


A profile picture can say a lot about a person. It encapsulates exactly the tone and message they wanted potential matches to respond to, so there’s nothing wrong with being curious about it! Here are a few great profile picture questions to get you started:

  • It looks like you took your profile picture in a really beautiful place! Where was that?
  • From your profile picture, I can see you like to [hobby]. I wish I could learn to do that!

Since you’re just getting to know someone, it’s best to keep these questions tame. Avoid commenting on their body or looks to avoid an instant unmatch.

2: Even better, comment on their profile bio

Not finding anything compelling about their profile picture? Take a look at their bio. Some of the best online dating conversation starters can come from being curious about what they’ve shared, here, so consider asking:

  • Your bio says you studied at [university]. What did you study?
  • How did you come up with your bio? It’s comedic gold!
  • Wow, I can believe that you’ve traveled to [place mentioned in their bio.] I’ve always wanted to go there. Tell me everything!

3: Name the online dating struggle

There’s no denying that online dating can be hard and awkward!. You can release some of the pressure of virtually meeting someone by calling it what it is!

4. Ask them about their ideal date

Your early conversations with someone can be a great opportunity to learn how to wow them on the first date. Take a look:

  • Okay, if I wanted to sweep you off your feet, where would I need to take you on a first date?
  • Asking for a friend (winky face emoji), is dinner and a movie an overrated first date?
  • Are you more of a sit down for coffee kind of person or do you enjoy more active dates?

These questions establish that you’re (one) interested in taking them out and (two) that you’re open to suggestions and feedback. Two fantastic green flags that will make a potential partner want to meet you!

5. Make a pop culture reference

We can all connect over pop culture references, and they make for great icebreakers! Here are a few ideas to get the conversation started:

  • Matching with you made me dance like that Bill Hader gif.
  • What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon growing up?
  • What is your favorite reality show guilty pleasure?

6. Tell them a good story

Did something crazy happen to you on the way to work this morning? Do you have an ongoing beef with someone at the dog park? Sharing a compelling story is a fresh way to start a conversation and it will set you apart from other people on the app

7. You can’t go wrong with food

Talking about food is, pardon the pun, just the low-hanging fruit you need to start a good conversation! We all have an opinion about food, and whether you connect or vehemently disagree, it’s all good conversation:

  • What’s the meal that you eat when you’ve had a crap day and just want some comfort food?
  • Do you consider yourself a good cook? Or would you rather outsource?
  • Be honest, what part of the country has the best food and why?

8. Try the flirty route


Being flirty right off the bat is a great way to build excitement and intrigue. But it has to be done carefully so that you don’t come off as aggressive! Here are some ideas:

  • I’m going to be honest, matching with you made me [insert emoji]. But I’m going to try to keep it together long enough to ask you on a date.
  • I had the feeling when I woke up this morning that something good was going to happen. And here we are!

9. Move beyond the small talk

Sometimes, the best online conversation starters are the ones that move beyond the small talk. Try these out for a deeper connection:

  • Let’s skip the small talk: What are you passionate about?
  • If you could make one big change in the world, what would it be?
  • In your opinion, what does it really mean to be happy?

10. Get to know their hobbies

Talking about hobbies is a great ice-breaker! And asking about theirs will invite them to open up about something that brings them joy and peace. Of course, some people don’t consider themselves to have a hobby, and in that case, you can ask what their favorite show is or what they do to wind down at the end of the day.

11. Rely on your sense of humor

It’s a special skill to make someone laugh on a dating app, so if that’s your superpower, use it! But even if you don’t consider yourself a comedian, something simple like a dad joke can often be enough to get the ball rolling. Here are a few fun ones:

  • What kind of car do eggs drive? Yolkswagen
  • What is it called when two vegans argue? A beef alternative

12. Offer them a classy compliment

Compliments aren’t always the best online conversation starters because they can make people feel uncomfortable when done the wrong way. But, a genuine, classy compliment can have a huge payoff if the person is receptive! Here are some tips for giving a good compliment:

  • Compliment the right things. Complimenting someone’s hair, eyes, smile, or sense of style is neutral territory. Always avoid complimenting features that could be considered sexual, such as their lips or body type.
  • Keep it short. Don’t repeat your compliment multiple times or elaborate too much.
  • Cushion your compliment. Saying something like, “Can I give you a compliment?” or “I hope you don’t mind me saying…” can make the interaction feel softer.

13. Bring the pets into the picture

If it’s obvious from their profile picture or bio that they have pets, definitely ask about them! Bonding over your shared love of animals is a sure way to get the ball rolling and start building a connection.

Before you know it, you may be arranging a doggy playdate in the near future!

14. Ask for a recommendation

There are a couple of reasons why asking for recommendations is one of the best online dating conversation starters. For one, it’s something unique and different than the standard greeting. Two, it’s interactive and will allow the two of you to start feeling connected right away. And three, it shows that you are interested in their opinion, which is, of course, an important quality in a partner.

It doesn’t matter which recommendation you ask for, but here are a few ideas:

  • Book, movie, or show recommendations
  • What you should cook for dinner
  • Music you should listen to while you go for a run
  • If you’re an artist or writer, you can ask for suggestions of what to paint or write about

15. Start with a game

Games are a playful, exciting way to start chatting with someone. And you don’t have to be face-to-face to enjoy them. Here are a couple of games to try:

  • I spy. Most of us played I-spy as a kid, in which you choose an item in the distance and then tell the other player “I spy something [of that color]” and wait for them to find it. This can be done virtually by sending a picture of your point of view, whether you’re in the grocery store, looking out your apartment window, or elsewhere.
  • Two truths and a lie. In this game, you make three statements about yourself: two true ones and one lie. The other person has to guess which one is the lie. It’s a great icebreaker that will give you plenty to talk about!

Will you try out the best online dating conversation starters for yourself?

The fact that you’re looking for unique and new conversation starters means that you’re already probably one of the more interesting people on the app! So, stick with it, try out new icebreakers, and have fun!

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