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Dave, two words: Harvey. Weinstein. This is important context. Three weeks ago, Weinstein blew a fuse. And the world went bang. And now, many women have found the confidence to let you know enough is enough.
Because you see, women are tired. They’re tired of being “professionally” chatted up on LinkedIn; of creepy Twitter DMs; of embarrassingly sexual Instagram comments. They’re tired of taking their headphones off at the gym just to hear a man with no personal training qualification say, “Hey! I wanted to give you some tips with that machine…” Women are bored of smiling politely when a man plonks himself down at a table of women enjoying girls’ night and says, “Listen, I don’t normally do this, but I just wanted to say hi…” Anyone that starts with “I don’t normally do this” always, always does this.
Tinder tips for the best openers and winning bios
Sex & Relationships
Tinder tips for the best openers and winning bios
And last but not least, women are sick to the teeth of lazy, sexual and sexist Tinder messages. Yes, we want to be chatted up. Yes, we’re looking for love, sex and everything in between. And no, we’re not man-hating, bra-burning feminazis. But there’s being chatted up and there’s being harassed. There’s being a flirt and there’s being rude. There’s being saucy and there’s being a creep. There’s a line, and now, more than ever, women are going to draw it for you.
So, for those who need it, let’s start with some basics.
Firstly, a winky-face and tongue-out emoji isn’t an acceptable way to start a conversation IRL, and it isn’t acceptable on Tinder, either. I mean, come on, just picture a woman’s face if you sidled up to her at a bar with your tongue lolling out. Yep, exactly.
You have to make an effort. Women aren’t dumb. And most of all, women are wary. We have been conditioned to look over our shoulder; to wake up and smell the bullshit. We can sniff out a copy-and-paste job from a mile away. “Wow, you’re beautiful” isn’t flattering: it’s generic and you’ve said it to ten of us within ten minutes. And hitting us with just “wow” and letting it sit there gormlessly without any kind of substantiation will simply result in a “…” – if you’re lucky. Mostly, though, we’ll be sitting there baffled wondering if you’re a bot or a real person. If the latter, just because you’re wearing a six pack in your profile picture doesn’t mean we’ll be any more benevolent. The only difference is you get a screenshot before a block. (Using kittens and babies as props doesn’t work, either. We see through it all.)
Shoot us with a “Hey, sexy” and it’s honestly the verbal equivalent of sending us a dick pic. And dick pics are the pictorial equivalent of… oh, I don’t know, a pipette. It solicits no emotion whatsoever. Well, perhaps some small joy, actually, once it gets posted to the group WhatsApp and is dissected for hours on end. But that’s a whole other column.
Speaking of nudes, stop asking women to send them, and maybe they’ll stop swearing at you. Demanding we “show some cleavage” or “show some ass” within hours of striking up conversation (or ever) is completely offensive. And also stupid. Because you will get blocked. Instantly.
And finally, stop telling women you’re above Tinder: “I don’t even need to be on this thing” or “I don’t know why I’m even using this” as a precursor to conversation doesn’t make us think you’re cool. It makes us feel like you’re belittling us. And that you’re deluded. If you don’t need Tinder… then why are you on Tinder?
So, really, Dave, I think your question needs turning on its head. Ask yourself this, “Why are (some) men so offensive?” and you might just find your answer.
Top tips for successful, inoffensive Tinder openers:
Find common ground
Stamp your personality across that opening line like sealing wax. Women get so many messages you have to make yours zing. Think of it like a cover letter: it’s all in that opening sentence. Sound too vanilla, enthusiastic, or trip up with a typo, and you’ll end up in the bin. “Hi, how are you?” is the Tinder equivalent of beginning a cover letter with “Dear Madam, I am writing to formally apply for the role of X” and signing off with “I sincerely hope you will consider my application, and thank you for your time.” Bin.
Play the humour card
You know this one already. Women love a guy who can make them laugh. That’s why the girl always ends up with her best friend (and not just in films). So break the ice with a joke, and, as long as it’s not a sexual innuendo, women will reply kindly. Even if it’s a dad joke. Because (in moderation) women secretly love dad jokes. They’re adorable.
Start with a novelty fact
Sounds nerdy, but women dig it. OK, “Did you know otters hold hands in the water so as not to float away from each other?” is a bit corny, but something along the lines of “Did you know Kim Jong-un spends tens of thousands of pounds a year importing Swiss cheese?” (true story) might just elicit a happy smirk.
Cut the bullshit
Instead of wasting your time (and hers) with vacuous virtual small talk, why don’t you just ask to meet for a drink? Straight up, straight away. If you’re polite and respectful (and that means taking rejection with good grace), being assertive is hot. And so long as your pictures and bio are kosher, chances are you’ve bagged yourself a date.