A lot of people talk about opening lines on Tinder and other dating apps. People debate the best ones and complain about the gross or boring ones.
A constant complaint is that these lines are, by and large, lame. And because of the historic traditions of courtship, the blame for that lameness usually falls on men.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. Disgusting and aggressive opening lines on dating apps are inexcusable. And they are, honestly, just one more reminder that men can be pretty awful sometimes.
But beyond those cringe-worthy examples, there is still a general consensus that most men’s opening lines are dull as dirt.
"Why is he just saying ‘hi?’ What is that? Boring.”
That’s true, the simplistic "hi" opener is boring. But I’ve often wondered whether that was a symptom of men or just of humans in general.
Thanks to the dating app Bumble, I now have a completely anecdotal answer to that question.
Bumble was created by Tinder cofounder Whitney Wolfe, and the app is similar to Tinder in many ways. You are presented with a series of people whose profiles you either swipe "yes" or "no" on. If you both say "yes," then you're a match.
But here’s the catch: The only person who can initiate a chat once you have matched is the woman. The man just has to wait, and after 24 hours, the match expires (though there's a new "Hail Mary" feature that lets men extend that time window occasionally).
Bumble launched eight months ago and has seen over 5 million conversations started by women so far. That doesn’t mean all of them start out with pizzazz. After using the app for a weekend, I got fourteen openers from girls (full humble brag disclosure) — and it turns out that pretty much all of them were intensely bland.
Here they were, in the order received:
Hi! How are you? :)
How’s your weekend going
Hey how are you?
Hey! How’s your weekend going?
Here’s my number, so call me maybe?
What an adorable pup? Is it yours?
Hey there, any fun plans for the week
If you’re curious, the dog comment is because one of my profile pictures has a picture of my friend’s dog in it (okay, it’s pretty cheap). But only one of my potential love interests even took that low-hanging fruit.
I think the moral of this story is that opening lines are hard. When you have nothing to go on but a nebulous attraction to someone, it’s difficult not to sound lame. Should I summarily reject all of these women because they couldn’t think of an incredibly witty one-liner off the top of their heads? Of course not.
I would argue that we should all collectively give each other a break. The contemporary dating scene is hard enough without feeling like you have to be Shakespeare.