How to Make the First Move in Online Dating: Tips for Women

Bumble and other dating apps that encourage women to initiate interaction are part of a larger societal movement away from conventional wooing norms. With dating platforms like Bumble, where women take the lead, we’re moving away from the traditional dating playbook. Ladies, it’s time to flex our dating muscles and start making moves.

We are talking about one specific move that is often the hardest to make–the first one. You can’t feel chemistry over the internet (wouldn’t that be nice?), so to find out if you might feel some romantic sparks, you need to get to the part where you meet, and that will never happen if you don’t make the first move!

Most dudes (not you, creepers) know that most women like playing the slow game on dating sites. Consequently, most men are unlikely to ask you out the second you match. Let’s face it: If a guy messages you, he’s probably interested in you physically, so it’s a safe bet he’d be up for meeting for a drink.

So, basically, the only thing you’re risking by making the first movie is a few fewer hours of staring at your computer screen and a few more hours of enjoying exciting dates. Ready to turn your digital crush into a real-life date? Check out our 7 expert-approved tips for transitioning from online chatting to in-person dates!

Compliment Them

This works IRL and online–who doesn’t love a compliment? No one, that’s who. Flattery will get you everywhere, especially when it comes to online dating. A well-placed compliment about their hair or a witty quip in their bio can make you stand out from the crowd, and you’ll leave your mark (a good one!).

Make the Message Perfect

Online, you don’t have to worry about pressure. Well, you do, but not in a real-life-standing-in-front-of-a-person-asking-them-out-kinda-way. You get one chance in that situation, and if you flub your proposal, there’s no do-over!

But on dating sites, you can write and rewrite your initial message as often as you want–and you don’t have to see the dude’s reaction when he gets your message. Compared to doing it face-to-face, this is far less intimidating!

Look for Common Ground

The best way to break the ice with a match is to comment on something you both like, such as a shared hobby, baseball team, or movie. You’ll be the center of attention and have a smooth segue into an easy conversation!

Keep It Chill

The magic words are, “Do you want to get a drink?” Pretty simple! For fear of misunderstandings with hookups, we recommend avoiding saying things like “hey, let’s meet up” or “let’s get together.”

Show Your Funny Side

Whether you prefer your jokes as cheesy as a pizza or as arid as the Sahara desert, having a shared sense of humor is a great foundation for any potential partner. Challenge your match’s funny bone by tapping into your humor in direct messages.

Practice Patience

Allow some time to pass before writing a follow-up message if you don’t hear back from him right away–and by time, we mean more than a day. People are busy and aren’t on dating sites 24/7, so be calm and give them a chance to respond. If you don’t want to send a follow-up message, that’s okay too! It might seem aggressive to send a second message if they haven’t responded to the first one, but that’s a personal choice.

But if you send a second message and don’t get a response–let it go. Plenty of other potential matches out there will respond to your DMs!

Ask a ‘Would You Rather’ Question

This is by far our favorite icebreaker or opener for anyone making the first move on a dating site–and it’s a fan favorite, according to daters. There are endless possibilities for this line of questioning, and you can pick the vibe; you can choose funny, dark, or adventurous–the dating world is your oyster with “Would You Rather!”

Final Thoughts

Keep things casual and friendly: learning about someone’s political or religious beliefs is valuable information. But if you bring up those subjects too soon, they will probably bolt. Instead, it’s best to start a chat by asking about their weekend plans or what they do for fun. And don’t beat around the bush–if you want to grab a coffee, ask them if they are up for it!

No response? No problem. Even if they had responded, it’s possible that the date would have been crappy! Think of every dude who doesn’t respond to your message as a dodged bullet, not as the one that got away.

You will save a lot of time and energy if you just shake it off and move on–after all, it’s not personal! You don’t know this person, and they don’t know you, so try to keep that in mind. It’s hard, we know–it does feel personal, and it can hurt your pride and feelings