There may come a moment, while messaging someone on a dating app, when the conversation starts to drag. This can happen once you’ve covered all the usual topics, like jobs and hobbies, and made a few jokes. Because even if you feel an initial spark, it can be tough to maintain a convo with someone you barely know, especially through a screen.
That’s why the best way to find out if you chemistry with someone is by hanging out with them in real life, as soon as the moment feels right. “It can be fun to flirt online, but the sooner you get to meeting someone in person, the sooner you’ll find out for real how a relationship may be between the two of you,” Dr. Carly Claney, a licensed clinical psychologist, tells HelloGiggles.
Once you meet up, you’ll get a better idea as to how the conversation flows, if you enjoy each other’s company, and so on.
But it’s always still possible for conversations to lose steam, both in person and online. Sometimes this is a sign the relationship just isn’t meant to be, and at that point it’s often best to move on. But if you seem to have things in common, and would like to find out more, you may want to put in a little extra effort in order to see where things go. Below are a few sample messages to throw out there on dating apps the next time there’s a lull in conversation, so you can continue getting to know each other.
What to say on dating apps when the conversation is dragging
1 “What fun things have you done recently?”
Instead of talking about the weather for the hundredth time, spice things up by asking about this person’s most recent moment of fun. Not only will this topic spark a lively conversation about hobbies and friends, it’s also a “great question to get a sense of how compatible someone may be with you and the possibility of your lives meshing,” Claney says. Who knows? You might connect over a shared love of road trips, hikes in the woods, or nights spent at home eating pizza. And it might even inspire a few date ideas, too.
2 “Tell me more about XYZ.”
If you sense a lull in the conversation, or haven’t received a new message in a few hours, you can always get the conversation rolling again by asking this simple question. “Reference something that you previously connected on,” Damona Hoffman, a dating coach and media personality says, “then pose a question to them that requires more than a yes/no response.”
For example, Hoffman says, if you share a love for a particular TV show, you could bring up the fact you read an article about the series, and then ask them what they thought about it. “That way you are engaging with them on a topic that you already know they care about,” she says, which will help you two reconnect.
3 “So, you were saying…”
When you think about it, chats on a dating messenger are almost designed to be boring. You say hi, they say hi, you ask how they are, they ask how you are—and before you know it, you’re both falling asleep. So the next time you catch yourselves stuck in this loop, try jumping to the middle of a convo, instead.
“With text you don’t have to follow the same communication rules as you would in person,” Hoffman says. “You can dive right into the real topic without it feeling awkward and you can pick up a previous thread a many as two or three days later.”
4 “I saw something that made me think of you!”
To revive a boring conversation, share something you saw that day that reminded you of them, Benjamin Daly, a dating coach and author, tells HelloGiggles. “Say something like, ‘Guess what, I saw a (thing they like) today, I knew you would have appreciated it,”’ he says. “This personal touch is a subtle indication that you’re interested. It can also gives a dying conversation the kick-starter it needs.”
It feels good to know someone is thinking about you, as they go through their day. It’ll also show you’ve been listening to what they’ve had to say, which is yet another great way to build up your connection. Did you spot a book they mentioned? Or try their favorite food in a restaurant? Let them know!
5 “What’s your opinion on…”
When in doubt, asking someone for their opinion is a great way to get them talking. “Everyone loves to give advice, especially in an area they know a lot about,” Daly says. So give their profile a scroll, and see what you can see.
“You can use their photo and bio to find clues,” he says. Or, you can refer back to things they’ve mentioned in your chat recently. Once you have a topic in mind say, “Oh, by the way, I wanted to get your opinion,” and then build the conversation from there.
This does go to show, however, how important a profile can be. “Conversations die so often because there’s so little to work with,” Daly says. “Like starting a fire, you need kindling.” He suggests making sure your profile has some interesting factoids, too, so that your potential date can be inspired. “That way, the person viewing your profile has a choice of questions to ask,” he says, making it easier on both of you.
6 “Here’s my phone number.”
To give a conversation a fresh start, try moving it from the messenger on the dating app, to texts or phone calls. “Here’s a simple way to blow past the awkward lull in the conversation and blame it on the app itself rather than a lack of compatibility,” Carmel Jones, a sex coach and relationship writer, tells HelloGiggles.
By giving them your number, it shows them you’re ready to include them in your “real” life, and maybe even start setting up a date. And, in this digital world of ours, moving from an app to texting is almost like changing up the scenery, Jones says. It can transform the nature of the conversation from something clinical and boring, to one that’s a lot more personal.
7 “What’s your favorite thing to do over the weekend?”
When sending messages, it’s best to avoid asking “yes or no” questions, since these rarely lead to interesting conversations. Instead, they usually lead to a dead-end, which is the last thing you need.
“When it comes to keeping any conversation alive, this is kind of the golden rule,” Jones says. “Asking questions that require more than a yes/no response gives conversations momentum.” So craft one that fits into what’s already been said, and go from there.
“For example,” Jones says, “you can say, ‘From your photos, you seem like someone who enjoys relaxing on the weekends, but I could be wrong. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend?’ It gives the person a chance to talk about something enjoyable (such as a weekend), express their opinion, and hopefully ask you the same thing in return.”
Just like that, a dying conversation can transform into one that feels fun, and helps you get to know each other better. And hopefully, from there, into an equally amazing first date.