Sliding into somebody’s DMs defs a scary task. And if you don’t know them at all, or you vaguely do but haven’t messaged before, then it can be even more daunting. How do you start a conversation? Will they think you’re weird? (Answer: probably not).
Striking up a conversation on social media is a super easy and common way to get to know people. Plus, as many of us are now at home under lockdown, dating over DMs is even more popular, with more people turning to video dates and inventing creative ways to be romantic. So, don’t let lockdown stop you. If you’ve been wanting to DM somebody for ages but don’t know how, here’s what to try:
How to start a conversation
Some dating apps prompt you to answer questions in your profile (anything from what you can’t live without to which three celebs you’d have at a dinner table), so bouncing off those can be a really easy icebreaker.
If you’re not on a dating app, and are just sliding into somebody’s DMs on social media, then the best first message to send is one that comments or asks a question about something specific on their profile, says dating expert at OkCupid, Melissa Hobley.
For example, if they’ve tweeted about a particular TV show, ask them a question about it. Or if they’ve posted an Insta pic of a band they’ve seen in concert, ask for their favourite album. ‘Commenting on their profile shows that you noticed something about them,’ says Melissa, ‘and asking a question motivates them to answer.’
This can even work with GIFs and memes, Melissa adds. But if you send one as a first message, make it relevant to something you know they like.
Don’t just say ‘hey’
Definitely avoid simply saying ‘hey’ in a first message, says Melissa. (We know, it’s tempting to be lazy). ‘This is almost equivalent to saying nothing and has a high chance of being completely ignored,’ she explains. Putting some thought into your message can go a long way.
How to be confident at sliding into DMs
We know, the thought of sliding into a near-stranger’s DMs can be terrifying. And the fear of rejection might be holding you back from just going for it. But if you never try, you’ll never know, and you don’t want to be left with any regrets. Plus, they could be the love of your life.
Sending the first message can actually make you feel more in control, Melissa explains. And it’s most likely that somebody will be flattered by you making the first move. Remember to stay mindful and open, and expect the best rather than the worst.
How to keep a conversation going
Once you’ve taken the leap and actually slid into the DMs, now you need to think about how to keep the conversation going, especially if you aren’t going to be meeting up in person for a while.
‘The best way to keep things going over DM is to ask questions,’ according to Melissa. ‘You can comment on something they posted, share moments from your own day or send them that funny meme you saw.’ Plus, if you discover that you have some of the same interests then you’ll have more to talk about.
How to ask for their number
If you’ve slid into somebody’s DMs on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you’ll probably eventually want to ask for their number, whether you’re planning to meet in real life once we’re allowed back out into the world, or you just want to progress to chatting on the phone.
‘The best time to ask for someone’s number is after they’ve shown an interest by keeping up a back and forth over DM,’ explains Melissa. But don’t be afraid to share your number first. Chances are the other person is just as nervous about it as you are.
Melissa also suggests asking for their number by making a joke out of it. For example, you could say, ‘If you give me your number, I promise to send you cute dog pics daily.’
Still, the important thing to remember is that if they’re the right person, it won’t matter how you ask, as they’re bound to be interested in you whatever you say!
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.uk
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