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Why Is This Important?
Because the Joey Tribbiani “how you doin’?” doesn’t work, and never has.
Long Story Short
Dating app Hinge conducted a study to find the best openers for getting responses. Men tended to prefer more direct approaches while women preferred questions about food, but in general they varied greatly by age and location.
Approaching a woman is risky business, so much so that probably 80% of PUA literature is dedicated to “openers.” You only get one shot, and the number of options (Do you go with funny? direct? Open-ended question?) can leave you downright paralyzed. Thankfully Hinge, the dating hookup app that works by matching you with friends of Facebook friends, conducted a study and figured out the most effective openers by age, gender and location.
Hinge’s copywriters (#dreamjob) delivered over 100 openers to 22% of their users, and 8 million messages later, they gathered quite a bit of useful data. In general, they found that the pedestrian “hey, what’s up?” is about as effective as going to a bar and whipping out your johnson — it was, by far, the least effective opener, probably because it’s what every mouth-breather uses. Open-ended, unexpected questions (“Sunday priorities: Exercise, sleep or aggressive mimosas?”) fared much better.Image credit: Hinge
Beyond that, though, things changed based on how old you are, and even where you are. Younger folks (18-23) responded best to novelty questions, like “You’re having your portrait painted — what’s your backdrop?” (I know, teenagers are dumb). Mid-20s people responded better to lifestyle questions, people in their early 30s liked it when suitors got personal, and people over 35 were into pop culture references, like “Bears, beets or Battlestar Galactica?” (OMG you watched The Office? Me too!).
Location-wise, people were all over the map, but perhaps predictably so. Los Angeles daters responded best to questions about entertainment. The ever-whimsical techies in San Francisco liked questions about childhood things, and people in D.C. preferred questions about cheese, because (and I can attest) people in D.C. are the most boring people on Earth. New Yorkers responded to questions about anything other than the present day, and Bostonians relied on direct questions that make the asker sound like an asshole — to prove that both parties are Boston natives, most likely.
That’s the meat of the study, though they also found that (unsurprisingly) men respond better to direct questions like “Drinks soon?,” while women show a slight preference for questions about food. Men are also less patient, rapidly losing interest if a match doesn’t message them over the course of six hours. Women are more accommodating, which is a positive sign for guys — don’t sweat it if you don’t message her right away; she’ll be alright.
My favorite opener, “Best way to cook a dead baby — pan fry, or oven?” didn’t make the cut, which seems like a huge oversight on their part.
Own The Conversation
Ask The Big Question
Is there such a thing as the perfect opener?
Disrupt Your Feed
I wish I would have known this about 100 matches ago.
Drop This Fact
Don’t try Hinge if you’re looking to cheat — user’s relationship statuses are displayed right on their profile page.