There are lots of smart, effective ways to begin a text conversation with a girl you like. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of ineffective, dead-end ways that either don't work at all or will cause her to dislike you. If that happens, you won't even get a second chance, which is definitely not good.
What's the big picture? As with everything else in life worth working for, the key word is "preparation." If you don't like that word, "planning" will do just fine, but it's basically the same thing. In other words, you need to have a strategy, some template-type starters, and a few all-purpose texts for special cases where you can't customize or personalize your message.
Don't worry if it sounds complicated now, because if you commit to spending about 20 minutes reading the following guidelines and suggestions, take a smattering of notes, and send a couple "practice" messages to random girls you meet, you will be primed and ready to start a real conversation when the situation comes up.
But, hey, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Now, read the following section about specific steps of the prep phase, jot down anything you need to, and then move on to the actual techniques and wording you'll be using to converse with more girls than you ever thought possible.
As some anonymous guy said long ago, do this right, and you'll be "swimmin' in women." Okay, maybe not swimmin', but at least connecting with plenty of females via your phone's keypad.
Preparation and Planning Make It Easier
Where to begin? Right here. Right now. Before you can make good use of the methods in the next section, it's important to know the ground rules. Rules? Yes, a few rules will help keep your game where it should be. Remember, when you try to connect with someone you're interested in, there's usually quite a bit of competition.
So, just like in team sports, music performance, or anything else, you've got to follow the basic guidelines and practice your technique before "going live" and hitting that send button. Here are essential points to ponder, if you'd rather not call them rules.
1. As you read through the techniques, write a practice text for each one. We give you the basic template, explain why it works, and even give a suggested follow-up in some cases. Your job is to personalize the general message and make it your own.
2. Avoid criticizing yourself unless it's in a totally fun, obviously jokey way. Putting yourself down, discussing your negative qualities, and similar attitudes are losers from the get-go. Opening up like that, being "brutally honest," and revealing your faults might be part of a long-term relationship after you've been with someone for a very long time. But, it has NO place in the world of text conversation, especially the early stages of it.
3. Don't appear needy. This is a basic sales technique. If you sound like you really want to connect and speak with the girl, you lose, and your first messages will likely never be answered. Ghost city, in other words. Look at it from the girl's point of view.
Would you want to connect with a potential dating partner who looked desperate from day one? Of course not. Girls like confident, self-assured guys, not simpering, clinging, emotional wrecks.
4. If it doesn't work after two messages in both directions, and she still seems like she's playing you or, worse, manipulating you, end it and move on. There are millions of girls out there who would love to chat with a nice, interesting guy. Players, ice queens, manipulators, and air-heads are not worth your time. Say goodbye politely, or just ghost them, and remove the number from your phone.
5. Never reply to her text immediately. The goal here is to not look like you're always available or so eager to respond. Each situation is different, but the main rule is to wait at least an hour, preferably more before answering.
The exception is when you're already in a conversation, which is the time to do lots of back-and-forth, rapid messaging. But, for stand-alone replies to a text you sent several hours ago or yesterday, make her wait at least as long as she took to reply to you.
The following techniques are arranged by topic for your convenience. Of course, there are literally thousands of potential topics and situations. Plus, because no two girls are exactly alike, the possibilities are endless. But the 17 listed below are some of the most common situations you'll find yourself in. It's impossible to say for sure, but the list below probably covers 80 to 90 percent of first-time text scenarios you will face.
The Mutual Topic
This one's listed first because it's the easiest one of all. When you have a ready-made like, dislike, or connection in common with the girl, it's simple to start talking to her.
For example, a typical message could be, "Hey, cool to see you at the rally sign-up today. How did you get involved with _____'s campaign?" You're golden if you met her at a political event, class registration, or even in the DMV line. In the world of social connections, that's called an "automatic mutual interest," and there's nothing better.
Don't let the opportunity slip away if she just says something like, "Well, I like her views on student loan forgiveness." Your job, and it is a job for now, is to use what she said to build into your next move. Maybe, "Oh! Are you a 'true believer' or just like her for that one thing?"
The point is that having a mutual interest is like finding money in the street. It's there for you to take unless someone else sees it first. Make up a couple similar scenarios and write a few starters yourself for practice.
The Survey Approach
If you just have her number but know little else, try the survey tactic. That's where you just ask a random, but interesting question like, "What's your favorite thing about this city?" People, not just girls, usually like to answer non-threatening, fun survey-type queries.
This tactic does two things at once. You get to know a bit about her, and you establish yourself as the primary force in the conversation. She gets used to answering your questions, even if they're random and totally out of the blue.
The Raw Question
The raw question is similar to the survey approach but a bid more blunt. Some girls like the blunt approach, and as you begin to learn how to read people, you'll know when it works best. There's a right and wrong way, though, so be careful.
Like this: "So, what do you think about cats?" Direct, short, open-ended. Triple-play.
Not like this: "Do you like cats?" It's cold, too short, closed-ended. She could answer with "Yes," or "No," which is text poison.
Sometimes Weirdness Works
There's a fine line between being weird and being a weird-o. So be careful with this one because it's dangerous in incapable hands. Maybe use it after you've mastered some of the other lines. But something like, "What would you say if I told you I'm an undercover fashion editor for Women's Wear Daily?"
It's not creepy or stalky, but humorously weird and obviously not true. Plus, you'll get her attention by throwing in the name of a magazine most guys have never heard of. This one will get you a response, guaranteed. It's how you respond to the response that will make or break the connection. When "going weird," maybe run the line past one of your friends for screening purposes, just to be on the safe side.
Humor Can Get the Job Done
Done right, humor can win you all sorts of prizes in life, including dates with fabulously gorgeous women. Done poorly, it just falls flat, so don't be afraid to practice your original funny lines on a few low-priority targets. (How's that for a dodgy term?!)
Anyway, just try a one-liner from yesteryear, like, "Hey, who told you that you could read my private messages?," or, "If Mrs. Bigger has a baby, who's bigger? Mrs. Bigger or the baby?" Then wait one minute and deliver the punch line, "The baby. It's a little Bigger." Avoid saying, "Get it?" True masters of humor never say "Get it," they just say the punch and shut up.
Try a few one-liners you've made up or even found in joke books. Try to get some that are unusual and you know she's never heard. If she responds positively, follow up with, "No, I'm not a touring professional comedian, but someday, who knows?"
"We Hate the Same Things! Cool."
Believe it or not, hate and dislike can be a super-perfect way to connect with a girl, especially if you both dislike the same things. Try starting with, "So, who are your 3 fav and 3 least fav actors?" Use the answers to hone in on her most disliked, and reply, "Some of those I don't know but man do I hate ____ with the fiery, burning passion of a thousand suns."
An intense dislike shared by two people can be a great beginning. While you're waiting for her next line, quickly look up a few odd facts about the person you despise together. That way, if the chat goes on, you'll be ready with some factual ammo to back up your feelings.
Use the Situation
This is a fairly common way for inexperienced texters to get started. Base your first words on the situation in which you met her, whether in person or not. Say you first met in a guitar lesson chat room. Try, "How did you learn about that chat room? Is it a good place for beginners like me?"
This is a perfect double-move. You shoot out two quick questions for her to ponder and reveal a little about yourself, being a guitar beginner. She'll feel compelled to answer and will likely tell you about her whole musical journey.
Famous Quotes Get People Talking
This is an old trick but it works. Look up some interesting quotes from people like Shakespeare, Mandela, Gandhi, David Bowie, and others. If your take on her personality was that she's a brainy or school-nerdy type, the quote approach is effective.
Try, "So what did Shakespeare mean by 'Alas, poor Yorick,'?" If she bites, you'll have her hooked. Brainy types love to chat about philosophy, literature, and, well, brainy stuff. Just keep your search engine handy for quick look-ups of relevant factoids.
Cue the Controversy
They always say that controversy sells books. That's because it grabs people's attention and gets them emotionally involved. Be careful, though, because if you're on the wrong side of the big issue, you'll automatically lose out. First, test the water and pull her in by introducing a hot topic, like, "What's your opinion of the death penalty?" Unless she's brain-dead, you'll get an answer. Assume she says, "OMG! It should be outlawed." Engage again without completely revealing your belief, with "I hear that a lot of executions are mistakes."
You get the idea. The good news for us guys is that there are plenty of high-controversy topics to choose from, so you'll never run out of material. Remember, always find out what side she's on before you move along with the chat. If she senses you're a "bad guy," it's game over. But you know what, even in those "game over" chats, you learn something and strengthen your game for the next girl and the next round.
Use a Standard Starter
Wanna keep it simple while you're learning the craft of textology? Use a standard conversation starter like, "What are some of your favorite subjects at school?" or, "What kinds of music and performers do you like?" or, "Would you say you're an introvert or extrovert, and why?"
A decent percentage of girls will answer "old standards" because they realize you just want to get to know them and aren't trying to be clever or play a game. Lots of guys prefer to kick off with a standard and ramp up to another technique after a few exchanges.
Everyone Loves Food
Topics like food, restaurants, specialty drinks, coffee, snacks, home cooking, pizza, and all things you drink or eat are dependable igniters of tongue-wagging and keyboard tapping. That means people of all ages, both genders, all over the world love to talk about food. If you want to strike up a back-and-forth with your crush via keypad, think, "Top three junk foods of all time and why?," or, "Sushi or not to sushi?," or, "Are you pizza or steak?"
Females have a much closer emotional relationship with food than guys do. That's just a fact of human history, and you can use it to your advantage. By opening with food-related questions, you're bound to get a response, so tread carefully. It's that second text you send that's usually the make-or-break, truth be told.
Mutual Friends as Topics
A mutual acquaintance, friend, or co-worker can be a perfect beginning for discussion. Another warning though, the mutual person might just be a name to her but a close friend to you. Don't expect that she'll share your loyalty to a person you both know.
With that warning in mind, the exact best opener is this, "How do you know Ellen (or Tom, or Jane, or Mike)?" After she spills the connection, it's your turn. If she said, "Oh, I know Ellen because we grew up together but just went to different high schools," assume they talk daily and share deepest secrets. Translation: whatever you say about Ellen in the chat, Ellen will know by tomorrow morning. Using a third-party link can be a guaranteed in if you play it right.
Same Company? Easy Game
Working for the same company is almost like being cousins these days. It's just the way corporate culture has been set up from the beginning of time. Say the girl on the other end of your messages is employed at the same bank or hospital where you work. Say, "What's your department like?" or, "What goes on over in [her department or section]?" or, "How did you end up working for ___________ Corporation?"
From there, if she seems willing to answer, you have a built-in list of at least a hundred things to talk about, so it's your choice. When you stumble upon a girl who works where you work, do some casual questioning to find out if you know lots op people in common. That can open up a lot more avenues to get to know her.
Help From the Headlines
When you're at a loss, can't find anything in common, and don't feel like playing the survey angle, try current events. It's a wise way to find out how informed she is, what she thinks about the big issues, and whether she's a brain-nerd or a non-participant in the daily news.
If you know zero about her and want to break the stalemate, work with this, "Wow. That whole election thing really blew up, didn't it?" or, "What is your opinion of those anti-vaccine protests?" or, "How would you solve this campus parking problem if you were the dean?" As long as the question is open-ended and doesn't reveal your own opinion, it's a solid effort and will almost certainly get a back-and-forth started.
Music Saves the Day
Music is like food. Everyone loves it but we all like different kinds. The younger she is, the more interested she'll be in chatting about her own musical tastes. Try, "What are the last two really good concerts you've been to?" or, "Are there any kinds of music you refuse to listen to?" or, "In your opinion, who are the three best musicians who are currently touring?" It's useful to learn her tastes because the information, like whatever she tells you about her food and film preferences, can help you plan future dates IF you get that far.
And if she queries you about your musical tastes, a great answer is, "I like most kinds of music except Chinese opera because I grew up in a family that listens to pretty much everything." That response gives you leeway in case she's dead-set against some type of music you love, like country or rap. For a guy, being non-committal is an art form and will serve you well in all your relationships with girls, now and in the future.
Film Questions are Not a Stand-Alone Method
Movies are so easy to chat about that the topic is almost a cop-out. Some girls will assume you have nothing else in your arsenal, so only use film/movie questions as filler between other kinds of queries. Even so, it's good to learn her film tastes because it reveals many more aspects of her personality. But, if she's into sci-fi, cop movies, and thrillers, you got lucky.
Asking people about their favorite this or their favorite that is as old as the hills as a social ice-breaker approach. But you know what? It works. The beauty of the method is that you can combine it with any other strategies, like, "What are your two favorite foods/movies/politicians/singers/bands/etc?" or, "Why is your favorite teacher your favorite?"
That last one is a five-star question because it prods her to open up about her likes and dislikes, and even gets into the reasons why she feels that way. And everyone knows, once you get a girl talking about her feelings, the conversation might never end. Which, for our purposes right now is a good thing.
Before You Push "Send"
Once you get the hang of the method, it will be easier and easier to start a conversation with the girl of your choice. Just remember that a lot depends on how you met, how you got her number in the first place, and the general vibe of that original meeting. If you met in person, then your first text to her will be a lot different than if you only know each other from SM chats, online school projects, or other not-in-person connections.
To boost your confidence, keep in mind that she gave you her number for a reason and in 99 percent of cases, the girl wants you to send her a text message. So, you start with the number, follow that phase with text conversations, and eventually the next step with be an actual in-person date.
Getting from the message phase to the dating phase is a completely different strategy. For now, let's just stick to getting from phase one to phase two, or from meeting to conversing in written words. The fact is that this is the toughest of all the steps, so if you can master conversation starting, you're more than halfway to the goal of an in-person date.
Now, chip up. Review your notes, and get ready to send some real texts to real girls and put your newfound powers into practice. Onward. Upward. Good luck.