Whoever said dating apps are too easy to use has never agonised over that first message. After all, when did ‘Heyyy’ ever get you a decent reply? The trouble is, with so little time yet so many possible character combinations, just what exactly should you be typing to get the other person’s pulse racing? Dating app The Inner Circle has done the research …

I loved when I visited – did you go to [another location name] near by?

A question that demands another question without being overly forced, the beauty of this opener is that it establishes immediate, proven common ground between the pair of you which isn’t ‘you’re human, I’m human, how about it?” It works even more nicely if you also have photographic evidence of you at the same spot, something you can easily present nicely on the Inner Circle’s app – it’s set up for those with the travel bug.

You’ve got killer style

Compliments may seem like a sure fire winner but congratulating someone on their hair cut or shoes is too specific – it suggests you’re fetishising them in the mentioned guise rather than appreciating them for all that they are. Similarly, complimenting someone’s face or figure is to be shied away from – everyone wants to be considered beautiful by a potential significant other but it can sound too objectifying if it’s the first thing you utter. Stick with compliments that flatter their taste – whether it’s in clothes, restaurants or music. On the Inner Circle app you can even refer to the tags they add to their profile – night owl or salad fanatic, for example. What’s more, if their taste is good, and you recognise it, that means your taste is good by proxy.

I’ve always wanted to be able to [name hobby]; are you a good teacher?

This is a way of going forwards to come backwards. It begins by showing that you really read their profile, necessary on The Inner Circle where users actually spend some time on theirs. Then it takes a liberty – it pushes for an emotional response by asking them something personal about their own skills, which is also by inference a presumptuous sideways question – ie would you be able to teach me?

How funny that you know [name of someone your app shows you in common]! Were you at his/her party when/where …

This only works when the app in question highlights your mutual social network like on the The Inner Circle – it’s a great way to gauge just how well you share connections and whether they’re connections you’d like to have in common in the first place. Even if it’s someone neither of you particularly care to be friends with, it’s still got you talking.

What are you least grateful for right now?

A smart, smirky, thought-provoking twist on a really irritating modern classic. If it works, get ready to bust out ‘Where should I never take you on a date?’ once you’re a few more messages in.

We know you’re dying to get going .. so sign up to The Inner Circle app now and put your new-found skills to work …