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Ah the age-old saying, “It goes down in the DMs.” This phrase has never been more accurate than it is today. With the rise of online dating, a full-blown pandemic, and everyone eager to overshare their business and outshine their peers, Instagram has become the most popular dating app on the market. There’s no longer shame in sliding in the DMs and the stigma around it should be eliminated.

I fully believe that people should shoot their shot in life – as we all know, you miss 100% of those shots you don’t take. What’s the worst that could happen if you message a stranger on the ‘gram and they don’t respond? You get a teeny ego bruise? You carry on with your normal life and nothing changes? Sounds scary.

But let’s talk about the upside: What if you do get a response? The best-case scenario: They respond, you have some cute banter, exchange numbers, go on a date, go on more dates, have babies… maybe I’m getting carried away. My goal is to increase everybody’s chances of getting that coveted response and not feel that small ounce of rejection (an unanswered DM is truly “rejection” on the lowest level). Let’s break down how to do that:

Tip #1: Unlock your private profiles!

No stranger is going to answer someone who they can’t see a photo of. That’s a fact. What are you hiding anyway? Some fish photos? Pictures of nature? We need to see what you look like, what your vibe is, scan for red flags, etc. If your profile is private, it’s almost always going to go unanswered.

Tip #2: Play it safe, go with a normal opener.

Examples: “Hey what’s up?” Reply to a story. Don’t comment on looks. Mention someone you have in common if that’s the case. Just play it cool. Do not go with the cheesy pick-up lines you saw on a meme account. Do not make a sexual comment if you actually want a shot with this person. We might screenshot the wild DMs for entertainment purposes, but no, we will not respond.

Tip #3: If you want to go with humor, make sure you’re actually funny.

Sure, we all think we are funny, but definitely run the witty opener by a few of your friends for approval.

Tip #4: Have your location in your bio.

Some of us don’t care about distance but if you live in the same city as the person you are DMing, your chances of a reply and a potential date are higher.

Tip #5: If you are sliding in with a response to a story, which is the easiest and lowest pressure way to enter the DMs, don’t just “react” with an emoji.

Say something, use your words, and make sure whatever you say is something that warrants a response. A compliment, a question, etc. How are we supposed to reply to an emoji reaction with anything other than simply liking it? If that happens, you will inevitably be forced to come up with a plan B for igniting a conversation.

Take these tips, put them in your back pocket and shoot your shot with your Instagram crushes! Here’s to hoping for a response (and some babies down the line)!

LA Weekly