List: 20 Creative Icebreakers to Help You Get to Know Your Matches

Making friends can be incredibly daunting, no matter what age you are. And, to make matters worse, recent surveys show that many people lost friends due to the pandemic, shutdowns, and restrictions — with older individuals more likely than others to have lost touch with friends. Attempting to make new friends in person isn’t always an option these days. And let’s be honest, doing it online or through an app is not second nature to most people. Swiping through profiles is the easy part, but actually talking to the people you match with? That is nerve-wracking. The first message you send sets the tone for the conversation, so here are some tips on what that message could look like and some creative icebreakers that might help you be more successful when trying to find and foster new friendships.

Get specific about their profile

Why did you want to match with this person? What about their profile compelled you to reach out? People may get a lot of messages, but few cut directly to the point — which is what most people prefer. Stand out by getting specific about the kind of friend you’re looking for and why that person might be a good fit. 

Start with food

Food is the universal bonding agent that brings people together. Everybody loves food, and they love sharing their opinions on it too. Asking about favorite foods, go-to guilty pleasures, or what cuisines they’d most like to try could not only open the floor for great conversation but help to generate ideas for future outings together. 

Ask an engaging question

People are busy, and messages like “Hi” and “How are you?” might mean well but are too generic and will often get overlooked. An engaging question that is either thought-provoking or relatable in some way will not only help to capture attention but help the conversation to flow naturally. 

This is where icebreakers really come in handy. When you start off a conversation with a clever question or quip, your match is far more likely to respond in an engaging way. So, if you’ve ever stared at a blank screen and wondered what to say to a new match, check out these 20 creative icebreakers that may help you initiate a great conversation!

  1. Do you love working from home or would you rather be in the office? Is there a balance of both that you like best?
  2. Best book you’ve ever read?
  3. If you could learn one new professional or personal skill, what would it be?
  4. Do you have any hidden talents?
  5. What’s your favorite way to get some exercise?
  6. You have your own late-night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest (dead or alive)?
  7. If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
  8. You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?
  9. What was your least favorite food as a child? Do you still hate it or do you love it now?
  10. If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life what would it be?
  11. What would the title of your autobiography be?
  12. If you had to delete all but 3 apps from your smartphone, which ones would you keep?
  13. What would your superpower be and why?
  14. What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled?
  15. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
  16. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?
  17. Have you ever completed anything on your “bucket list”?
  18. You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? Gas? Groceries? Massages?
  19. If you could see one movie again for the first time, what would it be and why?
  20. What is one of your all-time favorite memories and why? (i.e., the birth of your child, an amazing vacation, wedding day, etc.) 

It can take practice to become confident online, and that’s totally okay! It’s natural to feel a little awkward or intimidated by trying to start a conversation with a stranger. One thing is for sure, using icebreakers can help ease the awkwardness and help you to get the conversation going. Don’t let uncertainty keep you from finding a new friend — pick out your favorite icebreakers from this list and try them out on your next match. 

If all else fails; consider a joke

Telling a joke is a low-risk and memorable way to get a conversation going. Our advice? Test a few different ones until you find what you’re comfortable with. See what people respond to. We’re not saying use the same joke every single time, but nobody will know if you repeat it once or twice. If you need help; Google “dad jokes” for a slew of funny (and mostly clean) options!

Learn more about the Nell app and how to get started by clicking here. It’s available to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.