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This is part three of The Seoul Player’s Guide to Tindering in Korea. In case you missed them, you can read parts 1 and 2 here – About Me and Pictures.

Today Julius and I will be discussing what many people find to be the hardest part of online dating: Messaging. As always, Julius and I have completely different styles that complement our different personalities. Read the advice from each of us and apply what best fits who you are.


JULIUS: Messaging on here is incredibly easy. After a match, you’re given the opportunity to message. I find that first sending a message about one of her pictures, usually complimenting her beauty and striking conversation on whatever they’re doing or wherever they happen to be in the picture as a fail proof way of getting her interested. If you just message “hey” or “sup”, or worse… a cheesy pickup line (unless intentionally comedic) you’re probably not going to get much notice. Especially taking Korean women into consideration that the majority do not have the fluency you possess of the English language will mean that they will either take it literally or just flat out not understand what you’re saying. A simple “Hey there ;)” is better, having gotten people myself to respond with just that. A little bit of effort goes a long way.

Now that you’ve got the conversation going, you can discuss certain things like where you both work, live, and how long you’ve been in Korea. Message her asking what she enjoys and compare it to what you do. If your match is Korean, try to discuss things about her country. Try to find common ground and go from there by talking about what you enjoy of her culture, where you’ve been, foods you like, etc. As a foreigner, you have the advantage of intrigue and interest that Korean men generally lack, so if you speak another language aside from English for instance, show it off to an extent to get them even more interested. Remember though, you’re already at the advantage of having matched and getting her interested enough to talk to you all on the basis that you find one another attractive. If all goes well, try to get her Kakaotalk ID as it would make communication faster and show an even deeper interest in you. Some matches give out their Kakao ID minutes after messaging while others wait until date night, so don’t badger her right away for her ID or get upset if you don’t get it in the next few days. Anyway, this will allow you to talk to her and even call if you wish. Message her enough but not too much either. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t receive messages right away; it’s common for Koreans to work 60-80 hours a week, so don’t be surprised if checking their Kakao is not at the top of their priority list. Also, know when she might lose interest in you. It’s best to cut your losses and focus on your other prospective matches that actually matter.

JACK: Julius and I have a completely different take on this subject. It’s no secret that I have a great disdain for Tinder and I’m sure that this devil may care attitude comes through in my messaging style. In fact, it may even work in my favor. I have a much more nonchalant and efficient approach than my esteemed colleague – I copy paste.

When I’m looking through pictures, I swipe right on anyone who is relatively in my taste range. For me, that means that they’re Korean (yes I’m racist against white people), under 30, and have a decent picture of themselves up. After I go through all my likes for one day, I go back through all my matches and send them all the same message to start things up.

I use a simple message, usually 2 or 3 sentences that just express interest and try to move the interaction forward immediately. If I’m on Tinder, I’m not looking to have long chats with these girls. My one and only goal is to get her to meet in person as soon as possible. To that end, I start by opening with a message similar to this one:

Hey there! I just saw your profile and you look like an interesting girl, let’s meet up for a drink and get to know each other soon! P.S. I think you’re cute 😉

Simple, gets the point across, and surprisingly effective. This simple copy paste line has netted more responses from cute girls than any personalized or thoughtful message I’ve ever sent.

When I first started using Tinder, I tried sending messages like what Julius describes above – talk about her pictures, mention a mutual interest, stuff like that. It bombed. I was basically friend-zoning myself before we even started talking. Let’s be honest, I’m not on Tinder to talk about the fact that we both like Muse or that we’ve both been to Thailand. I don’t really care.

We matched because we both like the look of one another. As Olivia Newton John would say, let’s get physical.

Straight from the get go I’m asking her to go out and get a drink. Meet in person, consume alcohol, and make questionable decisions. After all, that’s what Tinder is for, right players?

Julius and I completely agree on one important point though, and that’s taking it off Tinder. Get their Kakao ID and add them there. Tinder is pretty crappy for actually messaging back and forth, and the notification system is inconsistent at best. Additionally you can see if they’ve read your message, which can give you early warning signs if she’s a flake or if she’s just busy at work.

Protip: Save them in your Kakao list as (Name – Tinder). This makes it super easy to find all the different girls you’ve met from Tinder when you’re just searching through the list, because honestly, you’re not going to remember all their names.

The main goal of your messaging campaign needs to be getting them to meet in person. While Tinder, just like all forms of dating, is a numbers game, there are a lot more flakes and time wasters than you would meet in real life. If she seems hesitant to meet or makes a lot of excuses, don’t waste your time. Just drop her like a bad habit and move on to the next girl.

That wraps up part 3 of our guide to Tindering in Korea. Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment soon where we give advice on the most fun part of Tinder – The actual dates.

Til next time, players!