How To Deal With ‘Zero Questions’ Daters Without Losing Your Mind

The whole point of going on a date with someone is to get to know them, so there’s nothing more confusing (not to mention obnoxious) than meeting up with someone who literally doesn’t ask you a single thing about yourself all night. Uh, what? “Zero Questions” daters (or ZQ daters for short) are so self-involved and seemingly uninterested in your life that you might as well not even be there. If you find yourself sitting across the table or the bar from one, here’s how to handle it.

  1. Take a bit of initiative. Giving the benefit of the doubt at first isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sometimes zero questions daters are legitimately just shy or a bit socially awkward — it happens. It could be that he’s not disinterested in you or your life, he’s just a bit nervous and doesn’t want to seem like he’s prying. It’s okay to open up about yourself unprompted. When he realizes that you’re actually happy to share more about who you are, he might start to open up a bit more.
  2. Head to a second location. Sure, your desire to go somewhere else with a dude who’s a drag in the first location is probably pretty slim, but it could just change the trajectory of your date. If you’re in a stuffy restaurant or a noisy club, it could be that he’s not asking questions because he can’t hear you or you’re not in a place conducive to great conversation. Heading somewhere that’s a bit more laid-back (and maybe less noisy) could change that.
  3. Be straight-up. Sometimes you do have to be direct with zero questions daters. If the guy you’re out with lacks self-awareness, he might not even realize that he’s being a narcissist. It’s totally fine to respond to one of his stories with something like, “Oh, that’s cool — I actually have a great story about that if you’re interested…” Then gauge his reaction and go from there. Sure, you shouldn’t have to do that, but it’s a slightly less awkward way of pointing out that he’s being a self-absorbed jerk.
  4. Think about whether or not you’re actually compatible. Chances are, you made a date with this guy because you thought you had stuff in common. However, if you never get to share those things with him, he’ll never know them and you can never form a connection. It could be that he’s used to going out with women who are seen and not heard and he’s not looking for an equal partner. In that case, he’s clearly not for you.
  5. Call it a night early if it’s that bad. Sometimes zero questions daters are so insufferable that you can’t imagine spending another second in their presence, and that’s fine. You’re well within your right to head home early if that’s the case. Be polite and pay for your drinks/whatever food you ordered and let him know that while it was nice to meet him, you don’t think it’s going to work out. You don’t have to be miserable all night listening to him wax poetic about his fantasy football league at work.
  6. Let him know how you feel when you tell him you don’t want to see him again. If you feel uncomfortable confronting him with his rudeness in person and it’s clear that things aren’t going to work out between you, feel free to be frank about this when you give him the ole “thanks, but no thanks” text. (Sure, you could ghost him, but you have more class). He may not internalize or even care about what you have to say, but knowing that women actually expect him to show interest might help him (and the women he goes out with) in the future.
  7. Hold tight to your self-worth and don’t take it personally. It’s so easy to feel a bit dejected and like there’s something wrong with you when a guy doesn’t show any interest in you or your life on a date. After all, if you were more fascinating and mysterious, he’d be keen to dig deeper, right? Nah, not really. Some guys really are up their own backsides — they could be sitting across from Kim Kardashian and still not ask a single question. You’re a catch — remember that.
  8. Go back to the drawing board when it comes to meeting guys. If you find that you keep meeting zero questions daters on Hinge or Tinder, maybe switch to another mode of meeting the guys you go out with for a while. It could be the type of people that particular app draws in. Or, it could just be bad luck. There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of a dating hiatus to regroup or approaching your search for love from a different angle. Do what’s right for you.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill