I Started Asking These 11 Questions On Dating Apps & It’s Changed Everything

If you use dating apps, you know they can be a colossal waste of time. In order to minimize my run-ins with toxic losers, relationship-rebounders, douchebags, the emotionally unavailable, and just plain bad matches, I’ve created these 11 foolproof questions.

What are you looking for on this app? If he’s scared off or weirded-out by this question, it’s “thank u, next” time. If he responds with something vague, it’s also a no-go. Any guy who knows who he is and what he wants will be able to answer this question in a clear and concise way. Even if he answers with “I’m just looking for sex,” at least I have an honest answer and zero mixed signals.

When did your last relationship end? I’m not into being the pick-me-up for emotionally unavailable and possibly heartbroken dudes, so any answer of six months or less is a nah from me. Adults who have meaningful long-term relationships understand that a period of alone time after a breakup is needed before you throw yourself and your baggage back out into the dating pool. If he’s right back out there days after, he’s either incapable of being alone or just wants to blow off some sexual steam. Either way, I’m not into it.

Are you a feminist? Duh. I can’t even take a chance that some guy thinks the word “feminist” is too hardcore or radical. At my age, I don’t have the time, energy, or patience to educate a man in his thirties on gender equality and why it’s important to identify as a feminist. So, it’s a yes from them or a peace out from me.

Were you raised religious? This question comes directly from two “surprise! I have beliefs that go against everything you stand for!” dates. At a cozy wine bar after flirting and laughing, the first guy exclaimed (apropos of nothing, I should mention) that he was pro-life. Check, please. After some bizarre behavior, the second dude revealed that he couldn’t separate himself from the deeply ingrained beliefs he developed while growing up in the church. This particular belief? Women who sleep with men on the first date are whores. Sayonara. Plenty of men were raised religious and have done the work to shed that mindset, and those are the only ones I’ll date.

What are your interests? Sure, it’s basic, but not only does this tell me if we have anything in common, it tells me if he has a life outside of dating. I don’t want to be the center of anyone’s universe. I’m independent as hell and I don’t deal well with clinginess or someone who wants to text/talk/be with me every second of the day. Keeping this question general allows him to answer any number of ways. If he answers with a non-answer, like “just hangin’ out,” it’s safe to say it’s not a match.

What are you passionate about? Similar to #5 but divin’ a little deeper. Nothing is sexier than a man with conviction, passion, and drive. If he has trouble answering this question, he’s probably someone who just goes with the flow, which is definitely not my thing. Plus, it weeds out the creeps who will inevitably spew something sexual or offensive in response to this question (“I’m passionate about your ass, hahaha” AKA I think I’m really funny and clever but I’m just a sad lonely man-child).

Have you been to Burning Man? OK, this one seems random, but hear me out. I’m a woman who knows who I am, what I want, what I like, and what I despise. Yes, it may seem judgmental, but it’s my personal consensus that a “burner” is not someone who I’m going to have a lot in common with. It’s as simple as that.

Do you like the Dave Matthews Band? See above.

How do you feel about gentrification? This is a hot topic where I live and it’s important to me. My neighborhood’s character has been systematically destroyed by new wealth and the techie takeover. Amidst the new cereal-box condos and streets clogged with status cars, we have a sizable homeless problem as well. I tend to be into guys who appreciate arts and culture, have empathy for the homeless, and prefer a hidden gem dive bar to a sterile “craft cocktail” bar. So if his answer is something along the lines of, “It’s great for the economy – I don’t have a problem with it,” Houston, we have a problem.

What was it about me that caught your attention? This is essentially “why’d ya swipe right on me?”. It sounds thirsty but really it’s just sneaky. Depending on the effort of his answer, it tells me if he swipes right on everyone. And listen, the last thing I want is a dude who isn’t selective at all. Bleh, talk about desperation!

Sure, I’d love to meet up. Let’s plan it—what’s your schedule like? If a guy can’t make a solid plan—I’m talking day/time/location to meet up—he’s hedging his bets, period. I’d rather die alone than be an option on a dude’s list of possible dates for the week. Make a plan or get the hell outta here.

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