12 questions to ask your dating app matches if you’re looking for something serious

Face-to-face dates after matching on a dating app can be one of the mostnerve-wracking things in the world, and not just because of the awkwardness that comes with meeting up just because you might potentially become romantic partners of some kind. One thing that we’ve found helpful? Reaching out to ask some questions on the dating app before meeting in person.

If you’re using a dating app, this is even easier because if it gets weird, you can duck out easily. And though it can be tricky to navigate just how deep to ask your questions without seeming weird, chances are, the other person is wondering the same stuff about you.

Here are a few dating app questions that will help you put a personality to that profile photo/age/general location that could help you figure out whether a first in-person meetup (in a well-lit, populated place!) will be worth your while.

1Why are you here?

Meaning, why is the other person on the app? Are they newly single? Divorced? Looking for an open relationship, a casual hookup, or a long-term commitment? There are so many sub-questions to this, but it’s good to figure out what you want out of a relationship before meeting up with someone who could want the exact opposite — or who is in a place that you may not want to be thrust in (see: providing rebound comfort).

2Where do/did you go to school?

This could be really good to know if it’s important for a potential partner of yours to have a specific type of education, or at least an appreciation for it. But if you’re asking about high school in particular, it can also be a sly way of asking, “Where are you from exactly?” without sounding too creepy (like maybe don’t ask their last name this early in the game, though again, meet up in a public place).

3What do you do for a living?

Not just profession, but time commitment too. Some people have careers takes them out of the country often, which could work for many but doesn’t for someone who values a lot of face-to-face time in the initial stages of a relationship.

4What’s your family like?

A vague question whose answers can illuminate a lot more than it looks like at first glance. You’ll be able to connect on how you both were raised, as well as gauge how important family connection is to this person.

5Do you have any pets/do you like animals?

This is a straight-up deal breaker on both sides of the equation for so many folks that goes beyond being a dog or cat person. It’s possible you can be a vegetarian for animal-rights reasons, and not know someone enjoys hunting unless you ask outright how they feel about animals. Or you may own three dogs and the person you’re going to meet up with may be deathly allergic. So many possibilities.

6What are your favorite foods?

This one may not seem like a huge deal — I mean, how many of us have had the “What do you want to eat? / I don’t care, just pick something. / OK, Italian. / Ugh, not that” convo with a significant other? — but it can go a lot further than just palate preferences. Not to rehash the vegetarian/vegan point, but some folks’ dietary rules are super important to them personally, and they can’t see themselves making it work with someone long term who doesn’t adhere to those same types of culinary guidelines. And that’s Okay!

7What does a typical Saturday night look like for you?

This is a polite way of asking, “Hey, are you more of a club-goer or a Netflix binger?” Most people are probably a combination of the two, but if you are not the go-out-and-drink type, it’s probably best to decide up front if you want someone who would rather engage in activities that don’t involve booze on a run-of-the-mill weekend.

8What are your interests?

It’s going to be impossible to find someone whose interests 100% line up with yours (and honestly, that would be boring anyway, right?), but it’s also a good idea to find some common ground before you meet up in person and are potentially grasping at straws for shared hobbies to discuss. Plus, some of the things you like to do could be more important to you than others — keeping a fit lifestyle, going to trivia night every Tuesday, etc. — so gauging a match’s interest in those things is a great initial feeler to put out.

9What are some causes you’re passionate about?

And here’s how you ask someone, in so many words, how they lean politically. We probably don’t have to tell you that leaning a certain way in today’s political climate can be a huge thumbs up or down before even meeting someone face to face, so if it’s crucial to you to share similar views about causes like human rights with a romantic interest, don’t be afraid to ask some of those more hard-hitting questions.

10Do you go to church, synagogue, etc.?

Is your religion extremely important to you? Regardless of your answer, you’re completely allowed to find out what religion/spirituality means to someone else too. This can mean everything from a total dedication to a faith to following a non-traditional path, to having no religious background or affiliation at all — and it’s up to you to decide how important (or not) that is in a partner.

11What kind of books, movies, TV shows, etc. do you watch?

If you’re an avid bookworm and someone tells you, “I don’t really read, LOL,” it might be a bit of a red flag. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, but even if you’re super into movies and TV more so than books, figure out a film or show you have in common. At the very least, nerding out over pop culture can fill even the most awkward conversation gaps.

12What are your long-term goals?

There’s nothing worse than meeting someone and connecting hardcore, then finding out they’re planning to move out of state soon. These types of questions can be strange to ask directly before even meeting, but asking a vague, umbrella version like this can give you the answers you’re looking for…admittedly, with a little patience.