Whether or not you ever pictured yourself picking up potential partners on a dating app, it's kind of an inevitable part of the world we live in now. And, depending on who you ask, dating apps are either a stellar resource or a major source of stress. Between figuring out the right questions to ask on a dating app, navigating the unspoken rules about the frequency of messages, and crafting a profile that captures your personality, there’s a lot of thought that goes into a successful dating profile. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of coming up with dating app questions that will help break the ice, you’re not alone.
“It’s not uncommon for my clients to need help at the beginning of an online flirtation,” says Toronto-based dating expert and breakup coach Natalia Juarez. “We’ll look at a couple profiles that they really like in a session and brainstorm together all the things they could say to this person. Oftentimes my clients just need to talk things through, but then eventually they start self-coaching and it comes a lot more naturally. Once they just see how many possibilities there are for starting a conversation, they feel much better.”
When kicking off a conversation on a dating app, it can also be helpful to have a sense of what you don’t want to do. “Don't be boring,” Juarez cautions. “The ‘Hey, how are you’ and ‘How was your weekend’ opening lines? I can’t believe people are still doing that! It’s so lazy, and you’re making me do all the work!” Instead, Juarez says simply showing a bit of imagination will go a long way.
In the end, Juarez acknowledges that for many women, the idea of taking the reins of the conversation can be intimidating, especially because women have been socialized to cede control to men. If you struggle with this, Juarez has a solution. Instead of thinking of your opening line as an active pursuit of your match, she says to think of it more as a lure. “It’s a green light, an invitation. With your opening line, you’re saying ‘the door’s open.’ It’s like being at a restaurant, looking over, and smiling at someone. It’s just inviting.”
So go ahead and flash that green light, hit the gas, and cruise on into the flirtationship of your dreams with these clever questions to ask on a dating app.
Speaking of using your imagination, ask someone which fictional characters they most identify with. It’s an easy way to get a sense of someone’s taste in media while opening up a ton of potential side conversations about whoever you’re both stanning at the moment. Fingers crossed they say both Hercules and Megara.
With dating app questions, it never hurts to be a little cheeky. The assumption that you’d be included in their birthday plans is majorly flirty but still far-fetched enough that it’s clear you aren’t being super serious. Plus, if things do work out, you know exactly how to plan their special day! You little minx.
Everyone has a few commercials that they've seen over the years that have made them laugh out loud. Maybe it's the Cingular commercial (major TBT) that originated the killer one-liner, "IDK, my BFF Jill." Or maybe it's that bizarre "Dilly Dilly" Bud Light ad from the Super Bowl archives. Whatever they choose, it’s an opportunity to bond over shared cultural touch points — or learn about a hilarious new ad you never knew existed!
This one is a little risky, but the payoff will definitely be worth it. Maybe it'll lead to a more playful, flirty discussion about the one time in high school when they filled their pool with Mountain Dew. Maybe they'll surprise you with their vulnerability and let you in on something important to them. Either way, this edgy question has the potential to open up a lot of doors.
This is definitely more fun, but hopefully it'll also get you both talking. Winning combinations include The Bachelor and MasterChef. Get creative with it, and hopefully they will too.
Prehistoric cuties to the front! Use this question when you’re feeling flirty and want to debate the logic of the Butterfly Effect.
You’ll instantly be able to see if you’ve snagged yourself a Nobel Prize–winner who thanks their mom, or a Kids’ Choice Award–winner who says their hero is “me in 10 years” à la 2014 Matthew McConaughey.
Again, this question will hopefully have them thinking outside of the box, and it might also provide inspo for your first date. If they're about to kick the bucket, what would they want to eat? Fried chicken, mac and cheese, tacos, ice cream... the possibilities are endless, and food always makes for great common ground.
Unless you’re chatting up literal Jeff Bezos (OK, flex…), this question is most likely hypothetical. That being said, with commercial space travel looming on the not-so-distant horizon, it’s more relevant now than ever. Are they bringing their childhood teddy bear? Their well-worn copy of Pride and Prejudice? Their kazoo? Whatever their answer, you’re going to learn something about them that you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Saucy! This question isn't for everyone, but if you’re looking for something frisky, it’s sure to spice things up. It’s a little bit funny, a little bit sexy, and will definitely help you stand out.
Rambunctious types will regale you with stories of all the times they snuck out of the house as an angsty teen or hijacked a city bus just to make it to school on time. Tamer matches will evoke the time they got grounded because their GPA slipped from a 4.6 to a 4.4. No matter who you’re chatting with, you’re bound to get some revealing backstories.
Unless you’ve just matched with Sally Rooney — in which case, your question might be, “What was your creative process like in writing Marianne and Connell’s relationship and did you write itspecifically to break my heart and ruin my life?” — this question is another great way to gauge someone's creativity. Who knows? Maybe they’re working on their memoir right now and you’ve just scored yourself a starring role in their future New York Times-bestseller.
This sassy little number is the perfect way to put yourself out there while simultaneously discussing the superiority of Cool Ranch in the greater Dorito canon.
“Find something in their profile that you can comment on, something where you find a commonality,” Juarez says. “If there’s something that really, really stands out in a person’s bio, chances are a lot of other people are commenting on that too. One way to distinguish yourself would be to find something in their profile that’s a little less prominent and comment on that instead.”
When in doubt, get creative and don’t overthink it — it only takes one great question to open up a world of possibilities.
Natalia Juarez, breakup and dating coach
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