On Tinder, I really hate nothing more than getting a "whaddup?" as a first question. If I'm on Tinder, it's literally because I have nothing better to do. (No offense to my potential future matches.) And while I like my matches to keep me entertained, I can't blame someone for not knowing what to say first. It's tough to be creative. If you want to hit them back with something better than "Not much, hbu?" then I've got some suggestions for questions to ask your Tinder match that will ensure your convo doesn't go downhill fast.
You only have so long to keep someone's attention on dating apps — just as someone else only has so long to keep yours. "Dating apps have a digital lightning speed aspect to them," online dating expert and digital matchmaker Julie Spira previously told Elite Daily. "The main reason is, there are only so many matches you can communicate with at a time. Your brain can only keep up with three to five, and if the conversations start to wane, or you're not making plans to meet IRL, it's easy to lose interest when a new batch arrives."
Want make sure you don't lose your match's interest? Then try asking these questions to keep the convo moving.
1. "In My Refrigerator I Have Cream Cheese, Chocolate, Radishes, Artichoke, And Peas. What Can You Make Me For Dinner?"
This is like a virtual Chopped. Challenge your Tinder match to make the best meal possible out of random ingredients you have in your fridge. (And if the contents of your fridge are like mine, the meal is bound to be... interesting.) If they pass the test, why not invite them over (if you're both fully vaccinated) to prove their culinary skills in person? Or they can provide you with a recipe you can make yourself. It's a win-win.
2. "How Did Your Last Tinder Date Go?"
Think you have nothing in common with that yacht captain who enjoys basket weaving and listens exclusively to Big Sean? Well, you thought wrong! Dating on Tinder is a shared experience in and of itself, and if you're willing to share your experience, it might just bring you and your Tinder match closer. Plus, it will give you an idea of what you can expect from meeting up with them.
3. "What's Your Idea Of A Perfect Day?"
If they're into running marathons and you're more of a couch potato, maybe you don't want to try to keep pace. Or maybe you do! Dating is about trying new things, right? Of course, if they paint a picture of a day that sounds perfect to you as well, then you can follow up with, "OK, how about Saturday?" and keep the connection alive with a plan to meet.
4. "What Were Your Grandparents Like?"
Hearing someone's family stories is a great way to feel emotionally connected to them, however temporarily, and eases things up for a first date. If they don't know much about their grandparents, that's OK, too. You can ask them about brothers and sisters, parents, or caregivers, and still get some insight into where they're coming from.
5. "If You Could Go Back To The Past, What Time Period Would You Choose?"
This sounds like a lazy question, but I get the sense that knowing which historical era people relate to gives you insight into their political beliefs. For example, lots of straight men on Tinder claim to be "feminists," but are they feminist really? If they tell you "the 1950s," then they might not be that understanding of the gender divide. If they answer "the age of the explorers," then you might want to ask them if they see any problem with Christopher Columbus.
But if they answer, "Honestly, every period of European history seems to be problematic for women, people of color, or queer folks. I guess if I had to, I'd choose a pre-colonial society ruled by matriarchs," then they might be the one!
6. "Where's The Next Place On Your Travel List To Visit?"
This can be a great conversation starter to compare cities that you have visited or countries that you have traveled to. Travel stories can tell you a lot about a person.
7. "What Is The Most Interesting Gig You've Ever Worked?"
Whether they were fired after a single shift at Starbucks or were a security guard at a nightclub for a minute, what people do for money can be kind of fascinating. Maybe they're a Yukon River guide who's never had a boring work day. That should give you plenty to talk about.
8. "Who Were You In High School?"
Color guard captain? Quarterback of the football team? Art nerd who skipped gym to make out in the dark room? Whatever their type, you probably had somebody comparable at your high school to give you a good sense of who they were. You also have your own high school experiences, and I find that waxing nostalgic is a fail-safe way to break the ice.
9. "Would You Rather Date Mutt Or Ted From Schitt's Creek?"
Yes, I still play "Would You Rather," and yes, with Tinder crushes, it can be hilarious. It's always great to have some tease-worthy material for flirting. Plus, it's a great way to open up the conversation and give your own answer and the reasons behind them.
10. "You Have The Following Objects: Scissors, Rosemary Oil, Feather, A Rope, A Hairbrush, And A Safety Pin. You Can Use Them On Me However You Like. What Do You Do?"
Full credit to performance artist Marina Abramović for this conversation starter, and more props to your Tinder match if they know where this question comes from! Asking this question may help reveal a person's kinks, if that's your intent. It allows you both to be playful and exploratory, while still in the safety of your home. Personally, if that rosemary oil involves a massage? I'll be over in ten.
Hit your next Tinder match with any of these questions, and your next convo is bound to be a success.
Julie Spira, online dating expert and digital matchmaker
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff
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