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.
Maybe I'm waiting in line at the grocery store or maybe I'm taking a break from watching The Handmaid's Tale (not a great aphrodisiac, by the way). Whatever it is, it's not interesting enough to captivate my attention. Fortunately, Tinder allows me to be my own entertainment, provided I can think of something better to answer with than a boring old, "Not much, hbu?"
Still, I can't blame a dude for not knowing what to say first. My profile exudes natural beauty and wit, and I'm guessing so does yours. If you've got him tongue-tied, you can assume it's for good reason.
Here are some ways to get him to open up:
1. "In My Refrigerator I Have Cream Cheese, Chocolate, Radishes, Artichoke, And Peas. What Can You Make Me For Dinner?"
It's 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 he passes the test, why not invite him over to prove his culinary skills in person?
Or he can provide you with a recipe you can make yourself. Either way.
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, where you get to experience all the varieties of humanity at large. It might not be the best vehicle for finding true love, but you'll definitely learn how many different types of people there are -- and how most of them are big weirdos.
If you're willing to share some of those stories, 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 him. (Fair warning: If he says "Fine," then he's probably a bore.)
3. "What's Your Idea Of A Perfect Day?"
If it's marathon running and Muscle Milk-chugging for him, and you're more of a couch, TV, and bag of potato chips variety (or vice versa), maybe you don't want to try to keep pace. Or maybe you do! Dating is about trying new things, right?
And if he paints a picture of a day that sounds perfect to you as well (I'm thinking art show and picnic in the park, followed by ice cream and a movie), then you can follow up with, "OK, how about Saturday?"
4. "What Were Your Grandparents Like?"
One of the nicest conversations on Tinder that I ever had was a guy sharing his family's history with me. It turned out that his grandfather was a traveling salesman through the rural South who went on to open up a general store and lost it all to gambling... or something like that -- the details get fuzzy.
Hearing a person's family stories is a great way to feel emotionally connected to them, however temporarily, and eases things up for a first date.
If he doesn't know much about his grandparents, that's OK, too. You can ask him about brothers and sisters, his parents, or caregivers, and still get some insight into where he's 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 men relate to gives you good insight into their political beliefs. Sure, lots of straight men on Tinder claim to be "feminists," but are they feminist really?
If he tells you "the 1950s," then he might just be a misogynist who thinks a vagina is his own personal weiner sheath.
If he answers "the age of the explorers," then you might want to ask him if he sees any problem with Christopher Columbus, historically.
If he answers, "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 or even one where people had fluid gender identities," then he 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. I tend to find that traveling stories are pretty compelling and interesting across the board.
Plus, it's a great way to weed out spring breakers or missionaries. (Unless that's your thing! No judgment!)
7. "What Is The Most Interesting Gig You've Ever Worked?"
Whether he was fired after a single shift at Starbucks or was a security guard at a strip club for a minute, what people do for money can be kind of fascinating. Heck, maybe he's a Yukon River guide who's never had a boring work day. That should give you plenty to talk about.
And if he's a trust fund baby who's never lifted a finger of his soft, virginal hands? Well, then you know you aren't paying for dinner!
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 his type, you probably had somebody comparable at your high school to give you a good sense of who they were. Plus, I have this theory that most people don't change that much after 16.
You also have your own high school experiences, and I find that waxing nostalgic -- even with someone whom you didn't know at the time -- is a fail-safe way to break the ice.
9. "Would You Rather Date Frodo Or Sam From Lord Of The Rings?"
Yes, I still play "Would You Rather," and yes, with Tinder crushes, it can be hilarious. I find you can get pretty kinky over messaging, and 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. (Personally, probably Frodo. Tiny, sad men are my type.)
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 he knows where this question comes from!
Asking this question helps reveal a person's kinks — if sex is your intent. It allows you both to be playful and exploratory while still in the safety of your home. (If he goes for the scissors first, you might not want to meet up after all.)
Personally, if that rosemary oil involves a massage? I'll be over in 10.