It can be kind of tough to gauge somebody's true intentions on Tinder. The app works best as a tool for hooking up -- nothing fizzles the libido like a long, drawn-out message exchange -- but I've known more than one person to meet their long-term companion on it, too.
Maybe that last one-night stand left you feeling empty and unfulfilled, and you're looking for a more consistent hookup. Maybe you're looking for someone to steadily date on a casual basis, or maybe you're actually looking to meet your next long-term boo.
While it might be a little intimidating to come out and ask someone what he is looking for, I find that being honest and straightforward is kind of a turn-on.
Who wants to waste time beating around the bush -- unless that's what you're into?
1. "What Should We Do On Our First Date?"
If you're a bit shy about coming out and asking someone their true intentions, this question is a way for you to get a feel for the waters by dipping your pinky toe in first.
If someone is looking to hookup once, he will more than likely balk at the word "date." Those with commitment-phobia seem to prefer the term "hang out" to "date," and if he doesn't plan on calling after, he will probably correct you.
Even if he doesn't, whatever he suggests will likely shed some light on what he's after. Meeting at a bar or inviting you straight over to his place? My magic 8 ball says he's probably looking for sex.
2. "So What Are You Into?"
This question can obviously be taken more than one way. Without putting yourself out there too much, it is definitely a good Rorschach test to see where his mind is at.
If he responds by elaborately describing what he wants to do to your body or what he wants you to do to his, then yeah, sex is definitely his primary agenda. If that's what you're looking for, too, it might be titillating for you.
On the other hand, if he answers with "hiking and hanging out with my dog," then the jury is still out. It doesn't necessarily mean that he is looking for something more significant -- he might genuinely be a bit reserved or trying to impress you. He might be looking for a casual partner, but still not be emotionally available.
If his response leaves things between you unclear, then it might be time to get a little more specific with your line of interrogation. (I mean casual questions! Don't worry, you're being totally chill!)
3. "What Are You Looking For On Here?"
Don't like beating around the bush? Then this might have been one of your first questions -- heck, it might have been your first exchange.
Even though you might feel hesitant about being so blunt, it's really not that weird to ask a guy what his intentions are. The concept that a first date has to be "chill" and that "you should wait to see how things unfold" is irrelevant if you know what you are looking for and want to find it.
Plus, the benefit of online dating is that you don't have to meet up with someone if they aren't what you're looking for! You can find out before you spend two hours and $20 on drinks at some dive bar you don't even like.
I've asked this question before, and I've gotten a response back that read something like "casual dating." I still had no idea what that meant. Was he looking for a f*ck buddy? Or was he open to something evolving into a more significant relationship, if we met up and clicked? I had to continue to ask some questions, like this next one...
4. "Are You Open To Something More Serious Or Are You Mostly Looking To Have Fun?"
There's nothing wrong with hookups, flings, f*ck buddies, or any other kind of casual relationship under the sun, as long as the two people involved are on the same page. It can be tempting to slip into something more snarky if you are out to find your soulmate, and the person you matched with is only into sex.
Unless he says something crude or send unsolicited nudes, though, I think respecting that someone is looking for something other than what you're looking for (if that is what is happening) is important. Sex positivity, right?
It might also seem like it's super intimidating to ask someone whether they're looking for something serious before meeting up for a first date. However, people generally know whether or not they are open to a relationship, and if he expresses that he is definitely not looking for one, then you have to take that as the truth.
If his response to a relationship is lukewarm, that doesn't necessarily mean the date should be a no-go. As someone who craves companionship, but gets freaked out by the implications of commitment, my response to this question would likely be a bit evasive, too.
Plus, you haven't even met this person, so you don't even know if you want to be with them yet. Something a little more steady than a hookup, but slightly less serious than a relationship honestly might be the ticket.
5. "So Do You Wanna Hook Up Once And Never Have Contact Again Besides An Occasional "Like" On Instagram?"
If you've asked all of the above, and you're still not totally clear on what he's looking for, then congratulations, you've found someone so confusing and evasive, they are probably a mystery even to themselves.
But hey, mystery can be pretty sexy, no?
Tinder and dating are supposed to be lighthearted. If you're intrigued by someone -- even if you suspect it isn't going to last -- I think it's still worth it to meet up with them just once to see what unfolds.
So lighten up, make a joke, and figure out your dinner plans.