- Dating apps offer nearly endless opportunities to meet other singles, but you shouldn’t go out with just anyone, experts say.
- Dating coaches and matchmakers told Insider they ask matches questions for safety and compatibility before agreeing to meet in real life.
- Ask for their last name and what they’d do if they had 24 hours to themselves, for example.
Dating apps connect hopeful singles in a matter of seconds, but not every match is worthy of a first date.
Experts say there are a few questions you should ask before agreeing to meet up in person.
“It’s important that you conduct some level of vetting and due diligence for your own safety, but also to prevent wasting your time,” Thalia Ouimet, a matchmaker who works with clients in New York City and Miami, told Insider.
Ouimet, plus dating coaches Amy Nobile and Sara Tick, shared the safety- and compatibility-related questions they always suggest their clients ask before putting a first date on the calendar.
What’s your last name?
Dating apps work — even for experts like dating coach Amy Nobile, who met her current partner on one. When using one, safety should always be your first concern, Nobile said.
Verifying your date’s identity matches their profile is a good place to start, Nobile said. She suggested asking your potential date for their last name, then Googling them before you offer up your phone number. When you do this, expect they’ll ask you the same, Nobile said.
There are additional safety measures you can take before and during a first date to prevent getting scammed or duped, Ouimet said. She suggested looking your match up on LinkedIn to verify their age and occupation.
If you can’t find them on any social media platforms, it’s a good idea to cancel the date, Ouimet said.
If you decide to meet up, Ouimet suggested telling a loved one when and where you’ll be on your date, and meeting in a public place, rather than getting picked up for the date at your home.
If you had 24 hours to do anything, what would you do?
Sara Tick, a licensed therapist and men’s dating coach, said questions that are playful-yet-specific can reveal a match’s values and give insights into your compatibility.
This question requires a match to reflect on their priorities while also taking their ability to be imaginative into account, Tick said.
“Would they spend their day with family or friends? Would they hop on a plane and go to an exotic destination? Regardless of how they answer, it will open up an interesting conversation,” she said.
What’s been keeping you busy these days?
Tick said this question can also offer information about a match’s lifestyle.
Since an important aspect of compatibility is lifestyle, you can gauge whether your lives would mesh or clash.
“People do not have to enjoy the same activities to be compatible partners, but this question may help weed out people who have completely different values and priorities than you,” Tick said.
If your match says they love to stay active and go to the gym for a few hours each day, but you’re a homebody who spends most of your free time reading, they might not be the best fit for you.
Can we set up a pre-date phone or video call?
It’s helpful to get a vibe check beyond the flirty messages you exchange in-app, according to Ouimet.
She tells her clients to ask for a phone call prior to a first date so you get a better sense of their tone, sense of humor, and personality.
“You would be surprised how many people don’t pass the vibe check on a regular 10-minute phone call because of their tone of voice, their laughter, or their lack of optimism,” Ouimet said.
What’s one local activity you’ve always wanted to try?
If your initial conversations with your match are going well, Tick suggested throwing this question into the mix. She said it can help you transition from conversation to planning a date.
“Why not plan a day to go together and be tourists in your own city? Even if it doesn’t end up being a love match, you will at least have done something fun to mark off your adventure list,” Tick said.