So this is not a time for flings. This is a time to get to know one another on a deeper level. Before this pandemic, my friend had been on a Tinder tear, meeting three to five new people a week and sleeping with some of them. My friend wanted to “keep it casual;” she wasn’t in the mood for a soulmate, and I didn’t believe her. I don’t believe anyone when they say this (unpopular opinion alert!). I think we’re all secretly hoping to find deep, intimate connection with another person. Even if it’s not what we think we want, it is what we’re yearning for, because, sorry, we’re human.
Whether you agree with me or not, you kind of have to get on my train anyway. Unless you and some rando on Tinder decide to solo-quarantine for 14 days in preparation for your first closer-than-six-feet date, casual sex is out. In the place of casual sex, what you now have is conversation. How can you use this time to effectively converse with your Tinder prospects? What questions might you ask to suss out your potential soulmate?
Normally, people ask bad questions on Tinder. Example 1: “How are you?”
Rule 1: If you ask a stranger on Tinder, “How are you?” please follow this up by walking to the nearest mirror and looking at yourself, like really taking a good, hard look at yourself. Then please say, “Never again,” and mean it.
In order to get good information, you need to ask good questions. What queries will incline your potential soulmate on Tinder to reveal the most about themselves?
Here are 20:
What did you eat for lunch today?
This will tell you a lot. If a person told me they ate Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for lunch, I’d kill them off right there. If they told me they ate garden greens, we’d keep chatting. This question might also reveal whether or not your potential soulmate is capable of cooking. Do you want somebody who can fry you an egg in the future? Maybe you do.
How soon before a flight do you arrive at the airport?
Time, dude — so real. My sister likes to get to the airport roughly 40 minutes before departure, and I would never date her for this reason. She likes to live on the edge. I do not. Dealbreaker.
What animal are you?
This will tell you something about how your potential soulmate sees themselves. Compare the answer to their pics for further discovery.
Tell me about your mother.
Did you just gulp? I did. I don’t think I need to explain why the answer to this question will reveal all.
What was the last expensive item you bought?
The answer to this one will tell you (a) what the person thinks “expensive” means, i.e. how they value. Then it will tell you (b) what they value. My answer would be “part of my car.” My car payment is $386. This would tell my potential soulmate — well, I actually have no idea what it would tell them, but I’d be thrilled to find out.
When was the last time you lied and why?
Obviously, if you’re chatting with a liar, they’re not going to answer honestly. In that case, the answer becomes more about creativity. Can your lying potential soulmate spin a fun story? Is it entertaining and unique? Would you rather date a fun liar than a boring honest person? That would be for you to decide. The “why” element is possibly revealing in a different way. I most recently lied to Amazon about the reason for my return to avoid paying shipping costs, which reveals me to be a terrible (but crafty) wench. (Note: I called and outed myself to the customer service representative later because I felt so guilty.)
Who is your oldest friend?
Loyalty, dude. And also the ability to maintain relationships. If somebody’s oldest friend is a chick they met 3 years ago, that’s bad.
What are you most addicted to right now?
Aren’t we all kind of addicted to something? Obsessed might be another word. I’m addicted to yogurt and nicotine, which might be a reason to kill me off. If you and your potential soulmate are both addicted to “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” that’s a solid foundation.
What do you think happens after we die?
This tackles the religion question from an indirect angle. Rebirth? Heaven? The ground? If you feel like a fool asking this one because it sounds like it was written by a second grader, don’t be.
Do you like your own company?
This tackles the codependent question from an indirect angle, and it’s a great one to ask in a pandemic.
When was the last time you used a magnifying mirror?
Grooming, hello. This is major.
Are you a strawberry or a raspberry?
In my opinion, strawberry people see themselves as pure and sweet, and raspberry people have a dark side, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing.
When was the last time you felt vibrantly alive?
Feeling vibrantly alive every once in a while is key to being a successful human. If your prospective soulmate can’t recall the last time they experienced some joie de vivre, that’s a bummer.
Do you kill bugs or put them outside?
Tackling the issue of bug violence: very important. If your potential soulmate answered “rebirth” to the earlier question about what happens after we die, you can see how real their Buddhist principles are with their answer to this one.
Are you able to change a tire?
If the person says yes, add 100 points next to their name on the list you’re keeping. Oh, did I not mention a list? It can be in your head or in Excel — whatever works for you.
Do you wear scent? If so, what is it? If not, what do you smell like?
Because even if you FaceTime with your potential soulmate, you’re not going to be able to smell them.
If you had a second profession, what would it be?
The first profession we already know about. It is the second profession that could be super telling. I once dated a woman whose answer was — not missing a beat — “hairstylist,” and this was a wonderful perk because home girl helped me tame my mane.
Are you funny?
By this point, you’ll already know the answer. What you’re hoping to learn is their answer. A person who’s not funny is fine. Many people are un-funny and maybe you’re un-funny, too, and that’s all okay. Be who you are. What is not okay is when an un-funny person thinks they’re funny. And what it means is that they’re not your soulmate. Sorry. You can do better.
Would you like to meet in a parking lot wearing masks tomorrow afternoon?
“Afternoon” because you’re not going to meet some stranger in a deserted parking lot at night! “Masks” is key for obvious reasons. This is the six-feet-apart date we’ve been working up to, people! Stay in your cars. Enjoy the tension. If there is no tension, put yourself in reverse and get out of there. Then go home, open Tinder, expand your search parameters to include the entire world, and keep trying. Don’t give up. I believe in you.