Six questions to ask your date to see if the chemistry is there

Ask them about their biggest fails (Picture: Getty)

First dates can be awkward.

You’re both trying hard to give a good impression, while also attempting to figure out if you actually even like each other.

Second dates so often hinge on the abstract concept of chemistry – a spark. Did you feel something? Is there potential here? It can be hard to know.

This is the same when you’re chatting to someone on a dating app. Pushing beyond the banal icebreakers can be challenging – it can be hard to know what to say, and harder still to figure out if the conversation is worth continuing.

According to dating app Badoo, over half of daters (57%) find it difficult to know what questions to ask when they first start speaking to someone on an app. 

When asked why, the majority (62%) say it’s because they feel pressure to ask a good question or kickstart a strong conversation. Another half (50%) say it’s because they’re nervous and for a third (32%) of daters, it’s hard to decipher what they should be asking in order to get to know the person. 

Even worse, a third (30%) of singletons have experienced a conversation in which they’ve not been asked a single question.

A quarter (24%) explain that as a result, it’s hard to know how that person feels about them and if there is any chemistry – and worse still, for almost half (42%), it puts them off the person entirely. In fact, on average, singletons go on five dates before they find someone they have chemistry with. 

To help daters escape this vicious cycle, Badoo has partnered with digital dating expert, Perri Schneider to provides expertise on what to say to identify any possible spark with a prospective date.

‘It’s a myth that the only way to find out whether you have chemistry is to meet in real life – but my clients are often unsure what questions they need to ask before they meet to see if digital sparks can fly,’ says Perri.

‘Ultimately, dating chat is awkward for everyone, but my clients have seen real success with these types of questions so I strongly encourage daters to give them a try and see what happens.’ 

Suss out the attraction 

‘So what caught your eye about my profile?’

Why it works: This flirty question is a great way to suss out if there’s an initial attraction. It sets them up to give you a compliment, which you can reciprocate with something you like about their profile – from their great taste in music to their cute pet. 

Get them talking

‘If you had to talk about one topic nonstop for 20 minutes / give a TED Talk, what would it be about?’

Why it works: We feel chemistry when conversation flows effortlessly. Asking your match about a subject that’s close to their heart helps you both get into the conversational flow and lets you find out more about what makes them tick

Ask for their advice

‘I’m looking for a recommendation for (something you’re interested in) – do you have any suggestions?’

Why it works: Chemistry requires a certain amount of commonality and shared ground, so asking for their recommendation on anything from local coffee shops to new shows helps find out what interests you share and makes your match feel appreciated.

You could even try planting some ‘low-hanging fruit’ in your profile that asks matches for their recommendations on something you love 

Find out their fails

‘Tell me about your biggest travel fail’

Why it works: A good fail conversation breaks the ice, gives you both the opportunity to laugh and be a little self-deprecating, but also lets you discover how they cope when things go wrong.

Set up for a great first date

‘What’s the best first date you’ve ever been on?’

Why it works: It might seem counterintuitive to ask about past dating experiences, but this question is a great way to test the spark.

It takes the conversation to a more heightened place, lets you know what they enjoy doing – and sets you up to plan something even better for your first meeting 

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Get them on the phone

‘I’m about to make dinner, want to keep me company while I cook?’

Why it works: Voice chemistry is real! After spending some time chatting back and forth, getting on the phone with someone is a great next step before meeting in real life.

Calling them while you’re doing an activity that has a set timeframe (like making dinner or walking somewhere) also gives you a helpful get-out if it’s not going so well.

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