You wouldn’t buy new makeup without reading reviews first, so why do anything differently with a date?
I’m a busy woman with a thriving career, so I prefer to screen men before I ever go out with them. Some days, I barely have time for myself, so why should I give a stranger my time unless I know it will be worthwhile?
I wasn’t always this much of a picky dater.
I used to willingly accept dates with every man who I swiped right on Tinder. If our conversations lasted 10 minutes, and the ridiculously handsome stranger said he wanted to get a drink with me, I’d feel pretty chuffed.
I’d hype the date up in my mind before it even started, thinking of all the possible, exciting scenarios.
I fully invested myself in the potential relationships, all because of a few sentences we shared, six carefully picked photos, and a one hundred word Tinder bio. My fantasies were always inevitably crushed when I met the men and learned that they weren’t even worthy of two minutes of my precious time while I waited for a drink at the bar.
That’s the downside of meeting someone online: They can seem good on paper, but once you meet, the spark just isn’t there. So after 50 first dates that left me feeling like flat champagne, I decided that I needed a new plan.
Why not screen men before actually going on a date with them? It made so much sense! I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of the idea earlier. I mean, I’d never expect to get a job interview if someone hadn’t even read my CV and checked out my references first. Yet here I was, giving potential applicants the job before I even knew anything about them.
Prequalifying a potential suitor is a smart dating practice that everyone needs to adopt. Not only does it save both parties the heartache of a potentially bad date, but it saves you time, too.
Curious about my formula? Here are the four screening stages I follow:
1. Get A Clear Idea
Before I even start swiping, I get a clear idea of what I’m looking for. Is it a cute stranger to have fun with at an adult sleepover or a guy that I want to eventually meet my mother? You can’t screen your dates effectively if you have no idea what you’re after.
2. Be Picky
I’m not a fan of dropping the bar simply because I’ve had a few bad experiences. My motto is “Keep your heels high and your standards higher.” After all, if you’re after a long-term relationship and the cute guy you just found on Tinder doesn’t seem to own a shirt, then you know he’s someone you have to swipe left on… no exceptions!
3. Make Conversation
I always try to make the pre-date conversations fun, lighthearted, and playful. There’s a very serious motive behind it, however: I’m deciding if the men are worth my time. Not every guy will be a witty wordsmith, but asking questions in a playful way to gauge whether or not his values align with mine is absolutely essential.
4. Have a Phone Date
If the conversation turns into essay-length paragraphs, then I usually call the guy or suggest a phone date. A phone call can help you decide if you have chemistry with your potential suitor, plus it removes a lot of those first-date nerves.
Now that I know something about this person, I feel confident that I won’t need to sneak into the bathroom and message one of my girlfriends to save me. My first-date nerves turn into excitement, and the process from here on out is pretty smooth. Once you follow these tips to screen men before wasting your time on a date, you’ll feel successful again, too.