I Screen All My Dates Before I Go Out With Them

You wouldn’t buy new makeup without checking out reviews online first, so why do differently with a date?

I’m a busy woman with a thriving career, so I prefer to screen men before I ever go out on a date with them. Some days I barely have time for me, so why should I give my time to a stranger I barely know?

I wasn’t always this picky with dating. I used to willingly accept dates with every man who I swiped right to on Tinder. I felt pretty chuffed with myself if our conversation made it to 10 minutes long, and the ridiculously handsome stranger I’d just met on Tinder said he wanted to go out and get a drink with me.

I’d hype the date up in my mind before it had even started, thinking of exciting scenarios. I’d already (and stupidly) invested myself in the potential of what could be, all over a few exchanged sentences, six carefully picked photos, and a hundred-word Tinder bio. But then my fantasy was inevitably crushed when I met him and learned he was someone I wouldn’t give two minutes of my precious time talking general chit-chat to while waiting for a drink at the bar.

That’s the downside of meeting someone online, they can seem good on paper, but on meeting, the spark just isn’t there. So after a few dismal dates (50 first dates, to be exact) that left me feeling like flat champagne, I decided I needed a formula for screening men before I actually went on a date again. It made so much sense I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of it earlier. I mean, I’d never expect to get a job interview if someone hadn’t even read my CV and checked my references out first, and yet here I was giving potential applicants the job before I even knew anything meaningful about them. So I started to get really clear on the qualities I wanted in a man and the values that were important to me.

Prequalifying a potential suitor in my books is considered a smart dating practice everyone needs to adopt. Not only does it save both parties the heartache of a potentially bad date, but it saves you time, and is a seriously smart way to date. Curious? Here are the five stages of how I screen my dates…

1. Getting clear 

Before I even start swiping, I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for. Is it a cute stranger to have fun with at an adult sleepover or is it a guy that I want to be good enough to meet my mother and marry one day? You can’t screen your dates effectively if you have no idea what you’re after.

2. Being picky

I’m not a fan of dropping the bar simply because I’ve had a few bad experiences, my motto is to keep my heels high and my 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 and his profile only features the letters ‘DTF’ then you know he’s someone you have to swipe left to, no exceptions!

3. Making conversation

I always try to make the pre-date conversation fun, light-hearted and playful, but there’s a very serious motive behind it; I’m screening him to see if he’s worth my time. Not every guy is going to be a witty wordsmith, but asking questions in a playful way to gauge whether or not my values are aligned with his is essential.

4. Having a phone date

If the conversation gets to a point where I’m typing essay-length paragraphs, then I’ll usually either call the guy or suggest a phone date. A phone call can work out if there’s chemistry and the conversation flows, but it also removes a lot of the first date nerves if you progress that far.

5. Date time

I know enough about this person now that I can feel confident I  won’t need to sneak into the bathroom and message a girlfriend to save me. The first date nerves are replaced with excitement and the process from hereon is pretty smooth. Successful dates are always about proper screening. If you wouldn’t buy a new foundation without checking out reviews of it online first, then why would you lock into a date with a guy you only just found on Tinder?

Comment: Do you ever screen your dates?