Kiss and Tell: “I started sending a 10-point questionnaire to men on dating apps”

Kiss and Tell: “I started sending a 10-point questionnaire to men on dating apps”

Becca, a 28-year-old medical aesthetician and makeup artist, needed an efficient way to cull the herd

Two speech bubbles - one with an "x" and one with a check mark - on a background of green hearts

Welcome to Kiss and Tell, a series about the steamy, surprising and frequently absurd world of Toronto dating. Send your most memorable stories from the pursuit of love and lust in the city to .

—As told to Juliann Garisto

Recently, I downloaded every dating app I could think of. I’d been sober for a year and had just broken up with my long-term boyfriend, so I felt very ready to meet someone new. I was interested in love and commitment, but it wasn’t a necessity. There was a problem, though. I quickly had more matches than I could handle. I needed a way to expedite the screening process.

Related: “My date realized I’d forgotten his name”

So I created a questionnaire. If someone wanted to go on a date with me, they had to answer all ten questions. I decided that failing to provide full-sentence answers would be an automatic dealbreaker—even if the guy was really hot.

The questions were as follows:

  1. Do you have a driver’s licence? If yes, do you have your own car?
  2. Do you consider yourself a religious or political individual?
  3. Have you been to therapy?
  4. When was your last relationship?
  5. Do you chew with your mouth closed?
  6. Are you a problem solver or an independent thinker?
  7. Do you know how to put up a shelf or mount a TV?
  8. Do you drink? Do you smoke weed or cigarettes? If yes, how much?
  9. Are you close with your family?
  10. What are you looking for on this app?

I ghosted the matches who only answered yes or no. But even the guys who sent in-depth replies had to give the right answers. For example, the answer to “Do you chew with your mouth closed?” absolutely had to be yes. One guy jokingly answered no, saying he liked to show people what he was eating. I ghosted him. Most of my matches gave good responses, though. It was enough to keep me busy with multiple dates a week, sometimes even two in one day.

Then I matched with David on Bumble. He was one of the few guys who sent in-depth answers to every single question. For instance, in response to the driver’s licence question, he explained that he did have a licence but didn’t quite own a car. He shared one with a friend. I liked that he took it all seriously. I don’t do quiet and mysterious, so I really appreciated that he was earnest.

The only downside was that I wasn’t sure I was physically attracted to him. He was a short king with a dad bod and a bit of an underbite. His mouth was on the large side, but he had nice dark hair and blue eyes. Plus, his impressive answers led to a good back and forth in our chat. I decided to give him a chance.

Related: “My Hinge date started ignoring me. It turned out he was buying concert tickets”

For our first date, we met in High Park. David was already there when I pulled into the parking lot. Right away, he started running toward my car. It was a little intense, but it was nice that he was excited. Even though he was a bit sweaty by the time he got to me, he was endearingly self-assured and smiley.

We walked around the park for two or three hours, talking non-stop. He told me he worked in sales, and I told him I worked as an aesthetician. Then we started talking about food, which was evidently a common interest. We both love to cook. David told me that his friend, whom he called “Jeff the Chef,” had taught him some tricks. When I asked what sort of tricks, he said, “All sorts of things. Jeff is—he’s just the best.”

I thought that was sweet, but then it started to get weird. Instead of telling me more about himself, David just kept talking about Jeff. He talked a bit about other friends of his too, but especially Jeff. I felt like I needed to get us back on track. “Okay,” I said, “I don’t actually care about Jeff. What do you do for fun?” Luckily he got the hint and we were able to move on.

When we were walking back to my car, David said that he would love to cook for me sometime. I was a bit hesitant. I still couldn’t tell if I found him attractive, and the only way to find out would have been to kiss him. I wasn’t about to try that on the first date, though. It just didn’t feel like the vibe. So when he texted me later that night to ask if I would come to his place the next weekend for barbecue chicken, I said yes.

The day of our second date, I arrived at David’s place at 7:45 p.m. His apartment was a lower unit, but I liked his aesthetic. He had a record player, and everything was vintage—no IKEA furniture in sight. His cooking didn’t disappoint, either. When I arrived, he’d already put out some appetizers—bruschetta and dip—that were super tasty.

But, after an hour or so of nibbling and chatting, he still hadn’t started cooking the chicken. He’d only bragged about marinating it for 48 hours. I could see it, still completely raw, on his kitchen counter. Every now and then I’d pointedly glance at it, trying to give him a hint. No luck.

Finally, around 9:15 p.m., he said he’d start up the barbecue. Great, I thought, in twenty minutes we’ll eat and then I can get out of here. But I’d assumed it was a gas-fired barbecue, and unfortunately it turned out to be charcoal. That meant it would take twice as long. Meanwhile, our conversation was losing its momentum. Maybe I was just hungry.

Related: “My Hinge date seemed normal, but he was secretly obsessed with trivia”

While the barbecue was heating up, David pushed me up against the wall, out of the blue, and started making out with me. It was super forward, almost like he was desperate to jump straight into sex. After about 30 seconds, I jokingly asked him to chill and back off. Even though I was starting to suspect a lack of chemistry, I tried to demonstrate, by way of example, how I liked to be kissed—slower and more thoughtfully. But it still wasn’t great. I knew then that our relationship wouldn’t be going any further.

At that point, I would have liked to leave, but the barbecue was finally ready. By the time we ate, it was 11 p.m. I helped clean up afterward, because it felt impolite not to, and David insisted I take some chicken home. It seemed easier to accept than to argue. So, leftovers in hand, I got back in my car just before midnight. Then I texted another guy I was seeing and asked if he was free. He was a much better kisser.

After that, David left town for a vacation. It was a relief not to have to worry about him, and honestly I almost forgot he existed. But, as soon as he was back in town, he asked me to be a plus-one at his friend’s wedding. I politely declined and told him that I’d met someone else, which was actually true. “But,” I added, “thank you for the chicken!”