The One Question You Should Ask Before You Go Out With Someone

When you're trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on a potential date, it can be a bit tricky. The real issue at hand can be boiled down to this: What is the one question that you should ask before you go out with someone? What is that magical, sparkly, smart, super-illuminating query that you should pose to a new gal or guy before you agree to make an official date?

I asked this question-about-a-question (so meta) of life coach Kali Rogers, and she had super wise things to say. The truth is, it's a bit of a balancing act out there. If you're doing the online dating thing, you're presented with literally hundreds (or thousands, if you live in a big city) of options every day, and it's challenging to choose just one person to see. How do you narrow things down? And if you're going out and meeting people at parties, bars, art openings, literary events and the like, a similar issue comes up. How do you decide if that hot guy who gave you his number is worth calling? What about that cute girl who you clicked with at your friend's housewarming? Well, according to Rogers there really is a magic, one-size-fits-all question.

Ask them, "Who are you voting for, and why?" Rogers tells Bustle. "It might not be one you can ask all the time, because it's seasonal." But right now, especially in light of the latest Trump news, it's very apropos. Here are some variations on that question, with some commentary from Rogers about her pick. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle's Sex and Relationships:

1. Why Are You Voting For That Person?

Even if your date picks the same person as you, it's worth getting some more inside info about why they're going for that candidate. "People always say to never bring up religion or politics in conversation because it tends to prompt heated debates," Rogers says. "People get personal, and it can be uncomfortable. But this is the exact reason why I encourage everyone ask this before a first date." So if you're swiping right and find someone you like, and you find out who they're voting for, find out why.

2. What Are The Values You Like In Your Candidate?

"Our voting decisions reflect our values," Rogers says. "More than likely, there is values-oriented reason behind who you are casting your vote for," Rogers points out. Find out what those values are, and see if they match your own.

3. What Do You Think About The State Of Politics Right Now?

Be sure to let your possible date know that you're not necessarily testing or grilling them — it's just a conversation starter. "I'm not implying there is a right or wrong answer," Rogers says. "It doesn't matter if you are a staunch conservative or a passionate liberal." But it's worth finding out what this maybe partner thinks about how everything is going down. Of course, if you are a passionate liberal, and it turns out that this sexy person seated next to you at a dinner party is a total conservative, it might not work out. Better to know upfront!

4. What Motivates You To Vote For This Person?

"Listening to a potential date's reasoning behind their choice really gives an inside peek into what this person really cares about," Rogers says. In so doing, you'll find out what makes this person tick. "Are they motivated by business? Ambition? Human rights? A safe environment?" These are all very valid causes, but they all say something different about a person. Ask and ye shall … find out more.

5. Why Aren't You Voting?

Let's say you're at a poetry reading and you strike up a fun conversation with someone. After a bit, you ask them Rogers' million-dollar question of who they're voting for, and they say they're not voting for anyone at all. Gasp! But as Rogers points out, "Even an 'I'm not voting' or 'I don't care about politics' is an answer in itself." And a very strong answer. If you are not political at all, that could work just fine. But if you are, this lack of interest might be a major turn-off.

6. How Did You Become Involved With Your Political Party?

If your potential beau says they are a Democrat, it's worth querying the reason behind the choice. "Overall, knowing which party, candidate, or issue gets a person most fired up is useful information for predicting whether or not you'll hit it off, or feel the need to make up an excuse to leave before appetizers hit the table." And if you do feel as though your new dinner party pal is a total snooze — or worse — you're always welcome to start a conversation with someone else at the table and move on with your life.

7. What Did You Think Of The Debates?

Those debates were a doozy this year, and many watched them with an admixture of train-wreck interest and despair. Find out what this person whom you're thinking about going out with thought about the debates — and maybe spark a debate of your own.

8. When Did You Vote For The First Time?

I voted for the first time when I turned 18, because I really wanted to be part of democracy and all that jazz. But some people felt less passionate about getting involved, and only started voting when they really felt like an adult. Ask your prospective date when they started voting, and see if it's similar to your own experience.

9. What Was Your First Voting Experience Like?

It's fun to trade stories, and this'll make you both reminisce about those early days of voting, and what it was like. The first time in a little voting booth can be exciting, and overwhelming, and nerve-wracking. See what it was like for your possible future date, and see if you felt the same feelings.

10. Who Did You Vote For When You Voted For The First Time?

Similar to Rogers' original question, this query has the potential to begin a whole new chapter of conversation. Do you remember who you voted for when you first voted? Find out if your potential date has any recollection too, and trade notes. Yes, they say it's a bad idea to discuss politics, just like sex and money, but those rules are stuffy and outdated. Discuss whatever you want!

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; WiffleGif (10)