You may not think you ever had to ask these crazy questions, even before online and "iDating" replaced meeting IRL (in the real life). But these were always important questions- mainly because people lie about them so often.
Seems obvious that someone you hit it off with in person wouldn't have anyone else on the side. But all too often women don't ask the men they're dating if they're even available. And that is a mistake! Always ask the guy you're dating if he's in a relationship. You can ask in a few ways, including "Are you single?" and "When did your last relationship end?" If he stutters, stammers, or doesn't give a straightforward answer, keep moving.
2. "Are you seeing anyone?"
Unfortunately, this is a necessary follow-up question to "Are you single?" Asking if the man you're interested in is seeing anyone covers all bases- complicated makeup-breakup relationships, continuing to sleep with an ex, or enjoying a friend with benefits situation. Whether you keep pushing forward or back off is up to you. But at least you have the information you need to make a sound decision.
3. "Are you married?"
Feel like you're beating a dead horse here? Trust me, you're not. Someone who is being honest about not being in a relationship and not seeing anyone else could still technically be married. Going through a divorce or enduring a separation means that marriage license is still valid. And chances are you won't find that out unless you do a little digging. It may be un-romantic, but if he claims he's divorcing or separated ask to see those papers. You'll probably get some resistance at first, but someone who's serious about you will eventually give in.
4. "Do you have any children?"
Most dating sites and apps include sections about kids- having them and wanting them. That way you don't really have to ask if you're both on the same page or compatible in that manner. But in real life, unless you meet at daycare, grade school, the playground, or another place where your kids are with you, you have to find that info out the old fashioned way. So don't be afraid to ask. Just don't be afraid to answer either.
This question is nerve-racking but can save you a lot of grief in the weeks after meeting a potential mate. It may scare away people who are not sure what they want or consider themselves more free-spirited. It may totally confuse people who know exactly what they want and think the answer is obvious. It won't faze people who have no specific goals but are open to many possibilities. Ultimately, it's better to know than be kept on your toes.
Asking questions in the very beginning of a real life relationship can build trust or shatter expectations. But in the end you need to know who you're dealing with. Someone who doesn't pass the test isn't necessarily a bad person; they're just not right for you. And if the guy you choose does lie right to your face, at least you know you covered your bases by asking up front. A favorite defense of lying by omission is, "Well, you didn't ask."