Dating By The FRIDGE

Online Dating: Tell Me What’s in Your Fridge and I’ll Tell Who You Are

Every house has a kitchen and most every kitchen has some form of a refrigerator. There are gourmet kitchens, rustic kitchens, farmhouse kitchens and kitchens circa 1963, complete with olive drab wall paper and Formica, that need an overhaul.

Online dating sites are like kitchens. They all have refrigerators (people) but the style of the box, the kitchen it is in and, more importantly, what is cooling inside differs greatly. In fact, the gourmet kitchens may have a completely empty fridge and just be for show. How do you know what is on the inside?

Isn’t that the dating dilemma? Good ingredients? Sometimes the inner-view reveals pre-cooked food, restaurant to-go boxes, mom’s leftovers, gorgeous vegetables and exotic spices… and other times the stuff is just moldy and needs to be thrown out. To get to the meat of the matter, you have to just ask: what is in your fridge?

Exactly what are you looking for???

Exactly what are you looking for???

Don’t get deceived by the looks

Thought out online dating questions are very important! The number of sites and potential partners are overwhelming at best and the amount of time that you spend on creating your own profile, weeding through all of the men and women presented, scanning profiles, editing your profile, taking photos (usually men with fish and girls in groups) and throwing out the undesirable candidates can often become a second job.

What looks like a gourmet kitchen online, may be a cover for a suitor who still lives with their parents. You need to deftly uncover whether the person is even worth your thumbs to text, voice to talk, or most importantly – your time to meet. As an online dating expert, one of the best and most revealing questions I have posed to a potential date is ‘What is in your refrigerator right now?’

Differentiate yourself by asking this creative question to which every person has an answer! With the stealth of a Navy seal, you can obtain data about the person with whom you are communicating online and they will have no idea, because everyone interprets the response differently.

Open the door and take a peek inside

Do you have tons of leftovers in Tupperware? Beer, tuna and some packets of hot sauce from Taco Bell? Protein shakes, eggs, grilled chicken, and some veggies? Romaine lettuce, strawberries, lamb shank marinating in a new flavor and rosemary infused fingerling potatoes? Or maybe your fridge is empty?

Each of these answers tells so much about the person on the other side of the screen. This question will reveal whether or not you want to continue the chat and how quickly you should meet. I always recommend that communication remains on the site to create interest while being in a safe and secure environment.

If there is a general interest and you feel safe, move to a face to face meeting quickly. Life is too short to waste time typing and personally, I have enough friends. I am looking for the real thing. I want a real authentic, long-term relationship. If you are online to meet people, then for goodness sakes meet them.

Check the contents for freshness

Let’s start vetting a prospective date. We need to dig deep into the vegetable drawer to understand the person’s beneath. How many of your potential online matches mention the following in their personal write up: ‘Looking for my next partner in crime’, ‘Want to have fun and see where it goes’, ‘Love being on the beach and open to new things’?

Blah, blah, blah… this is so normal and expected! When a potential suitor is reading your online dating profile (or you are reading theirs), it is as though he or she is reading a menu. Please do not be a chicken Caesar salad! Chicken Caesar is expected on the menu as are steaks (with a warm red center) and a new twist on a mashed potato. Most people can go down the street and get a salad, but it is boring! A great way to see what someone is all about is to go to a different level, where the answers cannot be canned or written in the way ‘what I think you want to hear’.

Recently, I received a text photo as an answer to my inquiry about the fridge contents. It was a pic of a new, stainless steel, side-by-side Frigidaire that was completely empty with the exception of a tub of ice cream. He texted: ‘Does this look like the fridge of a married guy?’ I just loved this response. It begged a follow-up question because this could mean he took the photo at an appliance store, he just got out of jail, or he is actually married and this is from his love shack.

It turned out he had just purchased a new home near the shore and simply had not moved in yet. We quickly transitioned to the meeting phase and had some great conversations about his recent decision to move and why he chose the location. And we discussed what the answers to my refrigerator question could tell about someone.

There are no right or wrong answers to the question ‘What is in your refrigerator right now?’. It really depends on what you are looking for and what resonates with you. From my perspective, an over 40 single mom with two teens and an ex-husband, there are things I am looking for and things I am avoiding. Please note that there is no formula to this, it is just my view based on my experience. And I am usually right.

Image: Flickr

Lee Norwood

Lee is a single mother of two teens, a top-ranked medical sales rep, an online dating expert and a maven for the over 40 space. New to the online scene, she is a writer, a beauty blogger and someone who knows the value of time. Laugh with Lee as she lives our loud. Check out her website or follow her on Twitter.


And now for the answers...

what does it all mean?



  1. Tons of leftovers in Tupperware- This is an okay answer for me. My next question would be, "do you cook?" wow! "What leftovers are they?" Tons may mean he/she cooks for many people or that they cook for the entire week on one day (my super healthy friend M does this and I am in awe of her ability to focus and complete this week after week...she has the great body to prove that if you plan to eat well, you will- the bitch). Tupperware means that either their mother raised them right, or that she is still raising them. DANGER for me as a woman looking for a man! I would really need to know who made the food and why they have so much Tupperware.
  2. Beer, tuna and some packets of hot sauce from Taco Bell- For me, this reads lonely, underachiever and someone who eats out often (and at fast food restaurants). This refrigerator is simply not evolved enough for me. Some men may see this as an opportunity to easily take care of this person and be able to impress the with little effort. Some women may love to take care of this man who lives on canned things. Not me. I read career bachelor because if this person has kids, and most do in the segment in which I am dating, this is simply an unforgivable lack of nutrition and I will run, not walk to the nearest exit. Yes. I. Am. Judging...but come on we need to be able to get through the profiles to find our own gem! Next.
  3. Protein shakes, eggs, grilled chicken, and some veggies- Immediately I see the commercial for the workout place where the muscular guy says, "I pick things up and put them down." A great fridge profile for women and men looking for that fit partner! Sure, I get Shape magazine, but I am well past dreaming that I will ever look like Julianne Hough or Channing Tatum. The healthy twist on this icebox is appealing, but I need to do further research to understand whether or not chips, salsa, queso and a margarita will ever be on the menu. Healthy lifestyle- check! Raw eggs and HGH-not!
  4. Romaine lettuce, strawberries, Lamb shank marinating in a new flavor and fingerling potatoes- Wow! This over 40 single mom has dreamed of the man who can cook and who loves to be creative in the kitchen. The dream has often evolved into not even eating and pushing all the food off the table to ......... Ok, I have it back together now. But this answer also needs a little more sleuthing. From a woman's perspective, I read metrosexual. If you are into that, then this is a good one! If you are a bit nervous that this person may be a little over-perfect, follow up with, "Do you organize your spice rack?" Yes to that question for me? RUN RUN RUN it may be like sleeping with the enemy! Or it could be that this is a very creative person who simply loves to cook. I say yes to this answer. For men, this answer could mean she is a great cook or it could mean that she is completely into nesting and a family and if you are not into that, she is not for you.
  5. Nothing- Of all of the answers, this one has the most room for interpretation. Nothing because you don't care to answer and play my little question game? Nothing because you just returned from a great trip in Europe? Nothing because you are a person who cannot or does not want to cook and that is just who you are? Or nothing because you are very recently separated and do not know what you are going to do other than look for a new person to take care of you. The best nothing answer came to me just last month and the photo is above. Turns out, this is a very interesting person and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

I would love to know what great questions you have asked and answered! You may reach me at or @theleeoutloud or