Dear Rabbi,

I’m traveling next week and reached out to a gentleman in the area I’m visiting. We’re going to meet for a drink, but now I’m wondering the best way to ask for his last name. We have not exchanged cell phone numbers yet and have only emailed a couple of rounds on JDate. Is there a courteous way to ask him for his last name without sounding awkward?

Thanks so much,
-What’s in a Name?


Dear What’s in a Name,

I’m honestly surprised at your question. You’re willing to meet a stranger in person, but you’re reluctant to ask him for his last name?

I don’t get it. Why is asking for a person’s last name awkward in any way? Introducing yourself with your first and last name is an accepted practice, unless you don’t trust the person you’re speaking to. If that’s the case, then I would strongly recommend not meeting him in person.

You see what I’m saying? Just ask the guy what his last name is! It’s really not a big deal. If he refuses to provide it, then you’ve got something to worry about.

Once you have his last name (I assume you already have his real first name) I would type it right into Google and do some research just to make sure you’re making the right choice by meeting him. I’m sure he’ll Google you too. Nothing wrong with that.

Are we clear? Do your homework and stay safe.

Good Luck!


Rabbi Arnie Singer offers dating and relationship advice on both of his sites: and He is the author of From I to I Do: How to Meet, Date and Marry Your Mr. Right.
  1. Dear Rabbi Singer,

    My only problem with asking a man for his last name (before meeting) is that he then asks me for mine. I don’t want a total stranger finding out where I live. I need to meet a man at least once or twice before I would feel comfortable and safe revealing that much. How do you suggest I answer his question without sounding insulting?


  2. I disagree. Asking for someones last name before you even have met them is strange. There is no need to do that. (unless off course you need a background check. If you both agree to meet in a safe place then and only then if you like the guy perhaps on the second or third date you should ask. Asking right from the start can appear like your stalking. Why make the first impression any harder.

  3. In this internet age who has time to stalk you? Even if you are a super pornstar I doubt if anyone stalks you.
    Thanks to HD porn, gone are those stalking days.

    Why do you need his last name? Are you offering him a job? wanna do criminal check?
    I doubt if he gonna ask your last name.
    Believe me 99.9% guys don’t care about you- let alone stalking. You are one among billions.

  4. Well, I got verbally abused by an online bloke, practically, after asking for his last name after a first date and weeks of communication – so yes, people can be tetchy over their surnames. I didn’t even (want to) background-check him; I was just naturally curious. Given everybody else in the world [*sarcasm*] has no hang-up when somebody asks for a surname after getting acquainted (and, in fact, find it a sign of interest), I didn’t think much of it. Now I’ll be mega-cautious.

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