Rideshare rules can, at times, seem a little murky. While Uber has clearly stated policies, they don’t cover every situation that might occur. Along with those policies, some common-sense rules have not been written into a universal rideshare guidebook. Since there is no clear guidance, we search online with Google or on Uber forums for answers to questions like: Can my Uber driver make a phone call while driving, should they be eating, or even is it appropriate to ask a passenger out?
Can your Uber driver ask you out? Technically, yes, your Uber driver can ask you (their passenger) out on a date if they want to. However, it is frowned upon as it is not professional and may potentially make the passenger uncomfortable. This behavior may lead to complaints about a driver or perhaps low passenger ratings, which can affect their chances of getting assigned passengers in the future.
The debate on this topic in online forums is not one-sided. Uber drivers are human beings, not driving robots, and every once in awhile, they might meet someone and make an immediate connection. In this situation, who are we to forbid them for investigating that spark?
Even then, there is widespread agreement that unless that undeniable spark is 100% mutual (and unfortunately, the odds are likely that it is not), following the urge to ask for a date is perceived as a little creepy or inappropriate.
The Argument Against Uber Drivers Asking out their Passengers
Let’s better understand the reasoning behind “No, your Uber driver should not ask you out!” This notion that Uber drivers should not ask out their passengers stems from the concern of comfort level of the passenger, as well as the knowledge that both drivers and passengers are allowed to rate the other party, based on their experiences. Here are some of the reasons most people agree Uber and Lyft drivers should not ask their passengers out on a date
It is generally accepted as unprofessional to ask someone out on a date while on ‘the job.’ If it would be inappropriate to ask out a customer ordering their Big Mac at the McDonalds drive-thru or to ask out your Airbnb guest, then we can apply this same rule to an Uber driver and passenger. It generally is looked upon as ‘not cool’ to do. A professional driver should avoid taking any action that might lead a passenger to conclude they are bad at or ill-suited for the job.
Uncomfortable for the Passenger
In addition to giving the appearance of being unprofessional, asking your passenger out may well make the stranger in the back seat of your car extremely uncomfortable. Yes, you might have enjoyed an exciting get-to-know-you conversation with your new rideshare passenger. However, they are still a customer, and you are there to provide transportation service for them.
The second you step beyond the agreed-to role of driver, you find yourself squarely in the middle of ‘uncomfortable’ territory, especially when it comes to Male drivers asking out Female passengers.
Women already have some reservations about the safety of rideshare services and getting into a strangers car. Having the driver ask them out on a date, knowing they are stuck in a car for the next 10-minutes may well be a nightmare scenario for some women.
Low Rating Risk
If the person you (the Uber driver) just asked out is sufficiently creeped out by this gesture, as opposed to being flattered and enamored (as I’m sure you hope they are), they may give you a 1-star rating as a reward for this unwanted gesture. Too many 1 star ratings may lead to a lack of work for you, which is a risk when you consider there are about 7 billion people on this planet, and you could ask anyone else out (aside from your Uber passenger).
Not only that, your passenger may feel obliged to answer “yes” purely because of this rating system. Is a bold Uber driver who just asked out their passenger going to give that person a good rating if the answer was no? This situation seems unfair and puts pressure on someone else who may already be involved in a relationship, or are not interested.
An Argument For Uber Drivers Being Allowed to Ask Their Passengers on a Date
We’re going to flip the switch now and dive into the reasons people argue Uber drivers should most certainly be allowed to ask out their passengers if that is what their hearts so desire. This argument appeals more to the heart than the mind.
Because of Love!
Let’s just cut to the chase here. The top reason people argue that an Uber driver should be allowed to ask out their passenger is that love can happen in the most unlikely of places. In today’s culture of ghosting, and meeting creeps on Tinder, maybe getting asked out by your Uber driver isn’t the worst way for love to blossom!
As I mentioned before, Uber drivers are flesh and blood human beings, loving feelings included. Since we can’t necessarily control who we are attracted to, it might be unfair to suggest that an Uber driver shouldn’t speak up if they feel some special connection they think could lead to a lifelong relationship. Let’s be honest. Stranger things have happened! Look at all the love connections that resulted from OkCupid!
Permission to Live Boldly
Some people found it offensive that an Uber driver shouldn’t have the right to ask someone out on the date if the feeling strikes them. They say that “fear” should not be a deterrent in someone not following their gut and asking a person out on a date, even if they are on the job. If you’ve seen the movie Yes Man, then you understand the importance of making a covenant with yourself to live boldly and say yes to all of life’s experiences. Why, then, should a poor Uber driver have to say no?
It’s Lonely Out there For an Uber Driver
One of the other reasons people cite Uber drivers asking out their passengers as being ‘okay’ is that driving for rideshare companies can be a lonely and isolating job. Also, if this is the only social interaction an Uber driver has throughout their day, how else are they suppose to meet a potential friend or significant other? Is it so different than that lonely guy at the bar who shows up like clockwork at 3 pm every day? He clearly must be looking for a friend! Shouldn’t he be allowed to have one?
For the Uber Driver’s Who HAVE to Ask Out Their Passenger
An Uber driver asking out their passenger should be a rare occurrence. Most people agree it’s not socially appropriate, and yet, we sometimes do strange things in the name of “love.”
Since asking out a passenger isn’t illegal, we’ve made some guidelines for that gutsy Uber driver out there to follow in the event cupid’s arrow does indeed strike. Should you find asking someone out absolutely imperative, please follow these set of rules:
Common Sense Manners to Follow When Asking out your Uber Passenger
- You may only ask them out at the very end of the ride. DO NOT ask for a date mid-drive, knowing you have a captive audience for the next 10 minutes.
- Only ask out your passenger if you feel the conversation was pleasant for both parties, and it’s clear that you have a good rapport. DO NOT spring that question on someone you did not speak with, but merely find attractive.
- If cupid’s arrow was less than generous and did not strike your passenger, and they decline your offer of a date, DO NOT MAKE IT WEIRD OR UNCOMFORTABLE. This rule should be applied whenever asking someone out, as you cannot hold it against them if they do not share your interest.
- Understand that “No” does genuinely mean “no.” Don’t let your ego get in the way and start asking things like, “but why?” or “how about just one date?” If they say no, gracefully accept their answer, wish them a great rest of their day and move on with your life.
The Key Takeaway
As a general rule, it is wise to go your entire Uber career without ever asking a passenger out on a date. You won’t feel awkward and rejected, and they won’t feel taken advantage of while trying to get home from the airport after a long trip with their future in-laws. Life is hard enough, right!? However, Uber drivers are people too, and if the spark of a real connection strikes, there is no law (or even official rule) that states they are not allowed to ask out a passenger who strikes their fancy.
So if you’re a love-struck Uber driver, use common sense tools to avoid seeming creepy. At least this way, your passenger will not be unduly made to feel uncomfortable, and there is always the possibility that the love-connection is mutual. Be kind, and be safe out there!