Charlotte Bridge

Acing a first date: The top 10 first date questions

Let’s face it, first dates can be nerve racking. You’ve found someone who’s caught your attention online and you want your connection to be enhanced when you meet for the first time. In order to help your date run as smoothly as possible we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 first date questions to combat the nerves and let attraction prevail.

According to The Washington Post, who analyzed data from a Stanford University and University of California in Santa Barbara study about successful dates, both men and women feel more connected to their date when they indicate sincere and candid opinions. The study showed that men felt less connected to a woman when she gave vague answers to questions and indicated that responses like ‘kind of’ and ‘maybe’ were a huge put off. Surprisingly, the data revealed that women felt more connected to men when they were interrupted by them because it demonstrated that the man was actually paying attention to what they were saying.

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This suggests then, that a successful first date comes from a true connection between individuals portraying honest and clear opinions to one another. In order to enable this connection, what to talk about on a first date is fundamental. Here are the top 10 first date questions to help you on your way, we have split them into two types of questions; 5 questions to establish the personality fundamentals of your date and 5 questions to discover some interesting anecdotes about one another.

So who will you be spending that all important first date with? How does the matchmaking process work?

Our top 10 favorite first date questions

Establishing the personality fundamentals

1. Ask something personal

EliteSingles Psychologist Salama Marine explains, “My little trick is to pick something unusual or funny from your date’s profile. Start by asking about that! Firstly, your date will be pleased that you remember a tiny, personal detail about them, and secondly, it’s a good way to start a conversation, and show that you’re really interested in them as a person.“ This then, is the perfect ice breaker. If you spotted something original in your date’s profile, begin the conversation with that and it’s likely to calm any nerves you both might have and enable the conversation to flow more naturally.

2. What tickles you?

According to a research article on the significance of laughter on Psychology Today, ‘[laughter] is a hidden language that we all speak. Laughter bonds us through humor and play.’ This sentiment was corroborated by a poll of EliteSingles members, in which 67% of women chose laughter as the most important factor of a successful first date. Similarly, 40% of men have the same expectation. It is evident then, that individuals look for laughter in a partner. On a first date, find out what tickles them and then you’ll get a sense of their character and how they work. This will also lighten the mood and take some of the pressure off typical to first dates.

3. Where has been your favorite place to live?

Finding out where someone has lived can reveal a lot about what kind of person they are. While many find someone who is widely travelled very attractive (in fact it came out as the most sought after quality in the opposite sex in a recent EliteSingles members survey of attractive hobbies), others enjoy their home comforts and seek those who do too. Establishing what interests your date through this question will indicate your compatibility and undoubtedly reveal an interesting story or two.

4. Are you an outdoorsy person?

Establishing whether your date has a passion for the great outdoors is another one of those first date questions designed to check – subtly – how well their lifestyle might be compatible with yours. Quality time spent on a mountain trek or epic cycling adventure is only ‘quality’ if you’re both interested in it. As a result, it’s good to cover this ground early on, before your partner wants to embark on a sunrise hike while you want to slob out on the sofa. 

5. What do you love most about your job?

What to talk about on a first date sometimes means covering the basics, and of course one of the classic first date questions is finding out what you both do for a living. A typical opener to the dating ritual; establishing your date’s career is unavoidable. Why not give this conversation a more interesting twist by asking them specifically what makes them love their job? As a result, you will receive a much more personal, thoughtful response which may inspire a more natural and stimulating conversation away from the mundane reciting of their daily routine.

Got a first date lined up and feeling the nerves?  Try our  First Date Tips

Discovering the interesting anecdotes

6. What was the scariest moment of your life?

Why not get to know your date a bit more intimately by discovering what scares them. Sharing tales that you don’t usually reveal is also a great way to understand someone’s character and create a bond between the two of you. Perhaps in this circumstance, you should consider sharing your own story first, thus making your date feel comfortable and at ease about revealing their own vulnerabilities and get you moving away from the forced small talk, common to dating culture.

7. What’s on your bucket list?

If you’re not particularly keen on steering the conversation towards awkward moments past, why not instead look to the future and find out what your date’s passionate about doing before they die. It is one of the more interesting classic first date questions and enables you a good insight into your date and what matters to them. Not only can you then focus the conversation on each other’s genuine passions, but you might just stumble across a mutual interest in something that you could potentially do together.

8. What’s your happiest memory?

According to Dale Carnegie, author of How to win friends and influence people, ‘To be interesting, be interested.’ The question of your happiest memory is a good example of a way in which to create a feeling of intimacy between you and your date as well as lifting some of the pressure of a date atmosphere and enabling a softer side to come through. It is a great opportunity to discover more about your date’s past and also reveal a more sensitive side; ultimately making the  conversation more interesting.

9. What do you like to eat?

These days, food can be a deal breaker when it comes to relationships. While more and more people opt into the healthy, gluten-free, vegan lifestyle, others maintain the timeless love for a well cooked steak and glass of red wine. For some individuals this is not an issue but for others, disagreements on food can send instant alarm bells ringing. It’s probably best to establish this early on, before your choice of restaurant for your next date turns into a disastrous anecdote you tell your friends at the bar.

10. Are you a dog lover or a cat lover?

Another potential deal breaker and a favorite when it comes to first date questions; discovering if your date is a cat or a dog person is an early sign of your compatibility. People form a tight bond with their pets and connecting new partners with them can be challenging. Preempt any doubts by establishing early on whether your date is the type to have a cat sleeping at the end of the bed or has an insufferable allergy.

Looking for inspiration? Try our Fun Date Ideas

These ten first date questions have been split so that you can establish your date’s fundamental personality and standpoints as well as some more personal anecdotes and witty stories about themselves. As the ‘Stanford University and University of California in Santa Barbara study about successful dates’ suggests, a genuine connection on a date is formed through honest, interesting opinions and these questions provide a platform for this. They combine the right mix of light-heartedness and learning to provide a good image of your date’s character, lifestyle and ambitions, subsequently indicating your compatibility. While it is useful to prepare a little in advance for a first date in order to enhance your confidence, it is also important to trust your instincts and let the conversation flow in its natural direction. Create an environment where you can really get to know one another and you'll never be stuck for what to talk about on a first date again.

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