In the midst of all the different adventures in our lives, first dates are one common experience we can all relate to. Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for the date or looking for the nearest exit when you’re actually on it (oops), this is an inevitable step in the process of learning about someone new.
Aside from the fact that you already know what your date’s hobby is from his fishing photo in 2014 or how she celebrated her grandma’s 85th birthday from her last tweet, it becomes hard to create meaningful conversation in person when our lives are highlighted online. While you shouldn’t ask all of these questions at once (because this is a date and not an interview), here are six conversation starters that will help you discover who your date is — without the filters and captions that make it difficult.
1. How would you describe your family and friends?
Let’s be honest — you are who you surround yourself with. Thus, your date telling you about those closest to him or her will give you insight on what he or she deems important. If his friends are outgoing, he probably is as well — and if her sibling relationship is a close one, she most likely views family as a priority.
While we can’t assume that everything can be so easily categorized, the way your date talks about his or her loved ones is a great indication of the type of person he or she is also looking to love in the future.
2. What’s your dream vacation?
Although you might be someone who bases the quality of a trip on the view of the city skyline from your 5-star hotel room (you deserve nothing less, obviously), your date could be living for the crackling of a campfire in the middle of the woods. By identifying your partner’s ultimate adventure, you’ll have a better idea of how open he or she is to exploring the world and how compatible he or she is to being a part of yours.
3. Do you like your job?
Not to be confused with the typical question of what your date’s job is, this approach offers you the chance to learn how your date feels about what he or she does for 40+ hours per week. Does he love his job because he impacts children? Is she focused on a side hustle because she actually wants to be an entrepreneur?
As a simple question that calls for a detailed answer, you’ll not only gain knowledge on what your date’s passion is, but also on what his or her goals are — and where your own lifestyle and career can fit in the mix.
4. What do you read?
No matter how many times your date compliments your dog (because you can only like someone as much as your dog does) or laughs at your sarcastic jokes (who wouldn’t?), your effort to ask about his or her reading habits is another way to obtain perspective on who he or she is.
Maybe she reads every article that’s based on her zodiac sign — or maybe he claims to be the number one fan of every sci-fi novel instead. Through hearing what your date does (or doesn’t) read, you’ll have a greater scope of his or her imagination and level of willingness to feed it (and how it relates to your own!).
5. What do you consider before making a decision?
As we’ve learned from the five love languages, your awareness of how you love is just as crucial as your ability to know how your partner wants to be loved. While you could be driven by the feeling that gives you butterflies, your date may base his or her actions on the facts that make a decision logical.
Whether you believe your compatibility is with someone who is more logical than emotional (or vice versa), it’s essential to acknowledge what your date says to this question — and decide from there if you’re able to accept the answer.
6. What makes you happy?
Despite the responses your date has given to these questions, his or her reactions while answering them are also key to getting to know your date. From claiming happiness as the freedom to sleep in to stating it as the sight of a clean home, our opinions of this particular feeling are different.
Even though the concept of happiness is universal, the consideration of what it means varies based on our priorities. Thus, discerning what makes your date happy as an individual will give you an idea of what your happiness could look like as a potential couple.