Whether you’re in the middle of a first date or just want to have more meaningful conversations, there are a few ways to get started.
These conversation starters will help you pique your date’s interest and make them feel more comfortable talking to you. They’ll also give you the opportunity to learn more about your date and what they enjoy doing in their spare time.
1. Ask about their day.
When it comes to first date conversation, you don’t want to get stuck on the dreaded “How was your day?” You want to find more interesting, engaging topics that help you learn more about each other and boost your connection.
Instead, explore conversation starters that go deeper into opinions, character traits, and interests. These will help you learn more about your partner and increase your chances of snagging a second date!
Whether you’re chatting about work or the commute, finding out their day will give you an idea of how they balance their personal and professional lives. It’s also a great way to get them to share their favorite parts of the day.
Another option is to ask them about their childhood. This will give you an idea of how they were as a child, what they liked and disliked about school, and their friendships from the past.
If your date isn’t into talking about their childhood, you can still bring up culture topics like music, movies, and sports. This will spark more conversations about things they enjoy and show them that you’re interested in their life outside of the home.
2. Ask about their hobbies.
Hobbies are a great way to get to know someone. Not only can they reveal some interesting aspects about your date’s personality, but they can also help you determine whether you have similar interests.
Whether it’s cooking, painting, or reading, you can ask about their hobbies to learn more about what makes them happy and how they spend their spare time. This can help you decide if they’re the right match for you.
This is one of the first questions you should ask on a first date, but it should be framed in a way that doesn’t sound too serious or invasive. You can ask if they’re into collecting stamps, if they enjoy playing sports, or if they’re interested in learning new things.
Another way to break the ice on your first date is to tell them a funny story. It will make them laugh, and it will also let you start to build rapport.
Hobbies can range from a simple hobby like reading books to something more creative, such as writing or making jewelry. There are also other hobbies that are more physical or involve a lot of activity, such as woodworking, photography, and moviemaking.
3. Ask about their family.
If you’re really serious about your date, you want to know if they have kids. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s a question that should be asked early on in the relationship.
If they have children, you’ll get a glimpse of what their family life is like. Asking about their siblings, how often they visit, and any special nicknames they have is a great way to learn more about them.
This is a popular first-date ice breaker and shows you’re interested in learning more about her family. However, it can also be a touchy subject to discuss on a first date.
As with all the questions listed here, it’s important to keep your tone light and friendly when asking about their family. It’s also a good idea to make sure your questions don’t feel invasive, says Tracy.
You don’t want to sound like an interviewer or too over-eager to be a good friend, but it’s crucial to get to know your date and their story. By asking them questions that are a little bit off-the-cuff, you’ll learn more about their personalities and values. That will help you decide if they’re right for you.
4. Ask about their interests.
Asking about their interests can open up a world of opportunity for you and your date. This can include discussing their favorite hobbies, sports teams, or events they’ve attended. It can also reveal if they have any aspirations or life goals that align with yours.
These questions are a good way to find out what they value most in life, advises Henry Cloud, PhD, coauthor of Boundaries in Dating. He suggests tapping into your date’s philosophical worldview and determining whether it’s compatible with your own values.
Another way to learn more about your date’s interests is by asking them about their travel plans. If she loves to go to different places, it’s a sign that she has some ambitions. If she doesn’t, that could indicate that she prefers staying in one place all the time.
These questions are a good way to keep the conversation flowing and get to know your date on a deeper level, says relationship expert Sarah Jones. It also gives them the chance to express themselves, she says.
5. Ask about their job.
Asking your date what their job is is a great way to open the conversation. The key is not to ask about their job for its own sake, but to get them to elaborate.
When they do, you’ll likely learn something new about their career path. And you’ll have a chance to talk about their values and what they’re looking for in life.
You might also learn how to work with their boss, or how their work ethic and attitude affects their team. This information can be invaluable when it comes to finding a good match, says Greer.
It also helps to see if you have similar career aspirations, which can be a great indicator of whether your goals are aligned and you’ll like each other.
If you’re not sure what to ask, try asking about their day or week. This will make it feel more natural for you to talk about their job, and they’ll feel like you’re really interested in them and what they have to offer.
It’s important to remember that first dates are a bit awkward, and they don’t always go smoothly. But if you keep your focus on the goal of meeting someone new, the experience can be enjoyable.
6. Ask about their friends.
In a six-year study of 736 middle-age Swedish men, having a friend was linked to a lower risk for heart attack and fatal coronary heart disease. Scientists believe that friendships provide many benefits, including logistical support (friends can run errands or pick up medicine for you), association (friends share interests and life experiences), and emotional support.
As a first date, asking about their friends can help you gauge their social life and whether you would like to be friends with them. It can also help you get a feel for their personality.
For example, if your date is a bookworm, you can ask them what their favorite books are. Or, if they like to travel, you could ask them about their favorite vacation.
You can also discuss their family. It’s always interesting to hear about their family members and what they were like as children. You can even start a conversation by asking about their siblings, how often they visit their parents, and any traditions or special nicknames.
It’s not always easy to know what to ask on a first date. The best thing you can do is ask open-ended questions that allow your date to express their true self, says Courtney Tracy, LCSW, PsyD, relationship expert and author of “How to Fall in Love With Anyone.”
7. Ask about their interests.
Talking about their interests can help you determine if they’re right for you. It’s a great way to learn more about them and see if there’s any common ground, according to relationship experts Sarah Jones, founder of Introverted Alpha, and Sameera Sullivan, CEO of Lasting Connections.
Besides, asking about their interests is a way to show your date that you’re interested in them. And, as a bonus, it can also help you avoid awkward lulls and keep the conversation flowing naturally, says Jones.
It’s also important to consider your own interests and what you enjoy talking about most. That way, you can come up with questions that are both fun and intriguing to discuss.
But, be sure to pick the right topic for the situation! You don’t want to end up talking about religion or politics if it doesn’t seem appropriate, and you also don’t want to focus too much on the negatives of their last relationship.
Instead, ask them what they enjoy doing in their free time, such as volunteering at a shelter or painting their house. This will help you learn more about their values and character traits, Jones and Sullivan say. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter that can reveal some unexpected details about them.