There are a million ways to have a bad first date. Energies don't align. Perhaps a romantic gesture doesn't land. Maybe one of you starts crying about an ex—anyone else? No?
As much time as you spend preparing your outfit, selecting the perfect scent, painting your face… you might consider budgeting that time to prepare for the thing that matters most—first-date conversation.
After rigorous research and perhaps a little too much real-life experience, here are some of the most important topics to avoid—and what to focus on instead. With this list, you should be able to prevent most of those cringe-worthy moments, and the awkward silences in between.
Question 1: Why did your last relationship end?
The first moments spent getting to know each other should focus on just that, each other. This question does the exact opposite.
For one, you don't know if they just got out of a really bad relationship and are still reeling from it—or if they have no interest in focusing on the past when the present is happening right in front of you. And what if they’ve never been in a relationship?
Instead of asking someone why it didn’t work out with their ex, try taking a more positive approach. "What do you think makes a good partner?" Or, "what qualities do you find most appealing?" That way, they'll have an opportunity to tell you what they value most in others without getting into specifics about themselves or their past relationships. They'll also get an opportunity to learn more about you.
Question 2: How did you vote in the last election?
You don’t know anything about this person—why would you want to dive into something divisive? Smells a little bit like self-sabotage.
You'll have plenty of time to figure out if this person is right for you after you've gotten to know each other better. Our advice is that you let politics wait until the third date.
Question 3: How many sexual partners have you had?
Frankly, this question is elementary.
Asking someone how many sexual partners they've had is, in essence, asking them to quantify their worth and value as a person based on the number of people they've slept with. It assumes that your own value as a person isn't affected by whether or not you enjoy sex with someone else or not—it's just about the number of people you've slept with!
Plus, it’s none of your business. Simple as that.
Question 4: What’s your type?
It’s tempting to want to immediately get inside a date’s head, hope they’re totally into you, and understand what they’re thinking to make sure we fit into their arbitrary box. But putting them on the spot probably won’t end in honesty, especially if they don't want to describe something you're not. Physical attraction is ultimately one small part of what makes up a relationship.
You know that cliché life advice that makes you cringe but is actually useful? Here it is. Be yourself, go with the flow, and if a second date happens it's because… y’all want it to.
Now, the question that's absolutely essential for first-date success:
You’re past the jitters. You’re digging your date, the conversation’s rolling, and now it’s time for something juicer:
Do you wear your pajamas multiple times in a row or change them every night?
If you lean towards the silly side, you’ll want someone who can get down with the non-sequiturs. A question like this is an easy way to determine whether or not they have the same sense of humor. Studies show that relationships last longer when both partners share the same sense of humor. If they don't laugh—or if they get defensive—it’s a good indication they’re probably not your match.
If you er on the more serious side and prefer to dig deeper, try a question like this:
If you could improve at something or learn something new, what would it be?
Material like this is great for those who want to get below the surface quickly and start to really figure out compatibility upfront. With this type of inquiry, you can learn a lot about your date in a short amount of time, and if all goes well, it may spark deeper, more fulfilling conversations that lead to a deeper attraction for both of you right off the bat.
We wish you all the positive dating vibes... you deserve all the love in the world.