by Jake McMillan
First dates can be nerve-wracking and awkward at times and even if conversation is free-flowing, it is always good to have some questions in your back pocket just in case there is a stutter in conversation and/or you want to get to know the person a bit better. Internet searches on this subject will bring back a lot of questions to use that are, in reality, not very good as they are trying to be too clever, too relationship-focused or just too lame (e.g. what is your star sign?).
A good question to ask on a first date is one that helps you get to know the other person better in a relaxed manner as well as keeping conversation flowing in an interesting and fun way.
So here are some suggestions of good questions to ask your date:
(note: you don’t need to use all of them, or in any particular order, but do ask them at relevant moments and be ready to answer the question yourself too)
1. What movies do you hate?
Don’t be cynical, asking about movies is really good as it doesn’t seem like a personal question, but actually the movies we love and hate reveal a lot about us. The characters and stories we are drawn to or repulsed by are often quite insightful to our own personalities, our aspirations and our morals. However, if you ask someone what their favourite movie is, they will be put under pressure to say something acceptable and will often say a film they like a lot that is generally perceived to be cool and interesting rather than their actual favourite which is usually a more personal choice.
Asking someone what movies they hate is a much easier and more fun question to answer and can lead very comfortably conversation-wise to movies they enjoy or have seen recently. For example, my answer to this question is ‘Mamma Mia’ and this often leads to great discussion and banter.
2. Who do you admire or look up to?
This seems like a question about someone else, but actually it reveals a lot about the person by highlighting the attributes they have or would like to have themselves. Warning, do not throw this question in willy nilly, make sure it is appropriate/relevant to your conversation or it will seem too obvious you are probing and put the person under pressure.
3. What is your favourite swear word?
I think the more general question of ‘what is your favourite word?’ is a good question, but perhaps more appropriate with friends. On a date, you want to make things interesting, fun and maybe a little bit provocative now and again. How someone answers this question can also be very revealing. Someone more straight-laced may struggle with it, but someone fun and free will get stuck into this question.
My answer to this question is ‘bollocks’, there is just something great about how you can say it. If you have been having flirty conversation, you might answer, for example, by saying that you like a nice ‘fuck’ now and again. Use of the c-bomb should be cautioned, however.
4. Are your friends with mostly men or women?
This is a good lead into them talking about their friends and the people that are important to them. Also, it can lead to the person talking about how their own gender perceives them. You can follow up with, ‘Who is your best friend?’, ‘Can men and women every really be friends?’. Yes, is the answer to the latter.
5. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
This does seem like a very average mundane/lame question to ask, but it can be a great conversation starter. Their answer actually doesn’t really matter as if you have different views then you can have a fun discussion about why which animal is best. If someone doesn’t like either, then this again reveals something about them. If they do have a preference, then this will lead them onto talking about a favourite pet and this is a good positive emotion to bring out.
6. Do you have a favourite birthday?
This is another positive emotion type question that can really open up a conversation. It will inevitably lead them to describe the birthday and why it was so good (revealing about themselves) as well as leaving lots of great opportunities for follow up questions.
7. Do you remember your first kiss?
This is a good question as I have not come across anyone who does not remember their first kiss and also introduces the thought of the act of kissing in a completely inoffensive way. The first kiss, regardless or whether it was good or bad, is normally a fun and nice memory to talk about and will open the door to related topics.
8. Do you have bendy ears?
I know, I know, this seems like a mad question, but try it and see it what happens. Some people have more bendy ears (as in they can be folded) as the cartilage in the ear is not as rigid. This is a fun thing to ask and get them to do as if you do it right, then you will get them to feel your ear and/or you feeling them. This is a fun and non-sexual way of introducing bodily contact. It also often leads to demonstrations of other odd things people can do with their bodies.
9. Who do you take after most, your mum or your dad?
This is a good lead into finding out about their family, but also will inadvertently get them to reveal the traits about themselves. If they say a bit of both (which is common) then ask them which traits they get from which.
10. Do you say either (pronounced ‘e-tha’) or either (‘i-tha’)?
This is actually a silly joke question as whatever answer they say, you will answer, ‘but which one?’ If they look confused, follow up with ‘do you say neither (‘knee-tha’) or neither (‘ny-tha’)?’ Although a silly question, how the person responds will show what sort of sense of humour they have.
10 Things Not To Do On A First Date
Internet First Dates
Bad Things To Say On A First Date (personal experiences)
A New Low In Ridiculous Things To Say On A First Date
Getting The Girl To Pay For Dinner