You’re on a first date. Whether you’ve already run through the list of standard first-date questions — What do you do for a living? What do you do for fun? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? — or are just looking to shake things up, conversation-wise, here are a few questions to have up your sleeve should your awkward silences need filling.
What’s your go-to meal when you’re home alone?
Everyone has an embarrassingly simple solution to eating solo at home. Does your date live off cereal when no one’s around? Does she have a takeout place on speed dial? Has he mastered the use-up-the-leftovers omelet? Or maybe he has a signature gourmet meal-for-one he can’t wait to whip up on quiet nights….
(Of course, hopefully this conversation will lead to a more in-depth discussion about culinary preferences and skill levels. Maybe the best cook makes dinner for Date #5?)
What’s your favorite thing about your hometown?
Childhood is a big topic to cover on Date #1, so keep it simple by sharing specific highlights instead of getting caught up in generic nostalgia.
Which book(s) have you read multiple times?
This might be different than your date’s current “favorite.” It could be a guilty pleasure, a nonfiction manual, a religious tome or a childhood classic. (Be ready to share yours, too.)
What’s on your bucket list?
This question gives your date plenty of freedom to share her dreams and interests with you. Her list could include travel plans, career goals, personal milestones, or adrenaline-junkie adventures. Or she could just be psyching herself up to finally try escargot.
What toppings are needed to create the perfect burger?
Assuming your date’s not a vegetarian, get the conversation going with a pretty innocent — but telling — question. You’ll discover how particular your date is about his food, how adventurous his palate is, and if you share a love (or hatred) of mustard.
Related: Describe the perfect sandwich, ice cream sundae, summer cocktail or four-course meal.
What’s the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever attended?
It’s easy to brag on first dates. Turn the tables and choose to share guilty pleasures instead. Tell on yourself. Some very respectable folks have been to Barry Manilow (and/or Yo Gabba Gabba) concerts.
If you had to drop a holiday from the calendar, which one would get the axe?
Instead of asking about favorite holidays, get your date to ditch one. It’s a tougher question, and forces the answer-giver to really evaluate how they celebrate holidays.
Related: If you could create a new holiday, what and when would it be?
When you start dating someone, who of your friends and family is first in line to meet the new guy/gal?
Who do they trust? Whose opinions matter most when it comes to approving of the new girl/guy? (If all goes well, will you be meeting mom and dad first, or the roommate?)
Do you read reviews, or just go with your gut?
Some people can’t go to the movies without reading multiple reviews first. Others can buy a brand-new vehicle without doing an iota of research. Find out which camp your date belongs in — and then admit you read restaurant reviews before making date reservations.
If you had to go back to school or learn a new skill, what would you want to learn?
Does he want to write his memoirs? Start his own business? Learn to sew? Does she wish she finished her masters? Learned Spanish when she was younger?
Talk about the skills you wish you had — and then maybe sign up for pottery class together.
If you have a favorite first date question, please share!