Creating Closeness on a First Date

You are excited about meeting your date for the first time.  After exchanging a few emails, you think this date has potential and you want it to go well.  Meeting someone for the first time can  cause some anxiety especially if you are unsure of what to say.  Research shows that some questions and conversations are better at enhancing connectedness in a budding relationship than others. 

In a series of studies, participants were paired with someone they did not know before (Aron et al., 1997).  Then they were given a set of questions or conversation topics used to either enhance closeness between the pair or be neutral small-talk questions.  Pairs who interacted in the closeness condition, compared to those in the neutral, small-talk condition, felt significantly closer to their partners after 45 minutes of conversation.

Questions and statements used in the experimental condition were chosen specifically to be personal or focused on the other person.  And in the study, topics of conversation got gradually more intimate, so no need to jump into the most intimate or personal questions right off the bat. 

Click here to read examples of questions you might try and a few you can leave at home.

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