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The Best First Date Questions for a Great Conversation

by eharmony Editorial Team - June 24, 2021

First dates are a lot like job interviews, except the eventual potential for reward? Much, much higher. Which is why first date questions are so important; good first date questions are a way to connect with your date and figure out if he or she is interested. Asides from being a good way to get to know the other person better, a good first date conversation let you know if there’s potential for a second date. That’s why it’s very important to know what kind of questions to ask on a first date. So, what are examples of first date questions that work?

1. I’ve been watching X. Any good movies or TV shows?

With the number of streaming services, and amount of content on each, there’s a fairly good chance this question will come in handy, especially if you’re a TV buff. And if you’re not, it’s a great way to get recommendations!

Note: Watching a movie one or both of you hasn’t seen is a great idea for a later date.

2. Is there any food you don’t eat?

With many first dates at restaurants, this is a natural question to ask. It’s also good to know, both for future date purposes and safety purposes; you wouldn’t, for instance, take someone with a known shellfish allergy to Red Lobster.

Pro tip: Follow up by asking what the most memorable dish they’ve ever eaten was; you’re guaranteed to hear some great stories!

3. What kind of vacations do you like to take?

Asking someone what their last vacation was is one of the most fraught first date questions even in non-pandemic times. Asking what they’d like to do, instead, gives you an insight into their personality. Are they the relax-on-the-beach type, or the explore-all-day type? Do they like to rough it, or is it five star all the way? It might even give you ideas for future vacations together!

Pro tip: Asking about dream destinations or ideal vacations are great follow up first date questions!

4. What makes you laugh?

In virtually every study of ‘what singles want in a partner,’ a good sense of humor ranks high. No matter the season of life they’re in, single men and women want a partner who can bring levity and lightness to the relationship.

Note: Discovering the kinds of things that make your partner laugh will tell you about their personality and outlook on life.

5. What are your relationship dealbreakers?

While this might seem like a harsh question, it’s important – especially if you’re looking for a long-term relationship – to lay your cards on the table. If one of you wants kids and other doesn’t, or one loves the nomadic lifestyle and the other can’t wait to put down roots, it’s best it come up in a first date conversation rather than an argument years down the line.

Pro tip: Think about what your dealbreakers are, whether kids, living conditions, or politics, and you’ll be better to answer this question when it’s your turn.

6. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn?

You never know what hidden depths your date might have. Maybe he is secretly fascinated by Ancient Egyst, or maybe she would love to know more about marine biology. Asking about learning when it comes to first date questions not only demonstrates intellectual curiosity, it might just net you a long-term study buddy!

Pro tip: Deepen the conversation with a question about their favorite subject in school, or a teacher they either loved or hated.

7. Do you have any odd talents?

This one is a little off the wall, but that’s the point! People are unique, and you never know what charming talent – writing backwards, cutting onions without crying (jealous!) or playing the piano upside down – your date might have.

Pro tip: Asking if there’s something your date is proud of is a great complement to this slightly off the wall nature of this first date question.

8. ’Would You Rather…’

This old standby is a classic for a reason. It’s a great way to assuage your curiosity, and can offer a fun conversational rabbit hole to fall into. Examples: Would you rather have many casual friends, or a few close ones? Would you rather live in a cabin in Alaska or an apartment in NYC? Would you rather have a fast car or a fast Internet connection?

Pro tip: Other classic games like ‘Never Have I Ever’ also work great for first date questions. You never know what you might find out!

9. Where is ‘home’?

Everyone can rattle off where they currently live and where they’ve traveled before now, but the definition of ‘home’ can widely differ from where they currently pay rent. Is ‘home’ where he/she was raised? Where family lives? Where certain adventures were had?

Note: This first date conversation allows you to get to where their heart is tied to.

10. What do your Saturdays usually look like?

How discretionary time is used says a lot about a person, so don’t hesitate to ask this question on your first date. If someone works on their ‘day off,’ they might be highly career-oriented…or maybe a workaholic. If someone spends the day coaching a kids’ soccer team, it’s a good bet they love sports, enjoy kids and want to help others excel. If someone watches TV and plays video games all day, somebody enjoys their free time relaxing and doing nothing at all.

Note: This question is a must, considering not all of your time spent together in a long-term relationship can be candlelit and wine-filled.

11. What’s your big passion?

This first date question gets to the core of a person’s being. If your date responds with “I dunno,” that might be a red flag that he or she isn’t passionate about anything. But you’re likely to get valuable insight from the person who answers —from traveling and their children to rock climbing or their church — that give you insight into their value system.

Pro tip: Follow up with questions about why the person become so passionate about this particular endeavor or emphasis.

12. Do you have a special place you like to visit regularly?

We’ve all got our go-to spots that keep luring us back, whether they are funky coffee shops, scenic hiking trails, or relaxing weekend getaway locales. Your date may have a local park that they frequent or a European city that’s been a regular destination.

Note: Learning where your partner likes to go asking this first date question will provide insight into the person’s tastes and temperament.

13. What’s the most interesting job you’ve ever had?

No matter where they are in the career ladder, chances are your date will have at least one unusual or intriguing job to tell you about. Which will give you a chance to share about your own most fascinating work experience.

Note: Though lighthearted, this first date question gives your could-be partner the opportunity to exercise their storytelling abilities.

14. Do you have a dream you’re pursuing?

At any stage of life, dreams should be nurtured, cultivated, and acted on. Hopefully, you have dreams for your future, whether they involve career achievement, world travel, volunteerism or artistic expression. You want to know if the dreams of your date mesh with your own.

Pro tip: Listen closely to discern if your dreams are compatible and complementary.

15. Who are the most important people in your life?

The more long-term or serious a relationship gets, the less it’s just about that one person and more about the people they love. Asking about family and friends on the first date isn’t just a great way to indicate that this isn’t just a casual thing, it’s also a great way to watch for dating red flags – in the way they talk about parents, siblings, relatives or friends, for instance, or how they only have stories that are filled with Drama.

Pro tip: Finding out about their relationships with family and friends will give you insight on how any relationship with you might work and is one of the best questions to ask on a first date!

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What not to ask on your first date

Just as there are good questions to ask on a first date, there are some topics you should avoid. For example, questions that are too personal or simply asked too early. Since they’re better than a bucket full of cold water at snuffing out any heat between you two. A non-exhaustive list of first date topics that are better not broached at all:

  • Why did your last relationship end?
  • Do you always eat/drink this much?
  • Anything about sex.
  • How much they earn, or if they own their own house.
  • Tell me about yourself

Always be prepared, it’s important for a good first date

While eharmony’s unique Compatibility Matching System does a lot of the work when it comes to finding someone to connect with, actually doing so is in your hands. First date questions can make or break the night, and by extension decide whether the relationship is worth pursuing. So, after you’ve let eharmony find you someone special for date #1, be sure to come prepared and you’ll be that much closer to date #2.

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