By the end of a first date, there is one main question that begs to be answered – and it’s a question for you, not your date: “Do I want to get to know this person better?” To answer this question for yourself, you’ll need to ask your date some questions. Here are three that can give you some important insights:
“How do you spend your time when you’re not working?”
To share your life path with someone, it’s important to enjoy doing some things together (even if it is just having personally meaningful conversations) and to support each other in your individual interests.
By having both of these elements in place, you will not only like the time you spend together and have the chance to grow as a couple along the way, but you will also be helping each other grow personally.
Of course, you can’t figure all of this out on the first date, but you can get a sense of whether there is a possibility for a supportive, shared life. Spend some time talking about your interests, too, and consider whether your date feels a genuine interest in listening to you and support for what you do.
“Can you tell me more about what you just said?” or, “What do you like about that?”
To have any possible future together, you must feel intrigued enough that you want to spend time with your date again. Broad, open-ended questions can help with this.
You need to learn a bit about the facts or details of their life and get a sense of their personality. They might look good “on paper” and even share engaging stories or have interesting hobbies, but something in their manner might turn you off. So, it’s important to get them talking and then listen to their responses – both what they say and how they say it.
“What would your perfect life be?” or, “What are your dreams?” (You might even follow up with: “What makes that so wonderful?” or, “Do you have plans to work toward that?”)
A first date is not too soon to get a basic sense of whether you share similar or compatible priorities and values. Though there is nothing wrong with just having a good time, that’s not enough to share a happy life together. You can learn about someone’s values by asking questions such as these.
Keep in mind that this is just a first pass at getting to know each other – you don’t need to have this all figured out on your first date. But why not take the opportunity to find these things out now? Getting some answers upfront can help save you time and energy if the match isn’t a good one; and if the match possibly worth taking that proverbial “leap of faith,” now you’ve got a running start.
Entries for the Relationships blog are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.