29 illuminating questions everyone should ask on a first date

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29 questions you should ask on a first dateAngel Santana

There can be a lot to think about before a first date, like where to go, what to wear and whether they might actually just be a walking ick.

Then, there's conversation topics. You don't want to go too heavy but also, you need to know whether you and this person might actually be compatible - beyond liking the same Netflix shows.

We asked three different dating experts to tell us their fav first date questions to help you get to know your partner with sounding like you're giving them the third degree.

So if you usually worry about what you’ll talk about, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with a whole list of great questions to ask, as well as expert commentary about why these questions will help you get to know your date a little better.

1. If you could travel anywhere, right now, where would you go?

"If the answer is 'nowhere', you’ve got yourself a hermit. If the question elicits a string of destinations, you’ll discover what excites and appeals to them," Elizabeth Kuhnke, author of Body Language: Learn How to Read Others and Communicate with Confidence says.

2. What’s something you want to learn/ get better at?

"This question would enable you to understand if the person wants to develop or better themselves and how. It might show the person's interests and aspirations - you can think about whether these align with yours and how you feel about it," Miranda Christophers, Relationship and Sex Therapist says.

3. What are you looking for at the moment?

“At Badoo, we’re all about being upfront when it comes to your intentions. Whether you’re actively looking for a partner, or just enjoying getting to know people and making connections, we’d always recommend communicating that from the start. We even have an intentions filter on the app so people can find others who are looking for the same thing,” explains Remy Le Fèvre, Senior Director of Marketing at dating app Badoo.

4. What's something I wouldn't guess about you?

"This question has a bit of mischievousness and flirtation about it, and you’re giving your date the freedom to reveal as much, or as little, as they want," Elizabeth says.

a man and woman embracing

5. What's your favourite place on Earth?

"This might help you get a glimpse of their lifestyle as it could indicate the places they want to go on holiday to or how they would like to live," Miranda says.

6. Tell me something you’ve not told anyone else

“On a first date you want to find a way to bond so what better way to do that than share a secret with one another? It can go in so many different ways depending on what’s on your date’s mind at that time, so it can be a really exciting question and likely cause some laughs - which is always a good way to lighten the mood!” says Remy.

7. What's your dream job?

"You’ll find out what motivates and inspires them, while discovering values and character qualities that may (or may not) match yours," Elizabeth says.

8. What's something you're proud of?

"This question can give insight into what is meaningful for them and might demonstrate their values. It's a chance for you to see their self-awareness, too," Miranda says.

9. If you didn’t have to work to support yourself, how would you spend your time?

"This tells you about the other person’s values and interests. If they don't match yours, better to know now than later on down the road," Elizabeth says.

10. What caught your eye about my profile?

“This is a question that gives the other person the perfect opportunity to compliment you - which you can then do in return by saying what you liked about their profile. Plus, the conversation will likely lead to other topics. For example, if it’s a shared interest in music you spotted, you can bond over that. Asking in this way is just a more exciting and flirty way of broaching the topic,” says Remy.

11. Is there anything you don't eat?

"On a practical note this could avoid any awkward dinner date moments. However it might also highlight any ethical/cultural/lifestyle differences you might have that you don't think you would be comfortable with. It could also indicate how adventurous or fussy they are," Miranda says.

12. What appeals to you most about living here?

"You'll find out what you have in common, or don’t. If you find that you do share common interests, you have an arsenal of ideas for future dates," Elizabeth says.

close up mans and womans hand fell in love spending time near the sea happy young boyfriend and girlfriend having fun at beach on sunset travel and freedom concept back to normal
Anastasiia Krivenok

13. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

"It's always good to know if you're dating a potential superhero," Miranda jokes. "It gives a glimpse into their inner child and may tell you more about their personality and journey, such as if they went on to do what they aspired to do."

14. If you could go on holiday with anyone right now, who would you go with?

“This is a good way to discover who is important to them by seeing who they pick, and how they really want to spend their time when the world is their oyster," Remy says.

15. Can you tell me about your family?

"How they answer gives you insight into their background, upbringing, and what they value," Elizabeth says.

16. Tell me about your friends?

"If you’re looking to enter into a relationship with someone, be advised that you’re also entering into a relationship with their friends. Plus, being able to talk about other people takes the pressure off of your date," Elizabeth says.

close up mans and womans hand fell in love spending time near the sea happy young boyfriend and girlfriend having fun at beach on sunset travel and freedom concept back to normal
Anastasiia Krivenok

17. What are your favourite TV shows?

"People’s interests are reflected in what they like to watch. If they devote hours to watching the news and you only tune in for sports highlights, you’ll find out soon enough if you stand a chance for future dates," Elizabeth says.

18. If your life were a movie who would play you?

"This is an opportunity to find out how they see themselves, and get a sense of their character traits to see if they appeal to you," Miranda says.

19. What do you like to read?

"People’s interests and curiosity reveal themselves in their choice of reading material. Finding out what people like to read reveals their intellectual interests and passions," Elizabeth says.

20. If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

"The answer to this question might reveal more about their personality and motivations/inspirations, plus the qualities they admire," Miranda says.

21. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

"Discovering who and what that person did that mattered so much reveals the other person’s values, family dynamics, and close relationships with friends," Elizabeth says.

22. What's your favourite memory?

"The answers could tell you more about who they are, what is meaningful for them and what they enjoy," Miranda says.

23. Do you still keep in touch with childhood friends?

"How your date responds gives you insight into how they value relationships and loyalty," Elizabeth says.

24. If you could have a superpower what would it be?

"This might tell you more about the way someone thinks and what they desire," Miranda says. People's reactions to curve-ball questions can be really telling - it gives you the chance to see how they respond to you presenting the unexpected. Do they embrace the question or make you feel a little awkward for asking it? Noticing how they make you feel in the way they respond can help you to get a sense of whether you like them."

25. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

"If you want to discover how flexible, risk-taking, thrill-seeking a person is, this is the question to ask," Elizabeth says.

a couple of women sitting on a bench
Tim Robberts

26. What would you do if there was zombie apocalypse right now?

"This a fun ice-breaker that might tell you a bit about their sense of humour, creativity, survival skills or how they would approach challenges," Miranda says.

27. What were you like as a child?

"Shy? Bashful? Full of beans? This gives you a hint of what kind of person they are today," Elizabeth says.

28. Is there anything you're really passionate about?

"An easy way to find out if the person has strong feelings or is more laid back with milder feelings," Elizabeth says.

29. What's the worst pickup line you've ever heard/dished out?

"Why waste time with someone who doesn’t enjoy a bit of flirtatious fun? Friendly banter and shared laughter are signs that you see life in a similar way," Elizabeth says.

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