The first date can be awkward at the best of times. You’re two total strangers attempting to get to know each other, impress and excite, and have fun in the process. But that’s a lot easier said than done, right?
That’s why you should always go into a date prepared and armed with interesting, open dating topics and questions that will keep the conversation flowing.
Here are 14 dating topics to talk about on your next first date:
1. If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you go?
This is an exciting and lighthearted conversation starter. You and your date might share places you’d like to visit in common. On the first date, this topic can also lead towards exchanging stories of your past travels, favorite places, and any upcoming vacations you’ve planned.
2. Where is ‘home’?
You and your date might be living and working in the same city now, but “home” can mean different things to different people. It might be the place your date grew up, the place they were born, or the place they’ve made the fondest memories in. Either way, this question will help you gain a sense of where their heart belongs, and what matters most to them.
3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
This question is much better than asking, “What’s your favorite food?” because it’s more specific and requires a much more specific response. You’re likely to get far more than a one-word answer out of someone, and possibly an elaborate story about a particular occasion or fond memory they have.
4. Did you have any nicknames growing up? Now?
You’ll probably both end up in fits of laughter after you’ve exchanged the stories behind your nicknames. It might be a little bit embarrassing, but it’s a great way to open up to someone and have a light-hearted conversation.
5. What were you like as a child?
Most of us have absolute gems from our childhood that make the most entertaining conversation starters. Maybe you were sick all over yourself at school, or you pulled a crazy prank on your teacher and got away with it, or you were obsessed with playing the guitar, or you wouldn’t eat anything but chips and chicken nuggets. Even if you’re still a little traumatized by an experience, there’s no better way to get over it than by sharing it and laughing about it.
6. What’s something I wouldn’t guess about you?
This ice-breaker tells your date that you want to get to know them a little deeper. Beyond what’s on the surface, and has the opportunity to take the conversation in a flirtatious or serious direction.
It also gives your date the freedom to share what they feel comfortable sharing, and hold onto anything they’re not yet ready to disclose.
7. What’s on your bucket list?
You can learn a lot about a person’s biggest dreams, desires, and qualities by asking them what’s on their bucket list. This is something everyone has, regardless of whether they realize it or not because as human beings we all have our own dreams—big or small.
You never know what you’ll find out—maybe they want to start their own business, build a school for disadvantaged kids in India, or swim with sharks—pay close attention and you’ll learn a lot.
8. What do you think your most attractive quality is?
If they find it difficult to say one good thing about themselves, it could indicate they lack self-love and confidence in themselves. On the other hand, if they can’t stop talking and reel off a list of twenty things without taking a breath, they might be bordering on arrogant. Either way, this is a great way to find out what someone’s really like, and what they think of themselves.
9. What’s been the most significant or best year of your life so far?
This question will take the conversation in a meaningful direction, and encourage reflection and thought—so only ask it if you’re ready to get to know this person on a deeper level. You’ll get to hear about their life story, and hopefully the part of it that has had the most impact on them so far.
10. Tell me about your family.
Our childhood has a significant impact on our entire lives, so when you ask someone about their family it’ll help you understand more about who they are today and why. Plus, people can go on forever about their families, so this is a great one to fill any awkwardly long pauses with.
Find out if they have siblings, how close they are to their parents if a family is important to them. All of the answers you get will help you gain a better understanding of their family life and the people who raised and shaped them.
11. If you won a million dollars tomorrow, what would you do?
This one’s super fun, and will also give you a clue as to what matters most to this person, whether they’re reckless or sensible, and how close their current life is to the one they dream of living. After all, if someone’s happy with who they are and what they’re doing, they probably wouldn’t wish to make any huge changes.
12. What are you most afraid of?
You might get a common response like spiders, heights, or the darkness; or, if you’re already connecting on a deeper level, you might just get a more vulnerable response that relates to something that is much more deeply rooted within. For example, they might tell you they’re afraid of losing a loved one, or getting to the end of their life with regrets.
13. Who do you talk to the most?
There’s a theory that says we’re the product of the five people we spend the most time with, so knowing who these people are for your date will tell you a lot about them. Maybe they’re close to their siblings, or they have a best friend they’ve shared everything with since they were 8 years-old. They’ll feel comfortable talking about these people because they’re very close to them.
14. If you were stranded on an island and could take three things with you, what would they be?
This is a quirky question that will show your playful side, and potentially put your date on the spot a little… but in a good way. You’ll find out what they value most in their life, as well as gain an insight into how their mind works.
And let’s face it, all of these questions are way more interesting than asking someone what their job is. First date is interesting when you talk about relevant things.