For example, work, his or her family, hobbies, pop culture, and favorite music are all surefire bets. If you’re savvy, you’ll realize that certain questions–even the most basic ones—have the ability to tell a lot about a person.
A foolproof way to ensure that conversation will always be flowing is to simply your date things, although—given the fact that we never know how comfortable others are with casual conversation—that might be easier said than done. Where exactly do you live in [insert your city or town here]? Questions over the first drink should be an equal mix of inquisitive and casual, and should allow you to start gauging his or her true personality.
The trick to successfully vetting a prospect on a first date, while simultaneously keeping the energy light and fun, is knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them. What are their likes and dislikes, what do you have in common, what does he or she do in their spare time?
All the observable and obvious clues: They are nicely groomed—stylish, but not overdone. As would-be romances go, this plane is very slow to leave the gate and get onto the runway. or if it will lose engine power and sit on the tarmac indefinitely. It’s true that first dates can be one of the most nerve-wracking, anxiety-producing situations in our society.
They scan the room, menu, and table setting, only occasionally making eye contact. The key to having a positive experience is relaxed conversation, and that can be helped along with some well-chosen first-date questions.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
If you could be any person for a day, who would it be?
Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent.
Should the relationship evolve, there will be plenty of time to get into weighty topics. When a person reveals too much too soon, it can give a false sense of intimacy.
But the ability to speak is only one part of the equation—and not the most important part.
The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. But some people, overeager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast.
What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?