AUG 13 2018
When people first meet me, they assume I’m a confident extrovert. But the truth is, I’m actually a super shy, awkward person who’s learned how to fake it until I make it. Eventually, I learned to pass for someone with social skills, even if inside, I’m freaking out. So, how do I pull off this epic ruse? I formed a list of clever questions to ask on a first date, at a party, at a work function — basically anywhere, because this tactic works in just about any situation. The thing is, most people really just want to talk about themselves, and if you ask about them, and then actively listen to their answers, they will do all the work for you. They come away from the conversation thinking, “Hey, that girl has social skills.” Nope! Joke’s on you, because I’m actually a weirdo who just asks a lot of lighthearted, open-ended questions.
This worked especially well on first dates, where my nerves were even worse. If that sounds like you, then experts agree there’s no shame in preparing, just in case there’s a lull in the conversation. “I believe in having a cheat sheet of questions to ask,” Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating, told Elite Daily. Just make sure that when you do dip into your questions, you play it cool and don’t start asking one question after another in a panic, because “firing off questions like you’re in a job interview or being interrogated by an attorney is an instant buzz-kill,” she said.
So, what makes for clever first date questions? Focus on open-ended, light questions that make the person think a bit, but that will give you some insight into who they are. After all, that’s the point of a first date, right? If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas to get you started.
1WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN CURIOUS TO TRY BUT HAVEN’T YET?
This question will give you some insight into how adventurous and eager for new experiences your date is, and if they are on the same page as you. Plus they may surprise you with something you’ve never even considered. This is a fun one to ask, for sure.
2. WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU LEARNED THIS WEEK?
Want to know what someone’s worldview is, and how their ideas are shaped? Well then, this is a great way to sneakily get some insight — and maybe learn something new in the process. Besides, if they say something like, “Well, I heard this fascinating story on Infowars this week,” or “Well, at my flat-earthers meeting…” then you know early on to get that check and bounce.
3WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE, SO FAR?
They may have to think about this one a bit, but it’s a great question because it brings back positive memories and gives you the opportunity to learn about what kinds of things and experiences your date values most. It may also be a deeply personal story that can help you get closer. Anything goes, here!
4WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING WAY YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?
Everybody has that story about that time they injured themselves jumping off this or running toward that they’re just dying to tell. Plus, it’ll most likely be a funny one, so you can get a good laugh in (without hurting their feelings, of course!). And feel free to share your own embarrassing injury story, too! It might make your date feel more comfortable, and laughing at each other, together, makes for some great bonding.
5WHAT’S THE BEST BIT OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?
This one is a sly one. They think they’re passing on a pearl of wisdom, but really, you’re getting to know areas where they’ve either struggled in the past, or that they’re still working on. You tricky fox, you.
6WHAT’S YOUR MOST USELESS TALENT?
Because, who doesn’t want to know that, right? Mine is horror movie trivia and getting random strangers to share too much TMI that I didn’t ask for, if you’re wondering. Moving on.
7WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
It’s a first date, so you don’t want to get too deep right away, but this is a good way to ask a pretty profound question, and learn a lot about your date’s beliefs and values. Plus, it gives them a chance to humble brag a little, and who doesn’t like to do a bit of that from time to time right?
Feeling inspired? Good. Truly, the most important thing is just to ask the question and be an active listener. Another reason to ask a lot of questions on the date — aside from just making it less awkward for you — is that is also makes you a great date.
“People who are good at dating know that in order to be a good date, it is never about getting your needs met — it is about trying to get to know the other person,” Jennifer B. Rhodes, licensed psychologist and founder of Rapport Relationships, explains. And getting to know the other person on a deeper level will help you know if you even like them, or want to go on a second date with them. Your feelings are just as important as theirs. Just make sure to have some second date questions at the ready. You know the drill.
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