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Asking the right questions when dating

Instead, give them a chance to talk about their job in more general terms.

Why: Whatever you're really passionate about, do they respect it? If you jump to an assumption that they have the same politics as you, they might feel too awkward to say that their politics are different. To take some of the pressure off during first dates, remind yourself: (a) that you each have 50% of the responsibility for how the conversation flows, and (b) you can only control how someone reacts to you to a limited extent.“If you get a sense that they have a routine, but one that leaves room for flexibility and fun, then you may get insight that this person could be worth that second date.” And if you’re staring down a second date, don’t miss these 40 irresistible second date ideas.If you don’t know what they do for a living, you don’t have to straight up ask them.“This is a great question that is an opener for a conversation that can go down many roads,” explains Julienne Derichs, a licensed clinical professional counselor practicing in the Chicago area. “Comparing dating war stories it’s fun and usually results in lots of laughs, thereby minimizing the awkwardness of a first date.” The biggest thing you want to avoid on a first date is making it feel like an interrogation, and this question allows you to be casual and still get a feel for who your date is beyond what their dating profile (or the friend who set you up) tells you.“If someone still parties a lot, seems to have too many plans (if you ask them about more weekends and seem to get the same response), or just spends most weekends working, it may be that they are not relationship ready,” says Stef Safran, matchmaker and founder of Stef and The City. You can read my prior articles for Psychology Today here.

Why: Helps you plan future dates but also gives you an opportunity to choose not to pursue dating someone who has very incompatible food preferences from you. Purchase my book The Anxiety Toolkit You can get an email alert whenever Dr Alice Boyes writes a new blog article - Subscribe.

“You are getting an idea of how your date feels about making commitments,” Derrichs explains.

Similar questions could include: “Do you have any houseplants?

This might not be important to you, but it might be. Why: The main point here is not to jump to assumptions about your date's politics. Why: If your date is exploring a relationship with someone else you might want to push pause at the end of your first date but offer them the opportunity to get back in touch with you if the other relationship doesn’t work out. Especially in the age of internet dating, people sometimes meet multiple people they’re interested in around the same time.

Why: This will tell you about your date’s preferences and also if they're someone who tends to reflect on experiences and can talk about their thoughts. Why: Tells you something about whether they seek out new experiences. What are your thoughts about the upcoming election (any upcoming election)?

Find out early if there are reasons that “making it work” will be fraught. Select a few of these questions rather than attempt to ask them all on the same first date! For example, if one person likes to take very long trips and the other person has a more standard two weeks vacation time. If asking this question leads to five solid minutes of them complaining you'll know the person sees the glass as half empty. Why: When you enter a relationship with someone you’re also entering a relationship with their friends. Why: If one of you doesn't like pets and the other has 3 dogs, that's likely to be a problem.