Use these conversation starters for a first date to open up the flow of conversation and have an amazing time!
First dates have their pros and cons. But one thing is for sure, dating someone you barely know can be awkward and nerve racking. Here are 21 questions that are perfect conversation starters for a first date. And if you don’t get to all of them, you can use them on your second or third date too!
What Makes A Good Conversation Starter
The best conversation starters for a first date are open ended questions that help you both have a relaxing and positive experience. Questions that open up the flow of conversation. So you can get to know your date and determine your compatibility beyond physical attraction, in terms of goals, values and lifestyle. As well as create an initial emotional connection to help you both decide if there will be a second date or more.
What Makes Finding First Date Conversation Topics A Challenge?
Finding conversation topics on a date, in theory shouldn’t be that hard. But what if your nerves get the best of you and you suddenly feel shy? Get a case of I don’t know what to talk about syndrome? Or it suddenly start’s to feel like a job interview?
The pressure to make a good impression on a first date has a way of bringing out your nervous energy. And can make anyone stumble or go totally blank about what to say. It can happen to anyone, even the people that consider themselves fairly extraverted or good at talking to new people most of the time.
How To Choose A Good Conversation Starter
One of the keys to having a great first date is to have a few good questions on hand that will start an interesting conversation and keep it going. Ideally the questions, will help you get to know them while creating an emotional connection that makes the time you spend together a positive experience.
All while still ultimately allowing you to be yourself too. Because after all, the date should feel good for both of you.
1. First, a good conversation starter should be a question that is open ended. Its best to avoid any questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
When questions are open ended the conversation has somewhere to go and helps fill any of those awkward silences or lulls. In contrast, when the answer is a simple yes or no, the conversation has no where to go. Which leaves you stuck and constantly trying to keep the discussion interesting and flowing.
2. The second thing to keep in mind, is to pick questions that are somewhat out of the normal everyday monotonous ones.
You know the kind that most daters typically hear. Like “What do you do for work?” or “Do you have any siblings?” etc. The kind that pretty much everyone asks but does nothing to keep your conversation interesting.
21 Conversation Starters For a First Date (A Complete Guide On What To Say)
Use these amazing conversation starters to help you get to know one another on your first date. Keeping in mind that if you ask the right first date questions, a second date (hopefully) won’t be that far behind!
1. What kind of person are you looking for?
This question will give you insight into their personal values, lifestyle and what they are passionate about (like family, community, adventure etc). As well as their dating intentions. It also gives you a chance to be upfront about who you are looking for.
2. How do you spend your weekends?
This will tell you a lot about the persons, habits, hobbies, likes, dislikes, level of physical activity etc. And will also reveal the different types of relationships that are a part of their life.
3. What’s something I’d be surprised to know about you?
This is a fun question that gives your date a chance to share something about themselves, that they might not otherwise think of. Or might have been too shy to mention on a first date.
4. Besides your parents, who has been the most influential person in your life?
This first date conversation starter will give you insight into what they value (1) and their personal relationships with others. In addition too relationship dynamics and their ability to form long term relationships. This could also be a window into their long term goals for the future, as far as their plans for family and career.
5. What’s something that you’re looking forward to in the near future?
Ask this to give you a broader understanding of their hobbies, goals and lifestyle. It’s a nice way to connect over something exciting coming up for them and also share something exciting that’s in store for you.
6. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
This is a great first date question, if you want to gauge someone’s sense of adventure and level of risk taking. It also helps you understand how flexible (or not) they are.
7. What does a typical day look like for you?
Yes, this is similar to the weekend question however it’s a more open way of finding out about their day-to-day lifestyle, interests and habits.
For example, you might find out they meditate every morning, or see a personal trainer before or after work. In the evenings they might have book club or participate in a sport of some kind.
This question gives them the freedom to share a lot more than just a one note answer. Over the typical “what do you do for work” or “how do you spend your free time” questions that usually come up on a first date.
8. On your last vacation, did you plan every detail out before you went or did you go with the flow?
This is another one that will speak to their sense of adventure, lifestyle and personality.
On an interesting side note, a study conducted by leading psychologist Richard Wiseman (2) found that 18 percent of couples that talked about travel went on a second date. Compared to only 9 percent of couples who spent time talking about movies.
9. Are you looking for someone to share your life with, or to just have fun with right now?
Yes, you can and should ask this on a first date. I know that this is a deep topic of conversation. Sometimes people are afraid to bring up questions like this, but never fear. Finding out if their intentions line up with yours is best done as soon as possible.
10. What did you want to be growing up?
Sharing and connecting on your hopes and dreams is an excellent way to keep the conversation going on your first date. It also gives you a chance for you both to share about your childhoods. Taking it beyond the typical family related questions that tend to leave a conversation (3) flat and stale.
11. Who’s the most fascinating person you know?
Besides parents and friends, its often very insightful to talk about the other people in their life that they have influenced them. Who they mention for example a mentor, boss, a spiritual leader or a coach can help to peel back the layers of their life. Revealing a side of them that wouldn’t usually come up on a first date.
12. What’s your favorite way to be active?
Most people I coach are looking for a person that lives an active and healthy lifestyle. If this is important to you too, then asking this question will let you know if you’re compatible in this area.
And if you are? Then it also gives you the perfect opportunity to plan a second date doing something active that you both enjoy.
13. What’s the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Asking someone on date the “what do you do for work” question has got to be one of the biggest attraction killers. Because it has a way of turning a first date from an energy of fun and connection into a hum drum feeling or job interview vibe.
Work will come up anyway, so why not be different? By giving them a chance to share an interesting story about their past with you.
14. What’s your favorite thing about your neighbourhood?
How someone feels about where they live can give you lots to talk about. As well as open up the conversation to likes, dislikes and as well as local hotspots.
15. What’s the last event you went to?
A Comedy show, sporting event, the symphony, a music festival, shakespeare in the park….whatever comes up it will give you lots to talk about. And an opportunity to bond over shared interests and what’s important to each other.
16. What is your favorite thing about your best friend?
People are a reflection of the five people that they spend the most time with. Asking about friends will give you a sense of their values, habits and hobbies. As well as, their ability to form close knit relationships.
This will also allow you to connect and open the conversation up to shared passions, activities, favorite things or places. Not to mention, any other mutual interests you both may have.
17. What do you value most in a friendship?
Another question to help you determine if this person shares your values and long term goals. A great follow up to the best friend question.
18. If you could describe your musical taste in three artists, who would they be? (Or Books, Genre, Authors etc)
If you are anything like me, and music and books are a huge part of your life then this is a must ask. Talking about something like shared tastes in music or books can bring you together by creating a solid emotional connection.
If your tastes are radically different? Well that’s insightful too.
19. What was the highlight of your day?
This is the perfect icebreaker on a first date. You bypass the typical how was your day question, and create an opening for interesting conversation right away.
20. Would you rather?
When all else fails, sometimes you just need to bring a little fun to the table. If the conversation is starting to lull, playing a game of would you rather can bring some out some much needed flirtation and playfulness. The questions can be provocative, insightful, silly, or a mix of all three!
When all else fails think Who, What, Where, When, Why or How.
If there are a lot of lulls, or if one or both of you is nervous, sometimes it’s not about firing another specific question at them. It can often be better to expand on what they have already shared.
So think in terms of connecting with the emotional reason underneath their answer by asking questions like: What is about x that you love? What inspired you to do x?
When you get to the emotional reason why someone does something, it keeps the conversation going. While also creating a connection at a much deeper level than just going on to the next question would.
How to Keep a Conversation Going on a First Date
Great conversation on a first date is essential. If you don’t know what to say on a date, make it a point choose open ended questions that are a balance of playful and deep. With a focus on topics that will give you greater insight into each others lives on many levels. To help you both determine if there will be a second or third date.
And remember that when it comes to conversation on a first date? Its just as important to listen (4) as much as you talk.
Yes, first dates can be awkward, but they don’t have to be. Even if your shy, introverted, divorced or have been single for a long time. Or maybe just want to try something different.
These conversation starters for a first date can be big help in making the date great for you both! Happy Dating!