When it comes to dating, you’re probably feeling a bit out of practice.
We have spent large portions of the last two years in isolation or lockdown, so if your social skills are a little rusty – you won’t be alone.
The first date is the perfect opportunity to scope out your prospective partner. Are you guys compatible? Are there any major red flags that you need to be aware of?
But at the same time, you want to keep it kind of light, friendly and conversational. There’s nothing worse than when a first date gets incredibly intense and personal far too quickly.
Knowing what to talk about on a first date can be daunting, but taking that first step and showing vulnerability is crucial. Awkward silences are normal, but you can prepare to avoid them. The truth is, everyone is in the same boat – so try not to overthink every conversation.
To help make your first date as stress-free as possible, relationship expert, James Thomas at Condoms.uk, has shared the seven questions you need to ask on a first date.
He says the goal is a flowing conversation, it’s not an interview, but having these pointers will set your date off in the right direction:
‘What’s your favourite way to relax?’
It’s a bit basic to ask your date about their hobbies, instead, James suggests finding out how your date likes to relax – he says it will provide you with a better insight into their character.
‘If their downtime involves relaxing with a book, you will be able to understand if they are happy in their own company,’ James says. ‘On the other hand, if they mention friends or family in their relaxing activities, they might prefer socialising with people.
‘Showing an interest in idle time will open further conversations to find a mutual interest.’
‘What was the last show you binge-watched?’
‘It will be hard to find someone who hasn’t binged watched every Netflix series during the pandemic,’ says James. ‘Asking about their recent watch will provide you with an understanding of their genre preference and their reasoning behind it.’
James says people tend to relate to characters they aspire to be like, so this can teach you more about your date as well.
‘You can exchange show recommendations and you could find you have more in common than you think,’ he adds.
‘What is something you want to learn?’
James says this question will challenge your date’s ambitions.
‘Throughout life we are constantly learning and aspiring to better ourselves,’ he says. ‘If someone doesn’t have a desire to learn, it might be a turn off.
‘It can be anything from learning a language to developing confidence for public speaking. It allows you see if their interests match with yours alongside their current priorities.’
‘Do you have a ‘signature’ dish you love to cook?’
This is the question for foodies, and for those angling for a second date.
‘Asking this will show if the person is an avid cooker,’ says James. ‘If they admit to not cooking, you can use it as a suggestion to learn together on a future date and if they do have a dish in mind, they could indicate to make it for you one day.
‘You’ll then open the conversation into food preferences and any allergies they might have.’
‘If the world was ending tomorrow, what would you do?’
This might feel a little doomsday-esque, but James says a big question like this could illicit a really illuminating answer.
‘This question could go one of several ways,’ he says.
‘It could invite humour into the conversation or shine a compassionate light with answers such as, “spend time with my parents”.
‘It allows you to get a real feel for their personality and an insight into if they’re spontaneous or a planner.’
‘What is the best thing that has happened to you this week?’
‘Asking about something recent is a nice way to break the ice,’ says James.
‘The broadness of the question allows the person to gage what they perceive as the “best”.
‘It shows if they appreciate the smaller things in the life or events on a bigger scale.’
‘What is the weirdest thing you’ve brought on Amazon?’
Don’t be afraid to ask a slightly odd question – it will keep your date on their toes, and could lead to some hilarious interactions.
‘A funny question is guaranteed to keep things flowing,’ says James.
‘This question leaves room for a story to be told on both sides and something to remember each other by.’
Ok, so now you’re armed with questions and prepared to keep the conversation flowing. But what if things just aren’t going very well?
‘Try not to panic,’ says James. ‘If you aren’t clicking, chances are they feel the same way as you do.
‘There is no shame in being honest, but never leave unannounced or change your attitude. If the meal or round of drinks has come to an end, simply ask for the bill, address the situation and call it a night.’
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