Whenever I tell my friends that I have a first date scheduled, the response always includes deep, sympathetic sighs and compassionate grimaces. After all, the “first date” is often riddled with awkward, stilted small talk; to quote the eternal wisdom of “30 Rock”’s Liz Lemon, “Meeting someone new? Ugh. All the nodding and smiling and sibling-listing…”
But maybe it’s time to rethink the “sitting uncomfortably with a stranger, asking bland questions, and barely listening to the answers” model of the first date. Yes, a first date should involve questions...but they don’t need to be basic. Instead, you can use your time to gain genuinely interesting and useful bits of info about your companion, which will help you decide whether there’s a connection to pursue. At the same time, you’ll want to avoid super-personal and in-depth topics, since you’re only just becoming acquainted with this person. That perfect first-date middle ground can be tough to find, but it’s well-worth the effort.
Need a place to start? Try these 15 first-date-specific inquiries, all designed to prompt engaging discussions and reveal intriguing tidbits in a casual, conversational way.