There’s nothing like the excitement of a first date. The nervous energy, the romantic sparks, the possibility of finding someone to have a future with—a great first date can leave you on cloud nine for days. But, as we all know, first dates can also be awkward. What if you don’t click right away? What if you don’t have much in common? What if the conversation is slow, and you run out of things to talk about? That’s why it’s handy to have some great first date questions in your back pocket.
On typical first dates, you start by exchanging basic information, like where you’re from, where you went to school and what you do for a living. But after you cover the basics, it can be hard to know what to say next—especially if you met online, and already know a bit about your date’s background. The goal is to have a conversation that flows, not small talk that results in one-word answers.
Most first date banter, albeit polite and perfectly fine, isn’t particularly interesting. Questions about your job or your hobbies are important, but we tend to cling to them for dear life rather than using them as a springboard to other topics. The next time you find yourself on a first date, breeze past the standard questions and dive into something more fun. Asking these first date questions will not only keep the conversation going, but will also make you stand out in your date’s mind as a memorable and interesting person.
Do you listen to any podcasts?
This is a modern twist on the age-old question, Have you read any good books lately? which is a classic for a reason: It’s a great way to learn more about your date’s hobbies and interests without asking about them point-blank. Podcasts appeal to everyone, whether you’re interested in business or comedy or true crime stories. Just about everyone can contribute to the podcast conversation, even if they don’t listen to any. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get a great recommendation or two out of it.
What’s your spirit animal?
Another fun first date question, disguised as a way to get to know your date a little better. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of spirit animals, it’s the animal that you feel embodies your personality traits and quirks—like a Patronus, for you Harry Potter fans. So if your date says their spirit animal is a bear, that means something completely different than if they say they’re a snake. Yes, it’s just a fun comparison that you shouldn’t take too seriously, but hearing how your date describes themselves can tell you a lot about them.
Tell me a joke.
This isn’t a first date question, per se, but we’re still counting it. Chances are your date won’t have a joke at the ready (if they do, major bonus points to them), so this is an opportunity for you to swoop in and tell one. We suggest: Why did the tomato blush? Because it saw the salad dressing! Corny? Yes. Will it lighten the mood and get you laughing? Absolutely.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
This first date question might catch your date off guard first, but boy, does it set you up to have a long conversation. People tend to be protective about their internet search history, and we don’t blame them—the stuff we Google can seem SUPER weird out of context. But this is your chance to give it context. If you date searched “where is Mount Rushmore” or “adult summer camp,” there’s probably a reason, and it would definitely make for interesting conversation. And don’t forget to reciprocate. If they fess up about the weird stuff they’ve been Googling, you should too.
What actor would play you in the movie about your life?
Has anyone ever told you that you look like… ? Most everyone has a celebrity doppelganger, and if they don’t, you can help them find theirs. Bonus points if you brainstorm an idea for a new movie starring both of your lookalikes.
What’s in your freezer?
The contents of one’s freezer says a lot about them. Is your date’s stocked with ice cream? Frozen fruit? Trader Joe’s frozen dinners? Vodka? A little bit of everything? This first date question can reveal a bit about your date’s lifestyle. If things are going well, you can also use it as a segue to move the date to another location for ice cream or frozen margaritas.
The next time you find yourself on a first date, pick a question or two from this list and work it into the conversation. You don’t want to turn the date into an interview, but these first date questions can help you break the ice and loosen things up. Having fun is what it’s all about!