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First dates can be nerve-wracking. When you haven’t gone on a date in some time, you may be anxious about getting back into the dating game or unsure about what to expect during the meetup. If you don’t know what questions to ask on a first date, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to feel rusty, and it can even lead to you saying the wrong things to the person you’re interested in. While there are some things that you probably should avoid saying, there are other things that aren’t off the table that you should consider asking. Here are seven questions you can totally ask on a first date.

What one thing I should know about you?

What is so remarkable about this question is how revealing it is. It gives you a taste of who this person really is. The first date is generally the time when we’re open to share because we really want to get to know the other part. You can use this to your advantage. You will see other things during your first date that will give you a glimpse of who they are, like their body language and the little things they may say. It’s better to learn as much as you can before you take the time to get invested.

What are you looking for in a partner?

You may think this question is too heavy for a first date, but it’s something you want to ask. Find out if this person is looking for something short-term and casual or want something committed and long-term. You should know what they are looking for to determine if they are someone worth putting your emotional energy into. You should also be clear about what you’re looking for on your first date as well. The last thing you want to do is mislead or ignore the needs that you have. There is no point getting invested in someone if your needs don’t align. You should go on a date, knowing that not everyone is looking for love. It’s crucial that you are both on the same page, wanting some things.

How long ago was your last relationship?

This is another question you may think is off the table, but it is totally ok to ask. When you ask this question, it will open the door to several important questions. It will give you insight into whether or not their last break up was a few years, months, or days ago. It will also help you to gauge if they are truly ready to start dating now. Sometimes, people will hop into dating someone new before they are emotionally available. They may still be in love with their ex or at least haven’t let them go in their heart. Their response may also help you to see that they are ready to invest in another opportunity at love. When we know where someone’s heart is, we can better prepare for our next steps.

What happened with your ex?

It can seem awkward talking about exes on a first date, and at a quick glance, this question may seem inappropriate. However, understanding their past is a great way to know if they are ready to move forward. This is a great way to learn about what they’ve been through and where their heart is. On first dates, it’s really easy to hide your fears and insecurities because we generally don’t want to bring up things that will make us uncomfortable. We tend to keep things light. If the person can answer the question casually or confidentially, that says a lot about where they are. They may also struggle with this response, which can also tell you a lot about where they are. You may be surprised how much you connect with their experience and relate to their answer. Make sure if they ask you the same question, you are also prepared to give an honest response.

What qualities are you looking for in the person you date?

Find out what they think are the ideal attributes in a partner. You should know if they are looking for someone who is open, honest, respectful, successful, or empathetic. What is so great about this question is it shows what that person desires from someone, and it will often mirror the qualities they possess. If they say “trust” is the most important quality, they probably value trust a great deal. It may also indicate that they have had trust violated in their previous relationships. Knowing these sorts of things will help you understand what they are looking for and figure out if you are a true match.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

This may seem like a serious question, but it is really worth asking, especially if you are looking for something more serious. Their vision for the future should match your expectations and vice versa. This will help you get some insight into what they are pursuing and what they envision their future looking like. This will also help you see if they are goal-oriented or if they only think in the short term. They may say things like starting a new business, buying a home, moving to a different area, or having children. If you are not open to any of these things, this could be a deal-breaking question. If what they share with you requires a major life change, ask yourself if you are willing to join them on that journey.

What is most important to you?

This is another value-oriented question.

It will also help you learn what they are most passionate about. They may tell you it’s things like their career, friends and family, children, sports, or movies. You can really discover what they spend the most time thinking about, what they often do with their time and what they place the most value in. If your lists don’t match, don’t worry. It’s ok to have different interests. Just make sure these aren’t dealbreakers.

First dates are great because they are opportunities to have fun while also connecting and learning about a potential partner. While you may be anxious going into the date, you shouldn’t worry. The more comfortable you are asking these questions, the better sense you’ll have about them. If your interests are different, that’s ok. Just make sure your values align.

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