Last week I shared my advice on first-date conversation: it’s gotta be great.
“Great” means fast-forward through the small talk to get to the big, juicy, and delicious real (big) talk. It’s in this magical place where you get to know your date and your date gets to know you.
Like, really know you. The real you. Not just the first-date you that is hiding your uniqueness and low-key trying to show off because you think that’s how you will attract them.
Your successes are wonderful but it’s their learning about the challenges you’ve faced, the failures and picking yourself up after those failures, understanding your logic and thought process that will make them feel connected to you.
Last week I suggested where you can go to find excellent questions (here, here, and here) but there’s no need to only rely on the ones I shared. There are a million more interesting questions you can ask. All that’s required is for you to think them up (or do some Googling).
After your date finishes sharing their illuminating response, hopefully, they’ll ask, “How about you?”
Indeed, how about you?
My suggestion is don’t wing it.
Before the date happens, while you’re reviewing and selecting the questions you plan on asking, think about how you would answer the questions yourself. If you’re not good with words you can even write a draft and practice saying it out loud.
A quick aside: Does this sound like too much work? Maybe! But doing a bit of preparation ahead of a date is hot. And, anyway, if you’re not going to put effort into your dating life you might as well not date. Remember: “You gotta put it in to get it out” (e.g. if you’re not making any effort how do you expect people to make an effort with you?)
Let’s say one of the questions you ask your date is “If your home is on fire and you’ve saved all your loved ones and pets, and have time to go back in and save one personal item, what would it be?”
You can give a quick one-word answer but that’s not doing yourself justice. For your date to really get you, try elaborating on why you’ve chosen this personal item. Tell a story behind – why it’s important, how it became yours, what feelings you probably would have if you lost it forever.
You don’t just want to answer the question. You want to tell a story. It’s through the details, introduction to characters in your life, and sharing emotions that your date will feel and connect with you.
If the question is “How do you feel your life has worked out so far?” be careful to not let the answer get too career focused. This question has tonnes of potential to show how you’ve grown, struggled, survived, and blossomed into the person you are today.
If your date’s answer is too career-ish you can ask how they feel their personal life has worked out or if they are the person they expected they would be when they were a teenager.
Just with one of these types of questions you can end up with a conversation that is on fire! It can turn a regular first date into an amazing first date that brings out the vulnerable and genuine in you both, and multiplies your chances of a second date because you’ll both feel closer to one another.
Next week will be the last part of this three-part series: how to listen attentively. Everything your date says (and even how they say it) will give you hints to what they’re like, what they value and if you are compatible. Understanding these facets are important if you want to connect on a deeper and meaningful level.
This article originally appeared on Maitre Date