BAD DATES!! We've all had them.

scene from TV show Friends. Janice laughs and hugs Chandler's shoulders while he says kill me, kill me now

You know the ones!

The dates with those who:

  • rattled on about their ex.

  • dove right into marriage and kids.

  • responded with one word answers.

Maybe you've even been that person yourself from time to time.

But first dates don't have to be that way!

woman of color tilts her head with a surprised expression saying really?

Really! Scientists have done the hard work for us by studying first dates. Put these 5 questions in your back pocket (or on your phone) and you can:

  • learn more about your date's personality and history.

  • quickly discover if you're compatible.

  • have more enjoyable conversations.

woman with excited expression and hand gestures says let's do this!

Q1: What does your average day look like?

This is a great alternative to the infamous "What do you do?" As they describe their typical day, you'll likely discover:

  • if they're an early morning or late night person.

  • what they do for a living.

  • what they do with their spare time.

a courier carrying a large box is crossing the street and knocked down by a car

Q2: What passion projects are you working on?

This is a great alternative to "Do you have any hobbies?" You'll probably still learn about their hobbies while opening the door to:

  • a goal they're working on.

  • more details about their job.

  • an interest, skill, or talent they are developing.

woman welding


On their first date, LaShawn asks Armani, "What passion projects are you working on?" Which of the following is LaShawn likely to learn about Armani? Select all that apply

Q3: What are your favorite kinds of vacations?

This is a great alternative to "Have you traveled anywhere lately?" If the answer is "no", the conversation stalls. Instead, discover if they:

  • get out of town or staycation to work on home projects.

  • prefer a lot of physical activity or relaxing by a pool.

  • take long weekend trips every so often or a big trip once a year.

Scene from movie The Hobbit - Bilbo wearing a backpack running with excitement and saying I'm going on an adventure!

Q4: What was a high and a low for you this week?

This is a great alternative to "How was your day?" Remember rolling your eyes when your parents asked you that and answering "fine"? Push past the one-word response and discover:

  • a challenge they're facing and how they're handling it.

  • how they define success.

  • how they deal with positive and negative emotions and circumstances.

Dan Levy sitting in a living room purses his lips, says

Q5: What was the kid version of you like?

This a great alternative to "Are you close with your family?" which can be too personal for some people and may involve issues they're not ready or willing to discuss with someone they just met. Focus on them as an individual and discover:

  • if they preferred indoor or outdoor play.

  • what their academic interests and extra-curricular activities were.

  • how they're the same and how they've changed over time.

a small child sitting inside a toilet bowl with head, hands, and one foot sticking out

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When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so.

-- C.S. Lewis


Monet and Zuri are on their first date. To spark conversation, what is another way that Monet can ask Zuri, "What were you like as a kid?" Select all that apply.

Take Action

a business woman tells a female colleague,

Be ready for a great next first date!


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