5 questions to ask on a first date if you want to *really* figure someone out

Columbia

To anyone who’s knee-deep in the dating scene, please accept a virtual fist pump as our show of support because interacting with strangers in the hopes of finding romance really isn’t easy. People have to go through a lot on first dates, like trying to really figure someone out without coming off as too intrusive or making your date feel like a job interview instead of a casual meet-up with a potential romantic prospect. But hey, you’re talking about potentially making out, having sex with, or maybe having a real relationship, you’re entitled to want to know their Deal™.

If posed the correct way, first-date questions can potentially offer crucial information about the person sitting across from you. The right first-date questions can help you to see if you have a connection or not right off the bat.

Because it would be rather rude to interrogate a perfect stranger, here are some first date questions to ask if you want to *really* figure someone out.

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1“Where do you work?”


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What a person does for a living tells you so much about them aside from more obvious details like how much they earn or their work hours. Finding out more about a person’s job can tell you whether they’re super career-driven, if they have a stressful gig and how they handle it, or if they even have time to commit to a relationship (in the event you’re looking for one).

2“What type of music do you like?”


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A perfectly innocent question that shows you want to know more about this person’s interests, right? Yes, but not just that. The music you loves says a lot about you beyond the fact that meeting someone with your musical tastes would make them a good concert companion. Research shows the tunes we like reveal key aspects about our personalities and life experiences. As Time notes, our parents influence our musical tastes, and our favorite songs are directly tied to “an intense emotional” life experience.

3“Are you a morning person or a night owl?”


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Like asking about your date’s music preferences, this innocent inquiry can help cover a bunch of ground when it comes to really figuring someone out. It could reveal potential scheduling conflicts, help you schedule future dates, and know when it’s best to contact them without having to come right out and ask (which is totally fine, too).

According to Psychology Today, knowing what time of day a person really ~feels~ their rhythm could also clue you in on whether or not this person has very much free time to spend dating. And if they’re a night owl and you’re not, the differences between you might not stop at the schedules you keep:

“When they have free days, they try to catch up by sleeping as many extra hours as they can, possibly even as much of half of the day (Achari et al., 2012). Night owls not only perform more poorly at work but they also lose precious vacation time.”

4“What did you do today?”


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We swear we’re not nosy, but it’s an open-ended question that totally allows you a sneak peek into this person’s day-to-day existence without requiring you to come out and say, “Tell me everything about your life, and also would you be willing to consent to a background check?”

5“What are your pet peeves?”


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It sounds bad, but people love to commiserate over stuff they hate. (Seriously, have you checked out the dating app called Hater?) Getting your date to dish on all the things that grind their gears can easily tell you whether you’ve just met a potential match or someone with whom you are completely incompatible.

This may sound way harsh, but these questions are completely necessary if you want to make the most of your time on the dating scene. There’s no need to invest too much time and energy into someone you’re obviously not compatible with when there are more suitable dates out there waiting for the taking, so ask away and hopefully you’ll receive the answers you seek.

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