First Date Questions - A guide to conversation on the first date

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Somehow you managed to say all the right things and succeeded in getting her to come out on a date with you. But now that you have, you find the classic "Cat got your tongue" feeling. You think that you’re going to open your mouth and make some dumb gaffe or say the wrong thing and ruin the evening.

A first date is an unnerving experience, and worse still, the onus always seems to be on the man to prove himself. While women have their own apprehensions about what to wear and how to impress, the buck stops there. The pressure is normally more on the guy to do the right thing and more importantly, say the right thing. And women have their antenna up observing the finer nuances of the conversation and reading between the lines, anything that will give them a hint to what you are really like.

Read 2000 questions which you can ask your partner. Never get tongue-tied again.

What are the ideal first date questions and topics you should stick to?

1. No talk of exes …either hers or yours. This is one topic that definitely does not lend itself to a happy, convivial first date atmosphere. Talking about exes inevitably brings in shades of bitterness, anger and animosity, all feelings you should avoid at all costs on a first date. Instead ask her about her family. If she doesn’t seem too forthcoming about her parents, it could be a sore point, or that she doesn’t get along too well with them, in which case avoid delving too deeply. If she seems close to a kid brother or an older sister, ask more about them. Or even her close circle of friends. Whatever makes her comfortable and takes the heat off you.

2. Another ideal first date question is her chosen field of study. Ask her what made her choose the subjects she has, what does she like most about it etc. Chances are she’s passionate about it and will wax eloquent about the details. It will give you valuable insights into her mental faculties. She may not be the class topper, but it can be a good thing if she’s academically inclined.

3. Professional pursuits and career plans are another good topic, if you’re both past your college years. If she gets too carried away with how boring her job is, steer her deftly in the right direction by asking her what she plans to do about it. If she’s content to only complain and sit tight, it will tell you a lot about her personality. If she’s career-oriented and ambitious, it will give you an idea about her go-getting nature and focused approach.

4. It is also a good idea to have some entertaining anecdotes or amusing stories to narrate, to fill in potential awkward gaps in the conversation. Run them by a good friend, preferably a woman or even your sister, to check out their rib-tickling ability. What you may consider funny, everybody might not, and if you’re making the effort to get her to laugh, no harm ensuring you’ve picked the right way to do it!

5. Talking about interests shared or otherwise, is another hot first date topic. Even if you or she doesn’t have a particular hobby, you surely have something you’re passionate about. If she doesn’t show any inclination to talk about sports or your favourite soccer team, take the hint. Remember, it is important to be clued in to her interests and this is your opportunity to find out. You may even discover a common love for something. If you are both voracious readers and have read a couple of the latest on the bestsellers list, you could have an animated discussion on it. Or discuss a movie that caught your fancy. Find out what kind of music she likes and whether she likes dancing, things that could give you ideas on how to catch her fancy if you are going to ask her out again.

6. Catch her off-guard. When she least expects it, throw in a compliment that she will cherish, all the more because it is unexpected. If for instance, she does talk to you about sports and is knowledgeable about it, you could tell her how refreshing you find that in a woman. While complimenting her avoid making comparisons with other women. Saying things like "Most of the women I know or have taken out..." will seem like you’re either a Casanova, or surrounded by more women than she cares to find out. When you compliment her, do it exclusively and wholeheartedly.

7. And a first date question you can never go wrong with is asking her in general about her likes and dislikes. What she likes to do in her free time, does she enjoy cooking, is she a foodie, does she have a sweet tooth etc. You could also find out if she has an adventurous streak or loves travelling and if she does, which places she’s been to and which ones she’d like to visit. Share some of your experiences with her, and if you’ve been to a place she’d like to visit she’ll be excited to find out your take on it.

Things to avoid talking about on your first date

1. Boasting about anything is taboo on your first date. Whether it is your success in business or with women. A truly successful man knows that his success speaks for itself, without having to talk about it. His confidence comes across instantly, and women can gauge it from his attitude and outlook.

2. Another thing to avoid is blatantly sexual remarks or foul language. It is a total turnoff. You might get away with saying something tongue-in-cheek or naughty, but don’t go over the top. And avoid making cheap references to "getting lucky" or "making your day".

3. Another first date no-no revolves around topics that could provoke an argument or a heated debate. It would involve one person coming out the loser – if it's you, it will somehow dent your masculine pride and ego, and if it's her, the temporary victory you feel will vanish when you realize that all you won for the evening was the argument. In all probability, you've lost any chance you had with her.