You’re single, and as the saying goes, ready to mingle. You’ve turned to app-based dating to find a prospective partner, got a few matches and set up drinks at the weekend. Saturday night comes around, you’re waiting at the bar and you suddenly think, “shit, what am I going to ask her?”.
It’s not an uncommon situation to find yourself in, but one that can be easily resolved. Don’t believe us? We spoke to Sydney-based relationship and sex therapist Heidi Gee to find out the most important questions you should be asking on the first few dates with your new flame.
She begins by revealing something we’re no doubt all too aware of, “I think people naturally go for the small talk on the first date, probably due to nerves and trying to keep the conversation flowing.”
But instead of sweating it out, she tells us the best thing you can do to settle yourself: “When you are interested in a person you need to ask yourself, ‘what is it I want to know about this person? What do I need?”, and subsequently, “from the questions you’re asking, what did you learn?”
If you manage to make it through a few beers or a bottle of wine and end the night on a positive note, you’ll hopefully arrange to see each other again and also have an idea of where you want the new relationship to go.
To this end, Heidi adds, “If you’ve had the first date and are both keen for another, it’s important to be transparent and honest. You need to tell him/her where you stand and where they stand, be honest about what you want, or what you’re looking for so no one is hurt or wasting their time.”
Date two comes around and it’s time to delve a little deeper into their mind and personality. “Find out what their values are, not just what you both ‘like’” – we’re probably all guilty of treating dates like interviews – “What are the values you look for in a friendship or partner, do they match?”
“What of yourself do you see in your date”, Heidi continues, “What have you learned about them? Be sure to show empathy and appreciation in conversation, but only if it’s genuine. Give responses such as ‘that sounds amazing’ or ‘that must have been hard’.”
Most importantly, Heidi tells us we should all just relax, “when asking questions, keep it fun and playful, ‘who’s the most fascinating person you’ve met?’, ‘how would your friends describe you?’. These questions not only give you an insight into who they are, but who their friends are too.” We agree they can give you an edge when it comes to eventually meeting their friendship circle (if it does indeed come to that).
If your date responds well to questions, but you feel you could get them to open up that little bit more, Heidi has you covered, “You could ask questions that show how they deal with challenges and opportunities, ‘tell me about the most significant plot twist in your life’.”
If date number three is on the cards, Heidi believes you should have a strong idea if you genuinely want to continue seeing them. You should be much more comfortable around them, but there may still be the odd hiccup. Heidi finishes by saying “Get to know each other beyond the ‘what do you do for work’ questions, be creative, find out what you both want from a relationship/life (if you haven’t already), ultimately, keep things interesting.”
So there you have it. If you’re someone who gets the jitters just before you’re due to meet the potential love of your life, take solace in the fact that you now have a whole arsenal of questions to ask. She’ll appreciate the confidence.