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A first date shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking experience. It should be a fun, relaxed opportunity to get to know someone better through good conversation. The best conversation flows naturally, but often the most difficult part – starting a conversation – can be lubricated with a little preparation. Here are some ideas for table topics, small talk, and good conversation questions for a first date.

Basic Conversation Questions for a First Date

A good first date tip: start simple. Some of the best conversation questions are the most basic. Ask about a date’s family – siblings, parents, even pets. But don’t just ask dates how many brothers and sisters they have, ask about those siblings’ line of work, where they live, and especially about the relationship the date has with them. The best first date questions are fun, personal, and revealing. The family is an intimate part of most people’s lives, and is a great topic to start a conversation with.

Another good conversation topic is work. A lot of good conversation questions can revolve around a date’s work, because after all, it is probably what occupies a big chunk of his or her time and energy most every day, so they’ve got it on the mind. That being said, often times work is the last thing some people want to talk about on a date because they’re exhausted from it. If the conversation question hits flat, leave the topic be, but if a date is very engaged in their line of work, this can be a great conversation topic to pursue.

If work is a drag, some of the best conversation questions can center on hobbies and other interests. Starting a conversation about people’s hobbies can lead into a long and fruitful conversation because it engages what they’re most interested in. Ask about a date’s hobbies, and be willing to share one’s own. This conversation topic can be especially rewarding if both parties find some overlap of interests, or even inspire interest in one another. Regardless, the topic of hobbies is a great conversation starter.

Interesting Conversation Questions for a First Date

To move beyond the basics, ask some more revealing conversation questions, and employ some conversation starters that will force a first date to think a little. Some of the best first date questions are fun hypothetical conversation questions about art, politics, and personal lives. Finding out about a date’s artistic sensibilities, political stances, and personal opinions about a great many other topics is essential for breaking through the crust on a first date. Ask some of these fun, revealing conversation questions to explore each other’s personalities:

  • What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
  • What’s the one book you think everyone should be required to read?
  • Which character from films or literature would you most like as a husband or wife?
  • If you had to write an autobiography in only six words, what would it be?
  • Which author or filmmaker would you choose to write/direct your biography/biopic?
  • If you could make one amendment to the laws of your country, what would it be?
  • Which historical event would you have most liked to attend?
  • If you could quit your job today and devote your life to a single cause, what would it be?

The Art of Conversation Starters and Further Dating Question Ideas

These conversation starter questions are merely ways into a great conversation. To keep a conversation interesting on a first date, be open to any table topics that might arise or stem from these topic ideas, and be ready to answer, honestly and engagingly, any of these same questions. Conversation starters are just seeds from which a plant can grow.

The art of conversation is about enjoying oneself, finding something one can speak about comfortably and naturally. Often times too much preparation is a bad idea. Just start conversations on topics of interest and follow them along. Daters need only choose conversation starters that genuinely interest them, rather than reciting empty lines, and that first date will go splendidly.

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