First dates can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t dived into the dating pool in a long time or you’re simply not a social butterfly. Some first dates ensue flawlessly; hours may seem like seconds when you’re getting along so well.
On the other hand, some dates can appear to be a disaster within the first few minutes, and you cannot wait for the torment to end. It doesn’t matter if you and your date don’t click from the beginning. Perhaps you both need a little time to open up and get comfortable with each other, thus the hope for a second date is not entirely lost.
A first date must not sound like a job interview to either of you. Casual conversation works best, as most people do not appreciate intrusive questions on the first meeting. It is possible that you and your date are like-minded in the sense that you prefer to skip small talk, though getting personal too fast too soon does not usually end well.
Every human being is unique and each one of us tends to have varying expectations from a first date, but certain queries are almost always off-putting.
Here are the top 10 questions you must never ask on a first date, unless you are intentionally trying to sabotage it:
1. How come you’re still single?
The person you are meeting up might be awfully good-looking, well-off, and cultured; nevertheless, this question can still leave an unpleasant aftertaste. It is possible that your intentions were nice and you meant it as a compliment, yet the other person may not share the sentiment.
They might assume that you are referring to their age or suggesting that there is something wrong with them. ‘Why are you single?’ is easily interpreted as ‘You’re not crazy, are you?’
You never know what the other person has been through, so you cannot guess how they might perceive statements like this one. It could be that they recently got out of a toxic relationship, didn’t have time to meet people or pursue something serious (because of their career or other responsibilities), or simply didn’t find someone worth settling for.
2. How much money do you make?
It is commonplace to talk about each other’s job or profession on the first date. However, it’s too early to be asking about one’s salary or gross monthly income. Similarly, probing whether this person owns a house and car is also just as inappropriate. Don’t be surprised if they get the impression that you are only interested in their money.
Another big mistake is to ask your date how much a thing costs, such as a piece of jewelry, a gadget, or a designer bag they’re carrying; asking these sort of things will make you look like a materialistic and shallow person.
Evaluating a potential partner’s financial situation is important and you might be curious about earnings with respect to an unusual occupation, but it should wait. The topic will come up eventually, and it shouldn’t be a primary concern while you’re strangers just starting to get to know each other.
3. How did your last relationship end?
If you think talking about exes on a first date is fun, you surely need to see a therapist. A first date is not the time to intervene in someone’s past relationships. You must concentrate on making a connection with this person rather than trying to withdraw the skeletons in their closet.
The person across you is likely to feel offended and attacked if you attempt to fetch details about their last break-up instead of focusing on the present. The meeting will look like like an interrogation, which can be extremely stressful for your date. They might get flustered and make an excuse to leave early (to never see you again obviously).
4. How sexually active are you?
Intimate and explicit topics, particularly those concerning sex are not to be discussed on a first date. You two are practically strangers at this point, so why expose or exchange such sensitive information?
If you get right down to sex, your date will identify you as a pervert and be convinced that you are just looking forward to a one night stand. Regardless of your intentions, inquiries about the number of sexual partners a person has had is none of your business; at least, not until you decide to see each other again and take your relationship to the next level.
5. Where do you see this relationship going?
You’re on a first date, not your wedding ceremony! The person sitting across you might seem like your soulmate, but trust me when I say ‘you’re infatuated’. You barely know this person, so any interaction that happens between you two on the first meeting does not bind you in a relationship.
Assuming that the first date was amazing, there is no guarantee that the second one shall live up to it. You might see this person a few more times and then come to the conclusion that it’s not going to work out.
If you set forth this kind of question on the first date, the recipient might freak out or think you’re creepy. The rational course of action is to take things slow and figure out the person you are dating. You might discover something new about them on each encounter and that’s how you decode them bit by bit. You can talk ‘relationship goals’ once you both decide to be exclusive, which typically takes weeks or months.
6. What is your relationship with your family like?
It is not a big deal to ask about family, but raising questions about the nature of one’s relationship with parents and/or siblings in a big ‘No’. If the person you are seeing is close to their family, they shall inevitably talk about them. You may ask if they have family nearby, and if their answer is brief and indifferent, let it go.
Many people have strained relationships with family members, and sharing familial issues with a person they barely know is not on their to-do list. If family is very important to you, you may revisit this topic after another 4-5 dates.
7. What are you?
Seriously, what does that even mean? If you are referring to the person’s origin, race, or ethnicity, these are not the right words to go by. If you are curious about a person’s descent, figure out a polite way to get your answers.
Do not make assumptions and stereotype people, unless you want to represent yourself as a douchebag. All people with Asian features are not Chinese, everybody with a brown skin tone is not Indian, and individuals with bad teeth are not necessarily British. You may ask them where they are from and/or how they inherited their unique features.
8. Do you like what you see?
It is understandable that you want to know your date’s opinion about you. Did you make a grand impression and did anything about you stand out in particular? Unfortunately, talking about yourself is most certainly going to make you look like a self-obsessed or self-centered jerk.
Wait for the compliments, and if they don’t come, no need to fuss about it. If there’s a second date, rest assured that you were great or at least did something right. You should say something nice about the person before you and only then expect them to return the favor.
9. Are you always like this?
This question is plain rude and tactless. If a girl is all dolled up for a first date, don’t embarrass her by asking if she always wears so much make up. Most people want to look their best on a first meeting, so it’s not that surprising that they tend to go out of their way to make a lasting impression.
Moreover, if your date has a big appetite, do not tease them by asking if they always eat like a horse. If a certain habit or manner about the person does not sit well with you, try not to point it out, as it could make them feel insecure or humiliated. Go for a few more dates to examine behavioral patterns or don’t bother with a second date at all.
10. Tell me about yourself
Vague and open-ended questions like this one usually end in one thing, i.e. awkward silence. One cannot define themselves in a few sentences, so you have to be more specific. For instance, you can ask about their favorite cuisine, music genre, recreational activities, and so on.
Another option is to tell a couple of things about yourself and let them follow by example. You need to come up with questions that can break the ice, supplement an ongoing discussion, and keep things light.
Elijah Cole is the founder of The Witty Minds blog and a professional content creator. His expertise lies in creative writing and lifestyle blogging. At Witty Minds, he is the lead writer, editor, and publisher of all original content.