10 first date questions to test your connection

couple on a coffee date

A first date can be a melting pot of emotions: excitement, nervousness and no small amount of hope. After all, even you are getting on well with someone online, actually meeting them in person is a whole new experience. With such a mix of feelings, it can be only too easy to get tongue-tied.

With that in mind, we have decided to make things easier by compiling a list of great first date questions for Kiwi singles. Just remember, along with these, there are three things you have to keep in mind: relax, keep talking – and don’t forget to have fun!

10 of the best first date questions

1. What makes you laugh?

Having a good time with someone cannot be overrated. And, for many, a good time involves laughter. To get your date onside you need to know what will tickle their funny bone – so don’t be afraid to ask! If you can get your date to giggle it can mean brownie points. After all, in our 2013 EliteSingles members’ survey, the number one first date hope, for both men and women, was that their partner would make them laugh.1

2. Do you have a favourite way to relax?

Opening lines and jokes haven’t helped to calm the butterflies? Then why not ask your date about their favourite way to unwind? This isn’t so much about discovering if they are a bubble bath or a bushwalk type person; it is more about getting them to imagine a soothing space. Some psychologists believe that this sort of visualisation can be incredibly effective at calming nerves2 – so don’t forget to share your relaxation tips too!

3. Where have you travelled?

One of the best things about this classic first date question is that it lets you find out about someone’s background without it seeming like you’re grilling them. What’s more, it can be quite an entertaining source of stories – especially if you are on a date with a Kiwi! We are a nation of travellers after all,3 so chances are your date will have at least a couple of hilarious anecdotes from the Big OE.

4. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Marmalade the tabby is your reason to get up in the morning, yet you’ve always found dogs a little needy. Meanwhile, your date dotes on Bertie the Boston Terrier and happens to be allergic to cats. This fundamental incompatibility is something you want to find out early: a good example of why the simpler first date questions can still be worth asking.

5. If you were on ‘My Kitchen Rules’ what would you cook?

Dale Carnegie says in How to Win Friends and Influence People: “To be interesting, be interested.” In other words, actively listening to someone can make you seem pretty attractive!4 The easiest way to do this successfully is not to fake being interested but to ask questions that require creative, actually interesting answers. And besides, everyone has a dream MKR dish that they are dying to brag about, right? Or is that just us!? If you haven’t chosen your dish yet – get some inspiration from our Pinterest board below!

6. What’s been the best challenge you’ve successfully faced?

Sharing secrets and stories can create a feeling of intimacy, so why not ask your partner about a time when they came out on top of a difficult situation? Just don’t forget to share your success story: recognising challenges and bonding over how you faced them can allow you both to feel a certain type of vulnerability that is ideal for forging connections.5

7. Greatest job you’ve ever had?

Chatting via EliteSingles can give you some great insights before an initial meeting: but it can also mean that some obvious first date questions have already been asked! If that’s the case, you probably already know what your companion does for a living, so avoid cliché and put an interesting spin on an old question. Asking your date about great life experiences gets you more interesting answers and gives them a chance to open up – an awesome way to bond.

8. What’s your happiest memory?

Talking about happy memories with your date has the same storytelling benefits as the questions above. It also has the added bonus of actually creating more warm feelings in the retelling. Indeed, researchers at the University of Southampton in England found that recalling happy memories is a great way to promote optimism and to create a positive outlook.6 Ideal date conditions indeed!

9. How much does a polar bear weigh?

Enough to break the ice! OK, this is definitely a bit silly but sometimes, when conversation is faltering, silly can be a good thing. This is especially true when meeting someone new. All those first date nerves can often feel overwhelming and it can be easy to forget why you are really there: to have fun! A bit of silliness can lighten the mood and get you back on track.

10. Can we do this again?

If all has gone well in your date then you might find yourself asking this question. Of course, before you do, you might want to ask yourself a question: am I having fun? For, while these first date topics can break the ice, what they can’t do is create a fun, easy connection where there is none. The good news? Where there is a spark already, these questions can help ignite the flame. So don’t be afraid – if it feels like a natural, genuine connection, it probably is. And if you want a second date? Just ask.

Are you ready to find a genuine connection with a fellow Kiwi? Then join EliteSingles today.

EliteSingles editorial August 2014

Do you have any great ideas for more first date questions? Let us know in the comment box below or email us at [email protected]


1 EliteSingles ‘First Date’ survey, 2013
2 Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., writing for PsychCentral, 2013 20 Ways to Relax and Unwind. Found at http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/24/20-ways-to-relax-unwind/
3 Shane Gilchrist, writing for the ODT, 2014. There and back again: The big OE Found at http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/294174/there-and-back-again-big-oe
4 Susan Heitler, Ph.D, writing for Psychology Today, The Art of Listening: How Open Are Your Ears? Found at http://www.lakecountrycalendar.com/lifestyles/313309361.html
5 Maura Kelly, writing for Marie Claire, 2010. 7 Tips to Help You ‘’Click’’ with a First Date. found at http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/a5541/instant-connection-on-first-dates/
6 Nick McDermott, writing for the Mail Online, 2013. How nostalgia is good for you: Happy memories make people more optimistic and less anxious about the future. Found at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2506263/How-nostalgia-good-Happy-memories-make-people-optimistic-anxious-future.html


About the author: Sophie Watson

See more articles written by Sophie Watson