First dates are your chance to make a good impression and get to know someone – and hopefully discover a shared spark of attraction. While you should be willing to talk openly about yourself and ask questions, there are some things you should never ask if you want a second date.
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1. "What went wrong between you and your ex?"
Steer clear of asking about your date's previous relationships. It will highlight your insecurity and has the potential to cause real discomfort, particularly if they're recently widowed or divorced. A first date is about new beginnings – focus on each other in the here and now. Equally, put your own past behind you. This isn't the time to talk about your ex – say wonderful things about them and your date will wonder how they can compare. Share how terrible they were, and you'll come across as bitter.
2. "How much do you have in your savings account?"
Even if you're happy to disclose your bank balance, don't make your date feel uncomfortable by asking them about their finances. You risk looking like a money-grabber, and at the very least, will come across as shallow. Seemingly indirect questions, such as "do you own your own home?" or "how is your pension plan performing?" should be approached with caution. You understandably want to know if someone is drowning in debt, but these kind of questions can wait for a later date.
3. What do you think of my bald patch/wrinkles/fat ankles?
We all have body insecurities, but why draw attention to these on a date? Don't put someone on the spot by asking them to comment on your appearance. It's a definite no-no and will result in awkward silence while they plan a quick exit. Likewise, avoid giving physical compliments on a first date. It can too easily be taken the wrong way. Save the "you have a beautiful smile" for when you know each other better. If your date makes a derogatory comment about themselves, it's fine to say "Nonsense, you have a great figure." But leave it at that.
4. "Where do you see this going / what are you looking for?"
A first date is way too soon to be asking this kind of question. This is the time to get to know one another and establish a connection. Besides, you won't know yourself what you want from the encounter until you get to know the person better. Your date might make a great platonic friend or be marriage material. Presuming that you or they know "what they want" from a first meeting suggests you're looking to slide someone into your life – and it doesn't matter who.
5. "So, why is someone like you online dating?"
Even if you think you're paying someone a compliment, this question is a definite no-no. The underlying suggestion is that people who use online dating sites are somehow deficient. In fact, surveys show that a fifth of British couples met online, while almost half of all British singles have searched for love on the internet. There's another reason not to ask the question. As well as looking down on your date you're suggesting that you're somehow "deficient" to be online dating yourself – not the impression you want to give.