Everyone is online dating now, from your old head-teacher, to the guy who runs the corner shop. The prevalence of cool, new dating apps and websites means that hundreds of people in your neighbourhood and beyond, with similar interests and tastes, are literally at your fingertips. That's brilliant, of course, but let's remember, life's short. How many hours and how much cash do you want to waste going on dinner dates with all these potentials?
Having gone on a tonne of first dates, I, not surprisingly, became an expert at figuring out how to decide if they were second date material in record-time, something I want to share with you. The first thing I did was limit that first date to 60 - 90 minutes. Everyone can spare an hour after work, and then I peppered my chat with five killer questions to help me get an idea of the following:
• what their core values were
• what their passions in life were
• what kind of lifestyle they led
• how smart they were
• how funny they were
• how emotionally intelligent they were
• how romantic they were
The questions are fairly light-hearted but actually they are quite soulful and you can find out quite a lot about them on a deeper level if they open up.
1. What's inspiring you right now?
I love this question and use it a lot in my job because the answers are so revealing. Most people will start talking about what they feel passionately about and you will see them come alive in front of your eyes. What they choose to talk about will give you valuable clues about who they are. If they talk about somewhere they've been on holiday recently, then travel is probably important to them. If they talk about their new-born nephew, then you can take a guess that family values are important to them. If they focus on something expensive that they've bought recently, then you might guess that money is important to them. So this question is really good at helping you figure out their values as well as their interests and passions.
2. Who do you look up to and why?
This is designed to help you figure out what values are important to them. A person's core values, i.e. their fundamental beliefs, are what drives them to make decisions and choices about all the major things in life such as love, money, children etc so it's really worthwhile taking the time to figure out what someone's values are before committing to them in any capacity. How they answer this question and who they choose to look up to will give you lots of clues as to how much importance they place on things like love, money, family and you can see if it resonates with your own values.
3. What's in your fridge right now?
I can't cook so one of the most important things I looked for in a partner was that he needed to know his way round the kitchen. If he only had two-day old Chinese food and a bottle of vodka in his fridge then I'd end the date pretty sharpish. But what I also found out, when asking this question besides whether they were a good cook was A) whether they had a sense of humour (if they didn't at least have a bit of a giggle at this question, chances are they don't) and B) what kind of lifestyle they led. You can tell a lot about someone by what they keep in their fridge.
4. What book would you recommend me to take on holiday?
You can get the measure of someone by the books they recommend and it can also reveal a lot about how much they value intelligence and indeed how smart they are.
5. What did you like about me that made you want to go on a date with me?
This is a no-brainer and I'm sure you all ask this at some point on the first date, if you like them and the drinks are flowing. It's good to find out what they value and like most about you. This is also a great question for starting to figure out how emotionally intelligent they are. Can they answer this question with confidence in a sincere manner? Are they stammering and staring at the floor? Do they change the subject? For me, finding a partner with high emotional intelligence was key, so this was possibly one of the most important questions of the night.