Great Questions to Ask Women on First Dates

See if there's a romantic spark by sparking the right conversation.
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When it comes to dating, it's stressful, frightening and a little overwhelming trying to decide if the girl you're with at the moment is "The One." Thankfully, psychologists report that it all comes down to asking the right questions. Quizzing your date about everything from vacations to friendships can help you to learn more about her and see if your lives fit together on various scales of compatibility. Doing all this on the first and second dates allows you to screen out problems before you both get too entangled emotionally and physically.

1 How Was Your Day?

It's a simple question that works as a basic ice breaker in numerous contexts and settings, not just when you're out on a dinner date. The key is listening to how the woman responds. Pay attention to how she frames her day's experience, specifically whether she frames what happened with a positive attitude or with a negative attitude. This can help you determine her outlook on life and her level of positivity. In general, excessive or chronic negativity and a down-turned outlook on life lead to dating problems in the future, since all your date may see is the problems in your relationship and not the positive things.

2 What Are Your Goals?

Asking goal-oriented questions, such as where your date sees herself in five years or what her current goals are, helps you identify her level of passion in life. Passion is a core component of commitment and focus, and those qualities in a date may point to sustained passion and love in the future, with both of you motivating each other forward. On the flip side, a woman who indicates that she's extremely driven and passionate may be incompatible with you if you're a more laid-back, relaxed individual with no long-term plans or vision. Remember, these questions cut two ways and can help you both determine if you see life the same way.

3 What's Your Favorite Vacation Destination?

Questions such as "Do you like to travel?" or "What type of vacation do you like?" may seem shallow, but having similar vacation and travel preferences is one of the biggest indicators of compatibility. Not only does this affect how you two spend your free time and vacations together, but it also talks about deeper character traits. For example, if you're someone who likes to just lie by a pool and read while she's someone who enjoys skydiving and ziplining through exotic forests, this may indicate that you two are incompatible when it comes to having a sense of adventure, exploration or risk..

4 Who's Your Best Friend?

Asking a woman about her best friend and what she likes about this friend says a lot about her. "When you enter a relationship with someone you’re also entering a relationship with their friends," says therapist Dr. Alice Boyes in "Psychology Today." Talk about friendships, what's important in these relationships, and what those friends are like. If you and your date's friends are severely at odds, that may affect your social life as a couple and put a strain on the relationship. As a side benefit, these types of questions give your date a nice break to talk about someone else after all the directed questions you've just aimed at her.

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.