13 questions you should ask on the first date?

Claire asks what I feel about 13 questions you should ask on the first date.

Now before I start, I’d point out I understand these are conversation starters and therefore will be thinking about them in the context of number 9 – social objects.

A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples

  1.  How often would you say you bring notecards to your dates?
    I can’t take this one seriously… is the notecards a social object? Nope…
  2. Are you a Beatles fan or an Elvis fan?
    This question does give you a lot of information, its also a good way to get the person talking. Even if they look at you blankly, its still interesting. If I was to answer, I would mention the fact I spent most of my time with my head in the underground and some stuff about the Beatles, which my friends have heard a few times before.
  3. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
    This one reminds me of Oli‘s who would win in a fight at the beach between a Giant Squid and a Bear. Although I think they are silly, I guess that is the charm. I would advise against lots of this type of stuff because it can come across as slightly weird and kind of trivial. Maybe more of a nice ice breaker?
  4. How do you feel about chick flicks?
    Talking about movies isn’t a bad idea, but chick flick might cause slight abuse. What is the last film which made you laugh or cry is a favourite for me.
  5. What’s the best book you read last year?
    Yes this is a good question and I have been known to ask the question while speed dating.
  6. What did you think about ‘Too Many Cooks’?
    Ok this is might get back the response of a ? But if they have seen it, well I guess you can have a laugh or indepth discussion about sitcoms.
  7. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    Geez! Really?
  8. Do you love or hate Love Actually?
    This falls into the same area as the chick flicks and too many cooks. Maybe best left alone.
  9. Is Pluto a planet?
    Nice but odd to put in a conversation, and the reply may not be that satisfactory unless you are both really geeky about space.
  10. What’s your idea of the perfect date?
    Ok good question at long last, although it can sound a little creepy
  11. Do you have any allergies?
    Yes a little creepy but actually quite a talking point (see my last post)
  12. Star Wars or Star Trek?
    Elvis or Beatles all over again. After my display of (lack of) knowledge about both at BarCampManchester5, I can really talk.
  13. What’d you do today?
    This is a good question (although I would say it in a different way), open ended and plenty of places to go afterwards. This is the kind of question you should be going for…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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