By: Allana Akhtar
Making small talk can be awkward — especially on a first date.
Simply asking “So, what do you do?” isn’t going to lead to the meaningful conversations you want to have on a first date to ensure there’ll be another one.
To help break the ice with a stranger on a first date, Business Insider asked seven relationship experts from across the country to reveal their favorite questions to ask on a first date.
While many of them had a few pre-determined questions at hand, they said the most important thing to keep in mind is just to be a good listener and to be yourself.
“Meaningful small talk is virtually anything that helps you connect with the other person in a genuine way,” Shira Teichman, a dating coach, and co-founder of the dating app Forj, told Business Insider. “Ask what feels natural in the moment, without calculating what you think you’re supposed to say.”
For those who need a little extra guidance, here are the best questions to ask on a first date, according to relationship experts:
Where did you grow up?
While intimate questions about family and past relationships can be too invasive for a first date, asking light questions about where they grew up can lead to more meaningful conversations. “It sounds a little boring, but all these leading questions are simply for a response that you can then build from,” said New York City-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter.
Plus, getting a better sense of their relationship with their friends and family can clue you into how this person would be in a relationship, Sassoon said.
“When you know that a person has friendships that lasted many years, they are in a healthy state to have sustainable relationships,” she added.
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