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First Date: 36 Questions to Ask Your Date

Make Your First Date Count With These 36 Questions

We have all been on a first date. Even when the first date was a success, and resulted in a second date, there is a chance you could have improved the meeting. These 36 questions developed by Arthur Aron and his team at SUNY-Stony Brook can help you generate closeness with a stranger.

You might find yourself being too uncomfortable to answer or ask these questions on the first, second, or even third date. But eventually, you should ask and answer them with your date/partner. Moreover, if you do ask them early on, it is almost guaranteed that you will gain closeness and understanding that many couples never experience. Further, you may find that although you are now closer to them and have a better understanding of the other person, they are not the right person for you. This discovery could save you from experiencing significant pain in the future.

36 Questions to Establish Closeness With Another

Divide these questions up between yourself and your partner, and if you go first, you ask your date first and then provide your answer after they are done responding.

Set I

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you're going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a perfect day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about your upbringing, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you've dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
  3. Describe the most significant accomplishment of your life.
  4. What do you value most in a friendship?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. Your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  11. How close and warm is your family?
  12. Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?


  1. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
  2. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "we are both in this room feeling..."
  3. Complete this sentence, "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."
  4. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be vital for him or her to know.
  5. Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.
  6. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  7. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious about being the subject of a joke?
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
  10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to make a final dash to keep any one item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to describe how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

An Example of The 36 Questions Put To Use

Recently Jay Shetty posted a video of two people on a first date asking these questions to each other. Watch the video and see how the 36 questions might work on a first date.

How to Generate Small Talk on Your First Date

Ok, so maybe the first 36 questions seem to intimate for you to ask or answer during your first date. If so, there is another set that you can ask and answer designed to generate small talk.

Questions to Generate Small Talk

Set I

First date small talk

  1. When was the last time you walked for more than an hour? Describe where you went and what you saw.
  2. What was the best gift you ever received, and why?
  3. If you had to move from <insert place of residence> where would you go, and what would you miss the most about < add your current place of residence>?
  4. How did you celebrate last Halloween?
  5. Do you read a newspaper often and which do you prefer? Why?
  6. What is a good number of people to have in a family, and why?
  7. If you could invent a new flavor of ice cream, what would it be?
  8. What is the best restaurant you've been to in the last month that your date has yet to visit? Tell your date about it.
  9. Describe the last pet you owned.

Set II

  1. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
  2. What is the funniest thing that happened to you when you were a small child?
  3. What gifts did you receive on your last birthday?
  4. Describe the last time you went to the zoo.
  5. Tell the names and ages of your family members, include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and where they were born (to the extent you know this information).
  6. One of you says a word; the next say a word that starts with the last letter of the word just said. Do this until you have spoken 50 words. Any words will do; you are not making a sentence.
  7. Do you like to get up early or stay up late? Is there anything funny that has resulted from this?
  8. Where are you from? Name all of the places you've lived.
  9. What is your favorite holiday? Why?


  1. Where did you go to high school? What was it like?
  2. What is the best book you have read in the past three months? Tell your partner about it?
  3. What foreign country would you most like to visit? What attracts you most to this place?
  4. Do you prefer digital clocks or the ones with hands on them? Why?
  5. Describe your mother's best friend.
  6. Do you think left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people?
  7. What was the last concert you saw? How many of that artist's / band's albums do you own? Have you seen them before? Where?
  8. Were you ever in a school play? What was your role? What was the plot of the play? Did anything funny ever happen when you were on stage?


In conclusion, whether you jump right to the first set of 36 questions, use one of the other two sets, or a combination of questions the conversation during your first date will be informative. Moreover, these tools will help you establish meaningful and effective communication; essential for a solid foundation.

In some cases people suffering from betrayal or deception from their spouse or partner need clinical therapy, in other cases top notch coaching can help. Herostyle.org has helped many overcome this huge obstacle in their lives.

I have had success in helping people communicate better with their partners, improve their mental strength, and get motivated. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact me. I want you to take advantage of my solution based coaching and get on the path to greatness.

After your first free consultation with me, we will work together and establish a coaching plan that meets your needs. Consequently, this tailored schedule gets you the results you need in the shortest amount of time possible. As a result, although it is rare, some clients can receive the necessary coaching in one session, while others require much more.

Again, your first consultation is free, coaching you to excellence starts when you click the Book Dr. Steve button.

4 Responses

  1. Overall a good list - but let’s making it fun instead of and interview! ????
    • Jabir, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it! I agree that it should not be an "interview." One can make it enjoyable with a proper approach to it all. Best wishes and have an excellent HeroStyle Day! Dr. Steve
  2. not familiar with the set of questions for small talk, were they also by aron? i'm more familiar with his wife's work on highly sensitive individuals.
    • From the same research Vince. The small talk questions came from the researchers that were located in California but also on Aron's team. You can click on the link at the top of the article and read the entire study yourself if you are interested. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment. Rise Up! Dream - Believe - Succeed, it is up to you to make your day the best day of the rest of your life. Dr. Steve

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