STRESS and anxiety aside, the first date is your ideal opportunity to gain insight into the life of the man that you might very well end up spending the rest of your life with.
If you need a head start on weeding out unqualified men, sex therapist Dr Sydney McGill said his answers to some first-date questions could help differentiate between men who will forever be just “dates” and those with the potential to be a keeper.
Unsure just what to ask, below are a list of questions that could help you find love or dodge the men with less than desirable intentions:
What are your long-term goals?
Knowing your prospective beau's goals, in general, can give you an idea of where his head space is — how ambitious he is and how he intends to achieve those goals will give significant insight into how serious he is and whether his plans are logical.
If he doesn't have a plan and does not seem to be interested in having one, and you want a relationship with someone with everything planned out, then he is not the guy for you.
What qualities are you looking for in a woman?
The qualities and/or values that a man is looking for in a woman say plenty about him. This way you can know if he is the right person for you.
For example, he might be looking for someone who is loyal, but you are free-spirited and cannot offer or commit to him immediately.
Use this opportunity to also ask him to describe himself the way that a friend would. From his description, you can pick up on some of his qualities and begin to figure out if he fits the bill.
What are your expectations of a partner?
His expectations of a woman with whom he is in a relationship are very important.
For example, is he looking for a traditional woman who takes charge of all the house affairs, such as washing, cleaning and caring for the children, or a woman who drops everything to be at his beck and call? Or is he looking for a modern woman who has her own identity, her own goals, and is he willing to support her in these? It is important to be clear about this.
What are your views on relationships?
For most women, families and other relationships are very important. What kind of value does he place on the relationship with his family, parents, siblings, or even his ex-wife?
The quality, or lack thereof, of existing relationships says a lot about the way he might treat yours in the event that you both become an item.
What does your downtime look like?
Especially if you both work, downtime in a relationship is a treasure for many couples. So, does he spend his leisure time catching up at work, with friends, with his favourite charity, lazing around on the couch, or involved with family?
This can give a better idea of whether or not he intends to spend time with you, if you share common interests, or if there is absolutely no activity that he does that you would want to do with him.
What is that one quality you won't tolerate in a relationship?
No relationship is perfect and so there will be things that you do that might offend your partner or that might cause some amount of discomfort in the union.
We all have at least one thing that we just will not tolerate in a relationship, for example, disloyalty, cheating or lies.
Knowing this can help you to understand whether or not you can commit to the relationship.
What makes you laugh/happy?
This might be undervalued, but it is a crucial part of getting to know someone. Most of us in relationships will claim to desire happiness, but do not know what would help us achieve this.
A man who is able to pinpoint what makes him happy is likely to be self-aware and has done some soul-searching, which is positive and valuable in a relationship. Additionally, knowing the kinds of things that make your potential beau laugh will give you an insight into his personality and his outlook on life.
Why did your previous relationship/s fail?
This might be awkward, but it could save you a broken heart or disappointment. Whether it is vague or is detailed, it is important that you listen with both your eyes and ears for the things being said or not said.
Listen to whether he blames his ex-partner for the challenges in the relationship and/or suggest that the break-up was triggered by his partner or if he trivialises his role in the break-up. For instance, she got mad and complained all the time because I stayed out with the guys after work to blow off some steam off. In this case, what he fails to tell you is that his family barely saw him because he spends all his free time with his friends.
Dr McGill said that a golden rule when dating is to make sure that you practise use of your ears and listen actively, instead of chatting away. This way you are guaranteed to learn a lot about the person.