The examples below are intended to stimulate your own ideas rather than as rules. Why: Is the person about to make any major life changes e.g., leave their 0K/year job to go back to school? Do they see it as a job, a vocation, or are they primarily motivated by climbing the career ladder?

By encouraging people to tell stories about themselves, you not only learn about their history, but also about them from the way they talk about their lives.

These questions are designed to spark the imagination of the person, and drift off into speculation.

Why: Helps you plan future dates but also gives you an opportunity to choose not to pursue dating someone who has very incompatible food preferences from you. Purchase my book The Anxiety Toolkit You can get an email alert whenever Dr Alice Boyes writes a new blog article - Subscribe.

Why: You likely have a preference one way or the other. However it's good to know what you're getting yourself in for before you start to get attached to someone.

Why: This will tell you about your date’s preferences and also if they're someone who tends to reflect on experiences and can talk about their thoughts. Why: Tells you something about whether they seek out new experiences. What are your thoughts about the upcoming election (any upcoming election)?

Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. What are your favorite books, TV shows, movies and music? If you met your partner through an online dating service, what would you tell your friends and family when they asked where you met? what is it that you really care about/can't live without?

You could also play a game where, for every point scored, the person who earned the point gets to ask a question.

Just be sure to choose a game you're sure to win or tie, or you may find yourself doing all the talking.

(Maybe their relationship with one of their parents or siblings isn’t great.) This is a nice way to leave it open-ended, and let your date chat about their family in terms that are as specific or as general as they want. It opens up room to hear about what they value without making your date feel like they’re bragging.