Any first date comes with a side of pre-date nerves.
As you imagine every possible scenario for how the first few minutes will transpire, you might be wracking your brain for conversation topics. Does he like the same music? What if he doesn’t? Do I ask about his family? Hobbies? Life goals?
The first date is, in a sense, a litmus test for relationship viability. It’s a guy’s – and girl’s – first chance to see if this is the kind of human with whom they’d like to spend time. First date topics should give a glimpse of your date’s character – and thus the trajectory your relationship might take. And while it’s unlikely you’ll even NEED pre-planned conversation starters, there are five questions I always recommend asking on the first date (by no means an exhaustive list).
When and How Did You Come to Know Christ?
If you think this is too “deep”, think again. Being equally yoked is no joke, and a man who takes his walk with God seriously won’t be deterred by this question.
The spiritual turning point of our lives belies our worldview. Knowing when, why, and how a person came to Christ reveals a good deal about their priorities. It also opens up a conversation about childhood, family, and denominational background. This question, more than any other, will tell you if a guy is “Christian” in name only, or if he is an active follower of Jesus Christ.
What is Something You’re Passionate About?
What lights a fire in his soul? What drives him in his life decisions? Get to know your date’s passions and you’ll get a glimpse of what life would be like by his side. The things he loves will be a regular part of your own existence should the relationship continue. If all he can find to be passionate about is the latest video game, the bar is set pretty low.
Not every guy will have “big” goals and dreams, and that’s okay. When my husband and I had this conversation, he told me his life goal was to get a great engineering job, provide for his family, and raise them in God’s truth. That’s it. Though small and simple, his passion drove him to work hard in every area of life – and his dream was one I could willingly support.
If You Could Travel Anywhere, Where Would You Go?
I throw this one in because travel has become a priority among millennials. Since it is expensive, many couples have to choose which places they’ll go together once they can do so – and it’s fun to find out if you share the same dream destinations. It also opens up conversation about previous travels and mission trips, as well as your views on the meaning of missions (short term and long term both, which can be surprisingly controversial).
If you love to travel and your date does not, this could alter the future of your relationship. Some people just don’t like to travel, and this can be a source of great contention as your friendship and dating relationship grows. But travel (and missions) can be a great unifier as well, so discussing it on the first date is worthwhile.
What’s Your Favorite Childhood Memory?
Bringing up family on the first date can be iffy; if your date has a troubled family background, he or she is likely not eager to bare their soul without a foundation of trust. Rather than asking, “What is your relationship with your mother?” start with something more conversational such as the question above.
Asking for a favorite memory keeps the conversation positive. It also gives a glimpse of what your date finds most comforting, encouraging, or uplifting in others. If his favorite memory is his mom baking cookies at the holidays or his dad taking him fishing, his love language may be gifts or quality time. It doesn’t tell everything about his heart and family background, but it’s a good place to start.
What Have You Learned in Your Walk With God Lately?
Too often we wait until a relationship is “serious” to have serious conversations. This is backwards. We need to stop viewing our spiritual lives as separate from our dating relationships, and start combining the two. That’s how God sees them, and that’s how it should be.
Don’t shy away from sharing about your walk with God or asking about his. If you expect to have a Christ-centered relationship, you both need to be Christ-centered – and that begins on the first date. If your date is “freaked out” by your spiritual depth, he needs to get out of the spiritual shallows.
Your walk with God isn’t something you do; for Christians, it’s who we are. If someone gets awkward when you bring up the Lord, you can bet they don’t know him personally enough to see this conversation as natural. For those of us who know and love Him, His presence is as real as any human relationship, and talking about Him is part of our daily lives. That’s why sharing what you’ve learning in your walk is an excellent way to get to know your date’s spiritual life and intentions.
There are many more questions you can and should ask on the first date, but these should get you started. For more ideas, follow my Date Ideas board on Pinterest!