In a dating relationship, getting to know each other is key. Every date, text, call, and interaction has the potential for you both to discover more about each other’s inner worlds. The more you learn about each other, the more you can create shared meaning together and, even at the early stages, have rituals of connection over which you bond.
Have deeper conversations on a date
Initial dates and conversations likely covered surface topics like your pets and hobbies. However, what kinds of questions can lead to deeper conversations?
In Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, along with Doug and Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams, offer discussion topics that help you get to the heart of what you both want out of your lives and your relationship. And you don’t have to wait for a commitment to ask these open-ended questions—you can start as soon as your next date.
Depending on the length and status of your relationship, some of these questions may be good to ask now and some are better timed for further down the road. You decide but plan to have meaningful conversations as you date and grow together. As you work through them, you’ll set the foundation for a love that lasts a lifetime.
Questions to ask on a date
- What does trust mean to you?
- How was conflict handled in your family growing up?
- How do you feel about work now and how do you see it changing in the future?
- What are your hopes and dreams when it comes to money?
- What does family mean to you?
- How did you like to play as a child?
- What’s the most recent adventurous thing you did?
- How do you feel you have grown the most? In what areas?
These are just a few of the questions that can help you understand each other better as you move through your relationship. Download our Gottman Card Deck app for more questions and conversation topics for couples.
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The Gottman Institute’s Editorial Team is composed of staff members who contribute to the Institute’s overall message. It is our mission to reach out to individuals, couples, and families in order to help create and maintain greater love and health in relationships.