Life Advice



Erika Ettin: How to have a great first date

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

5. Ask questions

6. Have a two-sided conversation

One additional point about confirming a day before the date. Use the confident “Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” vs. “Are we still on?” If someone is inclined to cancel, it won’t matter how you ask, so you might as well show your self-confidence.

What to talk about:

There are no right or wrong questions to ask on a date, but the ones that do better require more than a simple one-word answer. For example, “What made you passionate about medicine?” is more interesting than the standard “What do you do?”

Some other ideas:

1. How was your day? (Often overlooked, but a great conversation starter.)


2. What do you like to do on weekends?

3. What made you decide to move to this area, and how do you like it?

All of these questions are things the other person already knows about him or herself, so it doesn’t require too much introspection. Then you can delve deeper.

Notice, I didn’t recommend, “How is COVID treating you?” Or “How are you doing with the quarantine?” A first date should be a respite, not another banal conversation about the sad state of the world.

Remember that, in dating, there’s no perfect science … far from it. But using these pointers will at least get you on the right track … and potentially a second date!


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