This is an add-on to a much larger post which can be found here.
A first or second date should be for getting to know one another. But let’s face it—that’s not going to happen if the two of you, or even one of you, are feeling super-awkward.
What you really need are some good topics that can serve to both lighten things up and help you dive into the opportunity of exploring each other’s personalities. So here are a few more ideas to get that conversation flowing.
Take a Cue from the Current Liturgical Season
If the two of you share the Faith in common to start with, you might as well try to use it as a springboard for good conversation. A standard for Catholic small talk could be something like, “Do you have anything special you like to do for Advent?” Or if the season dictates, you can substitute Lent or whichever season is coming up next.
This is a great question to find out about a person’s favorite traditions and also hopefully give you some insight into their spiritual life. Perhaps they’re one of the many of us who often forget about Advent despite their best efforts. Or they might be someone who looks forward all year to lighting their Advent wreath candles or preparing the Christmas Crib scene.
Try Asking About Everyday Preferences
A light and easy starter to try after the basics of introduction material have been exhausted might be to ask questions that give you a sense of their daily routine.
For example, “Are you a night owl or an early riser?” Are they a huge fan of the snooze button? Do they find it impossible to sleep past 6:00 am? Most people have at least some preference or sense of the time of day they most enjoy or do their best work. So a question like this may give you some insight into their personality while also giving you some idea of any glaring differences between the two of you.
On a similar note, you could also try, “What’s your favorite meal of the day?” This question will probably give you an insight into their favorite time of day as well, and it might be a springboard to discover some things the two of you share in common.
“What kind of car do you wish you drove?” While a lot of us might just have a car that works and be grateful for its utility, this is a good question to figure out if he or she is the kind of person who would love a Ferrari one day, or is the type of person who is quite satisfied with their dependable Honda.
Get an Idea of Their Date Preferences
“What’s the last movie you saw in theaters?” A great way to figure out both their preferred movie genre and whether they frequent the theater. It’s quite possible that you’ve found one of those people who could take or leave a night at the movies, which means that if things are going well here you might have to start thinking of other date ideas for the two of you in the future.
“What’s your go-to ice cream flavor?” On the surface, just another question about someone’s everyday preferences. But really, a question like this can also give you some insight into whether they’re a person who likes going out for ice cream. You might infer from their enthusiasm that they’d love a date at Cold Stone.
“Are you a concert-goer?” It might seem like most people are and that a night of live music would be a safe bet for any future dates, but in fact, there are some people who could take or leave a concert, or even who straight-up dislike them (myself included, even though I love listening to music in general).
If Things Are Going Well, Dive Deeper
Sometimes, it’s pretty clear that you’re really clicking with this person you’ve met. You’re both having fun and seem to be compatible in a lot of ways. If that happens, now is the time to test the waters with a discussion about some things you feel passionately about, or maybe some important issues in our society.
Try something like, “Do you think you’re more politically conservative or liberal?” While most faithful Catholics will probably be lining up with some of the moral issues that tend to go along with the Republican party (abortion and same-sex marriage, for instance), there is still plenty of room for variety on other political issues.
You might even venture into areas like illegal immigration and their thoughts on the issues that surround it, or their opinions on what should be done to help the poor on a personal or a governmental level.
The two of you might not agree on everything when it comes to topics like these, and that’s okay. But the advantage of talking about things like this is to see both where you disagree and how well the two of you are at disagreeing.
Even if you do think pretty similarly on a lot of issues initially, it’s best to see early on whether you have the potential to work through disagreements and be civil about it.
Because, when it comes to having a relationship that can last, it’s a good idea to find out whether you’re able to disagree well. I might even argue that discovering how the two of you disagree and debate is perhaps one of the most important parts of getting to know that potential someone special.