Look, we’re not getting any younger. That’s both a scientific fact and a seriously tough pill to swallow. No amount of water or mind games is going to make that big ol’ pill digest any easier.
The tick-tock of our biological clock may be getting louder and louder, but that doesn’t mean we have to stress out. On the contrary, we should be welcoming the fact that soon we’ll no longer have to whip out our driver’s licence to buy booze (the last time I got carded was approx 300 years ago but whatever), and we’ll be able to hire cars without having to use our kidney as collateral.
Despite all the upsides of ageing, dating in particular seems to become much more frantic. Everyone loses their shit. People brush shoulders with a stranger on the train and then plan the next 40 years of their lives together (me).
In all fairness though, it’s good to know what you want in a partner and you shouldn’t have to settle for someone just because you feel like you’re the Titanic and your youth is the women and children who get first dibs on the life rafts.
So, I thought I’d suggest a couple of tips on how to ask what you need to ask on a first date without someone knowing that you’re lowkey planning your wedding, kids and matching tombstones.
The children chat
First up, the key to getting answers is to ooze vague disinterest when asking people deeply personal questions. For instance, if you want to know about their plans for kids, pick a bar with a view of the street as a first date spot. That way, when someone strolls past with a pram, you can casually comment on the baby and boom – dialogue has been created. Too bloody easy, hello answers.
Vague disinterest also works if you want to suss out their political/social views. Simply make generic, unbiased statements and let them either dig their own hole or wiggle their way closer to your heart.
While we’re at it, some general behaviours that clash with your own can be scoped out during the first date. Personally, I’d ask someone if they wanted to try my food. If they said yes, that’s a dealbreaker – I don’t share. I fucking loathe sharing. And yes, while I know that’s one of my many, many flaws, I’ve come to terms with it and so should my date. (I am working on it though, friends say it’s “extremely off-putting” and “petty” and that “beggers can’t be choosers so let them eat your food you eternally single prick of a human”.)
The other answer that most people are dying to know on a first date are the intentions of the date – is the person looking for casual dating or are they set on a long-term, monogamous, sit-by-the-fire-pretending-to-like-red-wine relationship? Need to know pronto because you’re impatient as fuck? Ask them if they have any upcoming travel plans. If they drop the bomb that they’re planning a six-month vacay drinking bottomless mimosas in Fiji, they’re probs not set on something super committed.
Most importantly though – pets. Are they a cat person, a dog person or the dreaded snake person? (Seriously no shade to snake people, they’re just evil and need to be exorcised.) This one’s pretty damn easy though. Ask them what type of pet they like and then mentally note down the emergency exits in the restaurant if they say anything other than ‘dog’.
Genuinely speaking though, sometimes it’s just easier to straight-up ask people the questions you want to ask. If they find it confronting then they’re probably not on the same page as you anyway, so it’s an easy way to weed out the ones that aren’t right for you.Image: istockphoto