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Find out early if there are reasons that “making it work” will be fraught. Select a few of these questions rather than attempt to ask them all on the same first date! For example, if one person likes to take very long trips and the other person has a more standard two weeks vacation time. If asking this question leads to five solid minutes of them complaining you'll know the person sees the glass as half empty. Why: When you enter a relationship with someone you’re also entering a relationship with their friends. Why: If one of you doesn't like pets and the other has 3 dogs, that's likely to be a problem.

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Why: Are they very involved with their family of origin?

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You can read my prior articles for Psychology Today here.

Why: Helps you plan future dates but also gives you an opportunity to choose not to pursue dating someone who has very incompatible food preferences from you. Purchase my book The Anxiety Toolkit You can get an email alert whenever Dr Alice Boyes writes a new blog article - Subscribe.

There aren’t hard and fast rules about what’s a good vs. Research has shown that the most effective communication style in relationships is a flexible one. Why: This is primarily relevant if you're either an extreme night or an extreme morning person.

The examples below are intended to stimulate your own ideas rather than as rules. Why: Is the person about to make any major life changes e.g., leave their $200K/year job to go back to school? Do they see it as a job, a vocation, or are they primarily motivated by climbing the career ladder? Key goals of a first date are to (a) see if you have a connection, and (b) find out if you and your date have any major areas of incompatibility. Why: Does the person have strong feelings or are they more easygoing and with milder feelings. We’re wired so that once we start to develop an emotional attachment this is hard to break away from. Why: Different vacation preferences or amounts of vacation time can be a major source of ongoing incompatibility. Why: This question helps establish if your date has a positive or negative attitude? Why: Helps you find out the person's preferences and also helps you establish if the person has any free time or if they're a workaholic. Why: You likely have a preference one way or the other. However it's good to know what you're getting yourself in for before you start to get attached to someone. Why: Do they spend a lot of money or time collecting something? The answers to the above questions aren't necessarily deal breakers. If you try to be too careful with what you say, this is likely to backfire.