I genuinely detest first dates. I am not by nature a nervous person, but something about dates just gets me! This is usually heightened by my bizarre anxiety of eating in-front of new people…but the worst thing about first dates is getting stuck in that essential information check conversation; Where did you grow up? What do your parents do? Where are your family from? What/where did you study? Ok, granted these questions are inevitable, and yes they do offer ‘crucial’ intelligence on this current acquaintance/potential lover. But they are simply put, boring. So I thought about this over a bottle of wine (#foreveralone), and composed a list of 10 questions (because all good lists come in even numbers apparently) that with the right connection should get you both talking on a deeper level…or at least talking.
1. Describe your 'perfect' date...
This one is pretty obvious, but as my father would say there is nothing common about sense, so on that basis this is a fun and revealing question. Equally if you can get this question in with someone prior to actually going on that first date it will give you some good ideas on what to do with them (Captain obvious). But more importantly it will give you an idea of how well suited you actually are. So perhaps if your dream date is a romantic candlelit dinner with fine wine in the City overlooking the Thames, but theirs is doing extreme water sports followed by a hike around the coast and some beers on the beach at sunset with a pit fire you’re not the best match…just saying.
2. Would you say you’re more of a cat or a dog person?
If you don’t like dogs or cats then just skip this question…and never, ever try to be my friend, you cold, cold, evil human. Otherwise this is one of my personal favourites and guarantees laughter if nothing else. I pretty much base the formula as follows;
3. What's the first thing you remember becoming ‘obsessed' with?
This is just a slightly less dull icebreaker guaranteed to get you laughing (as with most of these questions they should be interested in hearing your answer to them too). Perhaps yours is a singer/boyband, famous actor/actress, a lame kids TV program. Well mine was Michael Jackson, I had literally everything.he.ever.did on cassette (yes cassette tapes, I’m getting old) and just to add to the spectacle that is my life I used to watch Moonwalker nearly everyday…for 5 years...you can’t judge me......MJ foreverrrrrrrr!
4. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
Again, I feel this question is totally obvious, but often it gets overlooked and missed out on until much later on. In its place we end up asking less revealing stuff like where have you been before? What was your best vacation? Screw the past, that’s one of the problems with conversations. They can become entirely about the past if you're not careful. So talk future, not only is this setting a good prejudice for your potential relationship, but it will again serve as a great indicator of how well matched you are with this person in the long run. At the end of the day we are all on our own paths, and when our interests and/or futures align then and only then can we form a bond. So if you plan to go travelling across South East Asia and they want to start a business in the UK then you must accept that your time together will most likely be short. Otherwise it could cost someones dreams if you're not careful and act foolishly. I clearly have no personal feelings on this matter whatsoever...not one bit...
5. What was the worst fashion 'phase' you ever went through/most embarrassing?
Your chance to discover if you're both secret ex-goths! But on a serious note, this is another sure to get some laughs question. Unless you were both boring kids and never went through any phase, like ever. In which case yay! Now you can be boring, together <3
6. What's the craziest/stupidest thing you recall doing in Highschool?
A good follow on from the last question since that should have set you both off reminiscing about your Highschool days (*sigh*). I wouldn't judge to harshly based on their answer, it won’t exactly give you any clues as to where their boundaries lay now, let’s face it, most of us are not who we were in Highschool (ahem *no names*). But it does give you an idea if your future children (if you want kids, I'm cool either way no judgement made) would be menacing rebel children or not….just kidding…..kinda. But on an attempted serious note, like most of these questions it's FUN and will let you know how much of a wild card they once were back in the day.
7. If you were President/Prime Minister for one day and could only address one issue what would it be?
Let’s talk politics, just because it makes us look smart. But really this should let you know how compassionate and mature they are. The possible answers are endless, and someone who is overwhelmed by this question is clearly a thoughtful person. It’s there chance to say what they think is wrong with their country/this world. If you both have absolutely nothing to say about this then carry on together in your ignorant bliss.
8. What’s your earliest happy memory?
I think it’s very important (given all of us have had very different upbringings) to add the ‘happy’ to this question. Not that you don't want to get deep and hear about the turmoil of their past or anything, but it’s good to focus on the positive, at first at least! Equally this grants great insight into their childhood/family life and what made them the random stranger (potential soon not to be stranger) sitting before you today. I am always personally wary of people who can't answer this one as it makes me want to give them CBT and help them find a way to see the positive. Everybody has to have a good happy memory....unless you're both self pitying Emo kids that can't recall such a thing as 'happiness'.
9. Based on what you know about me already (if money was no object) what would you buy me as the ultimate gift?
Sort of a trick question, I wouldn't recommend this one for a first date, just in the name of fairness and not sounding crazy. But by time you have seen each other a couple of times (and most likely been messaging non stop like loser teenagers, you know the point where your friends start to tease you for being on your phone so much and smiling like a dick all the time) then it’s a good gauge to see how much they have actually listened to you, and what they have bothered to learn about you. When I once asked this question to a man, he said he would buy me a little island with a beach house. It was a great answer believe it or not, because it showed he really knew something about me and what makes me happy; water, nature, sunshine and a home. I mean, I am still waiting on that island beach house…but it’s definitely something I will always smile about and that brought us closer at the time...you know, before he fucked me over royally.
10. Psychology test…?
Ok…so technically the last question isn't a question. Its more a ‘game’ I like to play with peoples brains which somewhat exercises the Barnum effect, but is still very enjoyable.
It’s basically a pretty well known psychology tool used to better understand an individuals social mind. I do this to literally everyone I meet, and the results never fail to amuse me.
GET TO THE POINT
Ok so to ‘play’ I am going to do it with you first, then you can do it to whoever you like...
First, I want you to clear your mind.
Now imagine you are standing in a forest of imagination, here YOU decide everything that happens. Take some time to really build a picture in your mind of this forest…
Now describe the forest to me. Is it light or dark? Day or night? Is there any path? Is the path long or short? Are there many trees? Are they tall or short? Dense or sparse? Is it winter or summer? Hot or cold?
Now I want you to imagine you are walking through this forest, and as you are walking you see something catch your eye on the ground. You pick it up, it’s a key.
Describe this key to me. Is it old or new? Big or small? What’s it made of? What does it look like?
You go to continue on walking…
Do you bring the key with you or leave it?
Now as you carry on through the forest you can hear water in the near distance. You keep walking through the trees and you come out at a river. Take some time to imagine this.
Describe the river to me. Is it deep or shallow? Moving fast or slow? Is it wide or narrow?
You realise you must now cross the river…
Tell me how you do it? Do you walk through? Swim across? Make a bridge? Go around?
Once you cross the river you come to a large clearing with long grass and some trees, just up ahead in the distance you see a large bear.
What happens next? Do you interact with the bear or avoid confrontation? Is the bear happy to see you or aggressive?
You continue on into more forest, and after hours of walking you finally come out onto a beach. Take some time to imagine this.
Now describe the beach to me. Is the ocean/sea rough or calm? Is it sandy or rocky? Are there any people or is it deserted?
You stare out into the horizon, and to your left in the far distance you see what looks like a person or a group of people. You walk in that direction until you are close enough to see.
Who is there? How many people are there? Do you know them?
So that is the end of the test, you can read the analysis of your answers below…
The Forest - This indicates your feelings regarding your current situation in life. Those who see a dark forest, or imagine it to be night are certain to be feeling uneasy about things, versus those who see a light forest during the day who are more likely to be feeling positive at this moment. The general mood of the forest is equally a representative of this. If you see a path it's a sign you feel you have many things left to achieve. Younger people are more likely to see a long path whereas older people might see a shorter one or not have imagined a path at all. Suggesting you are truly settled and content in your life.
The Key - This represents your self worth, confidence and work ethic. The more extravagant, large, clean and fancy the key, the bigger the ego, and the less the more humble and modest of a person. Somewhere in-between is where most people will fall. If you bring the key with you without any thought you are opportunistic and have a sense of entitlement. Finders keepers right? If you left the key you feel you must work hard in life to get what you want and don’t feel that opportunities come easily to you. If there was any mention of leaving it for someone else to find, you are a very special and rare kind of person. You are greatly compassionate, spiritual and a lover of nature.
The River - Believe it or not, this is all about sex and your attitude towards romantic love. Deep rivers indicate passionate people, where as shallow rivers are a sign of shyness. A fast moving river suggests a high sex drive and someone with animal passion, where as a slow moving one indicates someone who would rather make love and more monogamous and meaningful sexual experiences. How you cross the river indicates your sexual confidence and a liberal or more ridged attitude towards sex. Those who jump right in or cross with ease (especially those that get wet doing it, seriously no pun intended) have an open and liberal attitude towards sex, whereas those who struggle to cross or can’t cross at all perhaps lack sexual confidence at the moment. Equally those that create a mechanical way across (bridge, tree, ropes, etc.) have a more ridged, practical attitude towards sex.
The Bear - Strangely, the bear represents God in some tests. But I prefer to relate it to our problem solving abilities and if we are generally pessimistic or optimistic as individuals. If the bear is aggressive, you definitely need a break from something to retune! If the bear is friendly you have a good relationship with your mind (at its core at least). If you confront or interact with the bear (friendly or not) that suggests you are not afraid to face your problems in life head on. Avoiding any interaction at all means you tend to run away from your issues and don’t face things. Playing with the bear indicates you are in a good place and able to deal with problems with a healthy attitude, fighting with the bear means you feel you have a battle on your hands right now which is negatively impacting you.
The Beach - This final part of the test reveals how social you are and how you feel about what is yet to come. The ocean/sea represents your feelings about the future, if it’s wild then things are uncertain or exciting right now, if it’s calm you’re generally feeling prepared and set on a path right now or perhaps settled completely. How many people you saw on the beach indicates if you are highly sociable, or if you prefer to have a lot of alone time. It pretty much directly reveals who you want around you. So if you didn't see your friends or lover there in the distance either you highly value alone time due to a current stress, or you need new ones.
Now go out there and date like a slightly less boring person! Or at the very least run the psychology test on all your friends and scare the hell out of some poor unsuspecting Tinder matches.
© 2016 Kat Liberty