Meeting someone new can often be overwhelming, but you have a lot of things you want to know before you go any further. Everyone has a proverbial list in their mind of things that they will and won’t accept in a person, as well as some things they’re looking for in a mate.

It’s always good to get the essential conversations out of the way first so that you know right away if something is or isn’t going to work. Not every person you have a spark for will be a perfect match for you, so you must do some detective work.

Twenty Questions to Ask a New Love Interest

To see if you’re compatible with a person requires a bit of small talk. Physical attraction is one thing, but such superficial things are not enough to sustain a relationship. You need to know something about this person that shows substance.

If you ask them to tell you about themselves, it’s a bit of a broad topic that might be too hard to answer. Nerves always play a significant role in the first few encounters, so it’s better to ask more pointed questions. Here are the best questions to ask when meeting a potential love interest.

questions to ask
1. What’s Your Idea of a Perfect Date?

You need to know if they like the mountains, beach or prefer to go out to dinner or sit home and chill. When you have an introvert and an extrovert trying to match, it can be troublesome to find activities, so you need to know their preferences.

2. Have You Ever Been Engaged or Married?

Questioning someone if they’ve ever been married or engaged before is essential. You want to know if they have failed relationships. If so, why did they go wrong?

The last thing you want to do is get involved with a serial cheater or someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder.

3. Do You Like Pets?

One critical discussion to have right away is if they love pets. It can be a significant issue if you love both dogs and cats, and they don’t like animals in their space.

If you both love animals, then it won’t be a problem. However, some folks feel very strongly about the cleanliness and bringing Fido into their space.

4. Where Do You See Yourself in Five or Ten Years From Now?

Do they have plans, dreams, and goals for their future? You want to make sure you’re both going in the same direction. If they’re moving to Italy and you want to stay stateside close to family and raise kids, it might not work.

5. What Do you Do for a Living?

Romance requires some finance, so you need to find a roundabout way of asking what they make. Can they sustain a relationship financially? Ask them what they do for a living, and it can answer many questions that you want to ask but you’re afraid are too personal.

6. Are You Close to Your Family?

Always find out if they’re close to their family or if there’s some weird dynamic going on. Claire Jack, Ph.D., explains this in an article on toxic family relationships. She states that people often have harmful situations cut themselves off from family due to emotional or physical abuse.

If you get involved with a person who has challenging family dynamics, it can affect you profoundly. Should you ever get married, remember you’re signing up for a life of more than just this person.

7. Do You Have Any Hobbies You Enjoy?

Find out what they like to do for fun. You don’t want someone who sits in front of the TV all the time, as there’s so much life to live. It would be nice if you had some things in common that you could do together.

8. What’s Your Favorite Type of Food?

While finding out what their favorite food is won’t make or break a relationship, it can help you know what they like for future date planning. If you ever decide to have this person over and cook for them, you will know exactly what to make.

9. Are You a Sports Fan?

Okay, so it’s one of the questions to ask that seems silly, but you want to know if you need to rearrange your life during football, basketball, or baseball season. Some people are obsessed with sports, so you need to see if you will be spending more time stadium side than you like.

10. Where Do You Like To Vacation?

Do they prefer the mountains and the privacy of a rustic get-a-way, or do they like the ocean and the tranquility of the lapping waves? Since you want to spend time together, finding out if you like similar things can be helpful.

questions to ask
11. What Season is Your Favorite?

If you’re all about Christmas and live for the season, you probably want to know if you’re getting involved with Scrooge. Perhaps, they have a religious affiliation that forbids them from celebrating any holidays, even birthdays. You need to find out if the person you’re interested in is festive.

12. Are You a Spiritual Person?

Religion and spirituality play a significant role in a relationship, so one of the questions you should ask early on is faith. Your dynamic as a couple depends on mutual respect and your beliefs. According to Paul Thagard, Ph.D., many people classify themselves as spiritual but don’t partake in indoctrinated faith.

Today’s society rejects organized religion with rituals and convictions and discards the belief in a higher power like God, Allah, or Ba’al. The most important thing is that you both can respect one another’s ideas, which doesn’t interfere with your relationship. If there’s mutual respect and conversations about how kids will be raised and such, you can work through it.

13. Do You Have Any Weirdest Habit or Quirks?

The person of your dreams may be everything you’ve ever wanted, but this one weird habit or quirk may drive you mad. Ask them upfront if they do anything that drives other people crazy. Maybe they have some fetish or other odd habit that you know you can’t live with no matter how hard you try.

14. Do You Have a Special Diet?

While you wouldn’t think diet would be so important, it’s one of the questions to ask early on. If they observe a vegetarian lifestyle and avoid meat and live for a rack of ribs and a steak, it might cause some friction. Additionally, some people feel very passionate about their diets, so you need to make sure that you mesh food-wise.

15. What’s Your Best Memory as a Child?

One of the questions to ask must be about their childhood. When you ask them to go back and identify a good memory, you’re essentially asking them how childhood was for them. Listen closely to how they talk about their mom and dad; it can indicate red flags of emotional baggage and intense wounds.

16. Do you want children?

It’s too late to ask them if they want children when someone is pregnant. Find out if they see themselves as a mom or dad early on. Some people don’t want children and the intense responsibility of raising them, while others want a whole house full of kids.

17. Did you go to college?

Finding out whether they went to college can help to determine their financial status. Someone who goes to college probably has many student loans, but they may have an excellent job to offset those. People who go to college tend to make more money than those who don’t, so it’s good to know.

18. What’s one thing you would like to change about yourself?

Everyone has things about themselves that they would like to change, and it’s better to find out about these issues before you’re involved. You may be surprised at the answers you get.

19. Where do you see yourself in the future?

Where do they see themselves in the future? Do they want to move to faraway lands and be an ex-pat? If their life’s dream is to see the world, and you refuse to get on a plane, then how can it work?

20. Are you free next week?

Of all the questions to ask, the most important is the one that lets you know if their social calendar is free next week. You want to see if they can go on another date, especially if this one went well.

questions to ask
Final Thoughts on Questions to Ask When Meeting a Potential Love

First dates and meeting someone new is always a challenge. However, you can get to know each other better by giving them a few questions. Sure, the questions seem harmless, but there’s some valuable information in there that you need to know if you intend to go any further.

It’s always better to find out early on if issues such as spirituality might cause significant rifts in the beginning. If you can come to a compromise early on, there’s nothing that can stop your love, especially if you set firm boundaries.