Starting or maintaining a healthy romantic relationship can be fun, but also requires work. Here are some therapist-approved date night questions that can spark great conversations and strengthen partnerships, whether it’s your first date or your 50th.
Date night fun
A fun date night goes beyond a nice meal and a bit of entertainment. Not only does date night give you a chance to enjoy quality time with your partner (or a potential partner), but it’s an opportunity to connect for an even stronger, healthy relationship.
Sex and relationship therapist Joe Kort, PhD, says that verbal and emotional connection is arguably the most essential part of a strong relationship. So asking fun date night questions is a good idea.
“In my opinion, the number one reason couples struggle is avoiding the issues and not talking to each other about frustrations,” says Kort, founder of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health in Royal Oak, Michigan. “This leads to an emotional disconnection that is possible to repair, but the couple has to be willing to talk and know effective communication skills.”
Connecting with your partner is important because having a strong bond can give you security and a sense of well-being. “And when they don’t actively nurture the relationship, connections can suffer or even fizzle,” says Jane Greer, PhD, a New York–based marriage and family therapist.
On the other hand, when couples pay attention to their bond and take measures to strengthen it, their intimacy deepens, says Stephanie Newman, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City, and author of Barbarians at the PTA.
Why asking questions and having a date night is worthwhile
Going on dates isn’t just for getting to know new people, they can help long-term partners reconnect. In addition to providing a time and place for open relationship communication, dedicating time to chat with your partner and asking date night questions can help you reset.
“Date night is important because it’s a time out,” Kort says. And time-outs are underrated. “We talk about unplugging from social media, our phones, and taking breaks to clear our minds. Our relationships need the same.”
You don’t have to put together an elaborate date night to reap the rewards. But you do need to shut out distractions, says Kort, so the focus is on you and your partner. Even if it is just for an hour or two, spend time hanging out, talking, and holding hands to recharge the relationship and keep the connection.
Asking and answering date night questions is a way to comfortably open up topics of your lives. This allows you to talk, share, and get know each other better without worrying that topics are too personal or you’re being too intrusive. “It sets parameters for what is OK to discuss,” says Greer, who is the author of the relationship self-help book What About Me?
But it isn’t just the who, what, when, where, and why of your answers that give a relationship more traction. According to Newman, the acts of asking and showing interest, listening, and building intimacy make a date night Q&A such an important relationship tool.
Date night questions for early daters
Ready to open the lines of communication between you and a potential partner? Get ready to ask (and answer) questions that’ll bring you closer together.
These therapist-approved questions (they’re in no particular order) will help you gather information about someone new and learn more about your compatibility with each other. (Keep reading for questions that work better for long-term partners.)
How have your past relationships been, and why did they end?
According to Kort, this can tell you a lot about the person and how they act in a relationship.
How long have you been single?
Greer recommends asking this question because it gives you an idea of your partner’s dating history and can tell you how ready and available they are to starting a new serious relationship.
What is your relationship like with your family?
Asking this question can help you get a sense of how they learned to be in a relationship.
“It isn’t always the most accurate, as there could be mental health problems in their family members, but hearing how things were in their childhood and their current relationship with parents and siblings can tell you quite a bit,” Kort says.
Do you have brothers or sisters? Tell me about them.
This question is a good follow-up. According to Greer, it’s a way to gain information—in a nonthreatening or non-probing way—as to their family dynamics.
You may learn how well they get along with family members, if there are existing conflicts that might impact your relationship, as well as who may approve or disapprove of your relationship going forward.
Plus, open-ended date night questions leave room for the conversation to flow naturally.