First dates are a great time to focus on getting to know someone new, but asking the right questions can either make or break a first-time meeting. Although it's important to realize that every person and first date is different, there's nothing wrong with keeping some standard questions in mind. Figuring out the right questions about their family to ask on a first date that aren't too intense or personal can be tricky, because you never know what to expect. People who've had traumatic, or difficult childhoods might be reluctant to get into the details with someone they've just met, and that's totally understandable. That said, finding out details about their family can be very telling, especially early on.
How someone grew up has a pretty sizable effect on who they become and how they move through the world. It's hardly a secret that many insecurities and hang-ups can be linked back to childhood experiences and family dynamic. That's why getting to know someone's family background can alert you to potential character traits and red flags. However, it's usually a good idea to hold off on judging someone too much, especially after a first date. First dates aren't the time to get into anything too deep or uncomfortable. Instead focus on sussing out whether or not they're someone who you'd like to spend more time with.
When getting to know someone new, finding out about the important people in their life is key. However, it's important to be cautious, because at the end of the day, no one wants to admit if their familial relationships are strained. By asking who they're "close to" you are directing their attention to the positive relationships in their life instead of the negative ones.
"Some people ask 'Are you close to your family?' but this can be a bit personal for a first date and people usually have a canned answer for it," wrote human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards for her site, Science of People. "Instead ask them what they were like as a kid and let them tell you stories about them and their family."
There's such a big difference between asking questions that could make a date feel uncomfortable and giving them the opportunity to tell the stories they want to tell. The latter is definitely a better option.
How someone defines "home" is another low-key way of sussing out who and what's important to them. And while this might not seem like an overly family-focused question, there is undoubtedly a direct connection between home and family.
Growing up as an only child versus in a house full of siblings are very different experiences. Plus, if they do have siblings, how they speak about them can def clue you into whether or not they are close.
This a great way of asking about their parental dynamic without digging too deep — and chances are they will probably end up giving you more information than necessary because this is a question that might require a little context. For example, they may divulge that their dad was in the military, and therefore was much more strict than their mom, or something like that.
At the end of the day, you don't want to spend an entire first date drilling your date about their family. Try to focus on having fun and following the natural flow of the conversation. Remember, if things go well and you're both into each other, there will be plenty more time to dive into the deeper parts of how they got to be who they are today.