I remember the first date and the awkwardness that filled the space between us while we tried to get to know each other. ” What are your hobbies?” he asked me, while I reluctantly told him the truth and tried to make it sound fun. Reading books for him meant passing an examination. So he gave me a wobbly smile. I grimaced back and asked, “What about you?”
We of course didn’t see each other again. And I remember having to answer these same questions in other dates, or from men with whom my marriage was attempted to be arranged.
And sadly, these questions are such humdrum barriers to actually getting to know the other person. I’m still saving a Gallup StrengthsFinder book for the man I think can be my ‘one and only’. And, of course, he’ll go through the free but damn accurate MBTI test available on the web.
But when I’m trying to get to know someone, I don’t want to know their interests or hobbies. I want to know their most embarrassing moment, the time in their life they felt most powerful, I want to know what drives them crazy and thrills them to their bones.
we tend to ask the polite questions, or the proper ones, and in that process lose out on knowing the core of the individual. Their traits, not masked behaviors, contextual and transitory.
So, at the risk of putting off my date, I’d ask the following (mind you, this list is real and will be put to use)
- What animal or bird would represent you and why?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- If given a choice of getting three wishes or owning a genie, which would you choose?
- If you could sell your soul for something precious, would you do it?
- The moment in your life that defines you?
- Your biggest fear?
- The most thrilling moment you’ve ever had?
- Would you rather fart loudly in public or be barfed upon?
- Mountains or the beach?
- DC or Marvel?
These are just ice-breakers but they give you the idea. Ask questions which matter! Not those that only give a prelude to who the person is.
The best date I ever had, although it went nowhere, was when the guy told me lame ant and elephant jokes for 2 hours. And we played a game where we communicated through song or movie titles. We didn’t ask each other about our dreams and aspirations. We were silly and playful, and had a LOT of fun!
So be crazy!