Past relationships

In general, talking about past relationships is a really bad idea. They're over and done with. When you talk about them, the tendency is to paint either your ex or yourself as a bad person. If you paint yourself as bad, you may plant the question in your date's mind, "Why waste time with this loser?" If you paint your ex as bad, you can end up looking paranoid and unintentionally bringing up the uncomfortable question "How would this dude talk about me behind my back?" Talking about exes is just too much negativity.

If you can't find something better to talk about than your exes, you need a therapist, not a date.

The earlier sections deal with information you must or must not share. But presumably, at some point, you're going to be curious. What questions are okay to ask? Which ones need to be avoided?

It's important not only to be interested but to seem interested in your date by asking cool questions like the following:

1 What do you do?

1 What sports do you like?

1 What's your favorite free-time activity?

1 What movies have you seen?

1 What restaurants do you like?

1 Do you think the president's doing a good job?

Avoid questions like the following:

1 Do you come here often? Trite, silly, and demeaning leading nowhere.

1 How's your food? The most common response is "Fine." Complaining is tacky, and what are you going to do about it? If you want to focus on the food (I wouldn't suggest it), you can offer to share. You can find out gobs about your date very quickly by his or her willingness — or unwillingness — to share.

1 Can you believe the weather? Pleeeze try harder than this. It's a deadend question that runs the risk of making you sound desperate.

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