Dating today is not for the weak. Any single person looking for love will cosign. What can make it even harder is not knowing the right questions to ask a potential mate in the earlier stages of the dating game--especially on the first date.
We asked professional matchmaker and mentor Paul C. Brunson to help. Exactly how should you approach the first date? And what's the one question you need answered before you make plans for date number two?
When out on the very first date, as the butterflies settle and the nervous feelings subside, Brunson says that you should ask about how your date witnessed the relationship their parents share in order to gauge how they measure love.
That's right, you should be thinking about mom and dad while out with the one who could indeed be "the one!"
“The discussion of what your relationship was with your parents, that is extraordinarily [important],” says Brunson.
Asking a question like, “what did love look like [when you were growing up]?” helps to uncover how we perceive love, how we expect it and in what ways we give it because some of the success of romantic relationships is rooted in how we first developed love.
I'm Scared of Love Because I Saw My Parents' Marriage Fail
“What you're really trying to figure out was ‘how was that love conveyed?’ Part of that touches upon the 5 love languages. Was it conveyed through gifts? Was it conveyed through quality time? Was it conveyed through physical touch? That's really important to understand that.”
While it’s true that on the first date we aren’t always honest—showcasing the very best versions of ourselves for the sake of trying to make a good enough impression to get a call back—it’s crucial to devote time to find out if the way love was witnessed and is now measured determines compatibility.
“The problem is that when you are on a first date, the representative shows up and because we are now super sophisticated daters and we're typically prepped before a first date, or because of experience, we know what to say, what not to say, areas to stay away from, we're hearing is you're hearing what the representative has to say. You're not really hearing what the person has to say—what you really want to do is you want to observe over time how the person you're dating shows love and receives love from their parents.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
“If you discuss those things and the person on the other end doesn't receive them, in the way that you are intending them to be received, then it could be an issue with communication. It could be an issue with the values aligning. It could be an issue with many things, but ultimately, it means that you're probably not the most compatible for that person. That's really what dating is all about anyway. It's about identifying. It's really about exploring activities with folks to discover if there's romantic possibility.”