When meeting someone offline for the first time, it’s easy to play up your strengths in an attempt to impress. But this can backfire.

For example, if your date compliments you multiple times on your appearance it may signal they’re trying to butter you up. It’s also a red flag if they constantly interrupt you.

1. Ask them about themselves

People enjoy talking about themselves, so asking them questions about their hobbies and interests is an easy way to spark conversation. Be sure to steer clear of questions that reveal too much, like their religion or political views.

Asking them about their pet peeves is also a great way to find out more about them. You might be surprised to discover that you both have similar things that bug you. And don’t be afraid to compliment them — just avoid making it obvious.

2. Ask about their hobbies

Asking about someone’s hobbies and interests can provide lots of conversational ammunition for when a lull in the conversation strikes. It also helps you learn about the things that really interest them and how they spend their time.

Just be careful not to ask about political opinions or anything controversial. These aren’t always the best topics to bring up on a first date. Instead, try asking about their favorite podcast or a new hobby they’ve recently taken up.

3. Ask about their interests

Asking about your date’s hobbies and interests is a great way to learn more about them. It gives you an opportunity to discuss common interests and can also help you see if they are compatible with you.

Talking about family may seem like a sensitive topic, but it can reveal a lot about your date. It can give you a better understanding of their values and how they bond with their family members.

You can also ask about their hobbies or if they have any fears. This can show them that you’re interested in learning more about their personality and views.

4. Ask about their family

It’s no secret that someone’s family dynamics and childhood experiences have a pretty significant impact on them. This is why it’s important to get to know their family background early on in the dating process.

Be careful not to pry too deeply though. Most people have well-honed bullshit detectors and can tell if you’re asking questions simply to butter them up. This is one of the biggest red flags to look out for. Rather be direct and honest, especially in this early stage.

5. Ask about their goals

Asking about their goals is a great way to learn about what they value in life and the things that are important to them. It also gives you an opportunity to ask about their interests and what they enjoy doing on a daily basis.

Plus, sharing stories about fearless experiences can be a great source of laughter and is another way to bond with your date. Asking about their odd talents can be highly entertaining as well.

6. Ask about their values

A great way to test the waters is asking your date what their weirdest talent is. Whether it’s playing the octobass or being a fantastic impressionist, this question can lead to some pretty hysterical stories that help you get to know your date better.

This question helps to dig into your date’s philosophical worldview and what they prioritize in life. It also reveals how much they value giving back to the community or social justice issues.

Whether you’re trying to impress your date or evaluate compatibility, it’s helpful to know what their values are. This can help you decide if they’re a good fit for yours or if you need to keep looking.

You can also learn about someone’s values by observing how they spend their time and money. For example, someone who values health might budget for fresh food and supplements. Similarly, someone who values achievement might pursue success at all costs.

The purpose of a first date is to get to know someone new. However, nervousness can lead people to hide their personality traits. That’s why it’s important to be yourself.

Asking questions that require a deeper response can help you get to know someone better and avoid awkward silences. Asking about their goals also gives you a sense of what’s important to them in life. It could be a career goal or something more personal. Either way, it shows that you are interested in getting to know them as a person.