During the first few dates, you may be steering clear of past relationship information and potentially traumatizing childhood events with someone you’ve just started seeing. But if things start to get serious, you may want to find out more about this person before you get in too deep. So how can you find out the things you want to know without coming across like you are conducting an interrogation?
The Conversational Interrogation
According to various experts such as police investigators and military intelligence officers, the key to good interrogation is to turn it into a conversation. The trick is to use indirect rather than direct questions. Try some sneaky interrogation techniques to delicately extract the information you want to have.
- The comment. Does this person want kids…or do they dislike kids? There’s a tricky way to find out. Look for a nearby child and make a positive remark about them. Maybe the kid is cute or well-behaved; mention it casually, and listen carefully to their response. If you comment that a child is cute and your date shrugs it off and says that kids shouldn’t be allowed in a place like this, you’ve got a good inkling that they may not like children. This commenting technique can work for all sorts of things you want to get their opinion on. You might remark on a couple fighting, a fond childhood memory or a person on a TV show, and their response might tell you a lot about them.
- The roundabout. Learning about each other through conversation leads to the roundabout. Asking them if there’s a special place they like to visit regularly will tell you what kinds of places and activities they are into. Instead of asking them what their favorite food is, ask if there was a restaurant that truly stood out to them. If they talk about their experience in a special restaurant or specifically the food, you’ll start to see what they are truly passionate about.
- The reveal. Be disarming by revealing a little bit of information about yourself. In many cases, this will prompt your date to reveal something about themselves in return. Reveal some silly childhood embarrassment or a guilty pleasure, and see what they end up telling you in response. This approach is an effective way to continue the conversation while slowly learning about each other. Remember to listen as much or more than you talk.
The Art of Questioning
There are many little tricks you can use to interrogate someone without ever giving them a hint that they’re being questioned. One of the best ways to do this is by not asking direct questions, oddly enough. There’s always a lot of pressure to talk and fill empty spaces when you’re with someone, particularly in one-on-one situations. Getting to know someone can be as easy as starting the conversation about movies, books, travel and more.
Find out what you need to know in tricky, clever ways, and extract the information you want to have before you take the next steps in your relationship. Using artful questioning with someone you’re dating puts you both at ease and makes dating more of a fun and fulfilling experience.