A young couple sit in a café, sharing a set of earphones listening to music

6 ways to get to know your date better

by Fran Creffield - November 16, 2012

How well do you know the person you are dating? Do you feel like there is a lot more going on under the surface but don’t know how to get to it?

Relationships are all about getting to know each other but when you are dating everyone is on their best behaviour so you may only be seeing their public face. We all do it. We want to be liked so we show the parts of ourselves that we know are the most acceptable and try to hide the rest. Before you decide to commit to a relationship with someone it is important that you know as much about them as possible so your decision is an informed one.

This is particularly important if you are thinking of moving in together. Too many relationships end because people didn’t get to know each other well enough before making a commitment and were then disappointed when they discovered more.

1.      Share your music

What music are you into? – This is one of the first questions people ask when they start chatting online. A great, and cheap, date night is for each of you to compile your own desert island discs. This is more than just selecting your favourite music and playing it to each other – you choose tracks that represent different part of your lives and introduce each piece with the story of how you came to love it and why.

2.      Find out about their dreams

Knowing about someone’s hopes and dreams for the future is as important as knowing about the ins and outs of their daily life. It is often when someone talks about their dreams for the future (maybe one with you) that they will really open up and you will see what makes them tick. While we can all have big dreams and grand plans the difference between a fantasist and a realist is that the realist will be doing things in their life now which are laying the foundations for their dreams to become a reality.

3.      Introduce them to your friends and family

Meeting someone’s friends and family can be a bit daunting for anyone but it is a great way to see other parts of your date which may not be apparent when it is just the two of you. Your friends and family are the people who make up the fabric of your life and although it is possible to have a successful relationship if your partner doesn’t get on with them it is much more likely to last if they do. They can also give you valuable feedback on their first impressions of your date and raise red flags if they think there is anything amiss.

4.      See them in a stressful situation

This could be going shopping in a crowded shopping centre, dealing with a problem in a restaurant or coping when the car breaks down. There is no need to manufacture a stressful situation – life has an uncanny way of throwing us curve balls – but seeing how someone copes with stress and manages their anger is a very important part of them you should know before you make a commitment.

While it is important not to deliberately cause stress don’t try and avoid it either. If your date is having a hard time with something don’t put off seeing them, instead see how you can work together on it – it may be that your coping strategies compliment each other and what might have seemed overwhelming for one person is easier with two. If you only see each other when you are both feeling happy you won’t be given the chance to forge deeper connections.

5.      Get away from it all

Most of us can be on our best behaviour for an evening, or even for a whole day, but go away for a long weekend and you will see much more of someone’s authentic self. It doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic or fancy just an environment where you have to work together to negotiate what you want to do, how you are going to get there and see each other for an extended period of time without all the distractions of daily life.

6.      Talk about the taboos

The two main things that people avoid talking about are money and politics but these are essential items on the agenda if you really want to get to know your date better. Probably not on the first date but at some point before you make a commitment it is a good idea to really explore whether your beliefs and values on these subjects are compatible.

Remember there is no rush, take all the time you need to really get to know someone and trust your heart as much as your head to tell you if they are right for you.