Engaging in conversation is the most effective way to get to know the person you're dating. Effective communication is an essential component of engaging in discussions with others, and skills such as active listening, paying attention to nonverbal cues and remaining focused on what your partner says enhance discussions, notes Psych Central CEO and founder John M. Grohol, Psy.D. Having a few discussion topics at your disposal will help the conversation flow smoothly and allow you to gather useful information about your dating partner.
Discuss goals for various aspects of life, such as romance, career and family. This kind of discussion gives you both an idea about each other's short- and long-term plans, and allows the two of you to determine whether or not your plans are in alignment. Take the time to think about your goals if you haven't already done so - even if you aren't the one to initiate such a discussion, you want to be ready in case this topic comes up.
Discussing childhood experiences will bring you and your date closer as you exchange intimate details about each other's lives. Inquire about anything from your date's first crush to his most awkward experience in high school. Be prepared to share details of your childhood as well, and determine what kinds of information you will be comfortable sharing. Telling funny childhood stories is a great way to keep the mood light and carefree.
Favorite Forms of Entertainment
Ask your partner about her favorite movies, musicians and authors, and share your favorites with her as well. Keep a mental note of her favorites for future reference - if you become more serious about each other, surprising her with a gift based on information gathered during one of your conversations will show that you're a thoughtful and caring partner.
Gathering information about your dating partner's family history is vital when building a romantic relationship. It's important for you and your partner to learn about the nature of your relationships with your families of origin and whether the two of you have healthy or dysfunctional relationships with your families. If your partner doesn't have a healthy relationship with his family, don't judge him - just continue to actively listen to him and appreciate the courage that it took for him to share personal, family-related information with you.