Maybe it’s your first date and maybe it’s your third, but pauses in the conversation are normal and expected. If you need some great topics to get you off and running again, we got your back. Check out the comprehensive list below for topics that’ll work during each different stage of a relationship.

Getting to Know Each Other

  • Jewish geography
  • Camps and schools attended
  • Your family and educational background
  • What you are currently doing with your life
  • What made you choose your career/course of study?
  • What you like/dislike about it?
  • What do you like to do for “fun,” and why that is enjoyable for you?
  • The person you most admire and how he/she inspires you.
  • What interests you, and why you are drawn to it.
  • Your favorite hobby, why it appeals to you, how you follow it.
  • Describe the most satisfying achievement of your life.
  • Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a long time? Do you think you will ever be able to do it?
  • An interesting article you’ve read and your reaction to it, even if the topic is controversial.
  • The best vacation you ever took and why it was so great.
  • The most interesting experience you ever had at work or school.

Feeling Comfortable?

  • What it was like growing up in your hometown/in your family?
  • An experience that influenced you to make a change in your life or a decision about the future.
  • What you think is your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.
  • Where you see yourself in five years, and ten years, and how you hope to “get there”
  • What you feel you really need to work on before you can achieve your full potential.
  • What do you like about being Jewish?
  • Your feelings about Israel versus feelings about where you now live.
  • If you have spent time in Israel, what that experience was like and how it affected you.
  • The experience or thought process that led to your level of religious observance.
  • Your tastes in food, clothing, furniture, art and music.
  • How you get along with different personality types.
  • Things that get you angry or depressed.
  • Something that fascinates or excites you.
  • What two activities really energize you?
  • What’s an accomplishment you’re most proud of?
  • What book had a great impact on your life?
  • What two traits in your future spouse are most important to you?
  • What part of yourself would you like to improve?
  • What do you like to talk about with people close to you?
  • Who is your most inspiring role model? What about him/her inspires you?
  • What would you like me to know about you … that I may not have seen yet?
  • What do you often wonder about?
  • What character trait in others really bugs you?

Fourth Date and Onward

  • More details about your family, including the different personalities of family members, and the differences between your respective families.
  • A description of how you envision Shabbat and holidays in your home. Try talking about things that impressed you in your house growing up, or in the different homes you’ve visited for Shabbat.
  • Your friendships – what your closest friends are like, how those friendships developed, experiences you have shared, what you value in those friendships.
  • A challenge you have dealt with, why it was difficult for you to face, and how you dealt with it.
  • A moral dilemma you have faced, why it was difficult for you to resolve, and how you resolved it.
  • Your belief in G-d, and how you have felt His involvement/guidance in your own life.
  • The role that chesed plays in your life, and the role you would like it to play in the future.
  • How you would like to raise your children.
  • How do you deal with time pressure?
  • The potential you believe you have, how you hope to utilize it, and how honest you are about evaluating your potential.
  • Your expectations about the standard of living you would like to have when you are married, and your attitudes about spending and saving money, following a budget, and giving tzedaka.
  • The manner in which you would like to share household responsibilities, including child care.
  • The role of Torah study, and how much time you envision devoting to study each week.
  • Your overall view of life.  Who you most admire.  An experience or person who inspired you. 
  • Something very important or distasteful to you. 
  • How you relate to each other.  What you like about each other and what if anything you’d change if you could?
  • How you want to relate to the future
  • Your parents’ marriages and what you want to emulate or avoid.
  • Living situation.  What type of community/neighborhood? House or apt.  Household responsibilities.  How much time you want to spend together. How/where to vacation.  How/where to spend holidays Cleaning help. 
  • Finances.  How you will support each other financially? Future career plans.  How to handle assets you bring to the marriage.  Who will pay bills.? How to handle big ticket items.  $ amount where you consult with spouse before purchase. Attitudes about saving, financial goals, credit cards.  What if one spouse stops working because of job loss, parenthood, or disability? Do one/both of you have debt?
  • Religious observance.  How you envision celebrating Shabbos and holidays.? Expectations about kashrus, bris milah, religious wedding ceremony, having a rabbi . 
  • Cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  What values from your upbringing do you want to incorporate into your marriage?   Do you have different value systems and customs that may affect your life view and expectations? House size, purchasing large items and clothing, etc.
  • Handling stress and disagreement.  How you anticipate making decisions as a couple? What will you do if can’t reach an agreement?
  • Extended family.  What do you like and dislike about your family? How close do you want to live to family? How much time do you want to spend with family.? What will you call each other’s parents?  Do your families like each other and the person you want to marry?  If they don’t, how can you resolve this?
  • Friends.  What kind of people do you get along with?  What do you value in your friendships?  What relationships do plan on having with your friends after marriage?  What if a friend and your spouse don’t get along?
  • Children.  When to have and how many do you want.  Wife stops working?  For how long?  Discipline ideas.   
  • Medical/psychological conditions.  Medications.  Will this affect your marriage?
  • Name 1-3 character traits you think people notice about you when they first meet you.
  • Name 3 character traits you notice about each other.
  • Within the confines of your commitments (work, etc.), what constitutes a great day?
  • If you had freedom from your commitments for one day, how might you best enjoy spending it?
  • What is something you really want to be able to say about your life when you look back on it at 120?
  • What character traits in someone make you want to be around that person?
  • Name 5 things in your current life that bring you great joy.
  • Name 2 things you appreciate and 2 things you don’t appreciate about how you were raised.
  • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained 1-3 qualities, what would they be? 
  • What do you like most about being Jewish?
  • What do the two of you have in common?
  • Name 2 very important people in your life. What kind of relationship do you have with each one?
  • Name 5 things about yourself that you really like or are very proud of.
  • What do you feel most grateful?
  • Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? How might you make it happen?
  • Share a special memory. 
  • Share a difficult memory. 
  • What do you like about the current dynamics in your family? What don’t you like?
  • How do you like to spend your free time?
  • How connected are you to technology?
  • How do you make decisions?
  • What worrys you?
  • If you could be born into any culture or time period, which would you choose and why??
  • Is exercise and a healthy diet important to you?
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