Conversation Starters for Date Nights

By Erin Smalley
By Greg Smalley
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The goal of a great marriage conversation is to affirm what your spouse is doing right, to exchange ideas and to offer suggestions for the future. Use these questions to get that process started.

Keep meaningful conversation going on your next date with your spouse by
using a few questions from the following lists. Here are several questions
you and your spouse might consider asking each other as you endeavor to
evoke fond memories or make new ones during the course of the date. We’ve
even included some questions that should happen every time you have a date.

Be sure to keep your conversations uplifting, positive, encouraging and
affirming. (The idea of a date-night conversation isn’t to criticize your
spouse in the areas where he or she is falling short. If you feel that you
need to improve some of the dynamics in the marriage, save that discussion
for another time.)

Instead, the goal is to affirm what your spouse has done or is doing right,
to exchange ideas and to offer helpful suggestions for the future. These
conversation starters are a way to help you be intentional about honoring
and cherishing your mate.

All right then, start getting to know your spouse even better.

General conversation starters

Questions to ask your spouse weekly

Teamwork

Hobbies

Spirituality and grace

Laughter

Physical fitness

Our home

Traditions

Friendship

Dreams and the future

Manners

Learning new things

Cooking

Tenderness and touch

Service projects

On dating

Birthdays

Let’s reminisce about … our first date

Let’s reminisce about … our engagement

Let’s reminisce about … our wedding

Let’s reminisce about … the early days

Let’s reminisce about … Valentine’s Day celebrations

Let’s reminisce about … Christmases gone by

Questions to ask at the end of each date night (pick one or two)

General conversation starters

• What is your favorite meal that I make and what is special about it?

• What has been your most positive spiritual experience during our
marriage?

• What three things have you done in our marriage that you’re most proud
of?

• Over the past five years, how do you think you’ve grown as a person?

• In what ways do you feel blessed in our marriage?

• What is the best gift I’ve ever given you and why is it so special?

• What do I do that is the biggest turn-on for you?

• What outfit of mine is your favorite? Why?

• Is there a particular church service or ceremony we’ve attended that was
especially meaningful to you? Why?

• What is your favorite appliance or piece of furniture that we’ve bought
together?

• What is your favorite tradition that we’ve started?

• What has been your favorite house or place we’ve lived and why?

• What is your favorite vacation we’ve taken together and why?

• What are some things I’ve done for you in the past that really made you
feel loved?

• Where would you consider our special place to be? Why is it meaningful to
you?

• What’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for you?

• Out of all the date nights we’ve experienced together thus far, which one
has been your favorite? Why?

• What’s your version of our love story?


Questions to ask your spouse weekly

• How are you feeling emotionally?

• How are things going between you and the kids?

• How are things going between you and your friends?

• What is one thing God has been teaching you lately?

• How are you handling things at your workplace this week?


Teamwork

• What are some famous teams you admire? (Note: We’re not just talking
sports teams here, although there are certainly some inspiring examples in
that category. But be sure to include other famous collaborators such
musicians, actors or marriage counselors, or … well, you get the idea.)
What makes these famous teams inspiring to you? What makes them work well
together?

• What are some positive goals we can set for our marriage over the next
six months? The next year?

• What is one thing we can do together to achieve your top goal?

• Is there a specific area you feel God wants us to work on together, as a
team, to make our marriage the best it can be?

• What are some practical steps we can take to ensure that we’re always
working as a team?


Hobbies

• What were some of your favorite hobbies as a child?

• Have any of those hobbies retained your interest as an adult?

• What are some of the key things that make your favorite hobbies
enjoyable?

• Do you prefer activities that are more physical in nature or those that
provide a mental challenge?

• If you had unlimited time and funds, what hobby would you pursue?

• What are some ways I can show you I’m interested in you and want to know
you better?


Spirituality and grace

• How would you share your testimony with me if I were a new acquaintance?

• What one person in your life has been most influential in shaping your
view of God?

• How can I pray for you?

• What have you been learning during your times of personal prayer and
Scripture reading?

• What recent sermons have impacted you at church?

• How can we continue to help each other grow spiritually on a regular
basis?

• How would you define grace? • Why is it so important?

• How can we extend grace to each other? To our children? To our extended
family? In other relationships?


Laughter

• What makes you laugh?

• Are there some silly or odd quirks about me that you find irresistibly
funny? (Don’t laugh at your spouse’s expense or be cruel.)

• Do you have happy childhood memories?

• What were some of your favorite things to play as a child?

• How did your family view playtime? Was it frowned upon or encouraged?

• As a child, were you afraid to try new things? Why or why not?

Physical fitness

• How important is physical fitness to you?

• How can we encourage each other (and our kids) in the pursuit of a
balanced approach to physical fitness — not too lax and not too extreme?

• How can I support you with your fitness goals this week?


Our home

• What specific rooms, pieces of furniture, colors or designs made an
impression on you in your childhood home?

• What special memories do you have of your living space as a child?

• How important is our home environment now to creating good memories for
us and our children?


Traditions

• Did you have special traditions in your family growing up? What were
they?

• What do you remember most about them?

• How can we create and maintain traditions for our marriage and family?


Friendship

• Whom did you consider your best friend as a child?

• In what ways is having a same-sex best friend similar to having me as
your best friend? In what ways is it different?

• What qualities do you see as essential in a friend?

• How can we work to forge stronger bonds of friendship in our marriage?


Dreams and the future

• Your dream could be something as simple as learning how to sew or cook or
as grandiose as owning property on a lake or going on a trip around the
world. Are there things you set aside when we got married that you’d like
to consider pursuing?

• Is it wise to pursue them now? Is it possible?

• If so, how can I support you in achieving those dreams?

• Where do you hope to be in your career 10 years from now? Fifteen years?

• What goals do you have for our marriage in the years ahead?

• What are your retirement plans? Is there anything significant you’d like
to achieve before you die?

• How do you envision our future together?

• What aspects of our relationship do you want to enhance together on the
road ahead?


Manners

• When a man holds the door for a woman, is that courteous or sexist?

• Was your family big on manners and decorum? How did that make you feel?

• How can we encourage good manners in our home without becoming
legalistic?

• How important are manners amid the craziness of everyday life?

Learning new things

• What would you like to learn more about? How can we work together to
expand our knowledge on that subject as a couple?

• What other topics we can explore intellectually together as a couple?

• How can we make learning fun?

• What are some ways we can keep a spirit of discovery and adventure in our
marriage?


Cooking

• What new recipes you would like try cooking together?

• How do you think cooking together improved our teamwork?

• How is this meal experience different because we cooked the food
together?

• Did you learn anything about me during this process of making a meal
together?

Tenderness and touch

• What things do I do that communicate tenderness toward you?

• Are there other ways I can communicate tenderness on a regular basis?

• Were your parents tender toward each other? How?

• Especially after long, tough days, how can we make a concerted effort to
reconnect and show tenderness and empathy?

• Is meaningful touch your primary love language?

• How would you feel if I put my arm around you in church or reached out
for your hand when we’re walking?

• What kind of touch do you respond to?

• What are some other ways we can incorporate meaningful touch into our
daily routine?

Service projects

• How did you feel about the last service project we completed together?

• Was your own family involved in community service? If so, was it
considered an obligation or a privilege?

• How important is it for Christians to be involved in acts of service?

• How can we make acts of love and service a regular part of our marriage
and family life rather than just isolated, one-time events?


On dating

• Did your parents go on dates when you were young?

• Did they model a healthy marriage for you?

• Can our own commitment to marital dating model healthy marriage concepts
for our kids?

• Which of our dates do you consider some of your favorites?

• Which ones didn’t turn out the way you expected?

• Which ones would you not care to repeat?

• How can we continue to make dating a priority in our marriage over the
months and years ahead?


Birthdays

• What are some of your favorite birthday memories from childhood?

• What makes them so special?

• What is your favorite birthday activity as an adult?

• What feelings do you have when you consider having birthdays and getting
older?

• How can I help make sure that birthdays for you are uplifting and
fulfilling?

Let’s reminisce about … our first date

• What first attracted you to me?

• What was going through your mind on our first date?

• Were your friends and family members enthusiastic about the prospect of
our dating?

• Were you nervous before our first date?

• After that first date, did you have any second thoughts about moving
forward in our relationship?


Let’s reminisce about … our engagement

• When did you know I was the “the one,” the person you wanted to marry?

• What were some of your impressions of the day we got engaged?

• What would you consider to be our song? Why is it so meaningful to you?


Let’s reminisce about … our wedding

• Do you remember any funny stories from our wedding day?

• Aside from the standard exchange of vows, what do you recall about the
pastor’s message?

• If we had the chance to do our wedding again, would you want to change
anything?

• What are some of your favorite memories from our honeymoon?


Let’s reminisce about … the early days

• What are some favorite things we used to do as a couple in the early days
of our marriage?

• Can we start doing some of those things again, even with the realities of
our busier lifestyle?

• Name two special memories you cherish about our early days that have
nothing to do with the big events of our relationship. Why are those
memories so special to you?

• [If you have children] What was your reaction when you first found out
that we were going to be parents?


Let’s reminisce about … Valentine’s Day celebrations

• What memories do you have of our first Valentine’s Day together?

• What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day memories from our
marriage?

• Let’s see if we can make a list, by year, of all our Valentine’s Day
dates up to this point.


Let’s reminisce about … Christmases gone by

• What was your all-time favorite Christmas gift?

• What’s the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

• What is one of your favorite Christmas memories?

• What is one gift I can give you this year that doesn’t cost money?

• What Christmas activity do you enjoy most?

• Growing up, did your family ever engage in an act of service to others
around the holidays?


Questions to ask at the end of each date night (pick one or two)

• What was your favorite part of the evening?

• What is one thing you learned about me tonight that you didn’t know
before?

• What is one way I can let you know I cherish you during the coming week?

• What are some ways I can support you this coming week?

• How can I encourage you as you face upcoming challenges this week?

• What do you dread during the week that I can help you face?

• What are some practical steps we can take to stay current with each
other?

• What does it mean to you to be a student of me?

• What are some of the little things I did for you on our date that you
appreciated?

• Over the course this week, how did I demonstrate my love for you?

• What are some ways I can more effectively communicate that I love you?

© 2013, 2019 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Erin Smalley

Erin Smalley serves as the Marriage Strategic Spokesperson for Focus on the Family’s marriage ministry and develops content for the marriage department. In addition to her work at Focus, Smalley is a conference speaker. She presents with her husband, Dr. Greg Smalley, at marriage enrichment seminars where they guide husbands and wives in taking steps toward enjoying deeply satisfying marriages. …

Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the …

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