Ten Questions To Ask To Get To Know A Friend Or Love Interest

Medically reviewed by Kayce Bragg, LPCS, LAC, LCPC, LPC, NCC
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Getting to know someone new, whether they are a coworker, potential friend, or love interest, can feel exciting. Making new friends or meeting a potential partner may increase happiness and well-being in your life. Research shows that social connection (romantic or otherwise) benefits your physical and mental health.

Still, it may be challenging to know what types of questions to ask when getting to know someone and understand how a possible connection could go. You could be curious to see whether you have the same pet peeves in common or whether you'd be compatible with someone in the long term. Asking getting to know someone questions can be an excellent way to strengthen a bond.


Five questions for making friends

Instead of only sticking to small talk, consider the following questions to get to know someone on a deeper level.

Who in your life do you look up to and why?

Many people have someone in their lives that inspires them, but others may also ask themselves how well do you know me questions. Asking this question can help you learn what someone values in others and potentially what they look for in a friend. It can also help you understand who they care for in their personal life. Their response can even be a fictional person, such as their favorite superhero or favorite Disney character. The answer itself may be less important than the reason why they chose that particular person.

Knowing the why of their response can be helpful. Understanding the why can give you a glimpse into the personality traits this person values. For example, they may value a particular person due to their loyalty, kindness, honesty, or empathy. As a new friend, you may use this information to get to know someone through the qualities they admire in others; you can also see whether they value the qualities that you possess or that you also believe are important. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Asking about someone's most considerable pride in life may help you get an idea of their strengths and hobbies. For example, someone who is most proud of winning a wrestling match when they were younger may be passionate about contact sports and may value working hard toward a win. Someone who is most proud of overcoming a personal struggle may appreciate personal growth, placing importance on the differences between how they are now and their younger self.

Although you won't know someone's motive without asking, you may be able to make inferences on what someone cares about by the types of accomplishments they value. Telling your own favorite story about your achievements can provide a deeper connection with the person. You can also mention if you relate to any aspect of their accomplishments, which can lead to a deeper discussion.

What is your dream career?

Often, learning about someone's description of their perfect job can tell you more about them. Although not everyone’s first job (or current occupation) is their dream job, asking about it can prompt a deeper discussion about what someone enjoys working on. It may also give you an idea of what impact they want to make in the world or their life.

For example, someone who wants to become a veterinarian may value caring for animals. Someone who hopes to start their own business in the field of psychology may value making a positive impact on the mental health of others. When someone gives you a response about their dream job, consider asking them what about the position would make them feel fulfilled in a way that would be a "dream" for them.

If they are already working in their dream career, see what they enjoy about their occupation. You may want to ask them what their career highlight has been so far, or whether they have any career advice for someone looking to go into their field. 


What is your favorite thing to do with friends or family?

Knowing if you're compatible in terms of activity may be important to you when making new friends. For example, if your friend enjoys going out to drink in the evenings and you prefer watching movies or staying in to play your favorite board game, you may not find much in common to enjoy together.

Ask your friend what their favorite family tradition or common activity is. If you can find something in common to do together, you may have a closer bond than if you can't. A 2018 study showed that young people who have common interests had a deeper connection than those who didn’t.  

What would you do if you won the lottery today?

Asking someone what they'd do if they won the lottery can be a fun way to learn more about what your friend values in terms of quality of life for themselves, their loved ones, and others around them. It may also show you where they’d like to visit if they had the money, or what would be the best vacation to take if you both went somewhere together in the future. The question doesn’t have to revolve around the craziest thing they would do with the money. Instead, it can focus on how their life would look if money was not an issue. 

For example, someone might dream of opening their own restaurant that services their favorite food, using the funds they gain to donate to charity. Another person could dream of saving money and creating a financially stable life with their families. Someone may also want to travel to Ireland or live overseas for a period of time. Consider how their response relates to your own.

Five questions for a new love interest

If you're getting to know someone in a romantic sense, you may want to ask some additional questions that can help you learn what they're looking for in a partner or how they might behave in intimate relationships.

What is a habit you'd like to break?

A recent study has shown that healthy habits such as open communication and money management skills can contribute to relationship success, while unhealthy relationship habits such as a need for excessive control or difficulty compromising may lead to a quick deterioration in the quality of a relationship.

Possibly more important than which habits they keep – and no one is perfect, so they likely have both good and bad habits – is whether or not this person recognizes and acts to improve upon an unhealthy habit or guilty pleasure, as this can display how they value both themselves and their relationships with others. Asking about how your potential partner interacts with a go-to guilty pleasure can indicate how they may act in a long-term relationship.

Although a potential partner may not lead with the most challenging aspects that they struggle with when answering, it can be beneficial to know about smaller concerning habits that could lead to frustration or more significant problems in the future.

What is your love language?

There are five commonly known love languages discussed in several psychological studies. These love languages were first coined by author Gary Chapman, and include:

  • Physical touch: Romantic gestures of love through touch, such as holding hands, sexual intimacy, hugging, cuddling, and more
  • Acts of service: Romantic gestures of love through small actions of service, such as filling up your partner's gas tank, taking out the trash, helping someone with chores when they don't feel well, etc.
  • Words of affirmation: Romantic expression through words, such as leaving sticky notes around the house with compliments, love letters, and telling someone you love them in more than one way
  • Gift giving: Romantic expression of love through giving gifts, such as thoughtful presents with a meaning behind them, giving gifts on non-special occasions, and expressing gratitude when someone gives you something
  • Quality time: A romantic expression of love through spending uninterrupted quality time with someone, such as watching a movie together, singing their go-to karaoke song together, going for a walk, or putting down your cell phone when conversing

If your person of interest knows their love language or discovers it with you, you may gain some insight into behaviors and gestures you can perform in the relationship to help them feel loved.

What are your biggest talents?

It can be valuable in a romantic relationship to learn more about someone's talents. A talent such as direct communication may be helpful in a romantic relationship if you are also a direct communicator.

Someone who considers themselves a talented artist or creator may be creative in the ways they express love as well. Understanding talents can help you see what these people value in themselves and how they work to foster those qualities.

It can also be helpful to know talents when looking for ways to spend time together and bond. For example, If a person is a talented musician and looks up to a particular artist, you can get a good idea of the best concert to attend together. In addition to this, it's helpful to consider your own talents as an interesting thing to tell a person. See how your own talents fit in with a person you are interested in, and consider collaborating to create something together. 


What type of relationship are you looking for?

Expectations in a romantic relationship can vary; your love interest may only be interested in a few dates or a casual relationship, whereas you may be interested in dating for long-term goals.

Knowing whether your expectations align in a relationship can be incredibly valuable in knowing whether continuing contact will work for you. If your expectations do not align, ending the relationship or pivoting it to a more platonic setting before someone becomes invested may save some heartbreak.

It may also be worth asking if your love interest is seeking a monogamous or polyamorous relationship. Polyamory is the ability or desire to love and maintain intimate relationships with multiple people; knowing whether your desires for monogamy or polyamory are aligned may further communicate potential compatibility.

What's your idea of the perfect date?

Asking what your partner would value in terms of a date night may help you plan future dates together. It could also offer insight into what your partner enjoys doing with someone they love. Depending on the time of year, these date ideas may be centered on a person’s favorite season or favorite holiday. One example could be if your date is occurring in October, you could both put on your favorite Halloween costume and go out on the town.

Many date ideas work during almost any season, with some popular activities including: 

  • Going to dinner and a movie
  • Taking a hike in nature
  • Ice- or roller-skating
  • Going to an event, such as a concert or comedy show
  • Going window shopping
  • Getting ice cream
  • Walking on the beach
  • Attending a painting workshop

Compatibility in date ideas may indicate compatibility in personal interests and hobbies as well. 

Counseling for couples and individuals

Although new connections can be exciting, some individuals may struggle with making new friends or finding a romantic partner. In these cases, counseling can be beneficial. With counseling, you can have opportunities to learn new social skills and techniques for getting to know someone.

Current psychology research shows that online therapy is an effective way to get support. Many individuals feel more comfortable in their own homes, which may indicate more comfort in attending online sessions. Online therapy is also available to couples who want to deepen their connection, whether their relationship is healthy or in distress. There isn’t any “warning label” to let you know if your relationship is headed in a negative direction, but therapy may be able to help you discern its current status. 

If you're interested in seeking the support of an online counselor, sites like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples may offer insight into social concerns. You'll be matched with a therapist with expertise in the areas of interest you marked when signing up. You will also have 24/7 messaging with your counselor so that you can have more open communication and can communicate issues or questions quickly outside of formal sessions.


When starting a new friendship or potential romantic connection, asking leading questions and actively listening to the response may assist you in understanding more about someone. For those who are interested in professional relationship advice, consider taking the first step with a counselor.

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