You’ve read the dating articles. You feel armed with enough of the “right” questions to ask so you’ll never get fooled again.

You know to ask about their values, recent breakup, favorite music and movies, where they live, what they do for a living and whether they like animals and their family.

Phew! You tell yourself that you are on solid footing.

But, oops—don’t relax just yet. My five years of research with thousands of women showed me which questions yield the most accurate and most potent information. Yes—you should ask about the above topics, but if you are like most people who date, you want to know that you can trust your judgment.

For more reliability and less unwanted surprises, ask these questions as soon as possible. They are gateways that lead you to seeking wiser details.

1. What do you miss the most about your previous partner or partners?

The answers can give you a peek into what your partner lacks or needs. For example, when one of the women, “Wendy,” in my study asked her date this question about his most recent relationship he said: “I miss her outgoing personality.”

Wendy probed for more details and asked him why that quality was important to him. He said that he can get wrapped up in his work, fail to detect the signs of burn-out, and then retreat too much. He added that he needs “a little prodding.” This information prompted Wendy to wonder if he were anxious or perfectionistic about work.

She wanted to increase his ability to disclose more about him without making him feel uncomfortable. So, she followed her instincts and said: “I used to do that. I learned how to give up perfect.” Her warmth and acceptance allowed her date to drop his guard and confirm that he needs to let go.

And that information made Wendy wonder if he were a controlling man. She asked: “How did it get in the way of your relationships?” Wendy was not surprised that he said that he tends to “micromanage.”

Wow—that is powerful information! It does not automatically mean you should dump your date, but it does tell you that, if you like the person, you will need to establish some boundaries and guidelines.

2. What did your partner teach you about you—and what you need in a relationship?

This question might seem identical to “what are you looking for in a relationship,” but the question subtly sends your dates down a slightly different path where they must focus on themselves and not their previous partner.

Dating Questions for Dating Advices to Attract the Perfect MatchWhen another research participant, “Tonya,” asked her date this question, he said he needed to speak up more and not hide his feelings, or be emotionally distant or walk away from disagreements.

Marital research shows that retreating and walking away from unpleasant discussions is one of the top potential love killers. The style can make the other partner feel unimportant, alone and depressed.

Again, this dating information may not be a date killer, but it certainly gives you a potent warning sign that you will need to develop a warm, non-volatile style of interacting with your partner.

3. How did your previous partner hurt you the most?

This question can reveal your partner’s inner core of insecurity and fear. It can also show you the seeds of his family childhood environment. We all have emotional hot buttons that grow from our childhood—and then carry over into our current love lives.

When “Charlotte” asked her date this question, he said that he didn’t like “drama queens.”

His reply naturally led Charlotte to ask him to describe a more desirable style. His description was especially valuable because when he said that he would like a more level-headed woman, Charlotte was able to say: “That’s how I am.” Her disposition matched his needs, and they both sensed they were off to a good start. A year later, they got engaged.

4. In what ways did you unwittingly hurt your previous partner or partners?

The answer to this question can provide a good clue about your partner’s emotional default drive. We all have tendencies to fall back on old, unproductive or even unkind behavior that came from you upbringing.

You might have learned, for example, in your family to hide out in your room or please or keep the peace. We tend to apply this coping style to our intimate relationships. Sometimes, our style complements positively our partner’s way of coping. Most often, people with opposite coping styles attract each other. If their differences are not at the extreme end of the spectrum, they can teach and help each other.

But other times, couples find themselves too far apart or too similar. For example, when “Mike” asked his date about how she unintentionally hurt her previous boyfriend, she said that she took so much charge of the relationship that her boyfriend finally left her for another woman who was more easy-going.

Mike asked his date what she learned from this breakup, and she said that her parents divorce before she was three made her fearful of any more unhappy endings. She thought that being in charge was the best way to avoid it.

Mike sensed from his date’s actions during their dinner together that she had not yet learned to relax, be warm or flexible. The “tells” were in her bossiness with the wait staff.

Of course, there are other key questions to ask your dates, but these suggestions offer meaningful information about what your daily life might be like with this new person.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized clinical psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker LCSW #7132 FL, honored for her pioneering work with women and couples’ issues in love, life, work, and happiness. The National Association of Social Workers has named her on their list of the Fifty who has contributed to the profession. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’ Who’s Who publications, and is a frequent expert for websites, and radio shows. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie, the cartoon companion book. Do you have a story to tell about when you followed or didn’t follow your intuition? Your story could be featured in her next book about intuition! To receive gifts and tell your story, go to and sign up on the right side or click on Intuition Stories on the upper right tab.