When does a date start? You may be tempted to say it starts when you drive up to take her out on that first "formal" outing that she agreed to go to with you. But if you view the date as starting then, you will have lost a lot of valuable "date time" that happens long before she says yes to going out with you. The truth is that except in the case of a blind date, the date begins from the moment you set eyes on each other. And if that time between when you first meet, begin to flirt and get to know each other and the first formal date goes well, you have a much greater chance that the first actual date will be the great event you want it to be. Whether she knows it or not, you start dating a girl even during the get acquainted phase. The only change in what happens during those critical days or weeks leading up to the date and the formal event is in how you handle them.
But if within your mind the act of dating that girl of your dreams starts as soon as you determine that you want the date, you have hours of valuable time to get to know her and lay the groundwork, for what will become a wonderful romance once you actually ask her out and begin the time when you are "a couple." Rarely do you date someone that is not already in a place that both of you already are comfortable. So most of us date girls from school, work or a social group where we have others who can introduce you and help you get to know the girl you have your eye on.
Because this kind of setting is not always openly about dating, you can relax and become friends with the gal you are interested in and use that social time to do some important behind the scenes fact finding. Further you can use this time to build rapport so the grounds of a good first date are already in place before you ask her out. Too often we have a bad first date and most of the time, unless it because of some accident or something, it's because something comes out that you or she didn't expect that dooms the date.
So in the relaxed setting before the date, you can ask a few questions (and answer a few) to get those basics out in the open early on. Then you can be more assured that when the date starts, a "date killer" wont surface that can lead to a very long and unpleasant evening. A critical piece of information to focus on in your early chats is if the girl is even in the dating market at all. She usually will let you know if she has a boyfriend, a husband or some other reason that she can or will not date you. And as disappointing as that might be, it's a whole lot better than floating the date question out there only to get told "no" and to have to deal with that sense of rejection just because you didn't do your homework up front. This "friendship" stage is also a good time to find out some general information that would have a big impact on the success of a date and the hopes for a relationship.
Differences between you and her in religion, politics or racial or cultural bias issues can be easily flushed out in a casual discussion which can help you make a decision about whether to ask her out and what kinds of thing would qualify as a good date experience for the girl you have your eye on. And this early time of casual friendship and getting to know each other can be just as exciting as the date if you start to feel she likes you and that she wants to go out with you as much as you want to take her out. And if the interest is high and the flirtation strong when you go out on that first date, you and she have a good chance of a bright future of lots of fun and romantic dates and maybe a romance that will go all the way.
You can find more creative first date questions at MyRomanticDateIdeas.com.