If you have been asked out on a date by someone with a different nationality to yours and aren’t sure what to talk about with them, don’t worry! Dating someone from somewhere else doesn’t need to be any different to any other relationship, especially if you can both speak a common language. However as you will obviously want to find out more about them without seeming rude, it can be a good idea to consider what you could say before the date itself, so you can be sure not to cause offense or have any awkward silences.

Here are five questions that you could consider asking on a first date:

1. Tell me about where you are from? – This is an ideal question to ask as it is open and gives someone the opportunity to speak as much or little as they like and from here the conversation should flow more naturally; you want to avoid sounding like an interrogator though. (However be sure that your date is actually from another country and not born here.)

2. Do you follow a religion? – Asking about religion in this way is not judgemental and also avoids the impression of making an assumption (for example asking an Indian if they are Muslim when they may practise a different religion). Knowing about someone’s religion is a really good way to get an idea of what kind of culture they are used to without asking lots of questions.

3. How do you find living here? – Getting someone else’s perspective on your country can be a real eye-opener, also asking someone’s opinion is a really good way to show that you value what they have to say. Finding out someone’s views and perceptions is also a great way to find out more about their personality in general.

4. Do you drink? – A lot of people prefer not to drink alcohol for cultural reasons and simply ordering a bottle of wine with a meal or taking them into a bar could be quite offensive. Finding out early on if drinking could be an issue can save you from many potentially embarrassing situations in the future. Some people also choose not to drink for personal reasons, so simply asking outright is probably wise.

5. Are you close to your family? – Finding out a bit about someone’s family life can tell you a lot about their personality and culture. By asking a very open question about family life you give them the opportunity to choose what they say without feeling railroaded. How families interact with each other can vary widely across the world, so by finding out more someone’s family you can also learn a lot more about their culture and background without asking lots of intrusive or blunt questions.

As you can see an interracial date doesn’t need to be any different from any other, or fraught with complications; simply relax and let the conversation flow and in time you will get to know and understand each other far better.