What Should You Talk About On A First Date?
You’ve bitten the bullet, emailed back and forth, and talked on the phone – and things seem rosy enough to go on that first date.
But organising the date now feels like the easy bit. It has been years (many years) since you’ve been on a first date, and the anxiety is now overwhelming. What if he/she/they thinks I am boring, too tall, too short. Or I end up with broccoli in my teeth. But most of all, what the heck are we even going to talk about? I don’t know this person.
Firstly, if there is a connection when you meet someone, the conversation shouldn’t be too tricky. If it feels laboured and tough, it is probably because you are just not a match. So, don’t sweat it, if you run out of chat, just realise it wasn’t meant to be.
However, this commonsense thinking doesn’t help when you’re prepping for a date. For added reassurance, it feels good to have a few topics to call upon just in case the tumbleweed rolls across the bar at any point.
So, we all know the ‘no go’s’ – Politics, Exes, Religion and Money, but what are comfortable topics to bring up when you first meet.
Here are some great topics for a first date, that won’t set off the wrong kind of sparks.
Where did you grow up and where have you lived in your life?
This is an ideal first date question. It is pretty neutral territory and a good way to start the process of getting to know someone. It opens the door to hearing about their family, upbringing, friends, and the pathway taken to get to this point in their life.
Just keep it light. If you can feel the conversation veering into ex-wives and troubling childhoods, don’t shut the person down, but do try to steer things toward more comfortable areas. There will be plenty of time to explore the deep stuff if you end up dating.
Do you enjoy travelling? What is your favorite place and where would you like to go in the future?
Most people enjoy travelling or at least getting away occasionally for a break. Hearing about holidays past and where a potential companion may like to go, helps to unlock shared interests, especially if you’ve travelled to the same places or have plans to see the same part of the world.
Have you seen (insert latest film/popular TV series out)? What was the last film/series you saw that you’d recommend?
Whilst it isn’t mandatory for a successful relationship to both be into true crime or British comedy, it can be fun to chat about what you’ve watched and both enjoyed, or scribble down recommendations from each other. Plus, you will start seeing where your interests align.
The film conversation can also be extended into other pastime areas. Have you been to that new restaurant, or seen that exhibition at the gallery?
Building on the film conversation, this topic helps you delve into other shared passions or find out if your taste for culture or food is worlds apart. It can also sow the seed for an activity for a second date.
First Date Questions
One thing that all these topics have in common, is they are all questions. Resist the temptation (especially if nervous) to enter into a 15 minute monologue about yourself.
The best way to make a person feel at ease is to show genuine interest in them. And listen. Don’t just hear what they say and quickly start talking. Genuinely listen and then you will hear the clues and signs that will lead to another meaningful conversation.
Questions don’t have to feel like a job interview, so take the time to explore topics of commonality, rather than firing back and making them feel they are being tested.
The most important thing to remember is it is natural to feel nervous. It would be weird not to be. Break the ice at the start, be vulnerable and start the conversation with something like ‘This is a bit strange. I’m a bit nervous, are you?’. You’ll probably end up both laughing at the situation and from then on, things become much easier.
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