Yippee! You got your first date. That’s great news!
The excitement that comes from preparing for a first date is amazing and can leave you feeling upbeat. At the same time, it also brings up several preparation steps, one of which is figuring out what to talk about on a first date.
A first date conversation is very important. Think of it as an informal interview into the relationship you have always dreamed of. It determines whether you make it to a second date or become just another unimpressive first date.
If you have found yourself at this stage of your dating journey, not to worry, we got you covered with 10 conversation starters that will make your first date more engaging, and not remotely awkward.
- Pay them a compliment
You might both be nervous, that’s normal. A great way to get both of you to relax is by paying them a compliment. It could be about their choice of clothes or the warm smile you received when you walked in. Your date will appreciate that you noticed.
Doing this will also help you to know how they handle compliments:
- Did it get to their head?
- Do they start talking about themselves and everything they own?
- Or do they accept it confidently as they should?
- Ask them what their every day looks like
Once you have both settled the nerves and placed an order for food and drinks, find out what they spend their day doing.
- What does their everyday life look like?
- Are they early risers?
- Do they work out?
- Do they have a job?
- If so, what do they do?
- Do they have a social life?
- Are they the spontaneous type or instead, creatures of habit?
Asking them about their everyday routine will give you insight into their lifestyle and if they align with yours.
- Find out about their favorite recreational activity
Knowing their favorite recreational activity will help you understand how they manage stress and nurture themselves.
It also gives you an idea of their personality, whether they are introverted, adventurous, or workaholic. Who knows? You might even get ideas on where to take them for a second date.
- Get them to talk about their passion
Now is your chance to know if they are big on showing their emotions or masking them. When they talk about their passion, pay attention to their facial expressions, body language, and tone. If they are expressive of their feelings, you would know by the excitement written all over them.
Talking about their passion is also a great way to know where they draw their inspiration from or what motivates them.
- Steer the conversation toward goals
Being with someone whose goals align with yours is a hurdle many people may have difficulties overcoming later in the relationship. While your date might be reluctant to share their full goals with you, whatever information they’re willing to share could give you a hint about what direction they are heading.
When it comes to relationship goals, you should know that there are different reasons people date. Finding out what theirs is will help you know the level of commitment to put in.
- Find out their relationship deal breakers
Setting boundaries is necessary for a healthy and long-lasting relationship. So don’t be afraid to ask them what their deal breakers are. This will help you know what they aren’t willing to compromise on, spot conflicting values, and prevent situations that won’t favor any of you.
For instance, if they say that their deal breaker is having a partner who asks them to contribute financially to the relationship, you would know straight up that this stance would be a problem if you believe in balanced relationship roles.
- Explore the authoritative figure in their life
Another thing to talk about on a first date is who your new friend listens to, takes advice from, or mirrors. Lead them to talk about how that person has influenced their life. Pay attention as they would reveal their values, family dynamics, and how they make critical decisions. A great side benefit is that you will know if there would be third-party interference in your relationship.
- Get to know their bucket list
Having a bucket list will help you understand what they look forward to doing and how they intend to experience life. However, keeping an open mind is important as their bucket list might change over time. What’s on their list on your first date might look different from what they want a decade down the line.
- Talk about friendship
Not every date ends in a romantic relationship. You might end up gaining an amazing friend for life. Even if it goes the romantic route and they become your partner, it equally makes them your confidant, friend, and closest ally. As such, finding out how they handle friendship should be at the top of your list.
Discussing how they make and keep friends will help you understand what friendship means to them— their values level of support they offer, what they expect from you, and what they give in return.
- Ask them to define love
People define love based on their experiences. Pay attention to their response as it can help you evaluate your life and know if you have the qualities that will make them fall for you, and know when they are in love with you.
It will also give you a glimpse of what kind of home they grew up in, the level of love they have received from family or others, and how that love has continued to shape their minds.
Also Read: Who Should Text First After A First Date?
What Not to Talk About on a First Date
Conversations tend to go wrong when you bring up topics that are too personal. You should avoid talking about these 5 things on your first date:
The idea of going on a first date is to build a connection with your prospect. Bringing up sex might be misinterpreted as being only interested in a fling. This isn’t necessarily bad if both parties are in for it. But in cases where you are not certain, it’s best to avoid bringing up sexual topics until after a few dates.
Also, avoid reaching out to kiss them while you are having these conversations. Getting the first kiss should be at the end of the date if you have both established an interest in one another.
When the urge to say “tell me something you have never told anyone before” comes up, shut it down tightly. Why? Asking them to share a secret on a first date is a very personal topic for many people and should never be among your conversation starters. Allow them to share secrets with you when they feel safe, not when you want them to. Else you might come off as pushy, and nosy, and make them question your intentions or in the worst cases, block you immediately.
Playing the “if you had one year to live…” card is not always a good conversation to start with someone you are just getting to know. For some, death is personal, scary, and a sour topic. It would be like casting a dark cloud and drawing in negative energies.
Also, it might either bring back memories of lost loved ones or trigger unsafe feelings.
Talking about achievements is a tricky one. For one, it might seem like you are bragging. And when you ask for theirs, it might be awkward if they haven’t achieved some of the things they intend to.
Also, most people never stop talking about all they have done with their lives when this subject comes up, which might leave you feeling out of place or comparing each other’s track record before the relationship starts.
You would want to build a relationship where there is no unhealthy competition. Therefore, It is best to discover their achievements as you spend more time with them rather than on a first date.
- Your ideal partner
Putting your expectations out there is not bad but telling your date about what your ideal partner “must have” is a dicey move that comes off the wrong way. For instance, saying things like “My partner must be a lawyer” or “I would never date someone who does that” might paint you as controlling.
Not only will your date feel like they cannot be authentic around you, but they will also feel you are wasting their time on a date you have already written off.
And that’s it on 10 things to talk about on a first date! With our recommended topics, you never have to worry about what to talk about on your first date, battling awkward silences, or having a conversation that turns out like a badly scripted interview.
Remember, don’t be all about yourself. Both of you will be in the relationship, so you need to ask questions that draw out who they are and who you are as well. Keep the conversation light, and engaging, and have fun. See you on the second date!