First dates can evoke fear in many people. First, there’s the getting ready part of the date that is really stressful, and this is before the date even begins. You think about what to wear because you don’t want to look under dressed, but not too dressed up either. Oh, where is that delicate fine line? While on the date, things only get worse. Who should pay for the bill? Where should you put your hands? Should you kiss at the end of the date? Of all the landmines, first date conversation may be one of the most difficult. People will even go as far as to rehearse conversational topics that they think might pop up.
Whether you met this person in the office, at a bar, through mutual friends or through a dating site, having one-on-one conversation is difficult no matter how many times you may have exchanged some witty banter beforehand. Soon, the office gossip and mutual friend chitchat will subside and you’ll have to discover where your interests intersect. The talk can be a little mechanical until you find out that you both like Asian cinema or went to the same college or volunteer at the same animal shelter. Eventually, you are bound to find things you have in common with your date but until then, you’ll be navigating conversation blind, in which case, here are 10 first date conversation topics that should be avoided at all costs:
Obviously money is a weird conversation for people. It’s even a weird conversation to have with close friends and relatives, let alone someone you’re on a first date with. Money may come up as a subject matter when the bill arrives because, well, someone obviously has to pay the bill. Tact is the best course in this manner. Decide who pays the bill and that is that. Other subjects, like how much you make a year or how much your car cost you, should be off the table completely. While you may think you’re winning brownie points for telling someone how expensive your car or you purse is, they will already know if it’s a Lexus or Louis Vuitton so being showy will only make you look, well, showy.
Religion may be an important topic when it comes to finding a mate. Down the line, you may have to decide what kind of marriage ceremony you will have or what religion you will raise your children as. This, however, is not down the line. This is the very first date so save this topic for a bit further down the road, will ya? It’s just the first date, no need to be writing your wedding vows yet. Since religion can be a hot button topic but also a deal breaker for relationships, it should come up early but not too early. Save the religious talk for while you’re having the “where is this going?” talk.
Like religion, politics is a hot button topic that should be avoided on the first date. Do you really want to be debating at 2016 Presidential Campaign instead of flirting? You could be giggling about Master of None together instead of talking economic strategy. Sure, finding out if your date is a Donald Trump supporter may seem pretty dire (because who really wants to be starting a relationship with a Trump supporter)) but this is another topic to save for just a bit further down the road. Again, having similar opinions in this area is a great thing but there aren’t any wedding bells yet so let’s all calm down.
Don’t bring up an ex on a date because, guess what, it’ll just make it seem like you aren’t over your ex. Maybe you aren’t over that ex, but buckle up and pretend to be for the night while you’re out on a date with someone who could potentially make you forget about your ex. Even worse, diving into the details of the failed relationship will not make you look good by any means. You could have been cheated on, lied to, and anything else that would leave you feeling hurt, but hashing out those details with a date will only make you look bitter, which is not how you want to look, even if you are.
Everyone moves at different speeds in life. There are those that sleep with people on the first date and those that withhold sex for the first three months of the relationship. You may be curious as to which category your date falls into because it could be the difference in getting lucky that night or a three-month dry period. You’re just going to have the hold onto that curiosity and ride it out. Sex is not a first date conversation but hey, if it happens, it happens, right? Just don’t actually ask if it will be happening.
5. Hot Topics
If you’ve ever watched The View, you should know that hop topics are basically topics that will get peopled heated while discussing them. So, discussing your stance on gun control could lead to a debate with your date. Do you really want to be arguing about the right to bear arms on a first date? Also, women’s rights (abortion rights) are generally a topic that should be avoided as well. Discussing a woman’s right to choose can get intense and, not to mention, it’s about one of the least sexy discussions one can have.
Whether you’re sober or ready to get the party started, discussing drinking should not be a go to conversation. Yes, order your drink(s) or don’t order your drinks. If your date asks why you’re not drinking, you could spill the details about the third DUI that finally forced you to face the fact that you have a drinking problem. But that might be some heavy stuff for a first date. Also, if your date is drinking a bit too much and slurring their words, no need to point it out, which could result in an unwanted fight. You just might want to think twice before asking them out again.
3. Negative & Toxic Relationships
Not everyone is blessed with loving friends and family. Some people have a best friend whose life choices aren’t exactly the healthiest. Some people have a best friend who is self-obsessed and narcissistic. Some people come from broken homes with parents who may not have provided a happy childhood. Whatever the case, venting about said person or people in your life won’t make them look bad. It’ll make you look like the negative one who is bringing some toxic energy to a first date. Your date will ultimately associate that bad energy with you, not the person you complained about. Save this conversation for your therapist.
If you’re at a restaurant (a common place for a first date), you will be presented with what the other person ordered for lunch or dinner and you may make a judgement based on that. If they ordered a salad, you may assume that this person is a health nut. If they ordered a creamy, decadent pasta, you may assume that they indulge. Picking up these clues is fine but if they order something that goes against the way your normally eat, don’t critique it. Do not point out how many carbs, butter or cheese is in that pasta. Do no point out that their dinky salad doesn’t look too appetizing compared to your filet mignon because, guess what, they are probably already aware of that.
1. Where Is This Going?
This is the question that everyone fears in a relationship, and especially on the first date. Don’t ask … just don’t. Also, don’t bring up long term plans of your own. Are you up for a promotion that would require you move to another state? That’s great. Are you taking six months off to backpack through Southern Asia? Good for you but don’t bring that up on the date. It will suddenly make everything much more serious than it needs to be at this point in the relationship. All of a sudden, your date is trying to figure out where they figure into these plans and if a second date is worth it if you’ll be moving or traveling. In the end, first dates are for laughing, flirting and all around good vibes.
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