It always feels like there's going to be so many things to talk about on a first date in the days leading up to one, but you may find yourself wide-eyed and tongued-tied once the time actually comes to meet with that new person. While rehearsing a conversation ahead of time might be going too far, doing a little bit of prep work can help cure some of the obligatory first date nerves and ensure that your conversation never hits a lull. Use these examples of first date topics to determine if your paramour deserves a second date or if you should run for the hills.
Things to Talk About on a First Date
Chances are, if you're looking for conversation help on a first date, then you don't really know the person you're about to go on a date with. That means, it's best for you to be armed with a variety of different topics or questions that you can use to gauge their personality and whether there could be a lasting connection between the two of you. Either way, clinical psychologist Dr. Colleen Long attests that these talking points will give you, "a strong foundation to fall back on during those awkward silences."
Start With Easy, Interesting Topics
First and foremost, start off with simple, easy to discuss topics. However, make sure you're choosing interesting topics that can enliven your conversation and help you and your date see a bit of each other's personalities.
Location or Event
Ask: Have you ever been to (location of the date) before? - Ask your date about the location or event you've decided to meet up at; they may have some really interesting stories about how they found that the hole-in-the-wall coffee shop or small town bakery.
Ask: Do you have any pets? - Pets are an extremely safe place to start when you're talking to someone new. Whether they have any pets, chances are they've had one in the past or wanted one for a while, and soon you'll both be too caught up in your beagle's insatiable appetite to be worried about making a connection.
Ask: I spent two hours last night just browsing through Netflix; do you have any recommendations? - So much of modern life is spent consuming media, and so asking about someone's media preferences is as non-invasive as asking what color shirt they're wearing.
Ask: What's your biggest irrational fear? A quirky way to start a first date is to ask someone about their irrational fears. Everyone has one and the more outlandish they are, the more fodder you both have for a funny conversation.
Discuss Your Past
Talking about people around you or about events you participated in can give you or your date the chance to talk the night through without having to go too deep into your fears and aspirations. This is especially suited for people who are more introverted or who keep their personal life close to their chest. Here are a few different ways you can integrate these milder questions into your first date conversation.
- Are you close with your family?
- What's your favorite memory of you and your siblings?
- What's the most embarrassing thing you did as a kid?
- Is there something from your childhood, like a stuffed animal or blanket, that you still keep with you?
Toss Work Into the Conversation
Considering that so much of your life is spent working, you should absolutely remember to mention work and investigate your date's job as well. Now, if the two of you met at work, then you should stray away from asking these questions and making your burgeoning relationship all about your jobs. If you didn't, then you should find these examples of ways to segue into talking about work very useful.
- What does a typical day at your job look like?
- If there was one thing you could change about your job, what would it be?
- When you got your first substantial paycheck, what was the first thing you purchased?
- Would you choose to work full-time on location or from home full-time if you had the option?
Let Your Personality Shine
Of all the topics you and your date touch on, an important thing to keep in mind is choosing anecdotes that show your personality. Everyone has a great 'party story' that they've told to endless crowds and impressed every single one of them; this is the time to pull out those big guns. Here are a few questions that can help you and your date bring out the best in each other.
- What is the most regrettable thing you did as a teenager?
- What is your go-to party story - the one that makes everyone in the crowd laugh?
- When I'm not working, I'm (personal hobby here like grooming my pet, crocheting, racing motorcycles), what about you?
- If you could survive through one cataclysmic event (think Pompeii, the plague, and so on) and survive, what would it be?
No Topic Is Taboo on a First Date
Traditionally, religion and politics are seen as taboo subjects to bring up on a first date; however, you need to broach these subjects to assess whether this person is a potential match. It's better to know that you two have compatible lifestyles and beliefs so that you don't waste time going on future dates that'll end up going nowhere. It may seem like a cold way to approach dating, but you need to remember that a first date is a bit like a job interview for a life-partner, and you need to make sure that this person fits the parameters of the job description. Deftly approach topics like these below to see if there's a second date on the horizon.
- Do you see yourself wanting children at some point in the future?
- Were you raised religious?
- What are you looking for in a relationship?
- What's the cause you're most passionate about?
- Where do you fall on the political spectrum?
Try Out the "Ping-Pong" Test
In a conversation with LoveToKnow, clinical psychologist Dr. Colleen Long explained the "ping-pong" test. She says, "You want to make sure that the conversation is never too one sided. You can easily measure your progress by looking at each other's plates. If your date's plate is nearly cleared, and yours is still mostly full, look at it as an opportunity for you to move the questioning in your date's direction, then sit back, and enjoy your meal."
Come Prepared and Have Fun
First dates can make you feel like you're getting ready to climb Mount Everest, and yet, taking the time to prepare a few talking points you want to work into the conversation will only help you feel more in control and comfortable. However, don't forget that you're there to have fun. While this is kind of an interview for your future lifelong partner, that doesn't mean it needs to feel like one. No matter if you're introverted and quiet or boisterous and loud, these twenty-one topics will make sure that you and your date never reach that dreaded moment of awkward silence.