First dates can be awkward sometimes. Having something planned to talk about can help break those awkward silences. We’re going to give you some topics to talk about and some advice on what to talk about on a first date and what not to talk about (which is just as important).
Below are some ideas to get you started when conversation runs dry.
1. Common Interests
If you met through a common interest – it’s a great place to meet a guy by the way! – you’re in luck as far as the first-date conversation goes because you don’t have to wonder what to talk about. Start talking about whatever your common interest is. Ask him what he likes about this common interest you both have, and let him know what you find cool about it. This conversation can take all sorts of twists and turns, and it bonds you because you already share something.
If you don’t know whether you have a common interest, start talking about something you love to see whether he shares that interest. If he can’t relate, ask him what he likes to do. Somewhere, you two are bound to connect on something. If not, maybe that could be your second date, as one of you introduces the other to their interest. Check out these second date ideas for some great things to do after your first date.
2. Something You Noticed About Him
If you’re on a first date, unless it’s a blind date, you probably noticed something about him that made you want to go out with him. If you’re wondering what to talk about, tell him what it is you noticed about him. This not only provides conversation fodder, it compliments him. And guys love that.
When they feel good and have their ego stroked, they’re likely to become more animated. And an animated guy is usually a good talker. See how this one compliment led to a good mood setter?
3. Make Statements
Instead of asking questions, which can make your date feel as if he’s being interviewed for a job, make statements. For example, saying something like, “I’m guessing you’re from New York City,” works better in a first-date situation than simply asking, “Where are you from?”
Your statement opens the door of what to talk about to many conversations, such as the reason you thought he was from New York City, whether you like New York City, or whether you’ve ever been to New York City. If he’s not from New York City, he can discuss where he is from, and that can start many such conversations as well.
4. Tell a Funny Story
If you’re not a natural comedian (and most of us aren’t) think of a funny story before the date that you can tell. That way, you’ll have a go-to story when you wonder what to talk about. What’s good about this is that the story is entertaining, and if it’s truly funny, it’ll make him laugh. And fun and laughter are always great outcomes when on a first date.
5. Share a Great Memory
You want a first date to be positive and show your best side. If you see something fun going on around you, or you like the place you’re at, start this conversation by telling him this place reminds you of … and then start your story. He may find it sweet and think you’re sweet, too.
6. Tell Him You’re Having Fun
If he arranged the date, he might be feeling insecure regarding whether you’re having a good time. If you like him, it doesn’t matter whether you really do think you’re in the greatest setting or not. This conversation is a readymade what-to-talk-about subject. Tell him you like what you’re doing. You’re really just conveying that you like him. If you start dating regularly, you can start suggesting what you two can do on future dates.
7. Ask Him Whether He’s Ever Been Somewhere
Do you have a favorite restaurant, a cool hike you like to go on, or just a place you like to go and hang out? Ask him whether he’s ever been there if you want to know what to talk about. This makes good conversation if he has. You can talk about how great the place is (or why he doesn’t share your opinion). And if he hasn’t been to that place, and if you’re having a good first date, this sets up the perfect second date experience.
What Not to Talk About on a First Date
Are there topics you should avoid? Absolutely. Here are a few subjects you might want to side step when meeting someone for the first time.
1. The Weather, Politics, and Religion
Although these three topics made our list, it’s often acceptable to discuss any or all of them on the first date if you are wondering what to talk about, depending on your situation.
- Regarding the weather: if you’re in the middle of a weather event, such as a drought, you can discuss what you’re doing to help or what you think could be done about it. But simply talking about what great weather we’re having or how you’d love for the rain to stop is just plain boring. Avoid at all costs.
- Regarding politics: if you both support the same candidate and happen to know this information, it’s probably safe to discuss the reasons you like that candidate. But if you don’t know what his politics are, you could get into a contentious debate. One or the other of you might also try to push your agenda, and that is not cool on a first date. This could be fine after you’ve known someone a while, but it’s not exactly first-date material. Plus, if you really like a guy and he really likes you, it’s possible to get over your political differences if you can respect the other’s opinion. But if you find out on the first date, you might not give each other a chance based on that knowledge.
- Regarding religion: if you met at church or an online dating site for your religion, it’s fine to discuss religion on the first date. But people usually avoid discussing religion right away because, for many, the temptation to convert the other is strong. And there is no way this is appropriate on a first date, and in many cases, ever.
Here are some other topics and questions to avoid.
2. Being Negative
Everyone’s got problems. But the first date is not the time to air them out. Even if you don’t know what to talk about, don’t go negative. If you’re in debt, for example, your guy should know about it eventually, especially before you decide to live together or marry and possibly co-mingle funds. Finances can be the end of a relationship, after all. But if you tell a guy on the first date how much debt you carry, he might think you see him as your personal ATM.
The same goes for any medical issues you might have. Unless you’re having an immediate issue that needs attention, there’s no need to bring up what ails you or what meds you might be taking. Save that for when things get serious.
If you want to be charming, then try to remain positive.
3. Criticizing Others
You had a bad childhood? You hate your friends? The server at the restaurant is driving you nuts? While the urge to complain about past and current toxic people in your life might be utmost on your mind, and you can’t wait to complain about them, if you do so on the first date, don’t be surprised if it’s your last. Who wants to be around Debbie Downer all the time?
Oh and this advice goes double, even triple, for complaining about your ex. Do not, under any circumstances, go on and on about him with your new date.
4. Too Much Emotion
You might be feeling vulnerable, perhaps because of a recent breakup, so at some point during the date, you might feel compelled to reveal how hurt you feel. You do so to let this guy know that you couldn’t bear for that to happen to you again. This is probably true, but it’s definitely too much to lay on a dude the first date. Maybe he will turn out to be the most thoughtful and caring guy in the world, but you’ll never know because you probably just scared him off. That sort of emotional reveal should be reserved for when things are starting to get serious.
A little bit of emotional can lead to bonding, however. More on that here.
It’s pretty easy to come up with things to talk about on a first date. The key is to prepare ahead of time. Think about topics you can discuss if you need them. You might not need them; the conversation might just naturally flow, and that’s great. But it never hurts to be prepared for what to talk about on a first date.