What to Talk About On a First Date

So let’s say you made the date on Tinder, on Craigslist, on Plenty of Fish, Match or even Whisper. (Weird place to meet, right?) So after you have a good text conversation, you both decide it’s time to stop playing games and meet in person. Test the chemistry! Meet each other in the real world and see what sparks fly.

That’s the problem…sparks are probably not going to fly, unless you both prepare to have a great conversation. I’ve known plenty of friends who had great text conversations, sometimes for weeks on end, and yet when they met in person they really didn’t like each other.

Sometimes that happens because they just expect good conversation to happen naturally, when in fact, creating flirty banter requires serious effort. Not just from the man, not just from the woman, but from both parties.

It’s not necessarily that both of you should be excellent conversationalists, or well cultured, or worldly-wise (although that does help!). You should be natural and you should be comfortable being yourself. But give more thought to the topics you want to discuss. Knowing what to talk about and what subjects to avoid will help you to create more chemistry and reduce that dreadfully awkward silence that kills a good date.

Here are five topic ideas:

1. The amazing world we live in.

Now this doesn’t mean you have free reign to talk politics, religion, or conspiracy theories about aliens and the holographic moon. However, it will always reflect favorably if you are well read. Do you follow the news? Are you aware of where our civilization is in the stream of time? Are you aware of the “amazing” things the future holds as well as the discoveries of today?

The idea that you are aware of the world doesn’t mean that you have to focus on anything negative or divisive (such as us vs. them). It simply means that you are conscious of things around you, and you are capable of having an intellectual conversation.

We say “our amazing world” because your opinions should be positive. Bring a positive energy to the conversation at all costs. Negativity isn’t sexy or exciting.

When you are a little worldly wise, you are able to contribute to almost any conversation, because being well read and familiar with world news, will allow you to jump in and make any conversation more interesting. Talk about things you read that fit the conversation or about experiences you’ve had that tie into the news item of the day. Fill in the funny talk with some great “filler” knowledge. Just leave the strong opinions till date #4 or #5!

2. Talk about what you both love.

While there’s something to be said for remaining mysterious or hyper-focused on your date, the truth is, when you start talking about something you LOVE, you have an infectious spirit.

You speak with joy and optimism. You actually make the other person smile because you’re so obviously happy and proud of this part of your life. The other person can always tell when you’re passionate about a topic and they start to share your enthusiasm.

So while you can talk about what you love (which he will also encourage you to do) don’t forget to let him shine and get him talking about what he loves. He may have a hobby, a career, traveling plans, projects, or a talent that he’s just dying to bring up. Pay close attention to his facial expressions and the way his voice changes when he finally feels alive!

3. Talk about what you want, not what’s in the past.

It’s not a bad idea to talk about love, relationships and sex (within reason). Just don’t go into great detail about all the mistakes of the past, regrets over your exes, sordid sex secrets, or anything too kinky. Even without getting into these earthy specifics, you can still have GREAT conversations about what love is, what you’ve learned, and what you want out of a relationship. Focus on the present, not the past. Let him know upfront what you want from a man and what stage in life you’re in right now. This lets him know immediately if he’s a good match and what he can provide for you.

Honesty and “being yourself” are always welcome on a first date…but remember to put your “best side” first and avoid anything negative or polarizing. This first date is all about making each other feel comfortable.

4. Look around you and talk about how interesting the environment is.

Not a trick question or even a tricky scenario. There’s always something interesting happening around you, whether you’re eating at a fancy beachside restaurant or just a local coffee shop. What are you eating or drinking and why? If there’s a crowd of people around what similarities do you notice between all of you? What’s the day and temperature like? Why did you pick this spot in particular?

Not only does this give you the chance to demonstrate good conversational skills, but it also reduces the pressure to be “on”. Don’t try so hard to be on…focus on what feels natural, like the world going on around you.

5. Talk about positive memories (that don’t involve your ex).

Finally, let’s toast to the past. Previously when we said avoid the topic of your ex entirely, we weren’t frowning upon the past. History is fascinating. Your life memories are precious and worth sharing—provided you’re focusing on the positive. Be more entertaining by talking about fun experiences you’ve had before, and all the more so if they tie into the local environment.

Did something strange amazing happen here? Can you describe it in vivid detail? Or on the way here did something funny happen? What did your grandfather once tell you about this city? Keep the stories relatively short (under two minutes) and focus on recreating the happy emotions described in the story.

As you can see, first date topics are usually very simple. Relax. Let your date relax. And then rather than talk about EVERYTHING, start slow and talk about something pleasant. Let it grow from there. Within minutes, the conversation will be booming and you’ll both be having fun.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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Matthew Coast

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