First dates are always super stressful and knowing what to talk about on a first date can be even more difficult than one might imagine. You might feel too nervous to think about what to mention and they might think you are bored if you don't try to use conversation starters frequently.
This is exactly why it is important for you to have some topics planned in advance, in case you can't brainstorm at the moment. In order to help you out with that, here are some good topics to talk about on a first date that will keep the conversation going.
First and foremost, something you need to keep in mind is that you should not make this seem like an interview. Asking someone you just started dating questions about themselves should come naturally in the conversation and it should not feel forced.
It is completely normal to ask a few questions more directly sometimes, especially when you notice that the communication stops flowing as effortlessly. This is especially important if either of you is more introverted and has a hard time continuing the topics.
The best way to achieve this is by thinking of how to continue the conversation when you see it ending. For example, if you have just asked them about their job and you have also shared things about your own, think of where you can shift the topic next.
A great idea would be to mention that you didn't always want to do this, especially when you were a teen. You can then talk about your ambitions when you were smaller and you can mention a few things about your hometown. This can easily shift the topics to you talking about where you come from.
The important thing, especially if you're more introverted or shy, is to practice a few of these ideas in advance. Think about how you can connect different topics and how you can get to know them better through talking about different things. This way you will be more prepared for awkward times and keep the conversation going.
While you are probably looking for question ideas to ask the person you will be going out on a first date with, you should also keep in mind that there are quite a few things you should not ask someone on a first date.
These can be rather personal or difficult to answer, and you should wait a little bit until you get to know them better. Personal questions are good but you should always set a limit on which question takes things too far and could possibly make them feel uncomfortable.
First of all, talking about how many people they've slept with or been with in the past should always be off the table. Not only asking them such a question will make things uncomfortable, but it could also make them feel disrespected.
Along with that, you should probably not ask them how come they're still single or if they're on any dating apps. Since it is the first date between you, you should also not ask them if they have gone on any more dates recently or are seeing anyone else.
Unless you met on a dating app, this question is not the most appropriate thing to ask. Not only does this imply that there is something wrong with being single, but you might come off as controlling when asking something like this on the first date.
The questions you ask should sound personal without making them feel like you're evading their space too much. If you wouldn't ask a question you have in mind to someone you already see as a friend, you should probably not ask your date that either.
One of the most common things to talk about during a first date is where you come from. This is an easy way to get to know more things about one another and keep the conversation flowing without trouble.
You can ask them about where they grew up, how big the city was and what was their life like back home. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about their family life and how they were growing up.
There are so many things to discuss where you come from and you can find a lot of common things in your upbringing this way. Some questions you can use for this topic are the following:
How was it growing up in a different city?
What are some unique things about where you come from?
How long did you stay at home with your parents?
How do you get along with your parents?
Are you close to your siblings or other family members?
Do you have pets back home?
Who were your closest childhood friends?
When making small talk, you can always introduce topics that don't take a lot of thought to come up with or answer. These first-date conversation starters can be short yet can help you learn a lot about a person and how they click with you.
Having things in common is a good sign you can find things to do together. Every relationship should start with the two of you being friends above all else and having many things in common will help you achieve that.
This can also be a sign that your personality is pretty similar to theirs and that you see many things the same way. Of course, you can't agree on everything, but the idea that you will always find things to do with the other person is very nice and inviting for every potential relationship.
Some of the things you can talk about when it comes to this topic are the following:
Which are your favorite tv shows?
Talk about your favorite music. Have you ever seen your favorite band live?
What do you think about sports?
What is a deal-breaker for you?
Dating is about finding out who you are and who others are. If you show up in a masquerade outfit, neither is going to happen. – Henry Cloud
Another thing that can help you find things you have in common and see whether your interests align is knowing what the other person likes to do for fun. This can also give you ideas on how to plan your second date and make it a memorable one for them.
Whether they enjoy spending time with their family, following a new course online, or watching movies, there are many things you can discover for one another and do together for fun.
It is also great to remember that their hobbies can introduce you to new hobbies you will also enjoy. This will bring you on the same page, help you spend time with one another and plan more dates for the future in a fun way and without you having to guess what they enjoy doing.
Which is your favorite way to spend an afternoon at home?
What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?
What movies would you binge-watch during a weekend?
Asking someone about their career can help you see a new side in them that you might have had the opportunity to see otherwise. Depending on whether they love their job or not, you might see them as someone truly motivated and in love with what they do or completely disappointed.
Whether they are currently employed or not, ask them about what job they would see themselves doing and which field they would like to spend their life working in.
Don’t openly ask them about their income or salaries as these questions can come off as poor in taste. Every dating expert out there will tell you that someone's dreams about their profession can say a lot about a person, especially when on a first date.
This can reveal a lot about their motivation and give you new insights into how dedicated they are to the things they love in their life. Here are some questions to ask about this topic:
Are you happy with the field you're in now?
What is your dream job?
Would you be willing to start fresh and open your own company?
Another topic that is popular in our day and time and can be appropriate to ask during first dates is how they dealt with the whole pandemic situation. Most people really struggled mentally with being in quarantine and staying away from loved ones.
You can keep the conversation in the same content and ask them if they managed to stay close to friends or if they were alone. You can also mention things you missed doing and whether it was difficult for you to be away from your family and other close relationships.
This is a situation that affected everyone around the world and it can easily make you come up with more things to talk about, especially related to things you experienced and how your mental state was during the quarantine.
Travel-related questions can lead to very interesting conversations during your date. Opinions on travel can tell you a lot about a person’s values, family dynamics, and what they prioritize in life. You can find out about their intellectual interests by talking about traveling to popular museums and landmarks around the world.
This can open up topics about art, politics, cuisine, and others that are closely related to travel as a whole. Travel-related first date questions can also be kept simple and you can ask your date whether they like to travel in their free time before moving on to other questions.
You must diversify your date questions so that you don’t seem to prod or overly interested in a single aspect of their lives. This will help you get to the second date and help you find common points of interest with the person in an engaging and nice way.
Here are some interesting yet rapid-fire questions related to travel to keep in mind:
How many countries have you traveled to so far?
What’s your favorite and least favorite country/culture?
Which countries and places would you love to travel to?
What’s your biggest pet peeve about travel in general?
Do you like to travel light or pack a lot of stuff with you?
Are you afraid/worried when traveling by sea/air/land?
Food is a great example of a topic that is appropriate no matter where you meet or what you’re doing during your first date. By talking about food, you’ll learn a lot more about your potential partner’s lifestyle, beliefs, religion, and other topics without outright asking them about it.
This will help you discover what their favorite restaurants, coffee places, dishes, drinks, and sweets are so you can surprise them down the line in your relationship. Dating is a process of actively listening to your partner’s needs so that you can learn more about their personality bit by bit.
By talking about foods, you’ll learn about their life, what they stand for, as well as what their favorite snacks and treats are. Once they reveal this information to you, you can return the favor by sharing your favorites with them. Odds are that you’ll find common interests when foods are concerned which will make talking to the person during your date that much easier.
Here are a few food-related questions to keep on your first date bucket list:
What is your favorite salty and/or sweet snack?
What is your favorite childhood memory related to food?
Do you like to cook or do you like to eat/dine out?
What’s your opinion on takeout and fast food?
What are your opinions on vegetarianism and veganism?
Do you enjoy international foods or like to keep them local?
A great way to approach first date questions is to make them about personal ambitions. Questions related to professional life and goals will give you a good insight into what kind of a person your potential partner is. These questions can open up deeper small talk for you to enjoy when it comes to knowing more about each other and your likes and dislikes.
For example, if your date works in the government sector, you could ask them about the upcoming election and how they perceive their career before and after the fact. If they’re a solo entrepreneur, freelancer, artist, or any other independent professional, show interest in what they do.
Their ambitions can revolve around everything from them getting certain qualifications to traveling the world. No matter what they are passionate about doing, it can show you a lot about their values, and also whether a relationship would be a priority for their future.
Here are some ambition-related ice breakers you can use to get your date to open up:
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Do you think stable professional employment is important? Why?
Would you be willing to move abroad for a great professional opportunity?
What are the hobbies and pastimes you’re very passionate about?
Which is the most influential person you follow and why?
After this date has been going on for some time, you will be able to determine whether the two of you click or not. The most obvious way to see that is through the way they communicate with you when you try to bring up a new topic.
If you have a lot of things in common and they seem excited when you bring up things you both care about, they are probably interested in you. If you see that you are holding interesting conversations and you are both having a good time, this might be a great opportunity to ask them on a second date.
Going on future dates will allow you to get to know them better and eventually progress to asking more personal questions. Getting to know the person's values and your common interests will help you determine whether this could progress to something more.
“Quit hanging out and start dating! The first step to having a great first date is for both people to be aware they are on a date.” - Kevin Darné
Sometimes, things don't work out the way you want them to, and that's totally okay. You are not meant to click with every single person you meet but going on dates with people is fun and will help you feel more confident and expand your social circle. You might end up making some of your closest friends this way too.
Make sure that you always go on a first date without having any expectations. Keep your head high and expect to have a good time during your date. Even if you get nervous, have a few date conversation starters in mind and they are bound to get you out of any uncomfortable situation with your date.
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