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14 great tips on what to talk about on a first date

In this guide, you will learn about seven things to talk about on a first date and seven things you should better avoid. Following this advice will definitely create a memorable night!

Author picture of David Hall
Dating Expert David Hall October 11, 2022 • 10 minutes read
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Undeniably, a first date filled with awkward silence is going to be a bummer. So, how do you avoid this dreaded awkwardness? Correct, with lots of topics to talk about.

In this article, you’ll learn what to talk about on a first date, as well as what you should probably not talk about. Some topics are better left unsaid or kept for another date.

So, without further ado, here we go:

What to talk about on a first date

What to talk about on a first date

Generally speaking, there are much more things you can talk about than things you shouldn’t talk about. A great piece of advice is to follow your gut and have a little empathy. If you wouldn’t mind getting asked something, your date probably doesn’t mind either.

Here are some great topics to start with:

1. Talk about your hobbies and passions

1. Talk about your hobbies and passions

Let’s get some of the most obvious stuff out of the way first: hobbies and passions. It’s always a great idea to talk about things you love. Not just because you can probably talk about these things endlessly but also because passion is contagious and will likely set the mood for the date.

That way, the two of you also get to know each other quite well from the get-go. This is a great topic because it shows your date what kind of person you are. Do you like to be active, or do you prefer relaxing at home?

2. Talk about your bucket list

Bucket lists are always a great topic of conversation. It’s a super easy way to get to know what kind of things the other person is interested in and what they might want to do in the future.

It can also give you some great ideas for potential date activities down the line. Perhaps there’s something on your date’s bucket list that you can help them cross off?

So, what’s on your bucket list? Bungee jumping? Visiting a specific museum? Or taking a cooking class to make the world’s best pizza?

3. Talk about your favorite TV shows and movies

Another great topic to get the ball rolling is talking about your favorite TV shows and movies. This one is especially good if you’re both into the same kind of entertainment. Then you can really nerd out and discuss all the details.

Even if you don’t share the same taste in movies or TV shows, this can still be a great topic. It can help you learn more about the other person and why they like what they like.

What’s your all-time favorite movie? And which TV show are you currently binge-watching? Or maybe the two of you prefer reading? Which book did you enjoy most? And which was a total let-down?

4. Talk about food

4. Talk about food

If you’re anything like me, you love food. So, talking about food is definitely a great idea. You can discuss your favorite dishes, the best places to eat in town, and any dietary restrictions you may have.

This topic is also great because it can easily lead to making plans for a second date. Perhaps the two of you can go out for dinner or cook something together?

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Or maybe there’s a new place you’ve wanted to try? And what kind of food do you generally prefer? Spicy? Sweet? Salty?

5. Talk about travel

Another great topic to get the conversation going is travel. You can discuss any trips you’ve taken in the past, places you’d love to visit, and any upcoming vacations you have planned.

This topic is perfect if you’re both adventurous and love exploring new places. Sometimes, the best way to get to know someone is to travel with them.

Have you been out of the country? If so, where did you go, and what did you think? And is there anywhere you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t had the chance to yet?

6. Talk about your family and friends

Family and friends are always great topics to talk about. You can discuss your relationship with your parents, siblings, and any other relatives you have. And you can also talk about your friends and how you met them.

This topic is perfect for getting to know the other person on a more personal level. The friends you have can reveal a lot about yourself. Also, maybe you two know some of the same people?

Who is your best friend? And how did you meet them? What about your siblings? Do you have any close relationships with them? And what are your parents like?

7. Talk about random and fun stuff

7. Talk about random and fun stuff

Often, a date can handle a little bit of nonsense. Just imagine you can’t get rid of the tension, and awkward silence tries to creep in whenever it can. But if you fill the gaps with some lighthearted, random, and fun stuff, chances are your date will loosen up in no time.

So, what kind of nonsense can you talk about? Maybe you can discuss your weirdest phobias or share a funny story from your childhood. You can even ask silly questions like, “if you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Or “if you could travel back in time, which person would you want to hang out with?”

Just remember to keep it light and not take things too seriously. After all, this is only a date. The goal is to have fun and get to know each other better, not to find out everything there is to know about each other. So, relax and enjoy yourself!

Do you need some more inspiration on great questions to ask? These 36 first-date questions will make your date a success for sure!

What not to talk about on a first date

What not to talk about on a first date

There are certain topics you should better avoid on a first date. These are the topics that can either make things too serious or lead to arguments and disagreements. So, it’s best to steer clear of them, at least for now.

You can, of course, still talk about these things if you feel like it’s the right time and your date can handle it. Just be cautious.

Here are some examples of what not to talk about on a first date:

1. Don’t talk about past relationships

1. Don't talk about past relationships

This is more often than not a big no-no. Of course, everybody has some baggage, and everybody has had some bad experiences in the past. But that doesn’t mean you should talk about them on a first date.

First dates are all about getting to know each other and trying to build a connection. And talking about your ex is not going to help with that. It will only make things awkward and give your date the wrong idea. So, it’s best to avoid this topic altogether.

If your date talks a lot about past relationships, that’s a red flag. Do you want to know more about first-date red flags? This guide will tell you all you need to know!

2. Don’t talk about politics

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to avoid talking about politics. It’s everywhere, even in our dating lives. But that doesn’t mean you should bring it up on a first date.

Politics is a hot-button issue, and it can be very polarizing. So, unless you’re both on the same page politically, it’s best to avoid this topic for now. You don’t want to end up in a heated argument on your first date, do you?

Of course, if you’re both interested in politics and you want to discuss it, that’s fine. Just be respectful of each other’s opinions and try to keep an open mind.

3. Don’t talk about religion

Even though religion is a very personal topic, it’s best to avoid it on a first date. Just like politics, religion can be very polarizing, and it can easily lead to arguments and disagreements.

Of course, if you’re both religious and you want to discuss your beliefs, that’s fine. But if you’re not sure about the religious belief of your date, you should be very careful about bringing this topic up. It’s best to avoid it altogether until you know each other better.

4. Don’t talk about money

4. Don't talk about money

Money is always a touchy subject, so it’s best to avoid it on a first date. You don’t want to come across as being too materialistic or money-minded. And you definitely don’t want to make your date feel uncomfortable by asking about their financial situation.

5. Don’t talk about sex

Sex is another topic you should avoid on a first date. It’s definitely too soon to be talking about sex, so it’s best to steer clear of this topic altogether. You don’t want to make your date feel uncomfortable or give them the wrong idea.

Of course, if you two feel comfortable with it and the date goes in that direction, don’t force yourself not to talk about it. Some people also are quite okay with having sex on their first date – that’s totally okay; I’m not judging, you do you. But as long as you’re not sure, this can be a too sensitive topic to talk about.

If you really want to make your first date more physical, you should try to snag a kiss first! Here’s how!

6. Don’t talk about a potential future with them

This can be a bit too much for a first date. Don’t overwhelm your date just because you’re overwhelmed by them. You don’t want to come across as being too needy or clingy.

Even if you really feel it, don’t talk about it. That’s a surefire way to never let it happen. So, it’s best to avoid talking about a future with your date, at least for now. Just enjoy the present moment and get to know each other better first. Maybe your feelings were misleading after all.

7. Don’t brag

7. Don't brag

Lastly, don’t brag about yourself on a first date. Even if you have a lot of accomplishments, don’t make it all about you. First dates are about getting to know each other, not listening to someone boast about themselves for hours on end.

Of course, you want to show your best self on a first date. But that doesn’t mean you should brag about all your accomplishments. Just be confident and let your date get to know the real you. They’ll be more interested in that than in your resume, I promise. It’s always better to be humble than to be a bragging jerk. So, keep that in mind the next time you’re on a first date.

That’s it! Just remember, first dates are all about getting to know each other and having fun. So, try to keep the conversation light and avoid any controversial topics. If you do that, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Good luck!

Do you need some more tips on first dates? Check out these guides:

How to win at early stages dating: The ultimate list of books

If you're looking for books about the early stages of dating, you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of some of our favorite books about dating, all of which are perfect for early stages in a relationship.

  1. Dating Sucks, but You Don't: The Modern Guy's Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect Partner
  2. Seven Secrets of Modern Dating: The He Said, She Said Guide for Getting from Single to Spouse
  3. First Date Mastery: The Complete First Date Psychology Guide For Men
  4. Just Send the Text: An Expert's Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating
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Author picture of David Hall
Dating Expert

David Hall

David Hall is a self-taught dating expert who works as a freelance writer to help people improve their love lives. He has always been interested in dating, physical attraction, and …

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