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“A first date should be elegant. In comfortable surroundings. A place with excellent food, where you can talk easily and get to know each other.”~ Oleg Cassini
Those first few dates (especially the first one) can be uncomfortable and nerve-wracking. What should I wear? How should I behave? What can we talk about? So many questions…Even if you spent long hours and many days, or even years, “getting to know each other” online before planning your first in-person date, it can still be kind of awkward if you don’t have conversation starters to help you avoid those weird and uneasy silences.
Dive into it
Let’s face it, regardless of how long you’ve known each other, you probably don’t really know your date in this capacity – as a possible love interest. So, these first few dates are crucial for determining if you are truly a match for one another or if you’re wasting your time and effort on someone or something that wasn’t meant to be.
Thus, the goal during these first few dates is to find something to talk about that is interesting to both of you. How? Well, if you don’t know a lot about each other – i.e. likes, dislikes, pet peeves, wants, and/or needs, you could start there. Or, you could start off with light ice breakers like:
- Where did you grow up?
- What’s your favorite season?
- What’s your favorite holiday?
- Do you have any siblings, and if so, how many?
- What’s your astrological sign – i.e. Pisces, Aries, Gemini, etc.?
- What is your dream job?
- Where is your dream travel destination?
- What are some of your passions and interests?
You can skip over…
You should probably refrain from “heavier” topics like:
- Would you like to get married one day?
- Do you want kids, and if so, how many and when?
- Do you have a good relationship with your family? If so, how would you describe it? And, if not, why not?
- Are you religious? Do you practice your religion each week?
- Are you divorced? If so, what happened?
- What political affiliation are you? Democrat, Republican, or Independent?
- What do you think about the President?
Find common ground
Finding commonality is essential if you want to have things to talk about on those first few dates. But, to do that, you’ll need to relax. How? By finding topics that interest you. Talk about things you’re passionate about and share tidbits of your knowledge with your date (but don’t be too cocky – or boring).
The happier and more engaged and relaxed you are, the easier it will be to find things to talk about during those first few dates!
Once you find things you have common, your mind and body will relax so you can enjoy your date. Don’t forget to share things about yourself and ask your date questions about himself or herself. Then, listen – really listen to what he or she says. Put down your phone and be attentive to your date.
If you are wondering what you can talk about on your date, wonder no more because this article will give you some much-needed pointers on how to get the convo flowing during those first few dates.
What did you do today?
An easy conversation starter that works on every date – not just the first three – is talking about your day. You can always ask, “What did you do today?” If it’s a weekday, you can ask your date about his or her job and if anything exciting or interesting happened at work that day.
You could also ask him or her how they like their job and co-workers in general. Other questions could be: “What made you choose your career path?” “What would you like to do instead and why?” It’s important not to get too long-winded or technical when talking about your job or even just your day.
Stick to interesting snippets rather than long dialogues. You don’t want to end up sounding like your grandma or grandpa, so try to keep the conversation fresh and relevant. If it’s a weekend, describe the more interesting and fun aspects of the day, such as quirky or funny things that happened while running errands or cleaning your house.
What movies, music, or books have you seen/listened to/read lately?
This is a light way to get the ball rolling. In other words, it’s a way to find topics and interests you both have in common. And, guess what? Movies, music, and books are three of the most common passions that people, especially young adults, have. So, it just makes sense that you’d throw these topics out fairly early into the date. The great thing about these categories is it can spark endless discussions – discussions that can help you relax during your dates. These discussions may even lead to great date ideas for the future!
Activities or experiences you shared together
Another thing you can talk about during those first three dates are the activities or experiences you have shared together. What did you do during your first date? Second date? Third date? What activities and experiences did you have together? Did you go to the State Fair together? Did you have lunch or dinner at a fancy restaurant? Did you go putt-putting or bowling together? Reminisce about your previous dates. And, laugh and recall funny or embarrassing things that happened during them.
One of the best ways to develop a real connection with someone is to create memories with them. So, make note of the activities and experiences you had together because those memories will make it easier to find things to talk about in the future.
It’s always fascinating and fun to talk about your friends on those first three dates. And, honestly, it helps take the pressure off of both of you. How? Well, it causes the focus to shift to your friends instead of you. Do you have an eccentric friend? One who is your ride-or-die? Which friend is your “person” (Hello Grey’s Anatomy!)? A friend that always makes you laugh when you’re down…You get the drift.
Share tidbits about all of these intriguing people because you love them. They are your “squad,” so your date needs to understand they have your back and will always be there for you. Don’t forget to ask your date about their captivating friends as well.
Psychologist’s Note: Friends are great conversation starters, however, refrain from saying mean or hurtful things about them to your date. Why? Because it only makes you look like a bad friend.
Read more about this topic!
You can learn more about what to talk about during those first three dates by reading the following articles: First Date Questions to Ask Everyone You Date, 57 Killer Conversation Starters So You Can Start A Conversation With Anyone, Anytime, and The 20 Questions You Should Never Ask On a First Date.
About the Author
Dr. R. Y. Langham
Ph.D. in Family Psychology
Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
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