Before we delve into today’s post topic, check out this awesome blazer I got while date-shopping yesterday. It was seven dollars at the discount store! While it’s not really something I’d wear on a date, I couldn’t pass it up.
Speaking of things not appropriate for first dates, I was thinking about my date tonight and what’s appropriate first date conversation. It seems as though almost everything is taboo to talk about these days; there’s always an off chance you’re going to offend someone, and we don’t want that happening on the very first date. First impressions are the most important aspect of the dating realm; the way you look, introduce yourself, the manner in which you relate, your manners, and the conversation you hold are all pieces of the puzzle which will either lead to another date or halt the process at the very beginning. Look at the classic case of bad first impressions: Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy (of Pride and Prejudice fame; it’s a whole novel about bad first impressions!). Because he snubs her and is actually quite cold to her, at their first meeting, she weaves a whole idea in her head that that’s what he’s really like. Their first impressions of each other are totally off; because Darcy was cold to Lizzy, Lizzy was cold right back to him and thus they had this tension-fueled relationship until Darcy proclaims his love for her. My point? Be mindful of first impressions and especially first date conversations.
So, what’s a modern day Elizabeth B. to talk about on a first date?
I’ve googled this a lot, as well as talked to a lot of friends about it (I’m into this early morning sociological research via instant message thing lately, eh?), and came to some conclusions. I’m not really nervous about conversation flowing tonight because we know a lot of people in common, ran in the same educational fields, etc. But, there’s definitely topics that are taboo on dates, and things which can easily be brought up and discussed.
Things to NOT discuss on a date:
- Health Issues: The other person doesn’t need to know about your diverticulitis, or your appendix coming out, or the history of diabetes in your family. Keep those things to yourself, and only yourself.
- Politics: The only caveat for this one is if you both hate the same person.
- Religion: Talking about religion seems to be long-winded, and usually exhausting for people. Save it for another time.
- Money: Talking about money on a date is not just classless, but boring! Who wants to talk about the green stuff, when there’s so much more you could talk about to stimulate an intellectual conversation?
- S-E-X: Don’t do it on the first date, and don’t talk about it on the first date. Awkward.
- Exes: You don’t want to hear about their exes, and guess what, they don’t want to hear, nor do they care to hear what your exes are up to now. If you’re talking about exes on the first date, it’s time to rethink the idea that you’re over your ex and ready to date.
- Pet Peeves: There’s nothing sexier than a woman or man saying ” I hate that,” or “I hate this.” Really positive and happy, love it.
- Marriage: I’m going to say it simply and listen well to me on this one. There’s no reason that anyone should be talking about marriage, babies, baby names, houses, or the like on a FIRST DATE. I heard someone say, the only “we” you should be talking about is the “Wii.” True story.
So, now that I’ve told you what NOT to talk about, what’s a gal left to discuss?
- Travel: Where you’ve been, where you want to go, where you don’t want to go are all great topics and ice breaking points for the first date. It gives some insight into who you are, where you want to be, and where your interests in life lie.
- Pets: People love talking about their pets; what pets did you have growing up, what pets do you want, or have now. It’s a great way to get people talking about something they are compassionate for and passionate about, without it being too marriage-family talk. Unless you’re like me and only like goldfish, which may mean I’m heartless, but I really do love goldfish.
- Movies: Movies are a great topic of conversation because it can go on and on for a long time. Discuss what you’ve seen, what they’ve seen, what you want to see, top favorite movies. It also can give you some look into whether he/she is a person about the horror, comedy, romantic, old movie, etc. (This goes for talking about music too, another great topic–concerts, favorite CDs, etc).
- Books: Books are a great topic to talk about…if the other person reads. I’ve been on dates where the guy said “I’m not into reading.” Well, I’m personally not into men who aren’t into reading. So, perhaps asking what they last read is a good idea for the first date because it gives insight into the person’s stance on books. Personally, I love everything about books and reading; to me, being with someone who reads is important, but not to everyone, of course. That’s cool too.
- Sports: Ehhh, I was hesitant to put sports on this list simply because I don’t know anything about sports and I find them boring. But, having a guy teach you about sports is a great way for him to open up and feel strong and powerful. And, if you’re not like me and can actually discuss the fact that 1-love is not from soccer, but from tennis, than props to you and this is a great first date topic.
- College: People loooove talking about their schools. Unless, they hated them. In which case they loooove to talk about how they hated them. Ask about their college, why they chose it, what they liked about it, what interesting classes they took. It’s a good way to get to hear snippets of one’s past.
- Brothers&Sisters: I already know my date’s brother because he sort of had a hand in setting us up, but normally, I love asking about siblings. It lets me know the person’s feelings about their family, or family in general, and if they’re anything like me, and totally and utterly proud of their siblings, they enjoy talking about them (granted, if they hate their siblings, this is a no-no topic of conversation, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that unless you ask first).
- Food: Is a great thing to talk about because if you’re on a dinner date, you’re eating it, too! Favorite foods, interesting foods, restaurants you’ve been too, are all fantastic ice-breaking topics of conversation.
I hoped that gave you some insight into good topics of conversation, I know it certainly helped me get a little less nervous about tonight. Still don’t have anything to wear. Damnit.
What have you talked about on first dates? What do you think people shouldn’t talk about on first dates?