Dating has always been a bit of a challenge for those who aren’t great with small talk and meeting new people (which, let’s be honest, describes most of us). Trying to figure out what to talk about on a first date with a girl (or a guy) can be a challenge, no matter how good of a conversationalist you might be. Fortunately, there are also plenty of resources out there to help you find great ideas for discussions.
We suggest avoiding the cheesy ideas and prompt-style conversations—yes, they’re effective, but they’re awkward, forced, and often create the wrong impression between people. Stick to organic conversation as much as possible and feel free to get creative when coming up with things to talk about on a date.
Before we look at the top 10 first date topics, we must also remind you that there are certain things that you should never talk about on a first date, no matter how much it seems like the subject came up naturally. For example, leave your ex at the door, along with your past relationship drama. Maybe eventually you’ll have those talks, but that’s not for the first date. So, what to talk about on a first date? Here are 10 great conversation starters and things to talk about on a first date.
1. Dreams, bucket lists, and ideas
It’s always fun to learn about people by asking them about their dreams and bucket lists—not their actual future plans or anything, but the ideas of things they want to do and achieve in life. What are they hoping to find? What things do they consider important? What would they do in certain scenarios? This helps you get to know them and also understand what they value most.
2. Family and background
Talking about family is one of good 1st date ideas, so long as your date doesn’t have bad blood or trouble with family issues. These conversations can start organically, or you can even prompt them. For example, asking what their “spot” is in the age lineup, which has been a discussion of personality for several years, could be a fun way to learn more about them and their family at the same time. You don’t need to get their whole life story, but some fun highlights could tell you a lot more than you expect.
3. Current events (except politics!)
You really should avoid controversial topics on a first date, including politics. Unless you happened to meet at the same campaign event and know that your ideals are aligned, steer clear. However, you can talk about current events going on in the world, celebrity deaths, social media news, etc. This is a great way to get conversation topics and see how much attention your date pays to current events in the first place. [Read: Dating After Divorce ]
4. Hobbies and interests
Start a conversation about what you do in your free time, or ask her what she does. This could be anything from shows that you are obsessed with to your weekend yoga club, and so on. This is a great first date topic to talk and get to know someone and it also helps with compatibility. If your favorite activity is couch surfing, for example, you’re probably not going to connect with someone who spends their “free” time running and training for marathons. [Read: How to Talk to a Girl You Like Without Being Nervous ]
5. Music tastes
Learning about someone’s taste in music is a great ice breaker. It’s also a way to learn a lot about them. You can find out what their passions are, what music they hate, etc. Plus, it helps you share things with each other (such as favorite songs they’ve never heard) and gives you another way to connect.
6. Food is always fair game
Especially when your first date is at a restaurant, food is definitely a fair conversation topic. Ask about favorites, describe yours, or if one of you likes to cook, talk about that. People love food and most people love talking about it. Just make sure no one has food issues or anything that could make it uncomfortable. [Read: 10 Ways You Can Impress Your Girl ]
7. Ask random questions
Random questions are always fun. Things like, “what would you do with a million dollars?” can be questions that help you learn about someone and see what they value. It also guarantees that the conversation is always flowing. You can take turns and see who comes up with the most random questions and answers. [Read: The New Relationship Timeline ]
8. Favorite books, movies, TV shows, etc.
If you have favorite books, TV shows, or other pop culture and entertainment favorites to share, discuss those. You can ask about your date’s favorites, too, so that you can get to know them and their interests. This kind of falls in line with the hobbies topic above, but it’s a more direct focus and offers a whole new discussion that you can have based on how they respond.
9. Ask about their passions
Asking someone about their passions is a great way to get to know them. It’s also a great way to see what they’re like when they’re engaged and inspired about something. You may even find that you have passions in common that you didn’t know about. This is a great way to ensure the conversation is engaging and also learn something about your date. [Read: Top 10 Age Gap Dating Sites ]
10. Embarrassing moments
Of course, we have to caution with this last one that you choose carefully. After all, your date will also expect you to reveal your own embarrassing moment, and that’s when you’ll have to come clean. Sure, you don’t want to put it all out there on the first date, but this is a great way to outdo the awkward small talk and break the ice so that you can just have a conversation.
These are just 10 ideas and there are certainly dozens more out there. It’s not hard to have a great first date with plenty of conversation if you know how to get it flowing. And, of course, if you just can’t seem to get it going, that could be a sign that perhaps this person isn’t right for you.