Dating is great once you get the hang of it – but first dates, in particular, are pretty nerve-wracking. After all, you want to leave a great first impression
Don’t worry! Our guide will help you with some excellent first date tips.
Going on the first date is really easy. Remember that most people like to talk about themselves more than they think – so the best way is to ask them lots of questions and make them feel inclined to open up.
By doing this, you don’t have to give too much information away about yourself if you don’t want to – and you can be a bit mysterious. To help you find conversation points, here are some great topics to bring up:
1. Friends and Family
Everyone has friends and family, and we’re sure the person you’re on a date with does. Talking about them is a great icebreaker and a basic one, too. You can even just start with the question “Can you tell me about your family?” to get the conversation rolling.
If their stories aren’t that positive, you can still follow up with conversation like “Oh, that sounds difficult.” or “How did you cope with that?”
Then, simply turn it around to suit them!
2. Their Hobbies
Again, who doesn’t have a hobby? Everyone has something to share about what they love to do, whether that’s reading, traveling, playing sports, watching series, and more.
If you ask them about their hobby, they’ll be sure to open up. Who knows – you might even be surprised to have the same hobbies in common!
3. Bucket Lists
Most people have a bucket list of activities or things they’d like to do before they die. Try asking your date about theirs. You never know what could be on their list – and this could provide great insight into their personality and background before getting to know them more.
If you’re an explorer, never shy away from the topic of travel. People have cool stories from traveling, and you can always learn something from them.
Start with a simple question, like “What’s the best vacation you’ve been on?”. You can also ask about the top place they wish to explore.
Travel is such an engaging topic that psychologist Richard Wiseman discovered that discussing travel could increase your chances of having future dates. In fact, his study found that people who talked about movies had a 9% chance of getting a second date – whereas those who talked about travel had an 18% chance of a second date.
Just think about it; travel sparks curiosity and interest!
Finding out about your date’s career will give you a snapshot view of what they do on a day-to-day basis. This will also provide you with insight to see if you’re a good match or not.
Similarly, you can get a good feel for how long they spend working during their week – which will help you figure out if you can balance their schedule. For example, if your last partner worked too much and this person is working a 70 hour week, this might be a red flag for you.
To get the conversation flowing, ask questions like “What does your typical workday look like?” or “What attracted you to your field of work?”.
6. Cover Lifestyle Questions
Lifestyle is an essential topic that should never be skipped on a first date. If your date is a success, you may end up going on further dates with the other person – and could end up doing those lifestyle activities that they’re interested in.
It’s important that you do this now to make sure there are no clashes. For example, if they’re an outdoors person who loves to camp in nature while you’re more of a city person, you’ll need to highlight these things from the get-go.
Great questions to ask surrounding these topics are “What do you like to do in your downtime?” and “What do you like better – small parties or big gatherings?”
Depending on where your first date is held, you should really ask your date the following: “Is there any food you don’t eat?” This will give you insight into any allergies they have or foods they dislike – which can be incredibly helpful if you have your first date in a restaurant.
You might also want to ask, “What’s your favorite food?” – which could create some exciting options for you both to experiment with food on the next date (if things go well). Check out these 30 of the Best Romantic Meals – see which you both like, and talk about cooking them together!
8. Relationship Priorities
While this may be a nerve-wracking subject, you have to cover the topic of relationships. It’s important to know why the other person is in the “dating game”. Are they looking for a fling or just to hook up? Perhaps they’re looking for something more serious, like marriage?
It’s important for you that your time isn’t wasted – and that you find out their priorities from the start. Alongside their intentions, you should also ask them questions about their feelings on an open relationship and monogamy – or want to have children someday.
Similarly, asking their opinion on marriage will help you see if your priorities align. It’ll also give you insight into their life, especially if they’ve been married or in a long-term relationship before.
Other questions you can ask are “How long have you been single?” or, if divorced, “What happened to your marriage?”
9. Religion and Politics
Normally, religion and politics can be a topic to stay away from no matter who you’re with – but if you’re dating with the intention of spending the rest of your life with someone, you should definitely bring this up on your first date.
It’s important not to come across as judgemental. We recommend being sensitive when talking about such issues.
Questions you could ask could be:
- “What religion were you raised with?”
- “Do you believe in God?”
- “What is your political stance?”
- “How important is religion and politics for you when it comes to dating?”
10. Relationship Deal-breakers
We all have our pet peeves and frustrations – and our flaws; it’s what makes us who we are. It’s important to cover the essentials on the first date, including relationship deal-breakers and turn-offs.
You have to lay your cards out on the table, especially if you seek a long-term relationship. For example, if you wish to have a nomadic and travel-based lifestyle, whereas the other person wishes to settle down, this could be a major factor.
Likewise, if you smoke and your date hates it or vise versa, it’s important to know. Always think of these deal-breaker topics (such as kids, politics, lifestyle, religion, finances, and more) in advance, so that you’re prepared.
11. Important People
One great question to ask your date is, “Who are the most important people in your life?”. Doing this will give you an idea of who they value and are close to.
Watch closely when they answer these questions and see the way they talk about their family and friends. This can give you a good indication of how they treat people and how it might work in the future.
Topics to Avoid
Just like you have some fun and lighthearted topics to talk about on the first date, there should always be topics and questions that you deliberately don’t cover:
- If you talk about sex on the first date, it could really give your date the wrong impression – especially if you’re looking for something long-term.
- Similarly, asking about how much they earn or whether they own a house and car could make you seem like a vain, shallow gold-digger.
- You also shouldn’t ask why their last relationship ended, as this too could be a sensitive subject which can make them shut down, instead of opening up. Trust us, that’s the last thing you want!
The Bottom Line
We get it; first dates are pretty nerve-wracking. If you let the conversation flow organically, you could surprise yourself and really have a good time. Use this article and topics to help you prepare for topics to cover on your first date.
The easy ice-breaking topics are always ones to do with family, travel, hobbies, lifestyle, and work. Remember to discuss the deal-breakers if your intentions of dating are serious – and try to shy away from topics like sex, and finances.
If you’re struggling to think about where to go, check out our top 20 successful first date ideas -but most importantly, wherever you are, have fun!