Uncomfortable silences, awkward pauses. We’ve all been in those kinds of conversations. But they can be ten times worse when they happen on a first date!
So, how do you keep the conversation flowing? We asked Dan Abelon, co-founder and CEO of SpeedDate.com for his top five first date topics.
1. Future Goals and Dreams
Asking about future dreams and goals is a great way to get a conversation moving and at the same time uncover a great deal of information about potential compatibility. After discovering that his dream of working a hotdog stand in the winter to fund his surfing habits in the summer may in fact be extremely interesting– you may opt to immediately place him in the friendship (rather than relationship) category.
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Pets and love of animals, in general, is another safe topic that has a dual compatibly component built into it. If you are the type to cart your Chihuahua around in your purse yet your new love interest “understands” where Michael Vick is coming from– chances are your relationship is doomed.
Unless reminiscing about past Spring Break conquests, travel is always a safe and interesting topic for a first date. Try to pick out little anecdotes that go along with a past journey that will further deepen the conversation — like a fabulous restaurant you discovered by talking with the locals.
4. Favorite Things
Favorite things such as actors, movies and music is always a sure bet. Remember to ask direct questions such as, “Who is your favorite actor?” rather than, “What actors do you like?” By narrowing it down, your date can focus in on some of the qualities that make his pick a favorite, giving you a bigger picture into his likes and dislikes.
Hobbies and things you do in your spare time are great conversation starters and can really serve as an ice breaker, especially if your date shares some common interests.
And now that we know how to play it safe–we asked Dan for his top five taboo first date topics, conversations to avoid at all costs:
Unless it is known that both of you have kids, it is best to stay away from this topic altogether. First dates are more about getting to know the person sitting across the table, and bringing children into the mix too early instantly creates a “third-wheel” affect.
2. The Day Job
For most of us, work consumes eight hours of our daily life but it doesn’t define who we are. Shop talk often evolves into discussions about office politics and interpersonal issues, which is negative and always a complete turnoff.
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Money or financial topics should be left at home. Questions like “How much do you make?” or “What type of car do you drive?” are not only rude in any social situation but will definitely derail the date before it has a chance to get on track.
4. Politics and Religion
If you met at a political convention, fine – but in all other instances, stay clear of opinionated issues like politics and religion. Even though you may seem like-minded during the first few hours of the date – chances are you won’t agree on everything, so just don’t go there.
5. The Ex
Having a terrible time and want to end the date quick? Just talk about your past relationships. Having a wonderful time and want to keep the relationship going? Then keep quiet. Talking about a former boyfriend, no matter in what context, shows your date that the past is still with you.
Of course, if he’s a real dud, pull one of these puppies out of your pocket to end the night in a hurry. It may help you wrap things up in no time!
We want to hear from you. What is the WORST date you’ve been on? What did he talk about? What is the worst thing YOU’VE ever said? Any topics you like that you want to add to the list? Leave us a comment!
Thanks, StevenOrr, for the image!
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