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First Date Conversations: Safe Topics

Updated on January 26, 2011

First dates can be stressful, especially if you’re virtual strangers who know nothing about each other. The trick is getting the other person to relax and open up so the conversation can flow freely. This will help you relax as well. How? If you’re focused on loosening them up, you’ll be less conscious about yourself.

Start by asking your date about a given topic – and listen to their answer. You’d be surprised how many people ask questions but don’t listen to the reply! If your date responds with one word answers, this could mean the topic is uncomfortable. Don’t pressure them to expound, if that’s the case.

On the other hand, it could also mean they’re nervous and don’t know what else to say. If that’s the case, a little gentle prompting will work wonders. By asking them more questions, you are telling them you care – that you're genuinely interested in what they have to say. This is always flattering and should help them relax.

The following conversation topics can be initiated by the man or the woman - the responsibility doesn’t rest with either individual. What matters most, is that someone gets the chat flowing. Hopefully, once your date gets talking, they’ll ask you to answer the same questions. This should be a conversation, not an interview!

Topic #1 – Music

Few people on earth are unable to appreciate music. Does your date like classical, pop, country or hip-hop? You might be surprised! Ask them how they first got interested in salsa. Ask them how big their CD collection is. Ask if they have an iPod. Ask what they blast in the car when they're alone. Unless one of you is a music snob, this is a great conversation waiting to be had.

Topic #2 – Siblings

Most likely, one of you will have a sibling to two. Are they a twin? Are they the oldest? Did they share bunkbeds? Were there any rivalries? I’m always interested in hearing about a date's brothers and sisters, it can lead to valuable insights.

Topic #3 – Pets

You can’t go wrong with talking about someone’s beloved pet. Bring out your date’s warm and fuzzy side by asking him about Fido or Garfield. If they don't have one, switch gears and ask about a childhood pet. Alternatively, you could also ask them why they don’t have any, which can lead to a wealth of information about your date. Maybe he has an allergy and can’t have any pets. Maybe his job requires he travel constantly. Good things to know!

Topic #4 – Favorite Pastimes

This will tell you a great deal about your date. Are they a diehard Yankee fan? Do they spend all their free time at the gym? Do they obsess over a TV series? Do they go to the opera on weekends? Do they like to travel? If so, do they keep it local, or go exotic? The list could go on forever, but you get the idea.

Topic #5 – Politics

Some people think this is a bad topic for first date conversation because things can sometimes get very heated. Utter nonsense, I say. In this day and age, everyone knows something about politics, even if only marginally. Besides, if I’m on a date with a hardcore politico who gets red-faced when talking about the latest congressional session, I want to know about it upfront. It’s a brilliant way to see how well he’s able to control himself when he gets worked up. It’s also a nice indication of passion – which will come handy later! So there you have it, five ice breakers for a first date. Try them on for size and see how they fit! Just remember to keep it friendly!


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