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Topics You Should Avoid on a First Date

Updated on August 5, 2010

Top 5 No-no's

Because trial and error isn't the best way to approach dating, I have compiled a comprehensive list of topics you shouldn't talk about on a first date- perhaps the first few dates.

Some general tips about what is acceptable conversation are positive and neutral topics. Making the other person happy to be around you will score the most points. It's not really important how the other person feels ABOUT YOU, it's how they feel when they are AROUND YOU.

You can ask questions and answer questions that you are comfortable with. A first date is about having fun and getting to know the lighter, fun, and interesting tidbits about someone- seeing if they are suitable for additional dates in the future. You have plenty of time for getting to the heavy topics so go ahead and ask them seemingly irrelevant questions like what their favorite ride is at an amusement park or whether they have pets, etc. Many people think things like divorce or kids define them and the person they go on a date with should know that right away- this isn't true. Courting, which I like to say is the way dating shuld be like, takes time. 

PLEASE avoid:

1. Death: This topic is too heavy for at least the first few dates. I've made this mistake myself. It was almost a year after the sudden death of my boyfriend when I began dating again, and since it made such an impact in my life I thought I would share it with others, even new guys I started dating- big mistake. It's not that people are insensitive, but what would you really expect someone to say to you about such a loss when they barely know you.

2. Exes: Seems obvious, but if you are recently out of a relationship or you spent a significant amount of time in one relationship, something may slip out of your mouth about that ex boyfriend or girlfriend- it happens almost subconsciously. Don't compare your current date to your exes either- any mentioning of exes is VERY tacky.

3. Divorce: Yes, mentioning that you were married before is important, but not on the first date. Many may disagree with me on this, but it's similar to talking about your exes, and it sounds taboo when first mentioning it. It may turn someone off before they get to know you. It's a label, not a character trait or flaw. When you get a little more involved with someone, then you can tell them, and they can make a choice whether it's a deal-breaker or not. Honestly, it shouldn't matter to someone if they like you.

4. Money:Men, unless you are with a gold digger, money shouldn't matter or be mentioned until further into the dating process. Women, you shouldn't ask about money either or even mention your income or talk endlessly about possessions. Also, men will tend to feel it necessary to discuss their income in some way, either bluntly or hinting, but don't encourage or continue the conversation. Make it known he can prove his worthiness by steering the conversation to other topics. Sad, but true, when women boast about their salary, it intimidates a man or leads the them to believing they can take advantage of that.

5. Health Problems: This isn't a positive subject, in fact, it can be a downright downer. We all have our health quirks we deal with or have dealt with, but it can come across as negative or complaining. Talking intimately about our health is too personal. Even cancer survivors should to keep the topic light- you can boast that you are a survivor, but leave the heavier aspects of your story for a later date. It's similar to death because some people, not insensitive, may not know how to respond to that kind of heavy discussion.

Tough spot

Tricky subjects, like children, should be carefully approached. It's easy for a proud parent to go on and on about their children, but your date may want to get to know you. Mentioning that you have a child is fine, but keep the conversation focused on you and your date. I don't suggest mentioning you want children any time soon. That's too heavy and too much pressure on the first several dates so don't talk about your 5-year plan, especially if it includes children.


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    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      you're welcome Suzan

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank u....

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks so much!

    • 24news profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Thanks for great hub on first date. Your five things are appreciable.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks for comments;

      men are dorks~ I hear that from guys a lot. The only time I like to hear about exes is when my man says "you are better than all of them honey". The best line coming from a guy is; "You are the best woman I've ever been with". I bet guys would also like this line too.

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 

      9 years ago from Namibia

      I'm a guy, exes are the worst coz its always a comparison between u and the previous. It makes it even more awkward to listen to the exes than to conentrate on the gal...

    • Lgali profile image


      9 years ago

      good info

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      It goes to show! You are never too old to learn something new.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      goldentoad- I have to agree with sixtyorso. I almost think a true bad boy would use that up front to his advantage. You were a clever bad boy then- bait and switch technique.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      @Toady Silly Boy! I hear that most girls lke bad boys. you might have been selling yourself short!

    • goldentoad profile image


      10 years ago from Free and running....

      I should also note, I never really talked about my past on the first date, I didn't want them to know I was a bad boy. I waited until the second date to inform them.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      goldentoad & londondgirl- Each dating experience is going to be different so going with the flow is good; a light, easy, natural experience. For some, though, it is hard to go with the flow and the dating epxerience doesn't come naturally and they have no flow even if the other person is a good match for them. Still there are others who may wonder why they aren't getting past the first date and I hope this info will help the latter two situations.

      Princessa- yes, money and exes I would have to say are the tackiest topics for dates.

      sixtyorso- Kepp it light is key. I like your ananlogy about dating being similar to navigating a mine field- couldn't have put it better myself.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      I agree keep it light and get to know each other first few times out. Dating is like navigating a mine field, try avoid the obvious bombs.

      Great guide.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Very valid points. I think the money topic should be avoided not just for the first date, but also on the second, third and so on. There is nothing more off putting than money talk during a romantic evening.

    • LondonGirl profile image


      10 years ago from London

      I agree, going with the flow is good.

    • goldentoad profile image


      10 years ago from Free and running....

      I never thought about it myself when I was single. I did avoid the "ex" conversation as much as possible. I just kind of went with the flow of the date.


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