First Date Topics To Avoid

by Erica Florentine

All of us have been there: You get ready for a first date with someone and are feeling excited to get to know this new person. Then, within a half hour of meeting up, you realize you have no idea what to talk about on a date. Sometimes, it’s not because the person we’re out with doesn’t meet our qualifications or standards (physically or otherwise — we all have at least one or two), but more so because the conversation topics being brought up and discussed are so dull that we want to scratch our eyes out.

What could be worse that sitting through a lengthy and horribly dull conversation? What about being the one who's causing it to be lengthy and horrible? Yeah, not so fun either. I’m sure I can speak for all single ladies out there when I say that none of us want to be the one who makes your date go running for the hills by torturing them with awful conversation.

That said, here are some first date topics to always avoid, especially if you’re interested in securing date number two. If you avoid these mundane talking points, you're bound to make the conversation more enjoyable for yourself, as well.

1. The Weather

Nothing in this world is more boring to discuss than the weather. For one, it’s undeniably a filler topic. It suggests to your date that you’re really out of things to say, so why even comment on how windy it was around 2 o’clock this afternoon?

However, sometimes weather-related comments are thrown into conversation because of nerves, or because the talker genuinely gets freaked out by the idea of being on a date and hearing the sound of silence. They talk about the weather to avoid that dreaded awkward silence. And weather, after all, is an easy and universal topic. But, if you don’t want to bore your date half to death, how about trying to ask them questions about themselves instead? It'll give you a chance to sit back and listen (and maybe even time to come up with additional interesting topics to discuss!).

2. Past Relationships

No one is interested in hearing the details of your previous relationship on a first date. Save this conversation topic for somewhere down the line if you continue to see this person and develop a relationship with them. At that point, of course it would make sense to disclose things about your past. But if it's only the first date, it makes more sense to keep things light and fun.

On a first date, bringing up someone from your past might suggest that you’re not over the person. In which case, why would the person you’re currently out with be compelled to date someone who is still pining over an ex.

It's common for people to talk about past conquests during dates as a subtle way of proving they're desirable. But what would probably be a little more desirable is letting the person get to know you and realize for themselves how great you are.

3. How Amazing You Are

Speaking of how great you are — let your date come to this conclusion on their own. Yes, part of getting someone to like you, and ultimately truly enjoy your company, is letting them know some of your good qualities. However, this can easily take a very negative turn should you dwell on all of your amazing qualities without giving your date a moment to say a word.

The last thing you want to be considered on a first date is a narcissist. No one wants to date a narcissist. I'm a firm believer that the more someone talks about how great they are, the less great they turn out to be. Remember that there is a huge difference between confidence and arrogance, so be cautious not to cross that scary threshold.

I once went on a first date with a man who told bragged that he graduated from an Ivy League with a 4.0, that he was “so rich” that I “might not be able to even fathom it,” and he also, apparently, just so happened to able to excel at every sport or hobby he’s ever tried. I wasn’t sure if he felt this was a job interview rather than a date, but either way, he didn’t land the position.

Think about it this way: Selling yourself to a degree is a great tactic. Going overboard might scare your date away. Show, don’t tell.

4. How Much You Hate Your Job

Or your living situation, or your mode of transportation, or your current ailments, or anything else that may lead to a totally negative conversation. If you currently have a negative outlook on life, try your hardest to leave it at home for this first date. By changing your attitude to a positive one, you’ll exude happiness and your date will instinctively be more excited to be around you.

Consider the flip side of the situation. Imagine you’re having an absolutely great day, and you sit down to dinner with Mr. Grumpy. Without even realizing it, you’re going to be turned off by his pessimistic and downer attitude.

So, if you really do hate your job, or whatever else at that exact moment, the suggestion isn’t to lie and say you love it, but perhaps consider not bringing up the topic as a whole quite yet. Let your date get to know the positive side of you, because you know you've got one.

5. Too Many Plans For the Future

Of course you want your date to get to know you, so you might think if you’re looking to ultimately have a family some day this may be something to bring up now. But it's probably smarter to hold off on this.

First dates are best served when both people get to know the tip of the iceberg about someone, leaving the rest to be uncovered later. If you’re one sip into your first drink and telling your date how you envision having three children — two boys and a girl — a golden retriever, a big house with a white picket fence, and matching his-and-her Range Rovers, it’s possible you’re going to scare the guy away before he even gets to know what kind of food you tend to order.

In terms to full disclosure, however, if you're a lady looking for something super casual, that fact might be something to bring up on the first date. Not speaking for all daters, but for many, the reason they're out of the scene dating is to ultimately find a relationship. So,letting them know early on what you want in this regard would be fair to both of you. And on the other hand, it's also not fair to present them with a first date scrapbook you've made of what your children might look like. There's a happy medium somewhere in there.

First date conversations don't have to be torturous. Simply avoid these five iffy topics, and voila — you're on your way to a successful date.

Images: Calvin83, JovoM, EKelly89, TaxCredits, OrphanJones, Wonderlane/Flickr