First Date Conversation Starters...(that aren't lame)

Way back before social media first dates weren't as hard because we had face to face conversations. Now with Tinder, Match and the Bumbles of the world first dates are more challenging. The first real-life conversation you have. Establishing if there is chemistry. What you ask and what you say can inevitably be the deciding factor in whether the first date will make it to date number two. An easy, organic conversation is always best, but naturally, we’re all a little nervous on first dates, which either makes us shy and quiet or turns us into chatterboxes or interrogators. That’s why we came up with 11 first date conversation tips to help your conversation flow smoothly.

1. Admit you’re nervous.
Your date is probably nervous too, so coming out and admitting it can be an excellent icebreaker. Being honest is important and letting your date know how you’re feeling may help take some of the pressure off. Just make sure the conversation is still about getting to know each other. If you don’t give the other person the chance to know more about you, there may not be a second date.

2. Ask questions.
Conversations should flow back and forth. If you’re not asking the other person questions and are only talking about yourself, you’ll either look A) not interested, B) self-absorbed, or C) both. Asking questions conveys engagement. If you’re shy or unsure of what to ask, remember to think about topics ahead of time.  Our consultants at Romance Ala Carte can give you some great topics.

3. Ask about their favorites.
Who doesn’t like talking about their favorite food, hobby, or sports team? Asking your date what some of their favorite things accomplishes a few critical first date rules it keeps the conversation light and fun. It makes you seem interested and not self-absorbed. And, if you both seem to love going to breweries, then you may have just found a reason to extend the date

4. Don’t spill your guts.
Be honest, sincere and real, but don’t turn the date into a therapy session. “Ease into talking about yourself—remember intimacy takes a bit at a time. Reveal a little about you and hopefully, they reveal a little about them.

 5. Avoid politics.
This a just a great overall life skill. They say there are two things you should never discuss at the dinner table—religion and politics. The same holds true for the first date. When you have strong beliefs or opinions, it’s easy to get overexcited and even judgmental. Of course, where your date stands on certain issues is important to a long and healthy relationship, but those topics will come up after a few dates in small ways. 

6. Don’t lie.
Again, another life skill. Embellishing the truth—even a little—on a first date means you’re starting the relationship with a lie. “When wanting to be liked, we may fudge the truth, hide relevant data, and say anything to make ourselves appear more authentic. However, if you continue to date, the truth will eventually come out anyway. Set yourself up for success.

7. Don’t “one up” them.
Your date mentions taking their first trip overseas to Peru. Don’t follow up by bragging about trips all over the world.  Nobody wants to feel like their experiences are insufficient. Just be congratulatory and respectful. Everyone has different opportunities for different experiences.   

8. Talk about past relationships but avoid too much ex-talk.
Unless you’re specifically asked, avoid getting into relationships past. No need to rehash the past. As you get to know each other these things will naturally come up. Leave your baggage at home. 

9. Speak up.
If the other person does something that makes you uncomfortable—subtly puts you down, is rude to the waitress, makes snide comments—don’t just take it. Say something! Dating is about finding someone you want to spend more time with, not about torturing yourself with bad company.

10. Don’t start asking about the next date too soon.
You may be thinking about the next date, but you’re still on date number one, so be present. “If you worry about what comes after the first date, chances are you’ll be anxious, appear needy, and may try harder to impress the other person. Enjoy the date you’re on now. 

11.. Don’t talk overly negatively or positively about yourself.
Modesty is appealing; low self-esteem is not. There’s no need to announce all your flaws on the first date. Self-debilitating humor is just a sign of insecurity and a huge turn-off. On the flip side bragging about how awesome you are is another turn-off. Modestly is a great characteristic. It is ok to say that you are good at your job but it is not ok to talk about how invaluable you are and how the company would totally tank if you left.

When it comes to having a good first date conversation, it’s ok to stumble and make a few mistakes. There’s no getting around it, first dates are hard and can get awkward at times. But if you keep talking, remember these tips, and focus on getting to know the other person you might surprise yourself by how easy the conversation will flow.