The DOs and DONTs of First Date Conversation

By: Simone Paget |


Conversation can make or break a first date. Conversation that flows nicely and is full of witty banter can be a huge turn on and make you want to spend more time with the person. Whereas, a first date that’s full of awkward pauses and/or inappropriate over-sharing is much more likely to send you running for the hills. When it comes to conversation on the first date here are a few DOs and DON’Ts

DON’T talk about your exes in detail. It’s OK to share some of your dating history on a first date – if it comes up. However, it’s best to keep things short and sweet, i.e. “The last time I was in a relationship was 6 months ago. We were together for two years but things didn’t work out” DONE. That’s more than enough info! There’s no need to share the intimate details about your past relationship or a laundry list of everything that your ex did that was annoying/awesome – it’s a total buzz kill.

DO talk about what you’re looking for out of the current dating experience.  For example, maybe you’re just looking to meet friends who will possibly become more, or you’re looking to date someone who loves hiking as much as you do. These are usually things people mention in their online profiles, however bringing them up in a casual, friendly way during conversation is never bad thing because it allows both of you to see if you’re on the same page. Although I’d  shy away saying something like “I’m dating because I want to be married by ____ date!”  or “I want someone to act out my Star Wars fantasies with” on the first date (even if it’s true), if it does slip out, at least it’s out there and the person you’re dating can decide whether what you’re looking for is for them.

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DON’T talk about sex. I write about sex and relationships for a living, so sometimes the subject inevitably comes up. However, I try and keep things lighthearted and humorous before moving on to a more appropriate topic. There’s mixed thoughts about this, but I personally don’t think the first date the time and place to talk about sex in explicit terms. Making sexual innuendo, sharing your bedroom habits or asking inappropriate questions during the first date is likely to make everyone feel uncomfortable.

DO talk about appropriate topics like what you do for a living, your interests, your family, your favourite movies and books, where you’ve traveled and other things that make you interesting and unique!

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DON’T be a Debbie Downer. Remember that you’re trying to put your best foot forward here. No one wants to hear about how horrible your job is, how you hate your boss/coworkers/mother/mail-man/hairdresser or about how the rising cost of bacon is really pissing you off these days. Keep things upbeat and positive! Smile!

DO talk about your passions and the things you love:  If you’re into surfing or belly dancing or fire breathing – SHARE IT! First dates can be a bit nerve wracking. Talking about subjects that you’re already excited and passionate about is way easier and a good way to connect with the other person.

DON’T hog the airwaves.  Sharing (appropriate) things about yourself is great, however getting to know each other is a two way street. Remember to ask lots of questions so that they have a chance to share things about themselves as well.

What are some of your first date conversation DOs and DONTs?