Ah, the first date. Where great relationships begin, or stumble into awkward, dead-end conversation. To have a great conversation you often have to ask an open question and then follow up to the other person’s response with statements. Try not to ask a reel of questions. Instead, ask a question; listen to their response and then say your own opinion.
Below is a list of potential topics you can have at your disposal should your mind go blank or if one of those horrifying moments of silence occurs. Beware, there are also certain subjects you should avoid so you will not risk offending him or making him want to bolt from the scene.
1. Do talk about your requirements for a relationship.
These first several dates are intended for you to screen whether the two of you have any compatibility to explore further.
2. Don’t interrogate the poor guy.
You can ask him what he is looking for in a guy and subtly ask questions oriented around your own needs without coming across too heavy.
3. Do talk about current events in the news or media.
These topics can add lightness to your discussions and are a good way to screen his knowledge and social awareness.
4. Don’t talk about something you don’t know much about.
You will come across as lacking in intelligent conversation.
If you are not savvy on current events, now would be a great time to brush up on the news to have an arsenal of topics and wisdom handy in case you need it.
5. Do talk about gay issues.
Is he “out”? How involved is he in the gay community?
You will want to screen for any possible internalized homophobia or values around gayness that might not be compatible with your stances.
If those values are both similar, how do you feel about that?
6. Don’t talk about monogamy and explicit sex acts desired.
The time will come to talk about these important issues, but they can be a bit heavy on a first date before you have had a chance to establish some camaraderie.
The same rule applies when discussing politics, religion and money.
7. Do talk about interests and hobbies.
You want to find out if the two of you share any similarities in activities for recreation and leisure.
Ask for examples about experiences and inquire as to what he likes the best about those things.
“Be creative and savvy in how
you go about your conversations.”
8. Don’t talk too much about yourself.
A balanced conversation between you and he is crucial for it to not feel like it is a one-sided date.
Be sure to have an equalized dialogue so you both feel like you’re contributing something.
9. Do talk about your passions and inquire about his.
Nothing energizes a conversation more than a person talking about something that is meaningful to them.
Ask lots of questions to show an interest and curiosity in what he’s talking about.
10. Don’t judge or minimize what he says.
You should never do this, even if it is counter to what you like to do. Validate the importance this passion has for him.
11. Do talk about family and friends.
And inquire about his relationships with them. You can learn a lot about a person by the types of attachments they have to people.
Is he close or disconnected to them? How does he speak about these people in his life — with adoration or negativity?
12. Don’t give a detailed history of your past dramas.
The more he hears about any family dysfunction, the more his eyes are going to be darting toward the door.
Try to save that history for a later time when you can gauge if you can trust him.
13. Do talk about your visions for the future.
What does he hope to be doing in five, 10 or 20 years down the road? Does it appear that you have comparable plans for the future?
Career, marriage and parenting might be something to mention here.
14. Don’t come on too strong.
Also, avoid agreeing with things he says just because you want this to work out. This can be suffocating and appears insincere at times.
15. Do talk about dating.
And talk about what you envision an ideal dating lifestyle to look like.
It can be funny sometimes to swap past dating horror stories, but keep them to a minimum so he does not get the wrong impression of you.
A long history of failed dating relationships could make it seem like you are a train wreck.
16. Don’t bash ex-partners.
This adds a climate of negativity to your date and could have him question whether you might talk like that about him someday.
It might also lead him to think you might be a negative person.
These are just a few ideas out of a plethora of topics you could choose. Remember, every topic and question you ask is designed to screen whether you and the guy sitting across from you have “goodness of fit.”
In closing, of all the first date tips I can give, the best one is to just be yourself. Be authentic. BUT, be YOUR BEST self. Offer your date the things you love about yourself; your passion, your heart, your humor, perhaps. Leave your past relationship baggage at home tonight.
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