First dates are nerve-wracking experiences for most people. Read on to learn about the top first-date topics to avoid and why they should be avoided.
Oftentimes, the legwork that is involved in simply landing a date is extensive, so it can feel like a lot is at stake. Out of nervousness, people struggle to find things to talk about — and this often lands them in hot water. Prior to heading out for that first date, then, it pays to remind yourself that certain topics really aren’t suitable under such circumstances and should be avoided if at all possible.
If a first date is a sort of interview for a potential relationship, shouldn’t all the participants’ cards be spread out on the table? Doesn’t it actually make sense to bring up touchy subjects like religion, money, or politics? Not so fast. At this stage in the game, it is far better to keep things light and fun. The goal here is mostly to see if there’s enough chemistry to warrant spending more time together. There will be plenty of time for uncovering deal breakers later.
The Internet and social media have transformed the way in which we share our personal views. These days, people are more open and forthcoming about their political views than ever. Being so open on the Internet is one thing; doing so while sitting face-to-face with a first date is another. Just as politics should generally be avoided at the dinner table, it is also not a very suitable topic for a first date.
What’s the harm in sharing which political party you admire or your views on the current president? If you go there, you are apt to come across as too narrow-minded or even boring for your date. You could also quite easily offend them, which could lead to a confrontation. First dates are supposed to be low-pressure deals. Most of them amount to nothing, and it is important to keep that in mind. If this first experience leads to additional dates in the future, you will have plenty of opportunities to share political topics with the other person, so be patient and ride it out for now.
Unless you and your date matched up at least partially because of your religious views, it is wise to never broach the subject of religion during a first date. Just like politics, this is a topic that is too heavy and intense for an outing that is supposed to be enjoyable and low-pressure. At the very most, the two of you might discuss your religious backgrounds, but even that can be too hot-button in many situations.
In addition to avoiding talking about your personal religious beliefs on a first date, you should steer completely clear of sharing any opinions that you have about any religions or about religion in general. Now is not the time to regale your date with your reasons for being an atheist, for example. Remember that the other person will want to be polite and bringing up religion could put them on the spot and make them feel like they are being held hostage.
One of the most awkward things about a first date is determining how the bill will be paid. This can’t be avoided but talking about personal finances can. Put simply, you should avoid talking about financial matters — whether they are positive or negative — on a first date. Money woes might be on your mind but talking about them on the very first date will raise huge red flags for the other person.
Complaining about finances is a surefire way to alienate a first date but talking about how financially stable or well-off you are won’t earn you any points, either. No matter how you go about presenting it, it will come across as bragging or even desperation. Talking about jobs and the like is one thing, but sharing how much you make or anything detailed like that is a definite no-no.
No matter what stage of life you and your date are in, discussing the topic of marriage on a first date is a terrible idea. There is just no winning by broaching the subject. If you bring it up in the context of how much you’d like to be married someday, your date will get the impression that you only view dating as a means to an end — getting married — and that is too much pressure for the vast majority of people to handle.
On the flip side, if you make a point of talking about how put off you are by marriage, you could alienate someone who could otherwise have turned out to be a great partner. The bottom line is that there is no actual reason to talk about something as serious as marriage on a first date, so leave that topic for when you have several dozen more dates under your belt.
Discussing you or your date’s children is perfectly fine when on a date for the first time; talking about how much you do or don’t want kids in the future isn’t. Like the other topics on this list, the subject of having children is a heady one for singles. While it is true that there is no point in dating someone who definitely never wants kids when you do, for example, this isn’t something that needs to be clarified so early on.
No matter how strongly you feel about having or not having children, avoid putting the other person on the spot on that first date. Chances are that you will figure out their views on the subject in less direct ways; if it’s a major deal, you can safely broach the topic should you decide to get serious with the person.
Even if you studiously avoid bringing up any of the above topics on a first date, the other person might go there. If they do, gently steer the conversation to another topic. You will be doing yourself and the other person a big favor.