Ah, the first date… Such a fun and exciting event in a new relationship. It also happens to be one of the most stressful topics for many. You’ve made reservations or bought tickets, scheduled a pick-up time with your date, and made arrangements with your roommates for the night (just in case.) But somehow, you’ve managed to miss the huge span of time DURING the date. What the heck are you going to talk about for three hours?! Not to worry. I’ve got some quick tips that should start up a few exciting topics to discuss, without sending your date running for the hills.
First of all, it’s important to remember that you’re most likely dealing with a person who knows very little about you. If you’ve met this person through friends or at a place you love (your favorite bar?), you probably already have some similarities. ‘Like attracts like,’ and similar people tend to congregate together. The fear of saying the wrong thing becomes a bigger issue if you’ve met online or you’re on a blind date. To avoid mishaps, just in case, I urge people to avoid hot topics on any first date. It isn’t wise to discuss politics, religion, etc. with someone you’re trying to get to know for the first time. While these are SUPER important conversations to have with someone you’re considering a relationship with, I think it’s more important to discover someone’s personality before you start making judgments on their lifestyle.
So what is OK to talk about? Hopes. Dreams. Ambitions. Ask them what they wanted to be as a child and what they’re doing now. Find out what gets them out of bed in the morning. What drives them to succeed? What is their biggest goal? Where do they want to be in 5 years? 10? These are topics that will show you the best in the person across the table from you. Day to day life can sometimes feel repetitive and bleak, but aspirations of some kind exist in everyone, and those dreams represent their BEST self. Give them the opportunity to show you who that is.
Most of all, it’s really important to talk about yourself on a first date. You must take the time to get to know that other person, but the conversation has to be two sided. Let them know what drives YOU. Set the expectation for what you want in life, so it doesn’t surprise them later down the line. This is especially important for people who are seeking non-monogamous relationships. As long as you’re true to yourself and your desires, your date has the opportunity to decide if what you’re offering is something they’re interested in. If they want to date many people and you’re looking for one-on-one commitment, that isn’t the right person for you. If you want to travel and they don’t enjoy it, maybe they’re not the best choice for a partner. Everyone has their differences, but you should seek out people who share similar passions as you, so that no partner ever holds you back. Try to be comfortable sharing who YOU are, and be willing to walk away if that person doesn’t meet your expectation of the kind of person you want to share your life with.
At the end of the day, there are a million different reasons to go on a first date. If you’re just out to have fun, make sure you keep it lighthearted and joyful. If you’re looking for a long-term partner, you have to be forthcoming about who you are and what you want. Whatever your motivation, remember you only get one first date with that person! Make the most of it, and have a great time.