By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
Conversation on a first or any date is about getting to know someone. It keeps things interesting and allows you to gather a deeper understanding of the person you're with. That information can help you decide if or how you want to continue interacting with someone. Sometimes it's difficult to begin a conversation with someone on a first date when you're nervous and equally excited. However, if you don't want time to drag on and create a boring space, you have to be able to hold a productive and interesting conversation. If you're unsure of appropriate topics to discuss on a first date with someone new or familiar, take a look at the list below for a few ideas.
1. How has your morning/day been so far?
So many times, we forget to ask this simple question that can open up so many topics for ongoing conversation. It's important to know what a person's day was like before you delve deeper into the date because their mood can set the tone for the remainder of the time you're together.
2. What made you smile today?
This is a good transition to keep the conversation light and put a smile on your date's face.
3. What would you like to know about me?
This question will allow your date to inquire about anything they want to know about you. While this is a good question that can jump-start an engaging conversation, be prepared for some things they may ask. If you're uncomfortable with something that was asked, make it respectfully clear to your date. You can say things like, "I think that's a personal question for a first date," or "I'd rather not share that information with you right now." While the point of dating is getting to know someone, it's okay to be discreet with knowledge of who you are.
4. What are some of your hobbies/what do you like to do for fun?
This is always a helpful conversation starter as it gives insight into who you're with. As a person shares their favorite pastimes with you, listen closely and ask more questions about them. This topic alone can lead to additional conversation topics throughout the date.
5. Is there anything you want me to know about you?
This question lets your companion know that you are interested in them and you're willing to learn more about who they are. However, when they respond, hear it with an open mind and no expectations.
6. Where did you grow up?
Asking this will let your date know that you're interested in their upbringing. This can spark a fun, light-hearted conversation about their upbringing and give you better insight into who you are with. On the flip side, this can bring about a discussion about their childhood that they may be uncomfortable talking about. No matter the case, you'll learn something about them that can enhance your relationship.
7. What's a deal-breaker for you when you're dating or in a relationship?
Everyone has deal-breakers in life. Whether you're dating or in a relationship, it's essential to know what someone's pet peeves are that can have them reconsidering a relationship of any kind with you. As they reveal these things to you, listen closely and inquire about them as they disclose. You never know what deal-breakers you may have in common.
8. Have you been here before?
This is a general question about the location where you've decided to have your date. If they have, ask them what they like about it. If it's not, then keep an open mind and be prepared to enjoy a new experience.
9. What's the best date you've been on, or what is your idea of an ideal date?
It's always fun to ask this question. It gives you an idea of the types of dates your companion likes to go on. It also gives you an idea of where you may go in the near future.
10. Ask them about their career.
It's always good to know what a person does for a living. This can lead to a conversation about their educational background and future career goals.
11. Ask them about their life's passion if it is not their career.
As they respond, ask more questions about it and ask if they have taken any steps towards pursuing it.
12. What internal traits do you find the most attractive about someone?
This thought-provoking question can make a person think about what qualities are the most important to them. It will also give you some insight into what they value and if your values are a match with theirs. Other questions or conversation starters can include music, travel, television, or entertainment in general.
As the date continues and you keep the conversation moving, take note of the following tips to have a healthy, light-hearted, and informative first-date conversation.
- If your date asks questions or brings up a conversation topic that makes you uncomfortable, respectfully let them know. It's okay to let them know what you're comfortable with disclosing. After all, it is the first date, and you have to be mindful of the information you're sharing with someone.
- Be sure to let them know that you're willing to answer whatever question you ask. This will make your date comfortable with you and more willing to respond to your questions.
- Make sure your questions aren't offensive. Be sure the questions you ask or topics you bring up don't offend your date during the conversation. Watch their body language as different things come about. Pay attention to your tone, and if you notice that they seem uncomfortable, change the subject to something new.
- Accept the responses you get with an open mind. We often have preconceived notions about a person before getting to know them for who they are, and that's who we want them to be. This won't work in the game of dating. Hear your date's responses and take them for what they are.
- Listen to understand first and respond based on your understanding. If you don't understand something, then be sure to ask inquisitive questions, not accusatory ones.
- Balance out your conversation starters. Make some funny, thought-provoking, and simple. This way, you'll get various responses, and the conversation can remain fresh.
- Set respectful boundaries when it comes to what you ask and how you respond. Never ask a question you aren't willing to respond to. Always be mindful of what subjects you bring up for discussion. I know this may be a bit tricky because you are in the early stages of getting to know your date. However, it's never too early to create a healthy line of respect right from the start.
- Don't put pressure on yourself to respond to questions a certain way or overthink your responses in hopes you tell them what they want to hear. Always unapologetically speak your truth with integrity and respect.
First dates can be nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. However, it's important to remember that this is only a first date. Take things slowly, and enjoy the moment. Don't overthink things. Set no expectations but to have fun.
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.