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First date tips: Things to talk about to spark a connection

It might be difficult to find common ground on your first date. Many conversations include a complete stranger about whom you know little to nothing but whom you yet feel some ambivalence and desire to make a good impression. This is a really busy time!

Here are some topics to help keep the conversation going on your first date.

Use context as a starting point

When on a first date, there's no need to go into an interrogation straight away. Establishing a basic level of rapport will pave the way for more in-depth discussions.

On a first date, it's best to ease into things with some light small talk about the location you're both in. If your date chooses this restaurant, you may inquire as to whether or not this is her first time there, how she heard about it, and what she like most about it. Or, if you're at a bar serving unusual cocktails, you may quiz him on his favorite drink and compare it to yours. You may inquire about the person's background, comment on an intriguing piece of clothing or jewelry they're wearing, or speak about the neighborhood you're in and how long you've both spent there.

Inquire about their day or perhaps their week

Although this may sound like a simple inquiry, please don't disregard it as such. Consider this a means of getting to the heart of what's really bothering this individual at the moment. When asked about their day or week, most individuals divulge at least a little about what's keeping them up at night, whether it's a problem they're having, a dream they're following, or a pleasure they're enjoying.

For both parties, the first date might feel like an interview as they take turns asking each other the same basic "how are you?" questions. Learning about their reality as they are experiencing it right now is a great way to break beyond the surface level and establish a genuine connection. A good method to do it is to ask about their present situation.

Share the truth about your life

And similarly, share what's now dominating your thoughts. In other words, be your authentic, messy, flawed self on dates. Don't focus on attempting to impress people with only the best parts of your life; instead, share the ups and downs of your current situation honestly. Most people gravitate toward individuals who are comfortable being themselves around them.

Bring something up from their online dating profile

A person's dating profile is a great place to check for first-date discussion ideas, especially if you met through a dating app. Look over their profile to get a feel for who they are and what interests they could have before you meet up. What a person writes in their profile can again provide you an insight into what they're thinking about right now, and it also shows you were paying attention to the data they decided to share.

Focus on small details and talk about them

Active listening is concentrating on what the other person is saying and experiencing rather than formulating a response in your head for when they finish talking. Then, add your thoughts to what you're hearing and validate what you're seeing.

Acknowledge their efforts and compliment them

Complementing your spouse on more than just their appearance is another approach to convey that you're paying close attention to them. Try to find ways to praise your date's character or vitality, and don't be afraid to flirt a bit. After you've been communicating with this individual for a while, try to pinpoint certain qualities about them that you enjoy.

Try to find out how they feel about their job

They may casually bring up their occupation. Instead of probing them for information about their job duties, try probing them for their thoughts on the matter; you're more likely to obtain a real and fascinating response this way.

While discussing one's job is a given, one may as well go the extra mile if doing so is necessary. Just what is it about the work that makes them happy? Just what is it about their profession that doesn't pique their interest? I'm curious as to their hopes for the future. To what did they aspire when they were younger? If you approach them with genuine interest, you may turn even the most basic of queries into in-depth conversations that reveal the true character of the other person rather than eliciting a canned response.

Ask about their interests

Not everyone gets excited when you bring up your job, and there's a lot more to individuals than their occupations. So, inquire further into the various different activities that individuals engage in. In particular, if you ask someone what they are passionate about or loving right now, you may get an insightful glimpse into the things that truly inspire them, such as a new podcast they discovered and can't stop listening to, their fascination with astrology and crystals, or a creative endeavor they've started exploring on the weekends.


Although the first date can be intimidating, these conversation starters can help you get over some of those jitters. The most important aspect of a first date is to just have fun!

If you would like further support on conquering your next first date, book a coaching session today!

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