11 Topics to Discuss to Spark Connection on A First Date, According To A Dating Coach


11 Topics to Discuss to Spark Connection on A First Date, According To A Dating Coach


It might be challenging to have a stimulating discussion on a first date. Many times, you're conversing with a complete stranger about whom you know very little, but you also kind of want to impress them and are sort of trying to gauge their compatibility. A much is going on at once!

Here are a few topics to discuss during this initial meeting to help keep the conversation going.

What to discuss on a first date?

1. Begin with a conversation that is casual and relevant.

Feel no obligation to launch into an interrogation as soon as a first date begins. Once you've built up some basic trust between you, the deeper topics will flow more naturally.

Try starting a brief discussion that is informal and relevant to the situation when you initially arrive on the date. Ask her whether she's been here before, how she found it, and what she likes about it, for instance, if your date chose the restaurant, you're at. Alternately, if you're in a pub that specializes in unusual cocktails, inquire about his favorite beverage and share your own. You might also discuss the region of town you're in and how long each of you has lived there, a unique piece of jewelry or apparel your date is wearing, or their origins before meeting up with you.

Let the discussion go naturally from there; perhaps they'll mention how difficult it is to locate decent Thai restaurants in the city you're in or a good friend who has brought them here previously, or how much they enjoy dining outside. Pay attention to the conversation that ensues, probe further, and then add your own reflections or anecdotes that touch on your date's recent revelations.

Although this type of discussion is sometimes referred to as "small talk," the secret to making it feel lively and intriguing is to truly pay attention to what the other person is saying and take advantage of any chances to start revealing unusual facts about yourselves. By making these early disclosures and establishing rapport, the next talk will flow much more easily and naturally.

2. Inquire as to how their day or week has been.

You might think that this is a standard query, but don't let that be the case. Consider this query as a technique to learn more about the person's current top concerns. When people discuss how their day or week is going, they typically share a little bit about what's presently spinning their wheels—what issues they're currently experiencing, what goals they're currently pursuing, or what joys are currently lighting them up.

The fact that the conversation sometimes feels like an interview with each person taking turns asking the other the standard get-to-know-you questions is one of the reasons why first dates may feel so awkward. It can be helpful to make an effort to understand their environment as they are experiencing it right now in order to break down barriers to genuine connection and move past stock reactions. A wonderful approach to do that is to inquire about their current circumstances.

Ask a follow-up question to show them that you really want to learn more about their response, even if it's just an irritated sigh and a quick statement about how demanding the job is.

Examples of queries

·       So, how have you been today?

·       Follow-up: What's been so stressed about it, you ask?

·       How has your week been going?

·       Follow-up: How was that experience for you, by the way?

·       Follow-up: That seems like a lot. Was that week typical for you?

·       Follow-up: It's good that you got to see your folks for a while. With them, are you close?

3. Discuss the actual events in your world.

Also, mention the issues that are now on your mind. Clara Artschwager, a dating coach, advises bringing your whole, messy, imperfect self to your dates. Don't worry about attempting to simply showcase your greatest successes; instead, be honest about how your life is really going right now, good and terrible. According to Artschwager, people prefer to be around people who are open and vulnerable.

"You feel good when you meet someone and you see they are comfortable with themselves, whether it's in a romantic or professional setting. Whether you realize it or not, that encourages you to be vulnerable "She just informed mbg. "At that point, we think, "This is a wonderful interaction." This talk is pleasant."

4. Discuss a particular aspect of their dating profile.

A person's dating profile is a great location to explore for ideas for first-date conversation topics if you and your match met through a dating app. Examine their profile before meeting them and try to think of a conversation starter for them. Not only does this demonstrate that you truly paid attention to the information they choose to offer, but what a person writes in their profile might also reveal some information about what they are currently thinking about.

5. Take note of the details and inquire about them.

Try to grasp what they are saying and feeling while they speak by actively listening to them rather than trying to plan your response for when they finish talking. Then, address and support what you're hearing and observing about them.

Couples therapist, recently told mbg that "people often open up more when they're being seen, heard, acknowledged, and listened to in the minor elements of who they are and how they express themselves."

6. Genuinely compliment them.

Complimenting your partner—and not simply on their appearance—is another approach to demonstrate that you're paying close attention to them. A little playful flirtation can be entertaining, but in addition, try to find ways to enhance your date's character or vitality. See what minor details you notice that you really like about being around this person after you've been chatting to them for a while.

"Celebrate it," advises Muoz, "noticing someone's jewelry, the logo on their T-shirt, their overall energy level, their sense of humor, and their manner of expressing themselves."

7. Enquire about their opinions of their jobs.

Their occupation will certainly naturally come up at some time during the chat. Ask them how they feel about it instead of just finding out what they do for a living; you'll probably get a lot more intriguing and sincere response.

According to relationship expert Julie Nguyen, "it's formulaic to talk about work, so if you're going to start there, you might as well take it further." "What about their work interests them? What about their career doesn't excite them? What do they aspire to in the future? As children, what did they wish to be? Simple inquiries can become in-depth conversations where you learn the essence of who they are as a person rather than receiving a scripted response by approaching them with interest."

Examples of queries

·       Are you happy with your job? What do you like and not like about it?

·       Work with your team, employer, and clients, do you enjoy it?

·       How did you begin working in that field?

·       Have you had a desire to work in this field forever?

·       What do you plan to do later on?

·       What profession would you pursue if you could work anywhere in the world?

·       How would you be spending your days if money were not a concern?

8. Find out what they are currently passionate about.

It won't make everyone happy to talk about work, because people are so much more than their job descriptions. Find ways to inquire about all the different activities that people choose to engage in. Asking a person what they are currently passionate about or love can allow them to share things that genuinely make them happy, such as a new podcast they just discovered and can't stop listening to, their interest in astrology and crystals, or a brand-new creative project they've started experimenting with on the weekends.

9. Inquire about their experiences over the past few years.

You can begin to ask questions that go into the more in-depth topics after you feel that you and your conversation partner have established sufficient conversational trust. For instance, inquire about their progress since COVID joined our life a few years ago. You're nearly certain to get more personal with this question because practically everyone has been affected, at least to some degree.

Be careful as you enter this section of the conversation: You can find yourself engaging in a politically charged discussion about how people have or haven't responded to experiencing a pandemic, or you might find yourself talking about how isolation and Zoom fatigue have damaged your mental health. Don't worry if it turns out to be the latter; although some people feel that discussing politics should be avoided on a first date, the truth is that it's best to find out as soon as possible whether the two of you share the same values and opinions. It may or may not be a deal-breaker for each of you, but it's crucial to be aware of any potential disparities with anyone you're thinking about dating.

10. Discover more about their family.

Speaking of digging deeper, finding out more about your date's family might help you learn more about their history and the reasons behind their characteristics.

Examples of queries

·       How close are you to your family?

·       What kind of relationship do you have with your parents?

·       What about your siblings? Do you have an older, younger, or middle child?

·       What was it like growing up?

·       Did you enjoy your childhood home?

11. Find out what they are currently seeking on a date.

Last but not least, it only makes sense to inquire about each other's dating plans and goals when you're out on a date. Whether you're searching for a casual, serious, or different kind of relationship, you should make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

Examples of queries

·       What do you want to get out of dating these days?

·       Why are you using dating apps?

·       Do you value relationships?

·       I often prefer to take my time getting to know someone. Who are you?

What not to discuss.

Nguyen says, "I don't really consider anything off-topic to chat about on a first date.

Even if it's conventional wisdom that you shouldn't discuss politics or religion on a first date, the days of trying to amicably resolve disputes are long gone. According to a 2021 study by the dating app Bumble, 62% of adults think it's important to discuss important social issues on a first date, such as gender equality, race, the environment, and more. Additionally, 75% of adults said they'd only date someone if their political and social views were mostly in alignment.

The sooner you can find out where a potential spouse stands on the topics that matter to you, the better. If you're looking for a long-term companion, similar values are going to be a vital underpinning for your relationship. This is not to mean that you should spend the entire first date interrogating each other about their opinions on various political issues, but you also shouldn't feel the need to hide your principles.

However, there are some topics you might want to stay away from discussing on a first date, such as:

·       Trauma: Nguyen does advise against "trauma dumping" during a date. Discussing intense personal traumas on a first date can seem very weighty and put a lot of pressure on your date to hold space for you. This is something they probably didn't anticipate to be asked of them over a casual coffee at two in the afternoon. She cautions against sharing too much too soon.

·       Your Highlight reel: Similarly, be aware of how much time you spend gushing about your achievements, adventures, and other qualities you believe make you special. Recall that this is not a job interview. The goal here, as Artschwager notes, is to let this person see the complete, true you—flaws, doubts, demons, and all—rather than just the best parts of you.

·       Hot feelings for your ex: According to Nguyen, it can occasionally be okay to talk about previous dating and relationship experiences during a first date. Just be careful not to spend too much time discussing specific relationships, especially if you've recently broken up. Your date might get the impression that you haven't moved on if you can't stop talking about your ex. Many people can also view trash-talking your ex as a warning sign.

·       How much you want a relationship: While it's vital to be clear about what you want from dating, it's also critical to be able to tell when your approach to dating is one of scarcity. For starters, meeting a complete stranger who already has a lot of expectations of us and how much we are expected to contribute to their lives isn't something that most of us find really exciting. That can undermine your attraction while also putting a lot of strain on your date. Rather than those who have a lot they're asking for, we are drawn to folks who seem to have a full life and who themselves have a lot to offer those around them.

How to continue the discussion.

A few strategies exist to prevent awkward pauses:

1. Follow up with intelligent questions.

When your date shares information with you, acknowledge it ("That's wonderful!") and then follow up with a question ("Have you always been so ambitious?").

2. Avoid switching topics too abruptly.

Allow your date to talk as much as they want on the present issue as you take your time with each topic, aiming to paint a complete picture of this aspect of their life or thoughts. In order for them to receive a whole image of you, make sure you also take the time to express your ideas or personal experiences linked to the subject.

3. Identify the discomfort.

In actuality, awkward pauses do occur. There are moments when you simply can't think of anything to say. It's acceptable to acknowledge your memory loss or bring up the awkwardness of first dates. If it appeals to you, you can even make light of the issue. Sometimes all it takes to diffuse the tension and turn it into a connecting moment is to name the discomfort and share a joke about it.

4. Appreciate the quiet.

It's not necessarily a negative thing to be silent. It's acceptable to step back and take a break if the conversation naturally lulls at that point. Observe your surroundings. What intriguing activities are taking place in your immediate surroundings? You can still express yourself while you're watching; for example, a smile and a contented "mmm" sound will show your date that the stillness doesn't disturb you and that you're still having fun. You may even say so out loud, or you could make a comment about what you're absorbing from the surroundings. For instance, "The wind feels so lovely, my God. These kinds of afternoons are my favorite." What do you believe the couple over there is talking about, for example?


On a first date, you can generally talk about whatever you're feeling like talking about. Nearly any subject is fair game for conversation, as Nguyen notes, as long as it is done thoughtfully. What's more fascinating, she continues, is managing the date's tension so that you don't divulge either too much or too little information. "Having the appropriate attitude and keeping your sharing in check deepens the encounter considerably by bringing excitement to the date."

Ask questions to encourage your date to think about the same things that are thrilling, significant, and interesting to them as you do. A final reminder: Have fun on your dates! Put your attention on having fun, getting to know this person truly, letting them get to know you, and generally having a good time.

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