What do you talk about on a first date?


You Made It


So you matched, you chatted, you planned and now you’re here. Sitting across from each other at a cafe or restaurant or bowling alley. You already know what the other does for a living, where they are from, and how many siblings they have. You both feel the connection but each direct question and equally direct answer just fizzles out into dead air.

What Now?


Obviously, in an ideal world, we would all be talented conversationalist and banter would flow easily into profound conversation. There would never be an awkward moment or silence to fill. The bridge would be seamless.

And hey, maybe for you, it does! Maybe you never struggle to think of what to say on a first date, and getting to know someone just comes easy to you. Or maybe you meet your tinder match and the clouds part and there is immediate familiarity between you and you talk with ease until the sun rises. Maybe this article isn’t for you.

But in case the connection needs a bit of cultivating to sprout, or even if first date jitters are twisting your tongue, it may be good to have some backup conversation starters. 

Read on to find your conversational go-to and date night lifeline. Keep in mind that these are not “icebreakers” but rather a way to move onward from light flirtation to deeper talk.


Back to Basics: Interesting Questions


When you ask someone what they do for a living, or where they are from, or any other of the standard, template First Date Questions™, the next thirty seconds can be fairly predictable. 

They will reiterate an answer they’ve said a million times before, at parties, and work events, and even other dates. You will ask if they like it or them to elaborate slightly and you will both smile and nod. Sure you’ve learned something new about them but in the most boring way possible. 

There is a better way. The basic facts about them will come out during the date, don’t worry. Instead of asking these things outright, try asking an interesting, unique question, one they’ve never heard before. 

In addition to starting a better conversation with less template answers, genuinely asking something unique will break any barrier awkwardness as your date stops thinking about the situation and starts thinking about the idea you have just posed. 

If you can think of your own theoretical questions, awesome. If not, you can find some, here, here, here, or here, and we’ve thrown our personal favorites below. 

Our Picks
  1. Do you have any goals that you haven’t told anyone about?
  2. How many chickens would it take to kill an elephant?
  3. If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
  4. What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?
  5. What activities cause you to feel like you are living life to the fullest?
  6. What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
  7. What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?
  8. What’s the most useless word?
  9. If a child somehow survived and grew up in the wilderness without any human contact, how “human” would they be without the influence of society and culture?
  10. Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever met?

As you can clearly see, there is a huge range. Your job is to read the room, evaluate your date, and use your best judgment to drop in the most appropriate question. This can be done with a deep breath and a simple “Here’s a question for you…”


The Assumption Game


You’ve chatted a bit but after only meeting once or twice, you are essentially mysteries to each other. And all the fun lies in unraveling. 

So put your intuition to the test. When there is a lull, propose that you each make an assumption about each other, based on the information you have so far. It has to be specific and it can’t be a reiteration of something you already know. For example, if someone has told you that they are very clean, your assumption can’t be that they have a clean apartment.

Assume that they were the lead in their middle school play. Assume they once faked sick to get out of a test. Or assume they have their future kids names picked out. 

Use your imagination and really detail something you think may be true. After you have explained your assumption and why you believe it, they have the chance to either correct you, or admit that you know them pretty well already.

This is a fun one because you can be right or wrong. And even keep score of who gets more correct assumptions. Even if you both get every single one wrong, it’s a creative, silly way to really analyze and invest in each other. 

It goes without saying to keep it fairly light, nice, and clean, seeing as these are statements about them as a person. More than likely one assumption will lead to a much longer conversation.


Two Truths And A Lie


A tried and true classic, most everyone has played this game. If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s simple. You simply say three statements, and your date guesses which one is a lie. It’s a way to share interesting facts about yourself, as well as flexing your creative muscles while coming up with a lie.


Your Perfect Person With A Catch


If both parties are into it, this is a game that can span the whole date, devolving into discussing, negotiating, and playful debating. 

It goes like this: imagine your ideal partner, perfect in every sense of the word. Your perfect person, if you will. They want to be with you, and you want to be with them. Great! But there is a catch…

And then you take turns proposing what the “catch” is, and deciding, yes or no, if you would still be with this theoretical person. 

Unavoidably, you will disagree, and have the chance to lay out your priorities, preferences, and values. You can try to convince each other of your respective side, or propose a different catch to find where the limit is.

This game can be silly, serious, or outright outrageous. We’ve left some of our favorite caveats below.

Your perfect person but…
  1. They never laugh, and only say “that’s so funny” completely deadpan when they find something funny.
  2. They have their exes name tattooed.
  3. They chew with their mouth slightly open.
  4. They wear sunglasses everywhere, even inside, even formal events.
  5. They want 10 children and will not budge.


Be honest, thoughtful, and genuine. You will learn a lot about each other.


The Rest Is Up To You


With these up your sleeve, no silence will be awkward enough to keep you down. You likely will never use all of the above options, as one is enough to get the ball rolling.

Remember, how the date goes is up to you guys. You both set the tone, you direct the conversation, and you put in effort. Even if there isn’t a love connection, a date can be an opportunity to meet a cool person, learn more about yourself, or just become more comfortable with social interaction. 

Dating is what you make it, and you get out what you put it, so take it seriously and put in your very best. From your profile to your photos to your first date conversation topics, it’s all up to you.

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