Some conversation ideas for a first date

By Juliet Ohai

First date jitters are the worst. Letting your nerves get the best of you can lead to a number of absolute first date blunders: talking too much, saying weird things, saying things you don’t mean, sweating profusely, blushing constantly, stammering, being creepy… the list goes on.

One of the absolute worst things that can happen to you as a result of first-date jitters is not saying anything at all. Contributing to the conversation is something you absolutely have to do if you go on a date, and if conversation halts to a stand-still, both parties need to facilitate conversation to keep it going. Saying yes to a date is like signing a contract, agreeing, “As long as you aren’t some sort of twisted, loathsome supervillain, I will do my best to talk to you for the duration of our date.” But talking — even rote, mundane, smalltalk — isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re nervous.

So we’ve come up with some talking points for you, to use as a prompt when conversation starts to dry up. Don’t get flustered! Remember, this date is in your hands. Remember these prompts, and never have a silent, awkward date ever again.

Day to day activities

  • Ask your date what they did that day. Did they have a good day?
  • How was work? Are you doing anything interesting or exciting at the office?
  • Did your date do anything fun over the past week or weekend? Ask how their week went.

Personal history

  • Where is your date originally from?
  • Where did your date grow up?
  • Where did your date go to college (if so)?
  • How many brothers or sisters does your date have? Asking about family is always a good resort. Ask what it was like to grow up in the kind of family they grew up in.

Personal tastes

  • Asking about music is always a good call when you run out of things to say. Ask what kind of music your date enjoys.
  • Movies are safe talking territory. What was the last movie your date saw?
  • Books are safe too. Has your date read a good book lately?
  • What kind of food does your date enjoy? Talking about food is great because you might be able to casually slip in plans to have a second date. “Oh, you enjoy ____ food? I know a great place…”

Goals and passions

  • Try to find what it is your date is passionate about. What are some of their interests? Do they have any passions/hobbies that they spend a lot of time working on?
  • What are some goals they have for their life or career?

Local questions

  • If you’re dating a person in your local area, it’s great to ask them some local questions, like where do they go for fun?
  • What are some of your date’s favorite restaurants or bars? You can always ask, “Have you ever been to _____ yet?”
  • What is your date’s neighborhood like, if they live in a different neighborhood than you?
  • If you like the great outdoors, talk about fun outdoor activities available to you in your local area.

Random life questions

  • Where has your date traveled and where would they want to go one day?
  • If your date was stuck on a desert island, what 3 things would they bring?
  • How would your date describe themselves in 3 words?
  • What’s one thing your date has never done, but which they’d love to do one day?

Don’t ever let first date nerves take away your tongue. It’s okay if you don’t say much, but you can’t say nothing at all. So keep some of these prompts in mind next time you feel tongue-tied on a date!

photo credit: eyeliam