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19 Fun Topics to Talk About on a First Date (And What to Definitely Avoid)

19 Fun Topics to Talk About on a First Date (And What to Definitely Avoid)

That first date is finally here! You’ve been hoping it will happen for a long time now. The date’s been set and it’s right around the corner. You know where you’re going to go and even have your outfit picked out. Seems like things are really coming together. Then your mind starts to wander to what you’re going to talk about on the date. Oh boy.

A first date is kind of a big deal. While it’s a good idea to take the approach if things are going to click they will naturally, sometimes it’s hard to get to that point. You certainly don’t want to overthink it, that just creates analysis paralysis.

That being said, it’s a good idea to go in with at least a semblance of a plan that includes what to talk about.

In this article we will look at the right way to approach an initial date as well as 19 fun topics to talk about on a first date. That way you’ll feel prepared when the day comes around.

When you feel prepared, you’re more confident and things go smoother. Here we go!

Getting that first date

Getting a first date is not easy. I think back to my younger days and I didn’t really have a lot of first dates. Most of the time when I dated someone it was because we hung out in the same crowd. We’d see each other out on occasion and if we liked each other, eventually we’d start dating. There really wasn’t a lot of the formality of asking someone out on a first date.

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Technology has obviously come a long way and brought some tools for dating along with it. Sites like Match.com are popular as well as Tinder and a whole host of others. While it is certainly easier to see who’s available, it doesn’t make the actual first date any less daunting sometimes.

I have a few friends who have dipped their toe into the dating waters after divorce. To say it’s intimidating is putting it mildly.

One of my friends joined Match.com several years ago and told me it was basically like having a part time job. She talked about how she had to build her profile, set her parameters, and basically set things up the first time.

Apparently setting up the account and her profile was the easy part. The hard part was wading through the messages and winks and so forth. She said she spent 2+ hours a day managing the dating website. All this before she even decided to go on that first date. That’s not easy while working full time and raising kids.

I have a guy friend that has been divorced for over 6 years. He hasn’t exactly given up on dating but doesn’t put any energy into it. He says he’s gone on enough first dates to last a lifetime. He’s told me it is simply a lot of effort for two busy adults to find the time and energy to go out on dates.

The point here is that getting that first date is certainly not easy these days. It’s important to be prepared when you do have the opportunity for a first date.

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The right approach

Taking the right approach on a first date is essential. Of course you want things to go well, but at the same time there’s a lot to learn and find out about the other person.

A couple of things to keep in mind as your first date approaches:

First of all, don’t overthink it.

I have certainly been guilty of overthinking things and creating analysis paralysis. When you think about something too much, you tend to examine every little detail and worry over things that you shouldn’t.

When you do this, you become less natural and more uptight. Remember that staying inside your own head all the time is not the best place to be.

Secondly, remember to have fun.

When you approach a date with more of a fun attitude, it takes some of the pressure off. Tell yourself that this is an adventure and you will enjoy it.

If you worry too much about coming off perfect, you’ll forget to loosen up and have fun.

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If you don’t particularly like the person after the first date that’s okay, you’ve learned what you don’t like. And that’s just as important as figuring out what you do like.

Finally, being prepared will help you enjoy the date more.

I’m not saying you have to study like it’s a test. What I am saying is if you feel at least semi confident going into the date, that will typically lead to a better time.

When we are confident, we feel more relaxed. When we are relaxed, we have more fun. Which leads us to having fun topics to talk about on the first date.

19 fun topics to talk about

I’m going to start with 10 fun topics to talk about on a first date, and then you can take a look at another 9 you might want to bring up.

  1. Admit you’re a little bit nervous. Do this at the start of the date. More than likely the other person will admit to being a bit nervous as well. This will help relieve some of the pressure and create a mutual laugh.
  2. Where did you grow up or where do you call home. This is great to learn where someone was born and where they feel home is. Many times these are two different things. Plus it helps you understand where someone has been over the course of their life.
  3. Do you have a favorite place to visit. Some people like beaches, some people like mountains. Others like going to a big city every year while others like backpacking in their favorite woods.
  4. What do you have on your bucket list. Some people have active bucket lists where they try to cross something off every few years. Other people don’t have a formal bucket list, just a few ideas of what they’d like to do. It’s awesome to find out what others would like to do, sometimes it can generate some new ideas for you as well!
  5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done. For some people, this is giving a speech in front of hundreds of people. The especially brave of us might have jumped out of a plane and been terrified the first time only to find out they love it.
  6. A go to drink. This doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol or beer. So many folks are coffee connoisseurs these days. I personally know 2 people at work who know tea inside and out.
  7. What makes you laugh. This is one of my personal favorites. There is nothing better than hearing someone you know laugh in that way that you know really touches them. Could be a certain movie (in my case something along the lines of ‘Tommy Boy’), could be watching video’s of cats getting scared and jumping in the air, might be a baby laughing. We all have things that seriously tickle our funny bone.
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t at work. A lot of people will say exercise and that’s great. Living a healthy lifestyle is a good thing. Usually there’re some other things besides that as well. Personally I like going to concerts as much as my schedule allows. The former drummer in me lives vicariously through concerts.
  9. Who are the people in your tribe. Some folks are very close to their families whether it’s their kids or their siblings. Other people don’t feel very connected to their family and have created their own family. Having a strong social network is a very good thing.
  10. Do you like to cook and if so, what are your favorite things to cook. I’m partial to grilling as I know a lot of other guys that are. I’m also pretty handy with a crock pot and lately I’ve been experimenting with baked casserole dishes. I enjoy meal prepping and can say I’ve gotten my fair share of compliments on my paleo frittata. Let me know if you’d like the recipe.
  11. Do you stay in touch with your childhood friends. This is a great question and a fun topic. Personally I have 4 friends from my days of youth that I stay in touch with and still consider very good friends. I have a few guys friends I’ve made over the past few years who have no clue what their childhood pals are up to much less talk to them. Life gets in the way sometimes. If someone does stay in touch with friends from when they were kids, it could give you a glimpse into their childhood.
  12. What were you like as a kid. What a wonderful way to continue to find out about someone’s youth. Were they the class clown or bully? Maybe they were super shy until they got into high school. Personally I was an art nerd all through high school and fairly withdrawn until my senior year. A popular girl took a liking to me for some reason I’ll never know and next thing you know I was with the cool kids. Go figure.
  13. What’s your favorite movie. Most people I know like movies or Netflix shows. Not everyone but most people. It’s easy to talk about movies or shows as well.
  14. If you could have your dream job, what would it be. Some people are working their dream job but let’s be honest, most people aren’t. Even if someone really likes their job, usually there’s a thing or two that would make it better.
  15. What’s your least favorite household chore. For most of us chores are a fact of life. They take up a portion of our weekends or after work. I’m fine mowing and actually don’t mind cleaning bathrooms but really dislike vacuuming. Never hurts to pre-plan if things move forward.
  16. What do you like to splurge on. There are people who love to clothes shop, others that have vast music collections, others that go on a great trip once a year. This gives you a peek inside what the other person really enjoys.
  17. How do you spend your holidays. You’ll find of course that many of us spend our holiday time with our families. Which family members will tell you who your date likes to spend time with. Maybe they do some holidays with families or come from divorced parents and rotate family holidays.
  18. What subject do you know really well. I call myself the college of musical knowledge because I can name the title and artist of most songs I hear on the radio as well as the approximate year the song was released. What subject do you know really well?
  19. Describe your perfect day. Some people’s version of a perfect day is laying on the beach. For others it might be binge watching a Netflix show. For me it’s being out and about on a sunny Saturday with friends and family finished by a BBQ on my deck relaxing as the sun goes down.

There you have it, 19 fun topics to talk about on a first date.

5 Topics to definitely avoid

Now let’s take a look at a few topics you definitely want to avoid on a first date.

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  • Politics – I think this one pretty much goes without saying. This is a topic best left for later if the dates continue. Discussing politics on a first date is a big no no.
  • Religion – Honestly not too far behind politics. This subject can lead to many a heated debate. Leave it for now.
  • Your ex – Yes, your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Nobody likes hearing you complain about your ex and it’s definitely not going to get you any points on a first date.
  • Money – This is an area that can be a bit sensitive as well. Don’t want anyone thinking you’re bragging about how much you make nor it is great to initially discuss how you had to borrow $50 from your mom for this date.
  • Sex – Just no. Not on a first date. Plenty of time for this later if things go well.
  • Your must have list – It’s a first date, not your therapist. The person sitting across the table from you doesn’t want to hear that you’re looking for a guy or girl that’s either a doctor or a lawyer, loves cats, visits his/her parents every weekend, and has a secret passion for gardening. Nobody wants to do a self-measurement check on the first date.

Summing it up

There you have it, 19 fun topics to talk about on a first date and a few you should definitely avoid.

Getting a first date is hard enough. Once you decide to go on a first date make sure you approach it the right way. It’s about having fun, not stressing about and over thinking everything.

If you have some topics to bring up on the first date, it will help you feel more confident. When you feel confident, things should be more relaxed and you’ll enjoy yourself more.

The next time you have a first date, take a look at this list of 19 topics to talk about and remember a few to bring up. You’ll thank yourself later. Now go have fun!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Mat Apodaca

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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