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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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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