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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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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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