First date conversation topics – great ones and those to avoid

Sometimes, when so much thought has gone into what to say over message, how to suggest the idea of a first date and then arranging the evening that people feel a huge pressure has lifted off their shoulders. 

girl on the phone having coffee

Oh wait, now there is the issue of the date itself…and what to say during it. To help avoid the cursed ‘lull’ here is a useful guide to give you the necessary tools and topics to smash the first date.

Good conversation topics


There’s a reason why this is a classic – the possibilities are endless. What’s been your favourite holiday? A favourite TV series? You must have a favourite restaurant? Not only are there a hundred topics that could be touched upon, it also acts as a fantastic opener to a lengthy, animated discussion (and you might go away with some new food places to visit and movies to watch).

The past

As vague as this might sound, asking about anything to do with their growing up can be a great conversation topic because there’s nothing more enjoyable then some reminiscing and embarrassing childhood stories.


Depending on where you both are with your life, usually people have either studied a course or are working currently. Whichever it is, this are usually huge parts of your life – what did you study, where did you go, any societies, what is your job, where is it based, do you enjoy it, where do you want to go from here?


Unless they’ve made it very clear that this is not a subject up for discussion, finding out about their parents and siblings and pets can be a great way to get to know them (and remember, if this works out, you may be meeting them sooner than you think).


What a person does in their spare time can affect you more than you think. If they are massively outdoorsy and you don’t like the idea of leaving your sofa and gaming unit on a weekend then you probably aren’t the best match.

Also read: What to do after fantastic first date

Conversation topics that are okay – but be wary


No longer as taboo as you think, touching upon religion in a neutral and open way is completely acceptable. In fact, for those who are looking for a long term thing, religion can be very important.


Again, another topic where the dinner table ban has been lifted. As long as you don’t go into a tirade and squash every counter point from your date, this can be a fascinating debate – showing interest in the current state of the world is very attractive. It also allows you to test compatibility to an extent as sometimes, this can be make or break for people.


Your date does want to know about you but not for the full 2 hours. Talk about yourself in moderation and balance it with questions to your date. Sometimes, people have to check themselves when they realise they are dominating a conversation – there’s nothing worse when someone asks you a question and then they interrupt your answer with their own anecdote.

The future

Childhood dreams, work plans, bucket list ideas are all totally acceptable and would be brilliant for a first date. Just be careful when you broach the topic of relationships – babies and marriage is a little heavy for date number one.

Conversation topics to avoid

The ex

Really, does this require any explaining?

Gross stories

Save the story about how you had an unfortunate bathroom incident for a bit further down the line.

Complaining about service

Unless you’re both making a casual joke, don’t complain or be rude – it doesn’t show you off in a good light.


Mention what you are interested in but she doesn’t need to hear all about your favourite team and their last season. Only you will find that fascinating.

Also read: Finding a relationship online

20 Questions

It’s a date, not a job interview. Just because you are nervous, don’t start firing questions left right and centre.

Worried about the awkward lull that inevitably occurs? Here are some great first date questions to pick those good vibes back up:
1. What’s been your favourite holiday?
2. Favourite movie of all time? Why so?
3. What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
4. Do you have any pet peeves, especially with dates?
5. What were you like as a kid?
6. Party trick?

A fun game is also two truths and a lie – it’s a flirty, engaging way to find out more about the other person without it being too intense and serious.

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