Coming up with things to talk about on a first date isn’t always straightforward. When you’re put on the spot — i.e. sitting across from your date in a restaurant or bar — thinking up some quickfire first date conversation starters can feel a bit overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be this much of a struggle though. Knowing what to talk about on a first date can be simple if you do a little prep in advance. There are tons of great things to talk about on a first date, so simply memorize a few from our list below, and you’ll be good to go!
What to Talk About on a First Date: 12 Top Tips and Ideas to Try
So, what do you talk about on a first date? From funny stories to flirty questions, there are plenty of great ways to approach this. Below, we’ve outlined some conversation topics for a first date to help get you started!
1. Ask about their day
Start the date in a relaxed, friendly, and conversational manner by asking about their day. This can nicely bridge the gap from first meeting them to getting sat down somewhere. A bit of conversational foreplay before jumping into the juicy stuff is good for setting the tone and showing off a little of your personality. Always try to be yourself though – you want them to like you for you, after all.
2. Ask about something from their dating profile
This is one of the simplest topics to talk about on a first date. If you met on a dating app, you’ve likely already chatted a little. You may even have talked for days – in which case you should already have a reasonable rapport.
If you haven’t already discussed their dating profile in detail, break the ice by asking about the different things that are on their profile. Maybe they have an interesting bio, quirky photos, or even a weird video you can laugh about together. Take a glance at their profile before meeting up to remind yourself of what they’ve got on there.
3. Give them a compliment
Their outfit, the jewelry they’re wearing, their perfume/aftershave, their hairstyle. Whatever it might be, pick something you like and give a sincere, simple compliment. It might not seem like much, but genuine, super sweet compliments can immediately put your date on more flirtatious and comfortable grounds. Everybody loves hearing that the effort they put in hasn’t gone unnoticed.
One thing to avoid, of course, is making any sexual references. Later in the date, if the mood is right and you’re getting along, you can always turn up the heat a bit. In the beginning, however, help them to feel comfortable by keeping things light.
Now – Getting Onto the Juicier Conversation Topics for a First Date
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way and you’re feeling pretty at ease with one another, it’s time to get a little deeper with your conversation, and really get to know one another.
4. Ask what they do for a living
When it comes to things to talk about on a first date, this topic has the potential to be quite dry, especially if their job doesn’t immediately sound all that interesting. But, rather than quizzing them about the intricacies of their work, ask how they got into their profession, and whether it’s something they enjoy doing. Do they want a change, or do they adore what they do? Getting your date to open up can help the conversation to flow pleasantly.
Later on in the date, you can always show how well you’ve listened by bringing up details they’ve mentioned previously, whether it’s about their career or their future ambitions. This shows you care about what they’re saying, which is always flattering.
5. Ask about where they grew up
Does anyone remember that classic moment in Friends when Rachel reveals her killer first date move of asking the simple question, “So where’d you grow up?” This straightforward opener then leads to deeper questions about growing up, childhood, and Joey’s relationship with his parents.
Before anyone says it. Yes, we know Friends is a fictional show. But, this is a good example of how asking a simple question about where they grew up can be a first date topic. It gives you opportunities to think up more conversation starters based on the things you ended up talking about. In fact, you could even…
6. Ask about high school
What were they like in high school? Were they a bookworm, captain of the football team, or both? What was their favorite subject, and which one were they hopeless at? If you can get onto the subject of funny high school stories, it’s a potential gold mine of fun anecdotes.
7. Ask about their travel experiences
Have they ever taken a vacation in another country, or do they prefer to stay closer to home? From this jumping-off point, you can ask a ton of other fun questions, while dropping a few anecdotes of your own in there for good measure.
Do they love to stay in a high-end hotel, or do they prefer a cheap and cheerful hostel? Do they try local cuisine, or are they shy when it comes to new flavors? Have they ever had any funny travel mishaps?
Don’t be afraid to share your mishaps as well, by the way. They make you seem more approachable and human, and imperfections can often be very endearing and attractive.
8. Ask if they have any hobbies or passions
Everybody has at least one hobby, even if it’s just binging Netflix’s best romance movies. Some people have many hobbies, so using these as a first date conversation starter can open up a real treasure trove.
Maybe they love playing guitar, painting murals, or learning new languages. You’ll never know if you don’t ask – so ask!
9. Ask about their ambitions
Ambition and drive can be very attractive traits. So, when it comes to things to talk about on a first date, allow them to show this off by asking about their hopes and goals for the future – in an organic way, of course. Simply asking, “Do you have any ambitions?” is too broad and might cause them to clam up when put on the spot.
Instead, ask if they’ve ever thought about where they’d like to be in a decade and if they can picture this already. We’ve all imagined our future lives at some point and finding out what theirs looks like can help you both to genuinely connect.
10. Ask about their family
Try approaching this topic gently by asking something like “Do you have any siblings?” From there you can ask about whether they get along with their parents or if they’re close with their grandparents and other relatives.
How your date talks about their family will give you a good indication of whether you’ll be a strong match.
11. Ask about their taste in books, TV shows, and movies
Rather than outright asking “What’s your favorite show?”, ease them into the topic by talking about something you’ve just finished watching yourself. This gives them the chance to jump in with romance books or horror movies they enjoy. If you have similar tastes and interests, this one topic alone can make up a whole evening of chatting and flirting.
12. Ask if they have any dealbreakers
Of all the possible things to talk about on a first date, this one may not seem like the most flirtatious. But, it’s worth knowing early on whether they have any real lines in the sand when it comes to dating. If you’re incompatible, it’s better to find out on the first date than the tenth!
You can casually introduce this question. A simple “Do you have any online dating red flags?” can be a light-hearted way to make sure that you’re compatible and have the potential to form a real, meaningful connection.
Above All – Be Real!
When it comes to knowing what to talk about on a first date, it’s important to be yourself. If there’s no chemistry, there’s no chemistry. Meaningful connections can’t be forced. Try to always stay true to yourself and enjoy the date for what it is. You want the person sitting opposite to like you for who you really are, imperfections and all. This is what will help to lead to genuinely special moments like that unforgettable first date kiss!
So, if you’re asking yourself, “What are the best things to talk about on a first date?” try out these top options:
Now that you’re stocked up on things to talk about on a first date, all that’s left to say is good luck out there! You’ve got this!