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What to Talk About on a First Date: Tips & Ideas to Avoid Boredom


What to actually talk about on a first date depends largely on who you choose to be, and the behaviors you engage in. How you carry yourself can make the difference in whether or not you have an enjoyable time. Here are some basic guidelines you can follow:

What to talk about during your first date
What to talk about to avoid boredom

Be interested in your date

One of you asked and the other agreed, but it was a conscious interest that led you there in the first place. So take time to actually know more about them.

This should NOT be done in a creepy, over the intense way, (calm down there, Freddy Kruger) but rather a genuine one.

What is their story? And yes, this includes the prosaic “what do you do?” question.

How are you going to sit there and pretend you are interested in a person but uninterested in the thing they do most in their lives.

2. Let the conversation flow

There is absolutely no reason to hold on to a topic as if you will never see each other again. Let the conversation lead where it may. Do not dominate the conversation, share it.

“Accept your date’s pass, redirect it slightly, and then return the ball— all with warmth and genuine interest in his or her responses. This acceptance and redirection is the push and pull that creates” Bakadesuyo

Some things that keep the conversation flowing, and create a connection are:

  1. Sharing secrets: Sharing personal things makes the date more intimate. This doesn’t mean crying about your ex or bringing up childhood trauma. It just means sharing who you are open but not overwhelmingly.
  1. Be controversial: that will keep the conversation flowing easily enough. A rule of thumb is to opt for controversy than dull topics. It will also make the date a lot more fun than regular, unimposing questions.

3. Be confident

It shows, and it makes a difference. When you are comfortable, you have a better time, and your date has a better time.

Being confident also saves you from these errors; over-complimenting your date, and not being self-depreciative when complimented.

Both of these send the message that you are not quite confident in yourself. You don’t want to send that message. Compliment your date sincerely and thank them when they compliment you because you do look lovely.

It also saves you from being that clingy person. Nobody likes a clingy person.

4. Be interesting and make the effort

And I mean this with all my heart. There is nothing worse than sitting across from someone and having to work hard to keep any form of civil, barely pleasant conversation going.

The opposite is true. There is nothing better than sitting with someone who is trying to make your encounter a pleasant one.

Note I did not say you have to be outgoing or extroverted. Only that you try. This means you are present in the moment and contribute to the conversation.

 “Add to what they say and bounce the ball back.” Bakadesuyo

Below are some interesting questions you can ask to find out certain things, such as first date sex, politics, religion, e.t.c

5. It’s a date, relax and have fun

Dates are supposed to be fun. You both dress up and plan and do something together.  So enjoy it, even if there won’t be the second one.

Great conversation starters

Interesting questions to ask to predict first date sex

Ok, Cupid has some interesting research on whether there was a correlation between how someone answers a question and whether or not they would have sex on the first date.

Do you drink beer?

If he or she answers this- whether man or woman- with a “yes,” then they are more likely to have sex on the first date.

Do you drink beer first date question

(according to research from OK Cupid)

Apparently “beer lovers are 60%more likely to sleep with someone they have just met.” So if you are hoping for that good lovin’, and your date enthusiastically tells you they absolutely love beer, then you may just be getting lucky.

Murderous Questions

I don’t know what these say about the man you are on a date with, (there was no correlation for women) but they are a great indicator on how happy your night is going to end.

More first date questions for men

(according to research from OK Cupid)

Questions to ask to find out the potential for a long-term relationship

Ok, Cupid keeps it going with these interesting questions to find out if there will be no second date, or there will be many more.

  1. Do you like horror movies?
  2. Have you ever traveled around another country alone?
  3. Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?

 Apparently, the couples that agreed on these were more likely to have an actual relationship. Does it take a specific type of person to agree on these? Apparently, and if your date does, then you are likely to find yourself sitting across from him/her again. And again.

Long term relationship question

(according to research from OK Cupid)

Questions to ask to determine your dates politics

You don’t even need to directly ask, you can just use this question, and voila! The data shows what you can expect.

“Would you prefer the people in your life to be simple or complex?”

Complex vs simple people questions

(according to research from OK Cupid)

Those who prefer complexity and those who prefer simplicity are 65-75% more likely to be liberal or conservative respectively.

The site, however, cautions that the data may not be relevant in places where one ideology is dominant.

Question to ask to find out if your date is religious

“Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?”

Spelling mistake annoy you

If your date has no problem with grammar or spelling mistakes then the chances of their being religious is “slightly higher than 2:1”

I am not sure how you would choose to interpret that, but if you were curious whether your date was religious or not, there is your answer

If you want to find out their specific religion, I am afraid you are just going to have to directly ask them!

Now you know…

Between those guidelines and conversation starters, you should have yourself a wonderful date. The research done by Ok Cupid, while interesting, does not apply in every situation. Talk about it and see what is true for you both and what isn’t. It could be the ultimate conversation starter.

Before I go, avoid talking about movies if you want to see your date again. Talk about travel instead. Richard Wiseman did a study where he found that participants who talk about travel are twice as likely to have a second date than those who talked about movies. His reasoning is that men and women have very different movie tastes. Leave that for the second date.

Happy dating!


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