First date advice: 8 terrible conversations to have
If you’ve suffered through one terrible first date too many, then it’s probably down to the quality of the conversation. Take charge by avoiding these terrible date night conversation topics and you’re sure to see a difference
We’ve all been on dates when you wish the other person would just stop talking. You want to step in and steer the conversation but politeness kicks in and you sit and nod until you can find a subtle way to escape.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Daters don’t have to sit through interminably boring and annoying first date conversations. Be one of the daters who makes a change by taking note of these 8 topics to avoid – and be sure to pass it on to all your single friends!
1. Your romantic past
First dates should be all about you and your date – and nothing to do with your ex. Past relationships should be completely off your mind and certainly never a topic of conversation. If you’re negative about an ex, you’ll come across as bitter and not the friendly, relaxed date you promised you’d be in your profile. And if you’re positive about then, it’ll just sound like you’re not ready to move on.
The biggest faux pas? Dropping an irrelevant reference to your ex into the conversation. This’ll show that you just can’t get them off your mind. We’re not saying you shouldn’t mention exes at all, there might be a natural point where it comes up, but leave it at that.
2. Your huge wealth (or lack of)
Talking endlessly about your amazing holiday to the Bahamas last year, or the fact that you’ve just bought a new Lotus, doesn’t make you sound desirable. In fact, it makes you sound like a self-obsessed show off. Ask yourself if what you’re saying is conversationally relevant or interesting, and if it’s not, don’t say it. If, on the other hand, your date tells you that they’re thinking about going on a skiing holiday and you can recommend a great resort then that’s fine. Just don’t overdo it.
Conversely, if money’s tight, then talking about how little you earn or how you can’t afford a holiday this year will make your date feel uncomfortable and might even give the impression that you’re trying to get them to pick up the bill.
3. Your dim and distant past
Your first date should be all about the present. Your date wants to know who you are right now, not about all the amazing things you did in your university days or when you spent a year travelling around South America. We’re sure all of those experiences were great fun, but they’re in the past and talking about anything from the past at length will make your present sound dull in comparison.
4. Your soapbox
If you’re a vegetarian, for example, then that’ll probably come up on a date, especially if you’re eating out. That makes sense, and your date will probably want to know more about your life choice. But you’ll be making a big mistake if you use this as a starting point for a debate about animal rights. Even if your date agrees with you, they won’t want to be preached at, especially on a date. This time should be used to get to know each other, not to recruit new people to your cause.
5. Your wild days
We’ve all had those times at university where we drank too much, decided to do something stupid on a dare and ended up embarrassing ourselves in front of the whole halls. We’re all grown-ups here and we’ve all done things we regret. Proudly recounting these stories, however, will only cement two things in your date’s mind: this person doesn’t have anything interesting to say about their present and they think much too highly of the stupid things they’ve done in the past.
6. Your job. In great detail.
People who enjoy their work do so because they find the little details of their every day role fascinating. Unfortunately, your date doesn’t care about the minutiae of a presentation that you’re putting together. There are exceptions, of course – if you’re a TV producer with a few celeb tales then you could have a captive audience. But unless you’ve got something really juicy to recount, don’t bother.
If you really hate your job then there’s no bugger turn off than moaning about it on a first date. Whether it’s that John from Accounts was promoted over you or that your manager took all the credit for your great idea, your date doesn’t care. Sure, they’ll be interested in what you do, but now is not the time to deliver a monologue on it.
7. Your health
We’re really sorry if you had the flu last month, or you just can’t shift that stubborn ingrown hair, but this is not flirty first date conversation. First dates are like a marshmallow – light, fluffy and fun. Being healthy and full of energy is attractive, a list of ailments isn’t. Leave the medical chat to your friends and family who are duty bound to listen and sympathise. If you have a serious condition, like diabetes, then you might want to share this on a later date but, unless you think your date really needs to know, you’re best keeping things to yourself at a first meeting.
8. Your dating life
Everyone knows that when you’re dating, you’re probably dating more than one person at a time, but it’s not a good idea to draw attention to this fact. Your date should feel like you’re focused on them and if you’re talking about the other dates that you’ve got lined up that week then that won’t go down well.
Similarly, discussing how many – or how few – dates you’ve been on in the past few years isn’t a good idea. Too many and your date will wonder why you haven’t found anyone to stick with yet; too few and they’ll try to work out what it is that might have put other people off. This sounds cruel, we know, and everyone has varying kinds of luck – we’ve all been through dry patches, after all. But openly talking about it on a date opens you up to snap judgements.
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