our hands are sweating, your heart is racing, and you have lost track of how many outfits you have tried so far: you are getting ready to go on your first date with someone and you want to make a good first impression. It is not a secret that going on a first date can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences as there are a lot of expectations being put on both sides and you don’t know how fast the night can change either for good or bad. Therefore, it is important to be able to find a way to ease your first date anxiety in a way that, even if you are nervous, you are still capable of having a great time and making things run as smoothly as possible.

Even though anxiety is a serious issue which cannot be dealt with over night, there are some things which you can do in order to keep it under control or to at least put your mind at ease before and during your first date. You should remember that your date is probably as nervous as you are, and that there is no need to feel so pressured about impressing them as long as you stay true to yourself. Nevertheless, there is nothing worse than the moment when two people have ran out of things to talk about and they just stare at each other awkwardly.  

Therefore, on your first date you want to make sure that both of you are having a great time and that there are no awkward silences weighing you down and increasing your anxiety. This is why it is important to be prepared with some conversation starters so you can keep your conversation going all night while making sure that you learn everything you need to learn about your date and that they can see the best version of yourself. 

Here we have compiled a list of great conversation starters to help you prepare for your first date and put some of your anxiety at ease so you can have an amazing time with your date:

  • Getting to know each other
  • Turning the spotlight on your date
  • Making sure to keep the conversation going
  • What to avoid asking
  • Conquering first date anxiety
Couple drinking tea
First dates can be nerve-wracking even to the most confident person and you should always remember that your date is probably feeling the same way. Image courtesy of Pexels

Taking the Opportunity to Truly Getting to Know Each Other 

First Date Conversation Starters That Get Personal Without Getting Awkward

The best relationships are based on the ability to trust each other and on the fact that the person you are with is someone who knows you better than anyone else and vice versa. Therefore, when you go on a first date it is important to establish if you and your date are compatible as well as if that person is someone who you can envision having a relationship with. So, you should not be afraid to ask your date questions which you believe are important to you or which you think that could define your next steps with that person.

Here are some conversation starters that will allow you to learn about your partner and share some things about yourself as well:

Conversation Starter #1: What Is Your Favorite Holiday? 

This is a great option because it opens the door to a wide variety of conversations about personal subjects. For example, you can learn about who's important in your date's life -- their family? their friends? -- by going back in time to experience their favorite holiday memories with them, all while sidestepping potentially awkward first date conversations about difficult family relationships by asking about family directly.

Asking your date about their favorite holidays is also a great way to get seasonal date ideas assuming, you know, date number one is awesome :)

Conversation Starter #2: What Do You Like To Do In Your Free Time?

If you're looking for more of a relationship than a fling, it's important to know that you and your date have compatible lifestyles. Finding out what your date likes to do in their free time can reveal a lot about them and their values. Plus, you might uncover some really cool hidden talents -- maybe she's a great artist, or he is secretly a pinball wizard. These are the things that make your date... your date. Get to know what sets them apart from everyone else!

Conversation Starter #3: What’s Your Favorite Animal? 

Once again, this is a great low-pressure segue into deeper, more personal conversations: stories about favorite pets, childhood ambitions of being a veterinarian, cool trips to other countries (or even just your city's zoo).

Couple in a diner drinking milkshake
The truth is that people love to be listened to, so don’t be afraid to create a welcoming atmosphere and make your date know that you truly care about what they have to say. Image courtesy of Pexels

Remember: It’s Your All About Your Date 

First Date Conversation Starters That Show You're Interested in Hearing What They Have to Say

Even though on a first date both of you are trying to get to know each other, it is important to know that it is not your job to keep talking the entire time and taking over the conversation. Remember that it is important for you not to overshare and that you should make sure that your date feels special and that they are receiving enough attention. The truth is that people love to talk about themselves and to feel that they are heard; so, you should try your best to ask questions which will allow your date to open up and for you to learn more about them. You will notice that as long as you ask your date about their lives, they will never run out of things to talk about.

Here are some conversation starters which will help you make your date feel validated and excited to talk to you about:

Conversation Starter #4: What Are You Most Passionate About?

If you've never gotten somebody talking about something they really love, you're missing out! People look their best when they're glowing with enthusiasm -- whether it's about their pet corgi, their English major, or their lifelong obsession with cooking recipes from around the world. Asking about your date's passions allows you to see them at their best, and really, isn't putting your best foot forward what first dates are about? 

Conversation Starter #5: What Is Something That Everyone Assumes About You But They’re Wrong About?

It's a fact of life: make snap judgements about people. It's just part of how we're wired. In fact, science says that you decide whether or not you find someone attractive in just three seconds. Crazy, right? The judgements or assumptions you've made about your date might not be negative, but it still shows you're interested in them on a deeper level by giving themself the chance to tell you how they strive to be perceived.

The Best Ways to Keep the Conversation Interesting and Going

Now That Your Date Is Talking, Keep Them Talking with These Conversation Ideas That Go On and On and On

Once again it is important to remember that there is nothing worse than an awkward silence. Even though silence means a different thing when you are in a relationship as learning to enjoy each other’s company without having to talk is very important, when you are starting to go out with someone is actually the time when you want to start building the familiarity between the both of you and exactly the reason why silences are so dreaded. So, it is essential that you are capable of keeping an interesting conversation as this way the conversation can just keep going on throughout your date. There is nothing better than discovering that you have experiences or interests in common and you should never be afraid to ask things which you are genuinely curious about.

Here are some great conversation starters that will help you learn more about your date and that will provide you with great topics which will keep you talking for a while:

Conversation Starter #6: What TV Shows Are You Currently Watching? Do You Have Any Favorite Ones?

There's nothing worse than an awkward, first date lull in conversation. Luckily, we live in a world where new tv shows pop up every month (thanks Netflix!) -- which means there are countless options to talk about with your date.

Conversation Starter #7: Have You Read Any Good Books Recently? 

Is your date a book worm? Just like tv shows, there are tons of books out there. Even if your date doesn't have the time to read as much as they'd like to right now, this first date conversation starter opens the door to countless great conversations about their favorite books, the writers who have impacted them the most, and their ideas about all sorts of topics.

Conversation Starter #8: Where Are You From? Do You Like Living Here or Do You Miss Home?

This first date conversation starter is pretty personal -- but if conversation has been flowing for a while, it might be good to try this one out! It opens the doors for lots of stories about where your date is from, where they are now, and where they want to be. If you're looking for something long-term, this is good info to find out.

A couple having a date in the park
First dates can be very fun experiences and make up for very good stories to tell your children in the future. Image courtesy of Pexels

If You Don’t Want to be A Jerk, Avoid These Questions at All Costs

Some Topics are Best Avoided on a First Date 😬

As nerve-wracking as first dates might be, they are also supposed to be a very enjoyable and fun experience for both parties involved. You wouldn’t like anyone asking questions or doing things which make you uncomfortable or offend you; so, why would you do such things to your date? Remember, your date doesn’t owe you anything and you both are there because you hope to get to know each other better and perhaps start a serious relationship. You don’t want to be the person who your date is going to be telling their friends about being an awful and rude person. It is important to set up some boundaries and realize what questions you should not ask your date as well as to realize that if it is the other way around, they are red flags and you should run. 

Here are some conversation starters to avoid at all costs unless you are willing to ruin your first date and most likely ruin your chances of ever getting a second one:

  • Why Are You Still Single?
  • How and/or Why Did Your Last Relationship End? 
  • How Many People Have You Slept With? 

Embracing First Date Anxiety Like A Champ

We All Experience It -- Here's How to Survive!

You don’t have to spend time rehearsing or memorizing conversation starters, what is important is learning about them and making sure that you are prepared to get to know your date, make them feel special, engage in meaningful conversations, and avoid being a jerk. Moreover, one of the most important conversation starters that you could ever use is one which you have known all along: honesty. 

Even though you are nervous and might be afraid that it is going to ruin your date, you should not be afraid to let your date know exactly what you feel. Perhaps you like them so much that you can’t help but be nervous because you don’t want to ruin things with them, maybe you haven’t been in a date in a while and you are nervous about messing things up; either way, the chances are that your date will be thankful for your honesty if you tell them that you are feeling nervous and they might even feel flattered that you are putting so much effort into your first date with them. 

Once again, you should remember that first dates are unsettling for everybody and by acknowledging your own feelings, your date will probably be able to acknowledge theirs as well-- and this is a great way to break the ice. When you least expect, both of you will be having a great time and the conversation starters listed here will come to you naturally rather than seem like something which you rehearsed over and over again in front of the mirror. 

Oct 17, 2020