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23 First Date Conversation Starters & Tips

Making good conversation on a first date is tough.

23 First Date Conversation Starters & Tips

Most first dates are inherently awkward.

It can be difficult to know what to talk about or how to start up a conversation.

On a good first date, you’ll want to ask your date questions and express interest in them. But you also want to avoid making the date feel like an interrogation.

Let’s delve into some first date conversation tips, including conversation starters, what to talk about, and how to keep a conversation going.

First Date Conversation Starters

When you enter a first date with a few conversation starters up your sleeve, you can create a relaxed atmosphere and up the odds of your date going smoothly.

Remember that no matter what you talk about, showing genuine interest in your date is the key to a good conversation and true connection.

Don’t stick to a strict script; rather, be open-minded, be present, and let the conversation flow naturally, following it where it takes you.

By being present and genuinely engaged, you’ll be able to learn more about your date and create a deeper connection between you two.

Being prepared with multiple different conversation starters can help you transition from one topic to another seamlessly on the date.

Here are some first date conversation starts to have on hand:

1. Ice Breakers

Starting a conversation on a first date can be nerve-wracking, but using ice breakers can be a fun way to help ease the tension. For example, try asking your date about the worst pickup line they’ve ever heard or used, or ask them what the most embarrassing thing they’ve done this past week is. These questions can create a more relaxed environment, establish common ground, and create a shared sense of humor, making it easier to open up to each other.

2. Small Talk

On a first date, it’s important to balance casual small talk with deeper, more meaningful conversations. Some first date questions you might try asking to foster more meaningful conversation are, “Are you working on any personal passion projects right now?” or “What do you like to do in your free time?” These questions allow you to learn more about your date’s interests and hobbies without diving too deep too soon.

Avoid rapid-fire questioning or asking anything too intense, as it can make your date feel like they’re on an interview rather than on a date. The date shouldn’t feel like a test with right or wrong answers. Just listen actively, allow the conversation to flow naturally. and enjoy getting to know your date.

3. Environment

When looking for topics to discuss, consider your surroundings and use them to your advantage. Are you at a unique restaurant, a quirky coffee shop, or attending an interesting event? Use the environment as a conversational tool to create a more organic and relaxed tone. Discuss the food, the décor, or share anecdotes related to similar experiences you’ve had in this place or in similar other places.

This environment-centered approach not only helps break the ice but can also create a shared memory of the experience you’re both having, which promotes a feeling of unity and closeness.

Plus, being mindful of your surroundings helps to keep the conversation flowing without awkward silences. Most people dread awkward silences on first dates. So, use your environment to your advantage to make your first date conversation more comfortable, more enjoyable, more organic, and less awkward.

Talking About Personal Interests on a First Date

4. Hobbies

Hobbies make for perfect first date chat.

When discussing hobbies, make sure to ask about your date’s favorite pastimes and share your own too. See what you have in common that can make for good future dates or activities together. And also appreciate what unique hobbies you each have.

For instance, you could ask your date:

  • What types of things do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • Are there any new hobbies you’re currently exploring or would like to try one day?

Show your enthusiasm for your own hobbies, as it can be a great way to establish a connection and let your personality and passion shine through.

5. Travel

Travel is another excellent topic for getting to know someone on a first date.

By discussing past trips, favorite destinations, and future travel plans, you can gauge each other’s sense of adventure and learn more about individual preferences.

Some conversation starters for talking about travel are:

  • What’s the most memorable trip you’ve taken?
  • Where are some places you’re hoping to travel next?
  • What does a perfect vacation look like for you?

6. Books and TV Shows

Books and TV shows provide a versatile and engaging topic of conversation for a first date. You and your date can share your tastes in stories, genres, authors, film, actors, etc.

Start a conversation about your all-time favorite books, recently watched TV shows, or movies you’re looking forward to seeing.

Ask your date for TV, book, or movie recommendations, or ask them if there are any shows they’re currently binge-watching or any books they can’t put down.

7. Passions

Getting to know your date’s passions is key to a deep connection.

Asking your date about their passions shows that you’re genuinely interested in their lifestyle and what matters to them most. Find out what lights them up.

Some people might be passionate about their career, while others might be more invested in hobbies, personal projects, volunteer work, friendships, family, their pets, etc.

To spark a conversation about passions, here are some possible questions to ask:

  • What topic or activity could you spend hours talking about?
  • Is there a cause or organization that’s close to your heart?
  • What lights you up more than anything else?
  • What’s an activity or interest of yours that makes you feel fully alive?

Talk about your own passions too, so you can showcase what drives you and lights you up.

Listen and respond thoughtfully, ask open-ended follow-up questions, and most importantly, enjoy the process of getting to know each other.

Types of Questions to Ask on a First Date

8. Personality

When it comes to feeling out compatibility on a first date, asking questions about your date’s personality is a great way to start. You can start meaningful conversations that help reveal your date’s true character. For instance, you can ask:

  • What is your personality type?
  • How would you describe yourself in just three words?
  • What traits do you value most in a person?
  • What are your biggest pet peeves?

These questions can give you insight into your date’s personality and help you determine if you’re compatible.

9. Career and Ambitions

Understanding your date’s career and ambitions is another rich and exciting way to feelyou’re your compatibility.

Instead of simply asking what they do for work, try to frame the conversation in a more open-ended manner that gets at their inner thoughts, motivations, and goals. For example:

  • How did you decide to go into your line of work?
  • When did you know this was what you wanted to do?
  • What are your long-term goals or dreams with work?
  • What’s something about your job that lights you up?

When you truly understand someone’s career and ambitions, along with their passions and dreams, you can get to see their inner self and their perspective on life, making it easier to assess compatibility between the two of you.

10. Family and Friends

Discussing family and friends is an easy yet still meaningful way to connect with your date on a deeper level. Keep the conversation light and engaging with questions like:

  • How would your friends or family describe you?
  • Who in your family are you closest with?
  • Who’s a friend in your life who inspires you?

Understanding your date’s family and friends will provide rich information about their background, values, and support system, which can ultimately teach you a lot about how they act in relationships.

Setting the Tone for a Great First Date Conversation

11. Confidence and Character

When going on a first date, confidence is key to sparking attraction. Remember to be genuine and let your true character shine through. Stay authentic and avoid trying too hard to impress; it’s important to be yourself and, most importantly, to be comfortable in who you are.

12. Active Listening

Active listening is crucial for having a successful first-date conversation. Conversations should be balanced with an equal amount of give and take. Pay attention to what your date is saying, express genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings, and build upon their responses to travel in conversation together.

13. Body Language

Your body language plays a huge role in shaping how your date will perceive you. Maintain eye contact to show you are engaged, comfortable, and interested in what your date is saying. Keep a relaxed posture and avoid crossing your arms, so that you don’t come across as defensive or closed off. Be sure to smile too. Smiling makes you appear more approachable, positive, and confident.

14. Compliments

Giving sincere compliments can help ease int conversation on a first date. Avoid overdoing it or complimenting physical appearance too much, as it can seem superficial or shallow. Instead, focus on your date’s inner qualities, like their interests, accomplishments, and their unique traits. Show that you would like to connect with them on a deeper level.

Avoiding Sensitive Topics on a First Date

Here’s a key first date conversation tip: Know which topics to avoid talking about.

Steering clear of sensitive topics can help the conversation flow more smoothly and make sure you and your date are both comfortable.

Here are some tips for keeping the conversation out of sticky terrain.

15. Politics

Discussing politics on a first date be uncomfortable and tense. It’s better to focus on lighter topics that foster understanding and emotional connection. As you get to know each other better on later dates, there will opportunities to talk about political views and understand each other’s values and perspective better, with more thoughtfulness and context.

16. Past Relationships

Bringing up past relationships can create a negative impression and prevent a strong connection from forming with someone new. Don’t talk about your ex. Instead, concentrate on getting to know your current date, their interests, and what makes them unique.

17. It’s a Date, Not a Therapy Session

It’s natural to feel vulnerable on a first date, but do your best to avoid turning the interaction into a therapy session. Sharing too much about your personal struggles too soon will burden your date and make them uncomfortable. Stick to more lighthearted topics and either save the deeper discussions for later in the relationship, or handle them carefully on a first date. Remember, you’re just strangers, and it takes trust and comfort to manage vulnerability together.

18. Lying

Always, always, always be genuine and fully honest when getting to know someone on a first date. Lying or exaggerating facts will create a foundation of mistrust that will haunt the budding relationship and make it grow on a weak foundation. Be yourself, and your date will appreciate your authenticity.

Using Humor and Engagement to Spark Connection

19. Funny Conversation Starters

Humor can take a first date to a next level of success. Funny conversation starters can set the tone for a relaxed and easygoing time, filled with good vibes. For example, you can ask your date about a funny or embarrassing moment in their life or share a light-hearted story from your own experiences. Crack a joke about the atmosphere or place you’re in. Poke fun at yourself. Show your date you’re comfortable with yourself and your sense of humor.

20. Laughter

Laughter is one of the most powerful psychological tool for building deep interpersonal connections. Laughing can help to break down barriers, create shared experiences, and make a first date conversation way more enjoyable and memorable. Try to find the humor in situations, conversational topics, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself humbly. According to relationship experts, laughter can make two people feel more closeness and trust on a first date.

21. Building Trust

To build trust through conversation on a first date, you’ll need to show genuine interest in your date’s thoughts and experiences. Asking open-ended questions, listening attentively, and responding thoughtfully to your date’s answers can show that you’re truly invested in getting to know them better and care about them.

  • Be curious about your date’s life experiences
  • Show empathy and understanding
  • Be respectful of your date’s opinions and feelings

Discussing Preferences on a First Date

When on a first date, talking about each other’s preferences can be a great conversation starter and a way to exchange key information about who you are.

22. Favorites

Discussing favorites can give valuable insights into a person’s personality, likes, and dislikes. You can start by asking your date about their favorite foods, music, hobbies, sports, TV shows, movies, colors, or what not.

Remember to share your favorites as well. A first date is a conversation back-and-forth, not a one-sided interview. Focus on building rapport and finding shared interests that you two can explore further on a future date.

23. Movies

Movies are an excellent topic for first date conversation, as a persona’s taste in movies says a lot about their personality and their likes/dislikes.

Begin by asking your date about their favorite movies or actors, or if they’ve seen any recent releases. Not everyone’s a movie buff, so gauge your date’s interest in the subject and adapt the conversation accordingly.

Listen carefully and find out their tastes. While simple, this topic of conversation can create a genuine connection by allowing you and your date to discover common interests and preferences. After all, movies are all about relationships, emotions, and storytelling. Plus, movies are often easy cultural references that bond strangers together.

How to get more first dates from dating apps

Hopefully these tips give some useful first date conversation tips and provide insights into what you should talk about on a first date.

If you’re on dating apps and want to improve your dating profile so you land more first dates, we have you covered.

We at The Match Lab offer professional services to create dating profiles that attract high-quality matches.

If you’d like to find out which are your most attractive photos to use in your dating profile, give our dating photo analyzer a try. Just upload some photos of yourself, and our algorithm will reveal which photos you should be using in your profile and the ideal order they should go in.

If you’re looking for help with writing your dating profile, then check out our professional dating profile writing service.

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