What to talk about during a first date

A good conversation can have more impact than a nice outfit. Not only can it make the date pleasant and funny, it can also show off your qualities and personality, as well as those of your potential senior match. A first date is the opportunity to see if there is a possibility of starting a relationship. Talking about certain subjects will help you get to know each other. However, there are certain topics to avoid.

Dating after 50 can seem daunting, particularly going on a first date. If you feel nervous about awkward silences, why not prepare a list of topics to talk about beforehand? Learning some conversational tips will improve your chances of acing that first date and hopefully of getting a second one.

Couple drinking wine in the park

How to have a great conversation during a first date

Knowing what to talk about and what topics to avoid is essential. However, you must also:
- Listen carefully to what (s)he says to you;
- Ask questions to show your interest;
- Show who you are, be yourself and be honest;
- Avoid monopolizing the conversation;
- Find common ground;
- Be positive and cheerful;
- Not flatter too much;
- Avoid complaining or criticizing others;
- Turn off your phone during your date;
- Laugh with them, relax and have fun.

Ask them the right questions

Questions are important to form a bond. They help to make a date lively and stimulating. They also show that you care about your date and that you want to know more about them. Asking the right questions can help you figure out who the person you meet is and if (s)he can be a match, which is the purpose of a first date. Try to go beyond the usual topics, such as “what’s your job?” and “what kind of music do you listen to?” whilst also being careful not to be too intrusive or nosy.

If you're not sure about what to ask, a psychology researcher (called Arthur Aron) made a list of 36 questions to fall in love. Asking each other certain questions can help two people open up and bring them closer together. Some examples from the list include: “If you could choose – amongst anyone on earth - who would you like to have dinner with?”, “What do you feel the most grateful for in your life?” and “What is your most treasured memory?”. Don’t be afraid to be a little original to try to get to know your senior match. You don’t need to ask them every question on the list, but you could definitely learn a lot by using them.

Can I talk about my divorce on a first date?

Yes, you can, but just for a few minutes. A first date is about having fun, and divorce is rarely a happy subject. Perhaps your date has been through a divorce recently, so it’s best not to talk about it too much. This is the same for old relationships. You should avoid this topic. Don’t complain or badmouth your ex either. Instead, show the best version of yourself, someone who is stable and ready to start a healthy new relationship.

Share your dreams with your date

Talking about your objectives and your dreams (for instance, traveling around the world or opening your restaurant), is a great topic for a first date. Not only will this show them that you are ambitious, adventurous and creative, it will also allow them to understand more about who you are. Telling someone that you could see yourself starting a relationship with that you are planning to go abroad for a long period of time might seem risky. However, there's always a chance that they might be interested in this kind of project themselves.

Can I talk about politics and religion during a first date?

It is certainly up to you, but if you do so you take the risk of offending your date who might not share your point of view. As you don’t yet know their beliefs and political opinions, it’s best to avoid this topic until later. If it’s important to you that your potential partner shares the same religion, you might want to discuss this with them. However, even if they don’t have the same beliefs as you, there's still the possibility that you might share other interests.

Do I talk about my children or not?

Yes, you are more than encouraged to talk about your kids and your family. This can show a lot about the person you are, your personality and how you care about others. If you’re over 50, there is a chance that your date has children too, so don’t forget to ask them questions about their own situation. On the contrary, avoiding mentioning the fact you have children is not recommended. Important: always be positive when you talk about your family. Complaining and criticizing close relatives can make a very bad impression.

Can I talk about my job?

Yes, if you love your job feel free to bring it up. Don’t go on and on about it though, as this could bore your date. If you don’t like your job, there is no need to discuss the topic for too long. If you have a problem with your colleagues or your boss, you can mention it, but it’s best to talk about something else. To make a good impression, you should try to remain positive and happy.

Talk about what you love

On your online profile, you may have mentioned your hobbies and interests. Now's the time to discuss this in a bit more depth. You are passionate about navigating? You just got back from Italy? You love painting? These are all great subjects to talk about. Your date wants to know you and your hobbies can tell them a lot. Don’t forget that this first date is not only about you. Ask them what they like too. You might find out that you share the same interests. Also, if they don’t look interested, change the topic.

Can I talk about sex during a first date?

Everyone is unique and reacts differently. However, it’s best to avoid this topic on a first date. Whatever you decide to do after the dinner, it’s really too early to talk about your sex life as this could offend, shock or make them feel uncomfortable.

How to finish a date well?

If you have had a great time, tell your date. It’s good to know where the other stands. On the contrary, if you did not have such a good time and you don’t want things to go any further, you don’t have to tell them straight away. However, you should let them know fairly soon after the night is over that you don’t want to go on another date. You should do this by calling them, rather than sending a text message.

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