What Not to Talk About on a First Date

22 Oct

Read on for my friendly reminder of the things we should probably steer clear of while getting our chit-chat on during a first date.

Young woman drinking coffee and communicating with her smiling boyfriend in a cafe.

No matter how many first dates you have been on, meeting someone in person for the first time can be intimidating and awkward. When nerves can kick in, without realizing it we can find ourselves speaking about, quite frankly, the absolute worst topics to keep the conversation going. So, before you embark on your next date, perhaps it is time to pause and reflect on how you could improve your conversation and keep the following off-limits.

Here is my list of topics to AVOID talking about when in the early stages of dating:

One for the ladies.. your biological clock

The burning desire to start a family is strong, we understand that but try not to talk about your hopes for the future down to the degree about freezing eggs and or your friends’ struggles with infertility. Of course, these concerns are valid and worthy of a discussion- but not on the first (or even the fourth) date.

Your latest diet or fitness craze

While it is great to be talking about your healthy lifestyle or passion for fitness and being active, your date really doesn’t need to know how bad your breath got when you tried the paleo diet and went into ketosis. Talking too much about your diet or exercise regime may give off the impression that you are obsessive, and it be a red flag to your date. The most attractive thing is to have a healthy relationship with food and a fun and relaxed attitude toward health and wellbeing.


Of course, your career is a huge part of your life and your identity, but this should not be the only topic of conversation. Tell your date about what you love about your job and be sure to show them your passion. This isn’t the time to start bragging about your latest promotion. Better to be understated and modest, talking about it too much only leads to the question ‘what is it they are lacking that they have to make up for by bragging?’ Talking too much about work may also give your date the impression that you are a workaholic and not ready for a relationship, which can be a major turn off.


Although current affairs can be an interesting topic of discussion, we recommend steering away from political conversations on a date. If politics do come up and your date has opposing views, do not try to persuade them to see your side of things. Instead, try changing the subject to something more casual and light-hearted. The last thing you want is to get into a heated debate before the appetizers have even arrived.

Your ex

This one should be a no-brainer, but I cannot stress it enough- DO NOT talk about your ex on a date. Bad mouthing your ex will only make you look bitter and that you possibly lack the self-awareness of your own role in the end of your relationship. You also do not want your date to think you are unable to handle conflict in a relationship. Talking poorly about your ex is not the only mistake people make on dates. Even just mentioning your ex in passing in a completely neutral way may lead your date to believe that you’re not over the relationship yet.

Have an answer prepared if someone asks about your relationship history. We don’t suggest lying about what happened, perhaps someone did behave really badly, but if you can show that you have reflected on the situation, have moved on, and can draw some learning from it will put you in a favorable light to your date.


Still feeling uneasy about what to talk about on a date or dating in general? Get in touch with us today. Our team of experts is here to guide you through any stage of your relationship journey! And if you want to check out an article that talks about how to have a great first date, click here!

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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