9 easy convo tips for a first date

By: Jennifer McMillen Smith, MSSA, LISW-S, Division of Infectious Disease and medically reviewed by Ann Avery, Infectious Disease Physician at Metrohealth Medical Center

Real talk: If you agree the first date is always the worst, raise your hand! 🙋🏿‍♂️ UGH. We know. It really is the hardest part. Not only do you have to be on your best behavior, but you have to have a real-life conversation with someone. I mean, forget chemistry, y’all – what you ask and what you say ultimately are the deciding factors whether the relationship will progress to a second date or not. Talk about pressure! 🙆🏾‍♂️

Now that we got in your head (sorry!), we have some first date conversation tips to help the flow of the night, and hopefully get you a second date if you’re vibin’ with your date.

  1. Go ahead and rip the band-aid off and admit you’re nervous. Come on, everyone is nervous on a first date, I don’t care who you are! It’s just a fact. When you come right out and admit it, it’s like someone just gave you permission to relax. When you be honest by sharing how you’re feeling, it immediately takes the pressure off. After that, keep the convo going and get to know that sexy boo sitting across from you! 😉
  2. Ask questions. Seems obvious, right? Not exactly. It’s sooooo easy to unintentionally talk about yourself when meeting someone. Remember: conversations should flow back and forth; not one-sided. If you’re not asking your date questions about them, you might look self-absorbed or not interested in your date.
  3. Don’t spill your guts on the first date. Ohhhh the horror stories we’ve heard about first dates that essentially turned into therapy sessions. YIKES. Obviously you want to open up a little bit on the first date, but whatever you do, don’t spill your guts. You both should reveal a little about yourselves and leave some other stuff for the second and third dates.
  4. Avoid politics at all costs. Unless it’s a deal breaker for you, it might be best to avoid chatting about politics. We all know how people can have strong beliefs or opinions, so it’s best to not discuss them at the dinner table. Maybe after a few dates and you both feel comfortable and ready to discuss politics. But you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
  5. 21 question game. This can be a great ice-breaker and way to get to know someone! This game can even spark some fun talking points!
  6. Don’t try and “one up” them. Just don’t. Hypothetically situation: Your date tell you about a trip they took a few years ago. Don’t follow up with how you’ve also been to that same place, and 5 other places in a year. No one wants to feel like their experiences are insufficient, y’all! Try being respectful and talk about their experience instead!
  7. Avoid too much ex-talk. Yikes. We all know our past eventually gets brought up on dates. But just don’t talk too much about your ex, ok? In fact, wait a few weeks of seeing someone before you have that talk. If it gets brought up, politely change the subject and express how the past is the past and you want to live in the present!
  8. Don’t start asking about a second date too soon. Word of advice? Be present. You’re on the first date, so don’t be thinking or asking about date number two already. Be on the date you’re on NOW, and we guarantee if be yourself a second date will follow.
  9. HIV disclosure. Our advice is always there’s no right or wrong time to disclose your status – you should do it when and how you’re most comfortable. Be prepared to answer questions, and know your U=U facts in order to educate the other person if needed. We can always help you with this talking point!

It’s okay if you trip over your words, say the wrong thing, or make a few mistakes – it’s unavoidable, y’all! And it’s OK! No one is perfect. Your date most likely will also make some mistakes along the way.. Just be yourself, and be present. We hope these tips help ease your first date jitters and the flow of conversation!






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