It’s understandable that when you first start dating someone, you want to know everything about them. They probably feel the same way. The best part about dating someone new is getting to know that person until you both grow to like each other more.
What should you talk about when you first start dating?
First dates are usually accompanied by questions surrounding your work, goals and general interests. You discuss what you do at work. You can tell them about your hobbies and interests. They may also be interested in your family and where you grew up.
These questions can reveal a lot about a person. A person’s character can be judged not just by what they do, but also by how they feel about what they are doing. Their willingness to reveal small personal details like stuff about their family is also a good sign.
When those subjects are exhausted, people move on to different topics. Depending on the flow of the conversation, this could cover political and religious views, opinions on pop culture or childhood memories. The possibilities of a wonderful conversation, truly, are endless! [Read: 20 ways to have the perfect first date conversation]
What personal questions can you discuss in a new relationship?
Aside from the subjects mentioned above, you can start learning more about your partner on a deeper level by gradually asking sensitive questions that are necessary to build a solid foundation for a new relationship. [Read: 40 first date questions to get you both warmed up]
#1 The need-to-know stuff. If you have a kid, tell them immediately. If religion is important to your or them, discuss it immediately. If you own twenty dogs, add it to the conversation. If you’ve been to jail or done drugs, squeeze it in between dessert.
It’s only fair to tell them these facts because these things will affect them once the relationship becomes more serious. These things are extremely important because they require immediate reactions. You can’t surprise your date with a child or say, “Oops, I can’t eat pork” three months into the relationship.
#2 The recent ex. The ex seems like a touchy subject, but the truth is that talking about the recent ex is necessary to build trust. You can ask them why they broke up and their answer will give you more insight on the future of your own relationship.
People who don’t want to talk about the ex or those who tear up or melt down when asked are the ones to watch out for. That sort of reaction shows that the past relationship, although denounced as over, is really not. What you’re looking for is a simple and resigned answer. The details should not be hashed out especially if the memory was not a happy one. [Read: 10 signs that your past relationship is holding you back]
#3 General topics about the future. You can ask them about their dreams. People who know what they want in life are admirable. People who know what they want and how to get it are remarkable. If you are looking for a serious relationship that can last a lifetime, the answer to these sorts of questions will give you a glimpse of the possible future.
Take note that you are gaining insight on their future and your possible part in it. Asking about it is fine, but asking about your part in their future at such an early stage is definitely a no-no.
#4 Schedules. Don’t take out your calendar to mark your future dates in. What you want to know is how your schedule can match up with your partner’s. This can also open up the conversation towards random interests that both of you engage in during the work week.
The rest of your personal lives will be open for discussion as you go out more. You shouldn’t expect to know everything immediately because a few dates is not enough to get to know a person completely. With that in mind, you should know that some things are better talked about when you’ve taken your relationship to the next level.
[Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility]
What should you never say or talk about in a new relationship?
The topics above make for great ice breakers and meaningful discussions during the first couple of dates. The topics below, however, are ones that should be reserved for when things are getting more serious.
#1 The list of your exes. Yes, you can talk about your ex. You can tell the story about why you broke up and what your feelings on the subject are. Aside from that, the only time you can talk about an ex is when you encounter them anywhere. At this point in the relationship, neither of you should care about that list. The list will gradually be enumerated in passing, not in one fell swoop. [Read: Learn how to talk about past relationships the right way]
#2 Specific marriage plans. Talk of marriage can send anyone running when it’s brought up in the first couple of dates. To avoid this, ask them instead if they have plans to get married or have kids. These general questions need not be discussed any further… or at all.
#3 The number of kids you should have. If they ask how many kids you want in the future, that’s okay. You can ask your partner that as well. Besides, it’s just an approximation. What you shouldn’t ask is how many kids they’re planning to have with you. Not only would that question be uncomfortable for them to answer, but it makes you seem presumptuous as well.
#4 Living together. The concept works for some people but moving in with a person you hardly know but feel strongly about is not necessarily a good idea. It would be better if you eased into the idea rather than jump head first. It might be better for both of you to learn more about each other’s habits and develop enough affection that will help you overlook each other’s flaws in close quarters. [Read: 15 important things you should know about moving in]
#5 Labels. Before you start discussing labels, ask yourself if the label you have in mind is the right one for your kind of relationship. These days it can be pretty tough to put labels on a relationship. But the one thing you should never do to get an answer for this is to sit your partner down, put him or her on the spot and bluntly ask, “What are we?”
#6 Fetishes. Oh, don’t deny it. Everybody has one. If you don’t, consider developing a safe and healthy one. You can openly talk about fetishes when you have developed enough trust to share such a personal detail about your life. The reason you shouldn’t discuss this early in a relationship is because it’s such a monumental subject. This can affect your sex life as well as your rapport together.
You should both be at a point where you can accept these things because you understand the person better. You get where they’re coming from and you can talk about the subject without judging them. The only other time you can discuss this in a new relationship is if that relationship is purely about sex.
#7 Salaries. The general concession is that you should never ask a person what their salary is. It’s a game where both people lose. The amount of money you earn can cause resentment on one part and a superiority complex on the other. Apart from that, asking a person’s salary – one you don’t trust and who doesn’t trust you yet – is not only tacky, but rude.
#8 A very strong opinion. It’s good to show a person that you have principles and are willing to stick to them. However, if you have extremely strong views about a certain topic, don’t insist on discussing it with someone who may not even have an opinion on the topic or worse yet, the opposite opinion. Save the emphatic discussions for when your partner understands the underlying reasons for such strong opinions.
[Read: 9 ways to have a great start to a new relationship]
Honesty is very important in a new relationship, but some things are better left unsaid until it really, really, needs to be said. With these tips, you’ll be better equipped to avoid certain touchy subjects that might make your new partner want to opt out of your relationship.
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