26 Things to Talk About on a First Date to Make Them Like You Instantly

It’s hard to know what to talk about on a first date. Should you talk about movies? Hobbies? Or maybe dream jobs? Avoid the nerves by keeping these first date questions, topics, and conversation starters in mind, and keep the conversation going for the best first date ever!

things to talk about on a first date

Understanding what to talk about on a first date is tricky because you want to keep it light, but you don’t want to seem shallow or disinterested. The good news is there are many things to talk about on a first date. You just need to be made aware of them.

Going on a first date will always be nerve-racking. You don’t know if you’ll get along, click, or have anything to talk about. Not to make you more nervous, but those are all valid worries. But knowing these date questions and conversation starters will help keep the conversations alive so you can leave a good first impression and have higher chances of getting a second date. [Read: How to get over dating anxiety – Face your fear and get back out there]

Conversation topics can help you overcome an awkward silence

Now, you don’t want to go on a first date with note cards of conversation topics because, well, that’s insane. But, having an idea of what you might talk about if the conversation reaches a lull is always helpful. 

The thing is, there isn’t a list of perfect topics for a first date. What you talk about depends on if you’re dating casually, wanting to get into a relationship, if this is your first time meeting, or if this is your first date after knowing each other.

All these things come into play when figuring out what to talk about. Choosing first-date conversation topics isn’t about making a list but about reading the room. [Read: 20 fun questions to ask on a first date for the best conversation]

What does it take to impress someone on a first date

Impressing someone can be a difficult task. But if you know what to talk about on a first date, you’ll see that impressing a love interest within minutes can be very easy.

For most people, the hardest part of a date is knowing what to talk about on a first date, especially during those first few minutes when it’s all jitters and one-foot hops. Of course, we’re all familiar with the fact that the first few minutes are all that it takes for your date to form an opinion about you!

Life can be easy if you know how to keep things easy. You don’t need to be a charmer to make your date like you on your first meeting. Just be considerate, nice, and sweet. [Read: 18 things you HAVE to avoid doing on a first date]

First date conversation starters

First things first, whether you’re meeting this person for a first date or you’ve met them previously, smile warmly. A warm smile makes everything comfortable and relaxing.

Let your date know you’re happy to be spending time with them. That’s a lot of the hard work done. Also, always remember your manners.

This might sound like common sense, but some people are seriously turned off by those who forget to thank the waiter or hold a door open, and rightly so. Make sure you watch your manners at all times.

Then if the conversation lulls or your mind goes blank, just throw in a few of these things to talk about on a first date, and you’re golden. [Read: How to behave on a first date and make a really good impression]

1. You’re happy to meet them

Excited even? Even relationship experts will agree that the first thing you need to talk about as soon as both of you sit down is this one single line because it makes everything feel more relaxed. Talk about how happy you are to meet your date or how nice it is to finally meet in person.

It’s just a sentence, yes, but one that warms both of you up for the good things to come. And hopefully, results in a perfect date for both of you. [Read: How long should an ideal first date last? The guide to timing it right]

2. Compliment them

So you think your date looks great? Compliment them for the effort they’ve made especially for you. Saying, “you look great!” is a dull compliment. Go one step further.

Is it their hair? Cologne? Or is it something else that you can comfortably mention on a first date without embarrassing them? Complimenting your date tells them that the effort they’ve taken for you has been noticed and appreciated. [Read: 25 worst things you can ever say or do on a first date]

3. Did anything interesting happen on the way?

Did you have a long day at work, or were you unexpectedly delayed? Or did you notice anything fascinating on the way? Talk about anything interesting that happened to you on the way.

That’s a few good minutes that’ll keep the conversation light and easy. Your date might add in a few details about anything interesting they saw on the way to your date too.

4. How was your day?

Show your interest in their life within the first few minutes by asking about their day. Not only will that keep the conversation light and friendly, but it can also open up details for a lot more things to ask as the date progresses. [Read: Dating anxiety – stages of first date panic and how to calm them]

5. Look around you

You’d probably have a lot of things to say by now, but in case you still haven’t been able to pick any more conversation topics, look around you and talk about something interesting. If you’re at a restaurant, you could talk about why you like the place, an incident that occurred there, or the ambiance. Food can be a great topic, too.

Likewise, talk about something that’s taken your fancy wherever you are, even if you aren’t at a restaurant. But don’t ever talk about other people who are around. That will only sound nosy and gossipy. [Read: Texting before a first date – The complete guide to timing it right]

6. Funny anecdotes

Can you recollect anything interesting or funny? Remember, as much as knowing what to talk about on a first date is about making your date feel comfortable, it’s also about blowing your own trumpet. Discreetly, of course.

You have to impress your date, right? So recollect a few funny incidents that you could narrate to them, and maybe they, too, have a few stories to add. Hearing someone tell a silly story helps you relax those first-date nerves and break the awkwardness.

But, never let that drawl on and on past the appetizer, the main course, and the dessert. No fascinating anecdote should be longer than a minute. [Read: How to be funny – 28 must-know tips to make everyone love your humor]

7. Ask about their job

Don’t simply ask what they do for work, but if they enjoy it. Ask how they got into that line of work. This conversation can lead to discussions about both your job history and education. It can also lead to a conversation about your dream job and ambitions. 

Work may not be the most romantic topic, but it is good to hear about someone’s passions and what they spend the majority of their time doing.

8. Explore their questions

Hopefully, you’re not the only one trying to keep the conversation going, so interact with your date’s questions too. Don’t just answer them and move on to something you want to talk about. 

Having a smooth conversation on a first date isn’t about asking basic questions back and forth but listening and responding to each other so you can actually connect. [Read: First date red flags that’ll reveal a lot more than what your date says]

9. Talk about your hobbies

We can all debate the best streaming service and best movies, but go a bit deeper. Talk about what you like to do for fun in your free time. Do you do DIYs around the house or volunteer with animals? Share the things that keep you going.

Specifics might seem personal for a first date, but this is what makes a first date interesting and memorable. If you are general and say you spend a lot of time with your family, that goes under the radar. Instead, share that you go fishing with your dad every weekend or have been helping your mom redo her spare bedroom. This way, you might be able to find common interests and get a sense of whether you like to spend your free time the same way.

10. Family

This can either be the perfect thing to talk about or a no-go zone for some. Start a conversation about family by simply asking if they’re close to their parents and go from there. You can talk about siblings, how often they visit their family, any traditions, special nicknames, etc. 

Most of us can talk about our families for a long time. Maybe you’re both children of divorce or both middle children. Having similar childhoods or just some things in common offers a lot of comfort when you’re on a first date. [Read: How to tell if a first date is going well – 15 signs you should be able to see]

11. Other dates

Many people would say never to talk about an ex on a first date. Now, we wouldn’t get into the nitty gritty of your last breakup, but sharing first-date horror stories is a fun way to calm the nerves.

Knowing you’ve both been dealing with the ups and downs of the dating world can bond you. As long as you don’t get all emotional about a past lover, it’s a good way to keep a conversation going. You could also talk about your idea of a perfect date.

12. Deal breakers

If you are dating to get out there and meet people, you don’t need to bring up your must-haves or must-nots on the first date. But, if you’re looking for a long-term partner to settle down with, avoid wasting your time.

If you know you want a relationship with someone who shares your religious beliefs or certain intellectual interests and passions, bring that up early, as these are better to know sooner than later. It may seem silly to ask life questions when meeting new people, but these are important questions to ask if you want to find out if the person could potentially be a life-long partner or not. [Read: The dating checklist: What it is and why you should make one]

13. Break the ice

If you’re trying but things are really off, it could just be a lack of chemistry. But if you’re nervous and things feel awkward, call it out. You don’t need to beat around the bush. If there is an awkward silence, say, “well, that was awkward,” and move on. 

Laughing about it will ease both of your nerves. [Read: First date nerves? How to be yourself when your heart’s pounding]

14. Where you’re both originally from

Finding out where they are from as well as the different places they lived throughout their life is a great way to get to know someone. You might find you lived in some of the same places or even have mutual friends. If not, remember to ask, ‘what was that like?’ to keep the conversation flowing. [Read: How to avoid the awkward silences during a date]

15. Childhood memories

Were they naughty and rebellious or super sweet as a child? Finding out what they were like as a kid and their school days brings up fun memories and stories. You can also ask if they still talk to their childhood friends, as asking this question will let you get a glimpse of how they value relationships and loyalty.

Talk about your favorite childhood memories, too, to keep the conversation flowing. [Read: Social anxiety vs shyness – How to decipher what you feel inside]

16. Future career & life goals

You can ask them about their dream job or what they’re aiming toward. Find out what they are most passionate about, what they’d love to do, if they have a bucket list, and whether they are working towards actually achieving it.

You can extend this to priorities in life in general. What do they want out of life? This is a good way to find out what their values are and what is important to them. [Read: Signs of compatibility with the person you’re dating]

17. School and further education

Ask what they studied or what they would like to study. Talking about your school and university days is always interesting. Talk about what you studied as well as the friends you made, silly nights out, clubs you joined, and the experience overall.

18. Pets and animals in general

People love to talk about their pets if they have them. Their answer might also be a deal breaker for you!

Even if they don’t have pets, you can talk about whether you’re both animal lovers, any pets you’d like to own in the future, or pets you had as children. [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to unfake your life and love being you]

19. The type of music you’re both into

For people that know their music, this can be a particularly fruitful topic of conversation to bring up. You can discuss each other’s favorite bands and artists, gigs you’ve been to, festivals you’ve attended, and so on.

It gives you a good idea as to whether your tastes are compatible. Plus, it’ll give you ideas for future dates! [Read: What to say on a first date to keep it light, easy, and flirtatious]

20. Travel aspirations

Sharing travel stories is another juicy topic of conversation. You can talk about the places you’ve both visited, what you loved, and where you’d like to explore next.

Are they a sun and beach worshipper, or do they love something more active? Talk about your best and worst holidays and where you’d like to go in the future. [Read: 15 reasons why you should travel at least once a year]

21. Favorite books & movies

Are they much of a reader? If you love literature, talking about books is a great conversation topic.

Finding out what movies they love is also fun. If you like the same sort of thing, you can suggest a future movie date together. [Read: Second date rules that will tell you if you’re a match]

22. Obscure questions

You can throw in some fun questions you can ask your date to ease the tension. How about:

1. What would be your death row meal?

2. What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

3. If you had one wish, what would it be?

4. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? [Read: 80 very unique, fun, and exciting things to do with your boyfriend]

5. If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

6. If you could swap buddies with any person for a day, who would it be?

7. Who would you invite to your dream dinner date? [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

23. Dating situations

You can ask if they have a type. It’s a flirty way to find out if you’re their type or not! But, if you’re keen to cement another date and take the pressure off, you can simply ask them if they want to do this all again sometime.

A subtle way to do that is to ask what they’re doing for the rest of the week or at the weekend. You can then talk about future date ideas. Briefly talk about your favorite restaurant. If they love a specific actor, offer to take them to their next movie.

24. Interesting stories from the past

You can go serious or deep with this type of topic of conversation. You can even make it more fun. Talk about having braces as a teen, where they shopped during their awkward stage, and even bring up nostalgic topics like cartoons and 90s candy.

This way, you bond over something lighthearted, at the same time revealing new insights about one another. [Read: 40 first date questions that’ll work like a charm, all the time]

25. Talk about pop culture

Now whether this is the latest celebrity drama or the newest Netflix release, this shows what you have in common. It is one thing if you both love traveling or hiking, but 9 times out of 10, you’re at home. So knowing you share some downtime hobbies like watching the same shows is always nice.

Even chatting about your favorite shows or celebrity crush are fun topics that keep the pressure off.

26. Always end the date with the truth

What do we mean by this? Well, usually, after spending time with someone, you know if you want to go out with this person again or not. So, make it clear you will see each other again. You don’t have to pin down plans there and then, but say something like, “I’ll call you about next week.”

The same goes if you don’t want to see them again. You don’t have to blatantly reject them. But avoid saying, “I’ll call you,” or, “I can’t wait to do this again.” There is no need to lie. Just leave it at “it was great to meet you” and part ways. [Read: Guaranteed ways to ditch the dreaded date-gone-wrong]

What not to talk about on the first date

We don’t particularly like to speak in definites because everyone is different. For instance, many people may tell you to avoid talking about exes or politics on a first date, while others want you to put it all out there. 

This is entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. It also depends on if you’re dating just to have fun or if you are trying to make a deeper connection. 

With that being said, avoid sharing your deepest insecurities, saddest stories, or anything super personal when you’re meeting someone for the first time, as your date doesn’t want to hear these things just yet. [Read: 20 intellectual conversation topics that ignite meaningful communication]

But, let a conversation flow, and if the conversation goes there, it goes there. Limiting the things you’re willing to talk about may prevent you from being yourself.

At the same time, if there are topics you don’t feel comfortable discussing that early on, like family or your past dating history, then you don’t need to go there.

Put simply, there are no topics we firmly think should be a no-go for first-date conversations. It is really up to you, your comfort level, and your date. Read the room and react accordingly. [Read: How to make small talk and talk to anyone without feeling awkward]

The last word on things to talk about on a date

Remember, you don’t need to ask all of these questions in one go. Nor do you need to memorize them all. Just ask a question, and allow the conversation to flow naturally. Remember, the goal is to reveal more about their personality, boost your connection, and get comfortable with each other, so don’t make it feel like an interview.

Each of these questions will lead to many other questions naturally if you listen and pay attention to your date.

[Read: Signs you’re ruining your first date without even realizing it!]

First dates are never easy, but knowing what to talk about on a first date can help you go into it feeling less worried. Remember these tips, and instead of feeling stressed, start enjoying your dates!

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...