Powerful And Practical First Date Conversation Topics

couple holding hands seen through a windowAs a dating coach, I’ve noticed one topic that creates extreme anxiety in my clients: the first date. If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you feel it too!

These days, first dates are largely “blind” in the sense that they often involve two total strangers who met online. Sure, you might have messaged a few times on an app, but you have little personal connection.

As a result, the first date can be terrifying. You’re pretty much trying to bond with a total stranger. That’s why, if you want to get a second date, you need to know first date conversation topics that actually work. This article will give you powerful and practical ones to get that second date and more!

Be Personal

I’m going to focus on general first date conversation topics rather than telling you to say specific things. It’s not going to be a bunch of one liners that you can deliver as soon as you walk in the door. Those sound good in theory, but, like pick up lines, they don’t really work. Your dates will just see it as gimmicky and forced.

Ultimately the best conversations are grounded in authenticity. So, if I recommend something and you truly have no connection to that topic (e.g. pets), then find another one. Before you go on another date, write down topics that generate strong, positive emotions for you. Then, talk about these.

Maybe you love skydiving or making music. Perhaps your passion is for sporting events or protest rallies. Whatever you pick, talking about it will let you speak with ease and authenticity and let your date get a glimpse of the real you.

Avoid too much bland fact sharing, like where you went to school or your job (unless you’re passionate about them). You can mention some general facts to fill in informational gaps, but don’t dwell on them.

Open Ended Questions

When discussing any topic, make sure to engage your date with open-ended questions, rather than ones that are closed.

Closed-ended questions require a short answer and don’t further the conversation. “Did you go to work today” is a closed-ended question. The answer is “yes” or “no.” “How was work today?” is open-ended, but still weak (the person could say “good” or “bad”). “What did you enjoy about work today?” is a good, open-ended question.

When you use the topics from your list or my suggestions below, always ask questions in ways that get your date talking. Open-ended questions usually start with “how” or “why.” Also, think about whether the question can realistically get them telling a story. If the answer is “yes,” it’s a good question. This article will tell you more about open-ended questions.


When choosing topics, ask yourself two questions:

Will it get my date talking?
Will it make my date feel good?

man and woman having coffee by a windowJust talking isn’t enough. People can talk for hours about their hated political opponent or the job they loathe, but that isn’t going to get them in the right mindset to fall in love with you.

Hobbies are a great first date conversation topic because people are usually passionate about their hobbies. And, most people find great joy in their hobbies.

Let’s look at cooking. If you find out your date loves cooking, you can get them talking about what they love about it. You’re more likely to generate positive feelings and get them feeling at ease.

Also, when you allow your date to talk about their hobbies, it opens up the conversation for you to talk about yours.


One incredible way to engage your date and make them think you’re interesting is to talk about your adventures. It’s a pretty vague first date conversation topic, but these stories will usually have elements of suspense, humor, and overcoming obstacles. It will be fun for you to tell and fun for your date to hear. You can discuss your adventures and your date can share theirs.

Examples of adventure stories can vary a lot, but here are a few examples: rock climbing in another country, doing something reckless and stupid in high school, foiling a crime (even if small), and taking a risk that paid off (or even didn’t).

I’d advise going into every date with a few exciting stories you can tell. Think about the great moments of your life and tell them as a powerful story. This will draw in your date and make you appear interesting!


Most people who own animals love their pets and they love talking about them. They also typically love talking about other peoples’ pets. If you’re both animal lovers, discussing pets is a great first date conversation topic.

Talking about pets opens the conversation to funny stories, the emotion of love and bonding (notice how much I used the word love earlier), and even the sharing of pet photos. This is a powerful way to build common ground with your date.

Studies have shown that having a pet makes you appear more attractive to other people. This is especially true for men wanting to impress women.

Your Date

If you want the best conversation topic for your first date, the answer is right across from you. Studies show that people absolutely love talking about themselves and it makes them feel really good. Yet, you might spend the whole night talking about yourself when you should really get your date talking instead.

While you can hopefully have a good back and forth and share about yourself too, you can’t go wrong if you steer the conversation away from yourself and focus on questions and topics about the other person.

asian couple on a dateRemember, the goal of the first date should be to make the other person feel good. Letting them talk about themselves is a good first step.

If you find that you’re doing a lot more talking than listening, take a step back and change the focus on your conversation.

These tips should help you get through the awkwardness of that first date conversation. When in doubt, be authentic, focus on what you love, and put the spotlight on your date, not yourself.

About the Author

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, and dating/relationship expert. He's helped millions through his articles, speaking, consulting, and coaching. He's appeared in over 500 major publications, including Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.

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