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10 things to talk about on a first date

couple engaging in first date conversation

12 minutes read –

Ah, first dates—the unparalleled mix of excitement, nerves, and a dash of comedic timing. It’s like attempting a tightrope walk while juggling flaming pineapples and reciting Shakespearean sonnets. Two people, hurriedly thinking of what to possibly talk about on a first date, trying their best to impress while secretly worrying if their spinach-filled teeth are stealing the spotlight. Throw in the occasional clumsy spillage of a drink, a misplaced high-five that lands on a stranger’s face, and the inexplicable urge to talk about the mating habits of snails as a date conversation starter. We desperately hope that laughter, connection, and the ability to gracefully navigate a dinner menu won’t abandon us midway through this delightful rollercoaster ride. So what the heck do we even talk about?

First of all, by focusing on consciousness and incorporating principles from psychology and stoicism, you can transfigure any first date into a transformative experience that will elevate your awareness and understanding of the other person.

Cultivating Self-Awareness

Before engaging in meaningful conversation with another person, it is so important to develop a strong sense of self-awareness. Understanding your desires, values, and emotions will allow you to approach a first date authentically. The more authentic you are, the better you feel, and the more attractive you are to others.

Take a few moments before the date to reflect on your core values and intentions. Consider questions like: What do I want in a partner? How do my past experiences or relationships shape my present desires? By knowing yourself deeply, you can engage in first date conversations that better align with your authentic truth.

Active Listening: The Art of Presence

Picture of Epictetus depicting the art of presence and how it can be used on first dates

When considering things to talk about on a first date, practice the art of active listening. Be fully present and give your undivided attention to your date. By practicing mindfulness, you not only create an environment of respect but also help forge a genuine connection with your partner.

Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Allow your date to express themselves freely, without judgment or interruption. Show genuine interest in their stories, dreams, and passions. This active engagement will create a space where both parties feel heard and understood.

Discussing Life's Purpose

Delve into deeper first date conversation starters topics that reveal your shared values and aspirations. Engaging in conversations about life’s purpose and passions can offer great insight into one another’s mindset and future aspirations.

Draw inspiration from stoic principles as you explore these topics. Seneca, a prominent stoic philosopher, advises, “Know what you want and pursue it as if you were dying tomorrow.” Discuss your dreams, the impact you wish to create in the world, and how you plan to live a meaningful life. By aligning your aspirations, you create a foundation for long-lasting connections built on shared values.

Vulnerability: The Gateway to Connection

Embrace vulnerability during your first date. Brené Brown, a renowned researcher on human connection, beautifully stated, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

Share your stories of growth, challenges, and personal triumphs. Open up about your fears and dreams. By allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you invite your partner to reciprocate, fostering a deep sense of trust and connection.

Brene Brown speaking about vulnerability and date conversation starters

Mindful Communication: Empathy and Non-judgment

When engaging in first date conversation, consciously practice empathy and non-judgment. Be mindful of the words you choose, ensuring they reflect kindness and understanding. We all want to feel understood, appreciated, and heard, so why wouldn’t your date too?

Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. Instead, ask open-ended questions that encourage your partner to share their thoughts and emotions. If you can foster an environment of acceptance and respect, it will allow the conversation to flow more organically.

Gratitude and Appreciation

Expressing gratitude to another individual is like watering the root of that person’s soul. Take a moment to appreciate their presence, their willingness to share their stories, and the experience of getting to know them. Gratitude can deepen a bond and create a positive atmosphere for future interactions. Focus on what you appreciate about your date rather than dwelling on superficial judgments.


Still stuck on what to talk about on a first date?  Avoid awkward silences with these ten successful first-date conversation starters:

  • Childhood Memories
  • Passions and Dreams
  • Travel and Adventure
  • Books, Films and FAVORITE Music
  • Food and Culinary Experiences 
  • Hobbies and Creative Pursuits
  • Humour and Fun Experiences
  • Personal Values and Beliefs
  • Life Lessons and Growth
  • Personal Goals

If you can stay within these parameters, you will end up bringing yourself that much closer to a really fun, easy-going, and successful first-date experience. Whether you’re using a professional matchmaking service or a dating app, keeping an open mind and being honest about your intentions will greatly enhance your chances of finding a compatible partner. 

If you’re looking for more help navigating the dating world like a pro, find a dating coach that can help you dive deeper into what you really want and mentor you through the modern dating scene. With relationship experts like Sophy Love, you can ultimately increase your chances of finding a meaningful connection with someone special.

Did You know?

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