Five Topics to Avoid on Your First Date

Michele Meleen
Bad Date

First dates are supposed to be fun, not filled with awkward moments. While the point is to get to know your date, it is not to interrogate or otherwise make him uncomfortable. If you've had dud dates in the past, never fear. You can make a great impression on your next first date by avoiding these destructive dating discussions.

#1. Your Ex

Experts from around the industry certainly agree on this one first date faux pas: it's a bad idea to talk about your ex on a first date. Popular dating website, eHarmony, suggests there are two ways to talk about your ex - negatively or positively.

  • If you talk badly about your ex, you look crabby, resentful, or dramatic.
  • Putting a positive spin on your ex could make it look like you're not over him.
  • When you avoid questions altogether, your date could think you have something to hide.

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger, says that no matter how you word it talking about your ex on a first date opens up the opportunity for unwarranted comparisons. Your date could end up feeling inadequate, insecure and bored.

The most important thing to remember about exes is that you are no longer in a relationship with that person for a reason. This can also be helpful to think about if your date brings up his or her ex.

#2. Strong Political Issues

Everyone has their beliefs, morals, and values. First dates are not an open invitation to try changing the way others think. Bringing up strong political issues on a first date can lead to hostility if one person feels berated by the other.

While discussing important values in your life can be a good idea for first dates, lecturing about your ideas is not the same thing. However, there are a few situations in which it is acceptable to bring up political views:

  • If political affiliations are a deal-breaker for you, they should be mentioned briefly on a first date.
  • If your first date came about after bumping into each other at the Democratic Convention, that becomes an acceptable topic of conversation, suggests an April 2014 article in Women's Health Magazine.

Give information in a simple, non-threatening way by saying, "Political affiliation is very important in my life and I prefer to be in a relationship with someone who holds the same values." Offer up other things you look for in a mate to give your date room to keep the conversation going if she doesn't carry the same beliefs.

#3. Medical Matters

Discussing major or minor health-related issues is "boring and gross," according to a June 2012 article in Women's Health Magazine. Hearing about your toenail fungus could cause your date to lose his appetite, or worse - the bit of dinner he's already eaten.

If you have an obvious injury, like a broken arm, wait for your date to ask about it then give a simple and undetailed account of what happened. Something like, "Thanks for asking. I tripped on my way out of my house and fell right on my shoulder." Offering up excessive information in the form of a play-by-play of the entire event and hospital trip and recovery can be a bit boring and depressing.

Life-altering diseases should be discussed early on, says the magazine, but probably not until after the first couple of dates.

#4. Sexual Intent

Doctor Love from AskMen.com says in his advice column that it's never okay to talk about sex on a first date. Talking about sex on a first date sends one message, and one message alone - you are just looking for sex. If you are dating to find a life partner or at least a long-term relationship, talking about sex on the first date is not a good idea.

In her book, The 30-Day Love Detox, Dr. Wendy Walsh warns against talking about sex on a first date because,

  • It lowers the chance of you finding real love.
  • Having sex could be dangerous from a health perspective.
  • Conversation about sex enhances the double standard about sex for men and women.
  • If you're not planning to have sex on the first date, talking about it can give the false impression that you would.

One of Dr. Phil's rules for dating is to be cognizant of the messages you are sending about yourself in every verbal and nonverbal cue. From the way you dress to your body language and the topics you choose to discuss, you are sending messages to your date about your intentions and what's important to you.

If your date brings up sex, simply state that "I'm not really comfortable discussing that on a first date." You could even add in a funny qualifier if you are truly attracted to your date like, "But, perhaps on the fourth date," to let him know you find him physically appealing.

#5. Family Drama

Airing all your family grievances to a new date can be a major turnoff. Dating site, eHarmony, suggests that too much information on a first date can send up red flags that your life is drama. Family will likely come up on a first date, but there are a few ways to handle the conversation:

  • If you are asked direct questions relating to your family, try to give a positive, quick response.
  • If you have trouble coming up with a positive spin say something like, "That's not a fun topic for me so I'd rather not talk about it now."
  • After your response, ask a question so the conversation doesn't stall.

There's no room on a first date for all your baggage, so don't bring it along. If the relationship continues, there will be a more appropriate time to share this information.

Make It the First, Not the Last

Avoiding certain topics on a first date isn't about presenting a false impression, it's about showcasing the best you possible. First impressions often stick, so bring the best version of you on every first date. Remember to keep it fun so that there can be a second date.

Five Topics to Avoid on Your First Date