First dates are fraught with anxiety, awkwardness and potential embarrassment. Don’t make things worse by discussing any of the following topics:
- Trump. Irrelevant of what your stance is on the world’s most controversial coiffure-haired president, there is never any reason to discuss him. Even if you’re both Trump supporters, what could you gain from further assuring each other that school shootings aren’t to be blamed on guns? If neither of you are Trump supporters then surely you have more intelligent things to discuss. If only one of you are, well, trust me – that’s going to be the world’s shortest date.
- Marriage. Strolling into deep relationship territory like marriage on a first date is so far beyond the scope of rational thought that I shouldn’t even need to include it here. Even if both of you really, really want to get married one day, just the very mention of the M word on date number one is sure to ignite previously-unimagined levels of awkwardness.
- Your Ex. There is no good way to talk about your ex. If you speak badly of her, it will give your date the impression that you’re judgmental and may one day speak about her in the same way. If you speak fondly of your ex, your date will think that you haven’t moved on. In fact, any discussion of your ex will indicate you are not truly over her. I went on a date once with a girl who complained the entire time about her “asshole ex.” Despite this, when I attempted to make a second date, she told me they were back together!
- Money. Expounding upon your recent pay rise or huge bonus is not going to impress even the most material of women. While it’s true that certain people will want a wealthy partner, nobody wants a show-off. If you think money is important to your date, dress nicely and wear expensive cologne. Maybe even offer to pay for dinner – imagine that! But do not, ever, in any circumstance, talk about money. Same goes for debt. A friend of mine recently went on a date where the guy spoke about how much debt he was in. Come on, man, seriously?!
- Sex. The funny thing about dating is, while you are clearly there for the purpose of sex, you must maintain the illusion that this is not the ultimate goal. It’s like Easter egg hunting. It’s no fun if you just dump the eggs on the table, the fun is in the hunt. The very idea that the act of sex itself even exists must remain elusive until you are both naked in bed together. While I highly promote the concept of speaking candidly about sex at any opportunity, a first date is simply not the place for it. Some things are better to discover in person.
- Children. This one kind of ties in with marriage for the same reason. Even if you both one day want children, on a first date the likelihood that one of you will start to overthink it and freak out is high. Kids are a topic that should only be discussed well after marriage, preferably when you’ve stopped having sex. I appreciate that most women want children, and maybe one day in an alternate universe, I will too. Let’s maybe discuss it then.
- Yourself. Arrogance is, surprisingly, less attractive than you may think. Despite what your mother says, you aren’t the most special boy in the world. Nobody cares that you have kayaked solo around Iceland or climbed Mt Everest – unless they happen to have done the same things, which is unlikely. You know what people do love to talk about? Themselves. Ask her about herself and you’ll find yourself on a one-way train to panty town in no time.
- Conspiracy theories. While you may honestly believe that 9/11 was an inside job, or that the Earth is flat and Australia blatantly doesn’t exist, conspiracy theories are generally not the best topics for first dates. Especially considering that your date may have actually been to Australia, leaving you looking a little silly. Not only do people think conspiracy theorists are all nutjobs, the conspiracies themselves are actually quite boring. Do you think Sally the dental nurse from Tinder cares that the Rothschilds control the world’s banking system? No. Save it for the International Flat-Earth Society Annual conference, where you can discuss your delusions with other Flat-Earthers from all over the globe.