How to Save a Sinking First Date

The mood is set. The lighting is dim, the music soothing, everything seems to be going great. The salad arrives, and then the inevitable happens. Silence. Pure, awkward silence. Keeping the conversation flowing on a first date doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but with a few key topics, anyone can maneuver through first date conversation with ease.

A great way to break the ice is to find out what the other person is passionate about. People love to talk about what they love, and it’s a great way to find common interests, or be inspired to learn about something new.

Another way to spark conversation is to ask about people they believe to have been influential in their life. Discovering who the other person admires can give a lot of insight into the type of person they strive to be.

If the entree has arrived and conversation is still running dry, there’s always the topic of hopes and dreams. Everyone has them. Sharing hopes for the future, be it travel and adventure, or owning a little cottage on a lake, can complete the dessert course with full satisfaction.

However, it is important to be mindful of allowing the conversation to become too personal. There’s a fine line between intimate and offensive conversation. A first date can quickly take a dive if the conversation begins to venture towards the latter. So to keep a date from going down like a ship in the Bermuda Triangle, there are certain topics that should be avoided at all cost.

Steer clear of anything that could lead to past love life. Break-ups don’t usually end on good terms, and reliving them can seriously dampen the mood. Talking about ex-boyfriends or girlfriends will usually put just about anyone in a bad space, and is not conducive to first date success. Play it safe and keep the focus on each other.

Politics and religion are two other conversation points that often lead to first date failure. Think of them as the first date equivalent of wading in shark infested water. People are often strongly convicted about these topics, and pleasant conversation can turn to angry debate in nanoseconds when they’re brought up, so just leave them alone. There will be plenty of opportunity to safely discuss these topics when the relationship has matured.

Overall, the best way to create a great first date is to keep it light, fun and engaging. Remember that good conversation is a two-way street, and listening is just as, if not more, important than speaking. There is no script to use to get through a first date. Just relax, be respectful of the other persons feelings, talk about what feels right, and a second date will be sure to follow.