What to talk about during the first date is just as nerve-wracking as the moment itself. There is nothing more embarrassing than that awkward silence after the initial greeting. Because you hardly know the person, the conversation that will surround the first date will create a lasting impression on you. Whatever you say during the first date will be important as it would determine how much common interest you have hence it could decide if there is a second date.
Maintaining a decent conversation during a first date could be a little tricky, but the following conversation starters will make you feel at ease talking to the other person amid those first-date jitters:
Always ask open-ended questions
Questions that require the other person to explain will enable you to know your date better. Asking questions that are answerable by a mere yes or no will create more awkward pauses as you think of other questions to ask (until you can think of nothing else to ask), whereas open-ended questions will allow you to ask follow-up questions, thus making the conversation free flowing and with spontaneity. Questions such as, “How do you spend your free time?” is useful to help you discover common interests and from there you would be able to determine if you would like to see her again.
Bring up past conversations you have had
If you suddenly find yourself at a loss for words, discuss past phone, text, or e-conversations you had with her. This is another good conversation starter because it creates an impression that you still remember your previous talks with her, and will make her think that you are really interested in her. This will get her to feel relaxed and talk more. Listen attentively as she talks and ask appropriate follow up questions to make the conversation going. You sure are on your way to a second and third date with this.
Talk about careers
What a person does for a living will explain a lot about her personality. You will find out that lawyers and entrepreneurs can be a bit bossy, decisive, and very organized, while interior designers and writers can be unconventional, flexible and non-conformance to any rules and schedules. Thus, talking about her career will help you learn and understand her better. Do not hog the conversation and talk about YOUR job. Remember that first dates are all about her, and less about you (except when she asks about what you do for a living, wherein you are required to answer, but steer the conversation towards her again).
Talk about current events
Make small talk about the varied topics about the goings on all over the globe. This will enable you to discover how versatile she is when given a wide range of topics to talk about. However, keep the conversation positive and light. Steer away from topics that she feels so strongly about yet you feel otherwise, lest such may lead to a heated argument and will not bring your date anywhere else but downhill. Sensitive topics such as religion and politics should only be discussed when you already know each other better and you are sure that you both share the same feelings about, and not take the opposite sides on.
Ask about her family (including pets, if she has any)
No topic ever hits home in the same manner as when you ask her about her family and friends (and pets, if applicable). You would be sure to elicit a positive and a zealous reaction from her if asked about people who are close to her heart. And do not limit yourself to asking general questions about her family and friends. Ask open-ended questions (see conversation starter #1) about them so that she will get to talk more. By asking her about her family, you will discover more about her personality and know about the details that contribute to her behavior and personality.
These are just some of the conversation primers that you can try on your first date, but the rest is entirely up to both of you. Be a little patient when she does not open up on your first try. It may be because she is more nervous than you because she genuinely likes you. Make the conversation light and positive to help her shake her nervousness off. A glass of wine (or two) will help her loosen up a bit. Do not overdo her with the alcohol, though. You need just enough to make her talk, not to make her drunk.