You’d think that by now, as fully formed adults, we’d know how to have a socially appropriate conversation with someone we just met.
But throw nerves, sexual attraction, a quirky sense of humor, and some questionable boundaries into the first-date pot, and there are endless recipes for how the conversation can go downhill—fast.
Some blunders, like marriage and bigotry, you know to avoid. But even seemingly harmless topics can send up unintentional red flags. Want to actually see where things could go? Avoid these 10 topics on your first go-round.
1. Yourself, Incessantly
While it’s good to be open and talk about your interests, you don’t want to take it to the extreme. Lynn, a 27-year-old living in Brooklyn, says that other than asking what she does for work with no follow-up questions, the guys she’s been out with recently all talked about themselves the entire time. “Needless to say, they didn’t give me much incentive to see them again.”
This is so common in dating, says Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D., a San Diego-based sociologist and sexologist.“While it’s great to share your passions, make sure you’re also taking the time to get to know their passions and interests too.” And skip topics they have no interest in: According to a Match survey, about 75 percent of people believe having similar activities and interests is crucial to wanting a second date. (Need to spice up your small talk skills? Try these tips. Read more