“It’s not what you say, but what people hear”. We all desire to make a good first impression on a first date, since this is the beginning of the discovery process. In most cases, you have already decided that the other person is attractive enough or potentially compatible. On the first date, you’d want to get to know a bit more about your potential love partner. Trying to impress or even just being your “normal” self can be a disaster if your date “hears” things that you do not mean because you’ve chosen awkward topics that reveal too much in the discovery stage. The following are the hot topics from hell:
1) Your ex
In a job interview, you are reminded not to be negative about previous employers since this may reflect badly on your character. Talking about your ex in such a manner would have similar consequences. Worse yet, speaking of your ex in a favourable light would make it appear as though you’re rueful about your break-up. Discussing your ex is a “lose-lose” situation.
Getting drawn into a discussion on religion can be really protracted. Apart from it being a potential hot button, it may occupy an inordinate amount of conversation time. The first date is a time to get initial impressions, so this topic could and should wait.
This is another sore point. The worst part about it is that people have stereotypes about those who hold certain political views. We hope people wouldn’t be judgemental, but there’s only a chance of that if they know you already, not when they’re just getting to know you. Although this is a topic to avoid, one can speak about it in general terms.
Talk about sex on the first date and you risk sounding as if you have a one-track mind. Even if you have conservative views on the topic, you may be viewed as a prude. Unless you somehow know your date’s views beforehand, it would be wise to skip this topic.
5) Money issues
Asking your date how much they earn or what their asset-base is like is going to make you appear materialistic. While the debt situation of your love interest may become important later on, remember that this is the first date and not necessarily a future commitment.
6) The Future
As I mentioned before, the first-date is not necessarily the formality to a lifelong commitment. Asking how many kids your date wants to have or how soon marriage is on the horizon would lend the impression of desperation and give your potential love interest the thought that you may be pushy about these issues later on if things get that far.
7) Your accomplishments
Who likes a braggart anyway? You may like your date so much that you’re just trying to show your credentials. What your date would hear might be quite different and not as positive.
8) Gossip and outrageous moments
Talking about other people consistently takes the focus away from the parties directly involved in the date. It may also appear as though you’re consumed with the lives of others because yours is fairly mundane. Trying to appear exciting and spontaneous by describing your outrageous moments is a gamble. You may either impress your date or hit zero quickly. Are you willing to take the chance?
In addition to these, you should avoid revealing negative views about anything. Forget how lousy your job is, your plethora of medical problems or how depressed you felt about your dog’s passing. That would simply be like a wet blanket on the first date. The safest option is to avoid these topics until you get to know your date better. You may be a hit if your date likes to discuss politics or sex, but it would be prudent to avoid these until you are more comfortable with the person on later dates. The reality is that if you venture into these topic areas, your first date could be your last.