Usually, when I consider what to talk about on a first date, my first instinct is to flee.

Who has the time to win over a total stranger with some cheesy icebreakers and corny pick-up lines?

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that bad.

After having gone through an uncomfortable number of questionable first dates, I’ve picked up on a thing or two that can make the whole thing more pleasant.

Let’s be honest. Few things are more nerve-wracking than the first date.

Those awkward silences, engaging in small talk and constantly asking questions can be overwhelming.

That’s precisely why figuring out beforehand what to talk about on a first date is so important! It gives you a chance to look your best and avoid seeming like a detective.

And the dating experts agree. The best way to minimize your anxiety going into a first date is by going in with a plan.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about binders and notes. I’m merely saying that paying attention to a few key things will help you figure out whether there’s any compatibility.

What might those key things be? Below, I divulge all about it and so much more.

I’m bringing you a list of foolproof first date conversation starters, best first date questions and 7 things to avoid discussing if you want to enjoy a great first date.

Pay close attention and stick to these tips and before you know it, you’ll be anxiously awaiting your second date!

See also: 21 Signs Of A Good First Date & How To NAIL The Second One

What To Talk About On A First Date – A Foolproof Strategy

The first date conversation is all about getting to know each other and exploring whether there’s a spark.

By following these useful tips, you’re giving yourself the best chance of a great first date.

Don’t overthink things (you’re in the same boat)

man pouring in coffee in the the cup of the woman during breakfast

Whenever you get anxious and feel the need to flake, just remember that they are in the same boat.

If you think that this person won’t like you, they’re probably struggling with the same thoughts.

So take a deep breath, relax your mind and focus on the big picture. This person might end up being someone really important to you. You’ve got this!

Admit to being a little nervous (it’ll take the edge off)

shy woman eating ice cream keeping her hair and smiling inside a cafe

This is something I find very helpful. It helps both you and your date laugh (somewhat awkwardly) to realize that you’re both a little nervous and unsure of what to expect.

But don’t worry. The sooner you start talking, the sooner it’ll become comfortable and maybe even fun!

Just follow my tips and browse through the questions below and you’ll be fine.

Remember that you’re there to have fun!

biracial couple dating inside a cafe with blurred people at the background

You’re not there to be stressed, anxious or nervous.

You’re there to have fun, meet someone new and potentially compatible and laugh the night away.

Whenever you start being in your head too much, shake it off, remember that this isn’t as big of a deal as you imagined it and ask them something funny.

See also: This Is Why It’s So AWESOME To Date An Introverted Girl

Try to go into this confident and with a positive attitude

woman touching her chest and smiling while talking to a man inside the cafe

Your attitude is everything. If you go into it with a negative attitude, expecting a disaster, you’re not giving it a chance.

So put on a smile, blast some music as you’re getting ready and be prepared for a night filled with fun and adventure. The more you think about it positively, the better it’s going to be.

Be mindful of your body language

couple clinking wine glasses during their dinner date inside restaurant

Don’t cross your arms, look around the room, appear bored or avoid eye contact. That’s negative body language that gives off a bad first impression.

Be relaxed, look them straight in the eye, nod your head as you’re talking and don’t look around the room all the time. That’ll show them that you’re focused on the conversation.

And finally, ask the right questions (and lots of them)

beautiful couple on a date clinking their wine glass

Finally, we get to the best bit. Asking questions is your best way to connect and engage in great small talk and meaningful conversation. And I’ve got you covered!

Below, you’ll find the best questions to ask that will show your date you’re smart, fun, resourceful and attentive. Go get ‘em!

See also: 100 Deep Questions To Ask Your Date If You Really Want To Get To Know Them

120 Best First Date Questions That Work Like A Charm

Here are the only first date questions you could possibly need. Start with the simple ones and move on to the cute and funny ones as the date progresses.

With the help of these icebreakers, you’ll never have to wonder what to talk about on a first date again.

couple in love with lights covering around them holding candles

1. What do you most like to do in your free time?

2. What’s your dream job and do you ever think about pursuing it?

3. Which are your top five favorite TV shows EVER?

4. How would your best friend describe you and why do you think that is?

5. If you were allowed to have just one book for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why?

6. What’s on your bucket list of things to do in your lifetime?

7. Which one of your family members can get on your nerves the fastest? (And share yours!)

8. What’s your favorite place to hide out when you need some alone time?

9. What are your favorite things to do that instantly make you feel good?

10. What were you like in high school?

college man and woman talking inside the cafe with coffee on table

11. What’s the longest you’ve binged a Netflix show and which one was it?

12. What’s your social media handle? (Cheeky!)

13. Do you have any weird and funny Tinder experiences and if so, please share!

14. What’s your instant turn-off in a partner?

15. Coffee shop or a bar?

16. What do you think about dating sites? Have you ever managed to find a partner that way?

17. Do you have any pets? If so, which ones and what are their names?

18. Who’s the most fascinating person you’ve ever gotten the chance to meet?

19. Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?

20. Name your favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink!

woman and man drinking beer in the bar counter

21. What have you been obsessed with lately?

22. Do you have a favorite international type of food and if so, which is it?

23. If you could take three people (literally anyone in the world) to a desert island, who would you pick?

24. Do you prefer morning or night?

25. What’s the one food you would never touch no matter what?

26. Do you have any siblings? If so, describe each in three words!

27. Who’s your all-time favorite author?

28. What’s your favorite movie of all time and how many times have you seen it?

29. What are you known for in your friend group?

30. Which music artist could you listen to on repeat without getting tired of them?

couple outdoors talking with woman wearing sunglasses and big head phones around her neck

31. What does your ideal vacation look like?

32. Do you have any accomplishments that you’re proud of?

33. What’s the latest trend that you just can’t seem to understand?

34. What are your thoughts on TikTok?

35. What’s your go-to karaoke jam?

36. What have been your funniest and most embarrassing moments in life?

37. What’s the coolest adventure you’ve ever been on?

38. Which superpower would you most like to possess for the rest of your life?

39. In your opinion, what’s the one thing everyone should try at least once?

40. Which animated character would you date if you had to pick one?

young couple watching movie on laptop while sitting on the bench outdoors

41. What’s the one thing you’d never say no to?

42. What are the weirdest things that you’re into that no one really gets?

43. What’s the most disturbing dream you’ve ever had?

44. What’s the weirdest joke you’ve ever heard?

45. How long does it take you to get out of bed in the morning?

46. What are your relationship deal-breakers?

47. If you were a DJ, what would your name be?

48. Do you have any silly fears?

49. What’s the strangest place you got it on?

50. Have you ever drunk-texted someone and what happened?

couple drinking outdoors beer and talking seriously

51. What’s the one drink that you can’t imagine drinking ever again?

52. What’s your favorite website?

53. What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleeping?

54. If you could go back in time, where would you go, who would you take and what year would it be?

55. If you could be BFFs with a celebrity, who do you think you’d get along with best?

56. What has been the most unexpected plot twist in the story of your life?

57. Be honest. Were you going to call me after this date?

58. How much social interaction is too much?

59. What’s your favorite mobile app?

60. Do you prefer walking or driving?

young couple glancing at each other while driving on open top car

61. If you had a choice to make summer stay all year long, would you do it?

62. What’s your guilty pleasure that no one knows about?

63. Do you have a nickname that you just can’t stand?

64. What’s the one country you absolutely must visit and which one do you never want to step foot in?

65. If you could be fluent in any language other than English, which one would it be?

66. What’s the strangest fight you ever got in with a sibling?

67. What was your most memorable summer?

68. Is there a wrong assumption that people have about you?

69. What’s the most breathtaking view you’ve ever seen?

70. Are you a lone wolf or do you love group dynamics?

man showing his smartphone to a woman while sitting outdoors

71. What’s your go-to ice-cream flavor and which one would you never want to taste?

72. Are you a spontaneous person? What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

73. Are you tech-savvy?

74. How have you changed since high school?

75. What’s the one thing your best friend would be most surprised to find out about you?

76. Do you have any secrets?

77. At this very moment, if you could be anywhere, where would you go?

78. Will you tell me the story of meeting your best friend for the first time?

79. What was a seemingly insignificant decision that ended up changing your life?

80. Where would you move to if you could go absolutely anywhere in the world, still find a dream job and maintain a reasonable standard of living?

couple wearing jackets outdoors talking sweetly during autumn season

81. Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

82. What’s your weirdest talent?

83. What’s the most recent thing you’ve done for the first time ever?

84. If you were famous, what do you think it would be for?

85. Would you rather be beautiful and dumb or average-looking but highly intelligent?

86. How would your parents describe you and do you agree with that description?

87. If you found a briefcase with a million dollars inside, what would you do with it?

88. If you could choose just one, would it be skiing or swimming?

89. Who’s the one person who has had the greatest impact on your life?

90. Besides work, where do you spend the majority of your time?

couple drinking coffee inside the cafe talking heart to heart

91. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

92. Do you screen phone calls?

93. What do you think the most essential part of a relationship is?

94. What did you do for your last holiday?

95. When was the last time you walked for over an hour?

96. What’s the most interesting thing you can do that would surprise the people who know you?

97. What’s the most important thing or person in your life?

98. Is there a difference between how you act when with acquaintances versus close friends?

99. What skill have you always wanted to learn but never have?

100. Would you rather choose to be invisible or would you prefer to be able to read minds?

girl boy flirting in an outdoor cafe

101. How many countries have you visited?

102. If you could have one question answered right now, what would it be?

103. Do you consider yourself a patient person?

104. Are there any companies that you can’t stand so much that you’d rather go bankrupt than give them any (or any more) of your money?

105. If you could send a letter to your younger self, what age would that be and what would you say?

106. What’s the one trend you wish would make a comeback?

107. What’s a foolproof way to find out what someone is really like?

108. How long do you believe it takes to know someone on a deep level?

109. Is there something happening right now that you believe people will laugh about in twenty years?

110. Is there something you’re really looking forward to in the foreseeable future?

couple holding hands while sitting by the table indoors

111. What are the top three social situations that you try to avoid at all costs?

112. Would you rather have an exceptionally fast car or the perfect Wi-Fi connection?

113. What’s the one thing that floats your boat that most people have no idea about?

114. What’s the weirdest nickname you’ve ever had?

115. Have you ever been on a really disastrous double date?

116. Have you ever been attracted to someone of the same gender?

117. What are your thoughts about kissing on a first date?

118. Do you ever worry about what to talk about on a first date?

​119. What’s the silliest lie you’ve ever told a romantic partner?

120. Long-term love or short-term lust?

See also: 12 Reasons Why A Coffee Date Is Actually The BEST First Date Idea

7 Topics To Avoid Discussing At All Costs

There are certain kinds of things you just don’t discuss on a first date. They are major red flags that your date won’t take kindly to. Avoid these for the time being and focus on what I’ve covered above.

Don’t talk about religion

couple at cafe talking while eating

Religion is something that should come at a later time. Since it is an important factor for a healthy relationship, it definitely needs to be broached.

But first dates aren’t designed for this type of conversation.

It could only lead to awkward discussions that can be avoided. For sure, ask away but wait until a few dates have passed.

If there’s a connection, chances are that your discussion on religion could go much more smoothly, to both of your satisfaction.

The same goes for politics

happy couple talking at the balcony with a green urban background

I dislike talking about politics in general but during early dating, it’s a huge no-no. What does it even matter in the great scope of things?

You’re there to enjoy each other’s company, that’s it.

It’s not like either of you can affect what politicians do or how they affect our country so you might as well keep the political discussion to a minimum.

Money is off-limits too

couple using tablet while talking outside of the house

It’s an awkward question, isn’t it? And for so many reasons.

You don’t really know them or their family background yet so you might say something that sounds insensitive.

Again, your best bet is to avoid money talk for now and let it pop up naturally as you get more serious.

When wondering what to talk about on a first date, just remember… not money.

Don’t even think about trashing your ex

couple drinking wine sitting on a couch inside the living room

Past relationships are off-limits, at least on the first date. Especially if it ended badly. You don’t want your date to think that you’re a bitter person.

If you continue dating, naturally, the ex-files are going to be divulged at some point. But for now, keep it PG (no matter how much you ended up despising your ex).

See also: How To Ask For A Second Date: Golden Rules To Keep Things Going

Don’t talk about getting it on (kind of tacky if you ask me)

cheerful man talking to a woman smiling and relaxing

I can’t tell anyone when the best time to get it on is, it’s an entirely personal decision.

But in my humble opinion, these topics are definitely a red flag for first dates.

Don’t risk it by mentioning explicit activities way too early.

They might get the wrong impression that it’s all you’re there for (unless of course, you are).

If you want this to evolve and get deeper, focus on the emotional connection and the general vibe.

If you have that, it’s only going to work wonders once you get kinky.

Your checklist of what you want in a partner

cheerful couple resting and talking in a shopping mall

This isn’t even a new relationship, you’re literally seeing if there’s even potential.

So they have no reason (nor do they want) to listen to what your perfect partner is like.

Be real and expect them to be real, flaws and all. Nobody is perfect and it’s crazy to expect anyone to check off things from your perfect person checklist.

People are flawed but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of your attention.

Learn to embrace everyone for who they are and don’t give the impression of being a superficial person as early as your first date.

Marriage (unless you want to drive them away instantly)

cheerful man and woman talking and joking while standing in the middle of the walkway

Conversations about marriage shouldn’t arise within the first few dates.

The topic is simply too heavy and might give them the wrong idea, plus it’s just way too early.

If you want your date to run for the hills, worried that your only priority is to tie the knot, go ahead.

But in order to give this an actual shot, I strongly encourage you to lay off the marriage business.

The first date is for casual fun and getting to know each other.

If you’re still standing after a few dates, then you can delve into serious discussions slowly but surely.

See also: 20 Amazing And Cute Late Night Date Ideas For All Couples

Final Thoughts

man approaching a woman in the cafe having her meal

Not only have I covered what to talk about on a first date but I’ve also helped you with some really cool and interesting questions to encourage great conversation.

Also, make sure to pay attention to what NOT to discuss at this time. You don’t want to give out the impression that you’re desperate for a spouse.

I collected these insightful dating tips during my own dating journey, along with some hits and misses.

I was simply tired of online dating and wondering who was actually behind the screen.

First dates can be major fun if you simply go into it with a positive attitude and the right spirit.

The worst that can happen is you don’t click and you go your separate ways. That’s it!

So when you really think about it, it’s not that scary. The first time doing anything is daunting.

Just relax, read this as many times as you need to and go shoot your shot.

If there’s a connection, the above golden rules will help you find it (and enjoy it) in a flash.

See also: 6 Things To Consider Before Going For The Second Date Kiss