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Article written by Sam Machado

A first date is always exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. You're about to spend the evening with a cute guy whom you hope to connect and have a good conversation with. But there might be times when you'll get stumped in terms of which topics to bring into the conversation, and your nerves could get the best of you. So what are some good topics you can reliably discuss? Well, there are plenty! But let's go over what you should NOT bring up-and what you could talk about instead.

1. Your Ex

This is probably the most obvious one. Why? Because it's damn important! Your date does not want to hear how much you hate the way your ex treated you, how he belittled you, cheated on you, etc. Your date is also probably not interested in all the wonderful times you had with your ex. He's probably going to wonder why you're on a date with him in the first place if all you can talk about is your former boo. And if all you say is how much you despise your ex, that's a pretty clear sign you're still not over him- even if the only things you can say are negative. Besides, it's the first date! Leave the drama at home, enjoy yourself and be proud that you're back in the dating game when there was a time you may have felt like you could never move on.

What you could discuss instead: Friends

If you want to bring up memories about your life, talk about the time in third grade when you and your childhood bestie would hop fences, or when you spent countless summers making s'mores at campfires, or your Sweet 16 when your friends surprised you with a pool party. Memories are a fun discussion when it involves people you still care about.

2. Future Relationship Goals

This should go without saying, but it's the first date. You're just getting to know each other. Do not discuss when (or if) you want to get married, what you want to name your first child, where you want to spend your honeymoon or what it is you need out of this date. Sure, you may be looking for “the one” and chances are your date is looking for that too. But if you tell him that you're looking for a life partner on date number one, you may end up scaring him off.

What to discuss instead: Future Work Goals

Talking about what you want in the future can be a great way for someone else to see your motivations and dreams. So discuss what you do in your career, how you've been working on it so far and where you see it taking off.

3. Trauma

Have these conversations with friends, family or a therapist. But not with your first date. Even if you feel like the two of you are connecting well, do not bring up a terrifying incident that happened in the past. If you tell him, he might be understanding, helpful and friendly. But if this becomes a massive discussion and he sees all your pain just moments after meeting you, then the night of casual excitement will turn into heavy discomfort. When the date is over, odds are likely he'll see you as someone who's dealing with a lot. Remember- he's your date, not your savior.

What to discuss instead: Where You Are Now

Instead, let him see the warrior you've become. You have gained so much and you keep fighting. Don't let the past bring up where you are in the present. And if you're still going through the motions and not quite sure where you should be yet, that's okay! You don't need to be in the “perfect” step in your life to be deserving of this date. Chances are your date isn't in a perfect step either.

4. Money

Probably not a good idea to bring up how much you make. If you're making bank, this could make your date feel inferior if he makes less than you. And if you're scraping by, you don't want to make him feel guilty about asking you out. Keep the financial topics in your bank account.

What to discuss instead: What You Love About Your Job

Did you get a master's degree to do what you do? What was that like? Are you a struggling performer who can barely make ends meet, but loves singing in nightclubs? Are you a broke college student, but you're studying to be a doctor because the idea of saving lives fills you with pride? Bring this up!

5. Sexual Past

Yes, sex is pretty much one of the main topics in a man's mind and you may assume that since your date is also a man, sex is on his mind too. Maybe it is, but the amount of guys you banged this past year is probably not the sure way to capture his heart. And if it is, there's a good chance that he won't have much interest in you besides how good you are in bed. Besides, an escapade of one-night stands may not be his thing. Or, maybe you'll find out he's had more guys than you and that could make things even more awkward. You don't want to put yourself in a competition with someone who you're barely getting to know.

What to discuss instead: Funny Dating Stories

You could talk about how the two of you met and be grateful that it didn't end up like that last guy you had a drink with. Sometimes it's nice to have a good laugh over a date that didn't end well, but serves as a hilarious memory.

Follow these tips and you'll be sure have a great first date!

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