I’m sure people have told you how you should always be yourself on the first date. Well, while that little gem of information is certainly true, it’s a good idea to pipe down a bit for the first date. There’s nothing wrong with being open and straightforward: I’m that type of gal myself, however, you have to remember that the first date is for making good impressions, easing the jitters of just having met, deciding if there’s any chemistry, and having enough fun to garner a second date. This isn’t the time to let it all hang out verbally. A little cleavage never hurts (don’t crazy though), but keep your politics covered.
Here are a few topics to avoid on that first time out.
Okay, so while most profiles will indicate how someone leans politically, this isn’t the time to go on huge diatribes about your passionate disgust for republicans and/or democrats. Politics is a nuanced topic, and it’s better to get to know someone a little better before you start debating on topics that really strike a nerve with either one of you. The exception to this rule would be if you work in politics, as it may be impossible for you to totally avoid bringing the topic up. Just try to tiptoe around big button political issues, and save the debates for further on down the line. Someone is more apt to listen to an opposing point of view after he or she has gotten to know someone.
Exceptions to the rule: if someone’s political beliefs are an absolute deal breaker, then dive in, but expect rough territory.
Chances are, you are most likely Jewish if you’re on this site, although you may not be at all, and just enjoy the company of fabulous people. Either way, unless you refuse to go out on a second date with someone who doesn’t share your exact level and commitment to religion and G-d, I would avoid the topic. This isn’t synagogue. Come to a first date to have fun, keep things light, and just get an idea of the person’s attitude, energy, and interests.
It’s okay to get into the basic information as far as when you may have last had a committed relationship, but other than that, this isn’t really the time to talk about how you cried for months into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, feeling like a loser over someone you really loved. It is also not the time to talk about how your ex was a psycho and stalked you. Don’t scare anyone or give off too many warning signals. People don’t need to know everything, and if it’s something a person will need to know at some point, it doesn’t have to be on the first date. Think of this like a fun job interview: it’s your job on the first date to just give that person a basic rundown of how great you are, what you might be capable of, and what you may be looking for in life. This isn’t the time to put a spotlight on the past.
Skeletons in the Closet
I’m sure a lot of girls made out with their friends in college during their experimental phase, but a first date would not be the time to divulge secrets about yourself—like hooking up with your friend’s husband. We all have some pretty freaky stuff in our closets, but don’t try to spring clean on that first date. Even if the other person reveals something, I would keep those lips sealed. Skeletons should be revealed as intimacy is created and formed. Unless it’s something pivotal or vital to someone else’s health, try to keep intimidating or painful information about your life under Sumo-Wrestler like wraps on the first date.
Many people have difficult or less than perfect family lives. There’s no need to act like your family is uber-normal, however, you may want to limit the details you reveal if you happen to have a rather chaotic or unhealthy family background. Just because your parents are crazy, doesn’t mean you are; keep what went on in childhood behind closed doors until you feel ready to reveal.
The last topic is a tricky one.
It’s entirely possible to bring up sex on the first date, but within certain boundaries. If you’re looking for sex that night, well hell, I guess laying it all out there won’t hurt, but be prepared for some seriously rough rejection. If sex is important to you, bring it up, but keep some mystery regarding the topic. Men and women alike like a bit of intrigue. We’re all eager to discover the new.
First dates can’t be scripted. Sometimes, one of these topics may dive out of either your mouth or your date’s, but be sure to try to avoid them if you can on a first date. First dates are charged with anxiety and nerves. Save the meatier and more risky topics for future dates when you’re past that hair-standing on end nervousness!
Laura Lifshitz is a Columbia University Graduate, Chocolate Whore, Comedienne, and Battery-Operated Writer. Known for her frank love and sex advice, Laura's bark is bigger than her bite, but best of all, she's rabies-free and incredibly cuddly. She has been seen on MTV, Vh-1, Fox's Red Eye, and her therapist's couch.