First Date

The Top 9 Things Not to Talk About on a First Date

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In the art of conversation, knowing the right topics to broach is as crucial as avoiding a bull in a china shop. When embarking on the fragile journey of a first date, it’s important to tread lightly, mindful of the impact our words can have. Ecclesiastes 10:12 wisely instructs, “Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.” In the context of a first date, these wise words serve as a reminder that how we steer the conversation can lay the groundwork for a promising connection or inadvertently spark an undesired conflict.

The significance of choosing the right topics on a first date can’t be overstated. After all, “A man is known by his conversation,” an old English proverb rightly states. The depth and breadth of topics you explore mirror your values, interests, and personality. A vibrant, engaging conversation is akin to a dance; it thrives on mutual respect, curiosity, and responsiveness.

However, the path to this harmonious dialogue isn’t always smooth. There are topics that, when sprung too soon, might bring a cloud over your tête-à-tête. As Dr. Jane Green, a renowned psychologist specializing in interpersonal communication, aptly puts it, “Certain subjects can act like emotional landmines. It’s not that they should never be discussed, but introducing them prematurely can lead to misunderstandings or unnecessary tension.”

This article will delve into ten topics that are generally best to sidestep on a first date. From politics and religion to personal finances and past relationships, we’ll explore why these subjects might pose potential pitfalls. By recognizing these, you’ll be better equipped to steer your conversation towards shared interests and positive experiences, creating an environment where mutual understanding and connection can flourish.

Like an expert juggler, balancing lighter topics with deeper, more meaningful ones is key. Remember, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Let your conversation reflect your thoughtfulness and respect, laying the foundation for a promising relationship.

1. Politics

In the dance of first date conversation, one often finds themselves tip-toeing around certain topics, akin to navigating a minefield. Among these, politics often sits at the top of the pile, the proverbial elephant in the room. As the adage goes, “There are three things that one should never discuss at dinner: politics, religion, and money.” This statement holds particularly true when venturing into the realm of dating, given the divisive nature of political discussions.

In recent years, our political climate has heated up, resulting in a level of polarization that can make even the most innocuous conversation feel like walking on eggshells. As the Bible suggests in Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It’s easy for political discussions to become heated, especially when views diverge. Indeed, they can rapidly escalate from civil discourse to a full-blown argument, hardly a recipe for a successful first date.

Dr. John Gottman, a famed psychologist, and researcher known for his work on relationship stability, suggests that such topics can exacerbate underlying differences and create unnecessary conflict. “People’s political identities are strongly tied to their values and beliefs. On a first date, when you’re still exploring common ground, such discussions can be more divisive than informative,” he explains.

Taking a practical example, imagine a scenario where one person is passionate about environmental issues and leans towards the Green party, while the other supports a party less inclined towards climate change policies. The conversation could quickly spiral into a debate, fostering a confrontational rather than collaborative atmosphere.

To summarize, when considering “things not to talk about on a first date,” steering clear of politics seems a prudent choice. Instead, focusing on shared interests and experiences can lay the foundation for a meaningful connection, allowing you to avoid falling into the trap of heated debates. As Romans 14:19 suggests, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

2. Past Relationships

Navigating the swirling waters of first-date conversation can be likened to dance; one misstep, such as broaching past relationships, can step on your partner’s proverbial toes. There’s an old saying that goes, “Don’t rake up old ashes.” It means that it’s better not to revisit past issues, especially when they are likely to stir up negative emotions or create discomfort. The same principle applies to the dating scene.

Discussing past relationships on a first date can easily steer the conversation off course and into a quagmire of unnecessary comparisons and discomfort. It might leave your date feeling as if they’re being measured against an invisible yardstick. Proverbs 14:10 reminds us, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” In other words, everyone’s past is their own, filled with unique experiences that are personal and often sensitive.

Renowned relationship expert Dr. Nicole LePera emphasizes, “Bringing up exes on a first date can redirect the focus from getting to know each other to dealing with baggage from past relationships. It’s essential to stay present and focused on the person in front of you.”

Consider, for instance, a date that’s going swimmingly well. You’re laughing, sharing anecdotes, and enjoying a delicious meal. Suddenly, your date starts discussing their ex-partner’s quirks, their bitter breakup, or how they were deeply hurt. The mood shifts. You start to wonder if they’re still hung up on their ex, or you start to worry about how you measure up.

Therefore, “Things not to talk about on a first date” certainly include past relationships. Of course, there will come a time when sharing such experiences becomes necessary and even beneficial for the growth of the relationship. But initially, as Romans 12:18 advises us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” In this context, maintaining peace means keeping the conversation centered on mutual interests and shared experiences, fostering a positive and enjoyable first-date experience.

3. Personal Finances

The art of first-date conversation is like weaving a delicate tapestry; one needs to carefully choose the threads that harmonize, not clash. Speaking of personal finances can introduce a note of discord, akin to airing one’s dirty laundry in public. There’s a timeless proverb that goes, “Money is a good servant but a bad master.” In a dating context, bringing up finances too early can overshadow the natural flow of the conversation and potentially send the wrong message.

Discussing one’s financial situation too soon can lead to discomfort and judgment. It might create an atmosphere of competition, cause feelings of inadequacy, or raise suspicions about one’s intentions. As Matthew 6:21 suggests, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” The focus of a first date should be on discovering shared interests, values, and experiences, not evaluating each other’s wealth or financial acumen.

Renowned financial psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz is of the view that “Talking about personal finances on a first date can inadvertently turn the rendezvous into a transactional interaction rather than a romantic one. It’s advisable to let financial discussions unfold organically as the relationship progresses.”

Imagine you’re on a first date, and the conversation takes a turn toward personal finances. Your date starts discussing their six-figure salary, their luxury car, or their real estate investments. On the other hand, they might be complaining about their financial struggles. Either way, this information can lead to snap judgments or foster a sense of unease, turning a promising date into an awkward encounter.

Remember the golden rule: “Things not to talk about on a first date” includes personal finances. Keeping the conversation light and focusing on the mutual connection rather than financial status will pave the way for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. After all, as Proverbs 17:1 suggests, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”

4. Religious Beliefs

In the symphony of first-date conversation, every topic contributes to the overall harmony. However, discussing religious beliefs might be like striking a sour note too early in the performance. As the old saying goes, “Discuss not creed or caste or race or the laws of the state.” This advice holds water, especially in the delicate beginnings of a potential relationship.

Religious beliefs are deeply personal, often eliciting strong emotions and convictions. While they certainly shape a person’s values and worldview – important facets to explore in a budding relationship – bringing them up prematurely can lead to discomfort, misinterpretations, or heated debates. As Corinthians 14:33 reminds us, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” The peace of a first date can easily be disrupted if discussions about religious beliefs become contentious.

According to Dr. Laura Berman, a relationship therapist, “When you bring up religion on a first date, it can lead to misconceptions about your intentions, or can even come off as proselytizing. It’s better to approach this topic later, once a basic foundation of respect and understanding has been established.”

Consider a scenario where one person is a devout follower of a particular religion, while the other person is an agnostic. If the conversation veers towards religious beliefs, it could easily turn into a debate or an attempt to convert the other person rather than a dialogue aimed at understanding each other.

So, when considering “Things not to talk about on a first date,” religious beliefs make a list, not because they’re unimportant, but because their depth and complexity require a certain level of mutual understanding that might not be present initially. As relationships grow and understanding deepens, such conversations can be invaluable. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 teaches us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” including discussions about religion.

5. Family Problems

The first date, often likened to a maiden voyage, is an exploration of unknown waters, and discussing family problems can quickly steer this voyage into a storm. There’s wisdom in the old proverb that suggests, “Do not wash your dirty linen in public.” By extension, delving into personal family issues on a first date can create a cloud of gloom and possibly overshadow the pleasant ambiance.

Personal family issues are sensitive subjects that can turn the conversation’s tide, making it heavy and possibly casting a shadow over the lighthearted getting-to-know-you phase. In the wisdom of the Bible, Proverbs 15:13 states, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” A first date should be a space for cheerful hearts, not crushed spirits.

Professor Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, advises caution in revealing too much about family problems too soon. “Personal issues, such as family difficulties, are best discussed when the relationship has moved beyond the initial stages. Revealing too much too soon can put undue pressure on the budding connection,” she points out.

Imagine you’re on a first date, enjoying your favorite cuisine when suddenly your date starts recounting their familial strife – conflicts with siblings, parental disagreements, or financial troubles. Such topics can lead the conversation down a dreary path, transforming a hopeful encounter into a counseling session.

The saying “Things not to talk about on a first date” should indeed encompass personal family issues. While these may eventually be shared as trust and understanding developments in the relationship, the first date should be a time for positivity and discovery. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:3, “There is a time to tear and a time to mend.” On a first date, it’s the season for mending bridges, not tearing them down.

6. Negative Experiences or Problems at Work

As the ship of the first date sets sail, navigating towards open waters of potential connection, discussing negative experiences or problems at work can be like a rogue wave, unexpectedly tilting the boat. There’s an English proverb that states, “Do not bring your troubles to the table.” This notion applies fittingly to a first date, where dwelling on work-related issues might eclipse the vibrant hues of the getting-to-know-each-other landscape.

Dwelling on negative experiences, particularly ones related to work, can act as a dampener, obscuring the positive vibes that a first date should ideally radiate. The Bible’s wisdom in Philippians 4:8 advises, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This exhortation to focus on the positive rather than the negative holds true in the context of first-date conversations.

According to relationship expert and career coach Dr. Marcia Reynolds, “Constantly talking about your work problems can make you come across as a complainer or a pessimist. On a first date, it’s important to present yourself as someone who can find joy and positivity, even when faced with challenges.”

Suppose you’re enjoying your first date, engrossed in each other’s stories when your date begins to detail a saga of workplace drama, a despised boss, or relentless job stress. It’s not hard to imagine how the mood could quickly turn sour, shifting from a pleasant evening to a therapy session.

In keeping with the theme “Things not to talk about on a first date,” negative work experiences are best kept off the table. Remember, the aim is to discover mutual interests and shared values and explore the potential for a deeper connection. As Proverbs 17:22 teaches, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Your first date should be an elixir of good cheer, not a potion of grievances.

7. Health Issues

A first date often likened to a captivating novel’s opening chapter, should ideally be filled with intrigue and delightful discovery. However, delving into health issues can be akin to revealing a story’s climax prematurely, possibly casting a pall over the unfolding narrative. An old adage advises, “Do not pour out your sorrows to the world.” This counsel is particularly relevant when discussing personal health issues on a first date.

In-depth conversations about health issues, unless immediately pertinent, can shift the mood from light-hearted and exploratory to serious and potentially uncomfortable. As stated in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” While there may be a time and place to discuss personal health issues, a first date typically isn’t that moment.

Dr. Monika Moore, a psychologist and relationship expert, advocates for discretion when it comes to revealing health concerns early on. “Opening up about health issues too soon can create an unnecessary burden or unease in the early stages of dating. It’s essential to gauge the comfort and trust level before diving into such personal matters,” she suggests.

Imagine a first-date scenario where you’re immersed in pleasant conversation, exploring shared interests and experiences, when suddenly the topic shifts to chronic illnesses, recent surgeries, or health fears. This can abruptly alter the date’s atmosphere, potentially leading to discomfort or worry.

So, as we consider “Things not to talk about on a first date,” it’s wise to tread lightly around the topic of health issues. While honesty and openness are pillars of any strong relationship, timing, and discretion are equally critical. Proverbs 15:23 reminds us, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!” Here’s to timely words and joyous conversations on your first date!

8. Controversial Topics (E.g. Conspiracy Theories)

Setting sail on the maiden voyage of a first date is a thrilling adventure filled with anticipation and discovery. However, discussing controversial topics, such as conspiracy theories, can swiftly transform calm seas into turbulent waters. As the adage goes, “Avoid the talk of kings at the table; for the talk of kings is a troublesome matter.”

Controversial topics, by nature, are divisive and can ignite strong feelings of disagreement, which can easily disrupt the harmonious tone ideally set on a first date. Proverbs 17:14 offers apt wisdom for this situation, “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” In the context of a first date, this could be interpreted as avoiding topics that might lead to unnecessary disputes.

Psychologist and social researcher Dr. Brene Brown points out, “Controversial topics, especially conspiracy theories, can cause discomfort and conflict. They may also cause someone to form a negative perception of you early in the relationship before they’ve had the chance to understand your complete viewpoint.”

Imagine you’re on a first date, enjoying a beautiful sunset and light-hearted conversation. Suddenly, your date brings up a contentious conspiracy theory, like the moon landing being a hoax or some outlandish political intrigue. This can abruptly change the dynamic, possibly leading to arguments or a sense of discomfort.

In the list of “Things not to talk about on a first date,” controversial topics certainly have their place. Instead, focusing on shared interests, personal aspirations, and enjoyable experiences fosters a more congenial atmosphere. After all, as Romans 12:18 advises, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” And living at peace on a first date means evading topics that could incite unnecessary discord.

9. Rushing Into Long-Term Relationship Discussions

As you embark on the exciting journey of a first date, it can be likened to stepping into a beautiful garden filled with potential. However, rushing into discussions about long-term relationships is akin to trying to harvest fruit from a seed you’ve just planted. There’s an old proverb that cautions, “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched,” which serves as a timely reminder about the importance of letting relationships unfold naturally.

Talking about long-term commitments prematurely can create pressure and potentially stifle the natural development of a new relationship. As the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” There will be a time for discussions about the future, but on a first date, the focus should be on learning about each other in the present moment.

Renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman suggests, “Early stages of a relationship should be about exploration and discovery, not about cementing long-term plans. The focus should be on understanding one’s partner, not mapping out a shared future.”

Imagine a first date scenario: while sipping your coffee and enjoying casual banter, your date starts discussing marriage, kids, or retirement plans. This abrupt leap into the future might seem like the date has fast-forwarded into a realm that’s far too serious for a first encounter.

Hence, when considering “Things not to talk about on a first date,” premature discussions about long-term relationships should indeed be on that list. Remember, it’s about appreciating the beauty of the garden now, not worrying about the potential harvest later. As the Book of Matthew 6:34 advises, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Let your first date be about today, leaving the concerns of the future for another time.


As the old saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The first date is just that initial step, a careful tiptoe into the delightful dance of getting to know someone new. However, the art of conversation on this initial venture carries the weight of setting the rhythm for the entire dance. As the Bible advises in Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

From the wisdom of academicians to the experiences of relationship experts, we’ve explored various topics that might strike a discordant note on a first date. Politics, past relationships, personal finances, religious beliefs, family problems, negative work experiences, health issues, controversial topics, and rushing into long-term relationship discussions – these are like delicate strings on the harp of conversation that might not play the right melody at the beginning of a potential romance.

Leading relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch emphasizes, “First dates should be about fun, exploration, and creating an environment where both parties feel comfortable. That’s why avoiding heavier topics can lay a solid foundation for future discussions when trust and understanding have deepened.”

Remember the proverb, “First impressions last.” A first date is a perfect opportunity to make a positive, lasting impression. As 2 Corinthians 13:11 reminds us, “Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

In conclusion, the secret of a successful first date lies in striking a delicate balance in the conversation, shying away from heavier topics, and focusing on establishing a positive connection. This doesn’t imply evading authenticity but simply suggests that some topics deserve the patience of time and the comfort of familiarity to be properly explored. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” – including meaningful, deep conversations. Just maybe, not on the first date.

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