Believe it or not, people say some unbelievable things during a first date conversation. Here’s a list of some of them.
Some of these first date conversation killers were said to Daisy or me on our first dates. Others we heard second hand. And others were compiled from articles about the thoughtless things people have said or heard on first dates around the world.
Yes, there really are this many things that shouldn’t be said on a first date.
But don’t worry. It’s not like you have to memorize a list of a thousand things to not say. At the end of the article are simple tips to avoid putting your foot in your mouth. That way you can relax, have fun, and have a great conversation as you get to know your dating partner.
Remember, the first date is where each partner is simply trying to find out if they enjoy the other’s company. It’s not about finding out every last detail of their lives. Those things will come out in later conversations.
So here’s our list of first date conversation killers to avoid.
➤ My ex works here.
➤ Did you use a filter on your profile photo?
➤ OMG, did you see that girl/boy?
➤ I Googled you. (Even if you did it, don’t say it.)
➤ My therapist said… [Fill in the blank. It’s too soon for mental health details.]
➤ Tell me about your ex.
➤ Who are you texting? (Wrong on two levels. One person shouldn’t be on the phone. The other shouldn’t ask.)
➤ You’d look better if you…
➤ My friends/family tell me I’m high maintenance.
➤ I’ve got this great investment opportunity.
➤ Does this mean we’re exclusive?
➤ My ex-husband was gay.
➤ Usually I don’t date women/men this old/young.
➤ I’m best friends with my ex.
➤ How am I doing?
➤ How come you’re single so long?
➤ Why are you single?
➤ I ordered you a drink.
➤ How many men/women are you talking to or dating?
➤ On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this date?
➤ I should never have ordered dessert. It goes right to my thighs.
➤ My biological clock is ticking away. (It doesn’t apply to the over-60 woman but I put it in because it’s really been said.)
➤ If you want my advice… (when no one asked for it.)
➤ Hey. (With nothing else to follow up.)
➤ I really hate… [Fill in the blank. Put a lid on negativity.]
➤ I have a list of questions here… [This really happened to Daisy. Her date pulled a list of questions from his pocket.]
➤ You’re so much better than all my crazy exes.
➤ Women are so… [insert negativity]
➤ Men are so… [insert negativity]
➤ Where do you see yourself in five years?
➤ Tell me a secret.
➤ Did you ever settle for someone in your relationships?
➤ Would you ever marry someone for their money?
➤ What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
➤ Are there any good women left? (said to a woman)
➤ Are there any good men left? (said to a man)
➤ Do you like to have fun? (Yes, everyone likes to have fun.)
Seen on Twitter #firstdatesgonewrong:
➤ Here, my mom would like to speak with you. (Hands phone over.)
➤ That’s a pregnant woman’s craving.
➤ Can I see your palms?
➤ I love you, please marry me.
Ten Things You Shouldn’t Say on a Date from Gina Showalter in Animal Instincts.
➤ You’re wearing that?
➤ Something smells funny.
➤ Where’s the Tylenol?
➤ And to think, I first wanted to date your brother.
➤ I have a confession to make…
➤ My dad has a suit just like that.
➤ That man is hot. Look at him.
➤ My ex, may he rot in hell forever…
➤ You’re going to order that? Seriously?
➤ You’re how old?”
Heard on first dates by the staffers at Buzzfeed:
➤ We would make beautiful children.
➤ My therapist tells me that I should really stop talking to my ex.
➤ You’d like my wife/husband.
➤ I want to love you.
➤ So, what’s wrong with you?
➤ You remind me of my mom.
➤ I guess I can be kind of a jerk sometimes.
➤ You’re kind of eating a lot.
➤ Is your friend from your profile picture single?
Said or overheard on real dates by singles on reddit:
➤ Oh shoot, my wife’s calling, probably wondering where the kids are.
➤ So, you wanna head back to my mum’s place?
➤ So, my wife and I…
➤ I love you and want to have your babies.
➤ My rash almost cleared up.
➤ You looked better online.
➤ What the heck are you wearing?
➤ Can I borrow your phone?
➤ I’m worried I have coronavirus.
➤ Are you sure we’re not related?
➤ My kids really want a new mom/dad.
From Huffpost Divorce readers.
➤ Wow, you have a good appetite.
➤ It’s just ridiculous, the wage gap isn’t even real!
➤ Let’s take a selfie.
Worst things to say on a first date from Ranker:
➤ My ex and I used to come here all the time. (I think you’re getting the hint…anything about exes is a no-go item for first date talk.)
➤ Is your sister single?
➤ What’s your name again?
➤ I thought you would be different.
➤ It’s so hard to find someone on my level.
➤ I’m really drunk right now.
Things to never say in first date conversations from Thought Catalog:
➤ I swear I’m not racist. I voted for Obama.
➤ No, we don’t have to leave a tip.
➤ People say I’m conceited, but I just love myself.
➤ I just want to fall in love with someone, right now.
➤ I never dated someone less attractive than me…
➤ Why would I move out of my parents’ house?
➤ I don’t even know what feminists are complaining about.
Even if things like this are on your profile, it’s best to not say stuff like this on a first date.
These were compiled by Roz Warren from online dating profiles.
➤ I am not like all the rest.
➤ I am a very handsome and well-built male.
➤ I was a pirate in my previous life…
➤ I am outgoing and spontaneous and possess ample amounts of wit and charm.
➤ I always believed that women make life SO much nicer – and I want one.
➤ I have achieved my life-long dream of seeing the total solar eclipse in Wyoming.
And a few more from another of Warren’s search of dating profiles:
➤ I’m just a regular guy who lives in the woods.
➤ I have all my original teeth.
➤ I don’t always put the seat down.
➤ I would look good in a Speed-o but would never wear one.
➤ I am way past being drawn to women who need to be heavily medicated.
First Date Conversation Topics to Avoid
Remember, on the first date you’re just trying to figure out if you enjoy spending time with the other person. If you’re not sure about what not to say, avoid these topics on a first date. Don’t worry, you’ll get to them later.
❌ Parents (yours or theirs)
❌ Your future together
❌ A family feud
❌ Asking “how many” or “how much” questions such as:
- Dates they’ve had
- Exes they have
- Matches they have on dating apps
- Time being single
- Sex partners they’ve had
Behaviors to Avoid on the First Date
Aside from avoiding topics, here are four behaviors on the first date conversation starter “don’t do” list:
- Don’t swear like a sailor
- Don’t talk non-stop the entire date
- Don’t answer the phone, text, or make phone calls
- Don’t drink
Tips for First Date Conversations to Keep You on Track
This is supposed to be fun!
Relax. Remember, both of you are nervous, so it’s easy to slip up if you give in to the nervousness. Be forgiving of the other and yourself if you do slip up.
It’s just one date.
Try to listen twice as much as you talk, and the conversation will flow naturally.
Pause before you speak. Think about what you’re going to say, especially if it’s an off-the-cuff sort of remark. It might not be as funny or clever as you think!
First dates are an opportunity to meet and learn about another unique human being. Enjoy your time with them. Try not to attach too much significance to that first meeting.
If it works out, beautiful! If not, you’ve had an interesting encounter as you each move forward on your journey.