9 Worst First Date Conversation Topics

Worst first date conversation topics...with Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego sexologist. 

Worst first date conversation topics...with Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego sexologist. 

If you've been in the dating world, you probably have some painful examples of worst first date conversations! I was interviewed by Rachael Schultz about this topic for Greatist. You can read part of the article including my contributions below...

By Rachael Schultz: You’d think that by now, as fully formed adults, we’d know how to have a socially appropriate conversation with someone we just met.

But throw nerves, sexual attraction, a quirky sense of humor, and some questionable boundaries into the first-date pot, and there are endless recipes for how the conversation can go downhill—fast.

Some blunders, like marriage and bigotry, you know to avoid. But even seemingly harmless topics can send up unintentional red flags. Want to actually see where things could go? Avoid these 9 topics on your first go-round.

Stop Talking About...

1. Yourself, Incessantly

While it's good to be open and talk about your interests, you don’t want to take it to the extreme. Lynn, a 27-year-old living in Brooklyn, says that other than asking what she does for work with no follow-up questions, the guys she’s been out with recently all talked about themselves the entire time. “Needless to say, they didn’t give me much incentive to see them again.”

This is so common in dating, says Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D., a San Diego-based sociologist and sexologist.“While it’s great to share your passions, make sure you’re also taking the time to get to know their passions and interests too.” And skip topics they have no interest in: According to a Match survey, about 75 percent of people believe having similar activities and interests is crucial to wanting a second date. 

4. How Much Your Former S.O. Sucks

“I actually don't think it's bad to talk about exes on a first date, because it gives you insight into what someone is like after a breakup—whether they're bitter and blaming or can take responsibility,” Gunsaullus says. It becomes a problem if you start talking excessively about your S.O., particularly in a negative way.

This is especially true if you’ve been through a divorce, which is typically a lot messier than other breakups. “Discussing the details of your divorce makes you look uncouth, and it forces the other person to hear private details they probably would rather avoid on a first date,” Berman says. All you really need to say is that you have been single/divorced for X months or years and are just starting to date again.

5. Explicit Details About Your Sex Life

“If you're interested in getting to know each other better, talking vulnerably about a topic like sex can create a false sense of intimacy and trust with someone whose character and values you don't really know yet,” Gunsaullus says. However, if you’re open to it and feel comfortable, “I'm all for talking about sex on a first date—and it can be really hot,” she adds. Know that it will probably put the idea that you’re ready to go home at the end of dinner in his or her head—so be conscious of what you’re insinuating.

Read the entire The 9 Worst Things to Talk about on a First Date article here.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sexuality Speaker, Sociologist