Oh yes, we’ve all encountered it. Whether it was the person we were out with or it was ourselves. Everything was going well and then – dah dah dah -the conversation takes a wrong turn and the next thing you know, the date you were previously enjoying gets all
emotional, be it anger or sadness. (Yes it is good to know early on if they are still angry and/or volatile but not tonight.) On the flip side, have you ever noticed that your date seems to be suddenly fading away? You rewind (in your mind) the last few things you said and internally gasp when you realize you went off on a tangent about your ex-partner.
This brings me to Forbidden Topic Number 1.
No-No 1: Do not bring your ex on your date! No one wants a 3rd person on their date. Leave the ghost of your past alone for tonight. There’s time for that as you get to know one another.
No-No 2: Family members who are problematic. Complaining about your kids or co-workers on a first date could make you come off like a critical person. Wait until you know them better to unload. Do YOU want to hear what an ungrateful son-in-law they have? I watch my grandkids so my kids can work and can you believe that my son-in-law actually asked me to chip in for food? Or the boss who is always on their case? My boss is never happy with anything I do. She always criticizes how I look and talk. Can you see how this kind of info too soon could turn someone off? It could make you look cheap (in the first scenario) and it could make your date question how you dress or speak (in the 2nd scenario). Once you like each other and know they aren’t cheap, a poor dresser, a bad speaker etc, then you can introduce topics like this.
No-No 3: Your friends, family, co-workers neighbors. Keep the focus on your date and yourself. If you go on and on about all the time you spend at your sister’s house with endless stories about her, it shifts the focus and could appear as if you don’t have time for them. Of course if you have a few funny stories about your best friend, tell them but keep it short and come right back to the two of you.
No-No 4: Money, money, money – MONEY. Don’t brag about it if ya got it and don’t complain about it if ya don’t. If you are the one picking up the tab, do not comment about the price of the glass of wine, or the meal. It feels really awkward to your date and makes you look cheap.
No-No 5: LAST but certainly not LEAST – POLITICS. Oy – this is tricky these days and almost impossible to avoid. I almost considered taking it off this list because personally, I get that out of the way before ever meeting someone. Who they voted for is important to me. If they chose the other person we won’t be a match. If we are on the same page, then there’s no reason not to discuss it on our date. It is something we already know we have in common. I left it on the list because I am sure there are people that aren’t political and really don’t care who you voted for. So, if it matters to you, then get it out of the way before you meet. If you don’t care then I suggest leaving it out of the first date conversation because your date may care and could get turned off if you aren’t passionate about it or if you didn’t vote for the same person (or didn’t vote at all), so save it. If your date brings it up (and you are one of those who don’t care) then ask your date how important your answer is to them. How would you feel if I voted for Person A? Person B? What if I didn’t vote? Their answers will help you decide whether you won’t to go ahead with the topic of politics.
The song in my head is a parody – ♫ So ya had a bad date ♫
Play it safe and stick to talking about things you like. There’s plenty of time to peel back the layers on future dates.