Hindsight is 20/20 and you always wish you could go back in time with all the knowledge that you have right now... and that's definitely never more true than when it comes to dating. Time travel may not be possible, but you can still figure out pretty quickly whether or not a guy is worth dating. Sure, you chat with people online and on apps and you do your best to figure out if they seem cool or nice. You know that meeting in person is what really counts, so you go on as many first dates as you can, and you try your best to stay upbeat about the whole deal. Which is definitely a lot easier said than done sometimes (okay, all the time). But there's a much more efficient and faster way to find out what kind of person someone is, and that has to do with what you're chatting about on the first date. Here are 15 conversation topics that tell you what kind of guy he is.
Hey, you know you're going to ask what his job is, so you might as well just get it over with and ask it as soon as possible. Okay, maybe give him a chance to order a beer first, but then you can definitely talk about it. You're already curious about his job, so you might as well chat about it on the first date. But more than that, you're dying to know how he really feels about his career. Is he a workaholic who will never make time for you (super lame)? Is he bored and unhappy and unwilling to make changes? Is he just as passionate about his career as you are, which would make this a match in work ethic heaven? Yeah, work is a pretty crucial thing to talk about on a first date, no matter how routine or expected it might seem. Don't worry about not seeming interesting or original enough because the truth is, you have to know what kind of career someone has.
With the U.S. election looming, everyone wants to talk politics these days, even people who typically aren't super into that whole thing. So you're probably going to end up talking about this anyway on a first date. You might as well make it a point to talk politics with a new guy. You'll learn super fast whether he's worth seeing again because he'll show you exactly who he is. You'll know his beliefs, morals, and values, and while those may not seem super hot or exciting, those things matter and can make or break a new relationship. You really want to make sure that you're on the same page as someone if you're going to make a huge commitment to them. And you might as well find that out as soon as possible instead of freaking out later on... when you're six months into the relationship and your hormones are telling you not to dump him.
You may not think that popular culture is something to talk about on a first date, but it's more important than you might think. After all, you watch more Netflix than you probably should (but you totally should at the same time!) and you want someone who does too since that's a great match right there. Maybe he hates everything on TV and never goes to the movies. If you're a pop culture freak, that's probably not going to be super fun for either one of you. You don't have to like the exact same entertainment choices as a guy -- that would be super boring and pretty much impossible. But if you don't have some common ground, or at least agree that Netflix is pretty much the greatest thing ever, you might not work out. You may think that sounds super silly and maybe on some level it does, but TV has become such a big part of millennial culture that it really does seem like a big deal.
Okay, so you don't want to share your entire family's history on the first date... or even the second or third date. You might never even get into super detailed stories about the people who raised you because maybe you didn't have the best childhood or you just don't want to talk about that. You definitely don't have to talk family drama on the first date or ask about this guy's, but you should probably figure out if he even likes the people that raised him. If he's a total mama's boy, you might find that adorable or terrifying, depending on your past experience. If he hates his fam, there might be a really weird reason, and you should learn it now. You don't want to enter a new relationship with something like that hanging over your head. And if you want a family or want to be close with your boyfriend's family, you might want to know how he feels about his own parents earlier rather than later on.
If you only go on a once-a-year beach trip and he has an adventurous side, you might not be well matched. Sure, everyone has to de-stress and chill out sometimes. But if that's how you think of vacations and the guy sitting across from you is more of an adventurous spirit, then you might have a real issue. That's a pretty crucial clash to think about. Vacations say a lot about you because they prove what you want to spend money on and how many risks you want to take. If you're a homebody and this guy wants to travel as much as he possibly can, you won't be the one that he's looking for. And that's okay. Because he won't exactly be your dream boyfriend, either. Sometimes it's all about admitting who you are and who someone else is and just moving on and finding someone you are better suited to... instead of trying to change or, worse, trying to change this guy either.
Sure, you know that you met this guy via an app, and it's probably that super popular one that everyone and their mom is on (okay, maybe not their mom exactly, but you get the idea -- it's super trendy right now). You may not want to talk about the fact that you matched on an app on the first date... with the person that you matched with. You're not alone there. But this could tell you a lot about this guy and you owe it to yourself to talk about it. If this guy loves to date, he's going to say that he dates a lot of women via this app, and that will speak volumes. You'll want to know that before investing anything in him. If he says he hates using the app but is trying to meet someone, well, that's going to be music to your dating hating ears. You're going to say that, yeah, you totally get it and that's how you feel.
You want to talk food on the first date. Especially if you're meeting for drinks with snacks or for dinner. If you have food allergies and can't eat gluten or dairy, or if you just love living a healthy lifestyle in general, then you definitely want to bring that up. You may think it doesn't matter but it does. This guy could be either super sweet and supportive... or he could be a total jerk about it. He could make fun of you for the gluten thing (ugh) or say something super insulting. That's a pretty key difference and the thing is, you won't really be talking about food. You'll be trying to figure out how kind-hearted and open-minded he is. Plus you want to know if he's going to freak out if you order a chicken salad on the second date (if you get to that point, of course) or if he understands that you love being healthy.
Yeah, it may sound super weird to talk about working out on the first date. That's definitely for sure. But if you do yoga and this guy's super buff and thinks that's a waste of time, he's basically a jerk. You're probably not looking to date a gym addict who thinks his muscles are more impotent than you are. But you don't want to date a couch potato, either, especially if you try your best to live an active lifestyle (although, of course, you love your couch and your Netflix). The thing is that if you are an active person who loves to work out and so does this guy, you might not have to force the issue because one of you will probably end up bringing up working out anyway. It will just be a natural part of the conversation and you will probably have a lot of fun chatting about it... and you'll have that in common. Which is cool. And which could lead to an active second date.
Everyone has an absolutely hilarious story that they can pull out at any moment. You use it when you're at a party talking to new people and you want to win them over. You use them in job interviews when you need to lighten the mood or talk in a more casual manner with your potential employer. The funny story could be a number of things. It could be from your college days, your first (and last) internship, or a girls' night out. You want to show this guy that you're funny but you want to see if he can laugh, too. Get him to tell a funny story too and you'll see whether your style of humor matches up. This can make for an amazing first date where you both really have tons of fun and can't believe it took this long to meet each other... or, of course, it can honestly lead to the worst date ever. And then you might never want to tell that story again. Oops. But you totally should.
Sure, you don't want to get super dark on a first date, but it's not the worst idea in the world to swap bad job stories or something like that. You'll find out if this guy thinks he's perfect or if he's willing to admit when something's wrong. That tells you a lot more than just talking about the weather, right? You definitely want to skip the small talk when it comes to a first date, especially if you're going on a ton of them. You won't want to have the same conversations with every single guy, of course. That's going to get old and dull fast and really annoy you. And then you'll be in a bad mood on every single date and that won't help you figure out what kind of guy he is or even if you want to see him again. So do yourself a favor and bring up a bad internship story or when you cut your finger cooking and had to go to the hospital alone and totally freaked out. Yeah, this guy could hate listening to it and you could get kind of embarrassed. But who knows? He could be super interested and tell his own bad story and you could totally bond and fall in love.
The truth is that you either love drama (and that means all kinds, even the worst kind of gossip) or you hate it. Hopefully, you hate it, because let's be real, loving drama is definitely not the healthiest habit to have. So it's a good idea to bring this topic up on a first date so you can figure out if this guy is as cool, chill, calm and collected as you are. You want to know if he fights with his friends or family if he has coworkers that he hates if he's generally a really nice guy and if he can let things roll off his back when they upset or annoy him. You don't want to date a dramatic guy just as most guys probably don't want dramatic girlfriends. It's just not going to be much fun for either one of you. So figure this out as soon as you possibly can. You can do this in a super sneaky way by bringing up something that happened in your friend group or at work and you can complain about how it was too much drama for you, and then see what his reaction is.
Everyone fails in life. Literally everyone. It's not a bad thing and it's actually pretty interesting. You learn so much about who you are and what you like and what you don't like, and sometimes your biggest failures turn out to be your greatest successes because then you figure out what you really should be doing with your life. That can be really satisfying. There are tons of accomplished people out there who claim that if they hadn't failed at something, they wouldn't have the incredible life and career that they have today. So if you want to find out what type of guy someone is, especially on the very first date, then it's a good idea to bring up a time when you failed at something. Maybe you had a horrible internship. Or you tried a new hobby and embarrassed yourself or were terrible at it. If he's a cool guy who is a real person, then he's going to talk about his own failures, and you'll totally bond.
Once you can chat about times that you failed with someone, you can definitely chat about the total and complete opposite: when you were super proud of yourself. The thing is that some people are really insecure about themselves and the way that their life has worked out, so they take all those negative feelings and put them on you. That's why so many guys are intimidated by successful women and you've probably even experienced that firsthand for yourself. So if you can talk about your accomplishments (but in a super humble, nonbragging way, of course), then that will show you if this guy can handle it or if he's going to tell you that it makes him feel bad about himself. So this will be a super educational thing for you. And of course, you can learn about his own successful moments, and see if he's an interesting person.
They often say that who you spend your time with and who you choose to associate with is pretty important. So go ahead and chat about your best friends (or best friend, singular, if you just have one... which is still awesome, of course). You'll be able to share a part of yourself since you obviously care a lot about the people that you consider your closest friends in the world, and you'll also figure out what kind of people this guy hangs out with. If he's a loner who hates people and doesn't seem to have any friendships at all, well, that will tell you a whole lot about him (and you probably won't want to go on a second date with him, that's for sure). If his friends sound funny and smart, that's great. If they sound stupid and silly and immature, then you might start to wonder if this guy is any of those things too.
Okay, so small talk might not be the most attractive first date conversation topic that there is. And you might be pretty sick and tired of it at this point because hey, you've had enough crappy dates and you've talked to enough guys about absolutely nothing at all. But here's why small talk is so important: because it tells you who someone is. It really and truly does. If you can talk about literally nothing or anything at all with someone, just think about everything else you could talk about. Plus it proves that you two get along and have some sort of friendly banter going on. Think about what being in a relationship is actually like. You're not going to be having fascinating and intellectual discussions on a daily basis. You're going to be talking about what you did that day and what's going on at the office and how tired you are (hey, just keeping it real). So embrace the small talk and see what kind of guy he is. You might be pleasantly surprised.