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5 Tips: Avoid these First Date Topics

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Learn these 5 rules for online dating

Any seasoned dater knows sharing all your cards too early in a relationship is ill-advised.

Hmmm, this exact subject came up with my ex-husband on Thanksgiving (Background: We were married for 24 years, divorced 3 years ago, he is dating weekly online, I’m in a relationship but did quite a bit of online dating prior!). So, we are sitting in Palm Beach, digesting a multi-course dinner, our teens wander off (yes, to take selfies), and my ex said to me: “Do you think people talk a lot on the first date about their ex’s and kids”?.

I laughed. Yes, too much. And how do you circumvent this? We both exchanged dating stories, giggling through some of the faux pas our first daters made---not that either of us are perfect by any means, but having dating as a career choice with online dating consulting, sometimes it’s easy to know the polite first date rules---but your date can surprise you!

5 Topics to Skip or Change the Topic ASAP:

1. Bragging

My ex mentioned one extremely attractive woman he met through Bumble---who within 5 minutes described her alpha son with 6 early acceptance letters to Ivy League schools. (Maybe she was playing to my ex’s Harvard Law, etc. degree but she quickly became obnoxious as the date went on---Her son had not been admitted to Harvard yet and wondered if her date, (my ex!) whom she knew all of 10 minutes, would write a recommendation letter). It was a short date.

2. A Family History Lesson

Ok, we go out on first dates to find out if we like our date, not their families. After all, we are not in college, right, taking someone home for a holiday break to meet the family. Yes, it is certainly acceptable in a first date to mention you have a set of college age triplets. But we don’t need to know their names yet, their aspirations or majors, or much more.

3. Informing your Date of why you got Divorced

Think of it this way: You are at a holiday cocktail party and introduced to an attractive male or female. What would you talk about? Who’s hosting the party and how you are connected. Lady Gaga’s performance in The House of Gucci. Football. Holiday Plans. Ted Lasso. So, why are you explaining your singledom to a stranger on your first date?

4. Complaining about Online Dating

O-hhhh-k, I go into conniptions over this one. First, you come across as less than a positive soul. So far in my 30 years of online dating consulting and coaching, not a single man or woman has told me they’d like a negative person. Folks, online dating has lost its stigma---years ago. You are doing it; your date is doing it---and 60% of my clients have met someone online and are in a meaningful relationship. Believe me, it’s not the complainers who meet the love of their life!


Treating it like a Therapy Session

Oh, oh. You are mixed up and confused. This is a first date without a couch in sight. Get a good therapist if you have issues from past relationships. That’s fine and highly recommended. We all get hurt, have grief---these are things we discuss with a professional or close friends. But not a stranger on a first date. A first date should be light, conversation easy and current to see if there is a connection and chemistry. Nothing more.

Simply, a first date is an audition for a second date. The holidays are a festive and charming time of the year to date, so I encourage you to take advantage of this lovely time of year.

As always, I am here for you to help and coach. Congratulations to Steven in San Diego (yes, you are one of my favorite clients!!!) who got engaged Thanksgiving Day to Melinda. (Oh, I coached him for 6 months, 7 dating sites, and over 40 first dates!). But it only takes one!

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