10 topics NOT to discuss on a first date

So you've met someone online and there's a chemistry between you both, plenty of flirting and the back and forth banter flows easily. You agree to meet up for a first date at your local café and you now start to think about what questions to ask this new and exciting person. Because in reality, you don't really know that much about them yet...

For many, it's much easier when you're sitting at your computer or on your smartphone sending texts and messages. But things can become much more confronting, more nerve-wracking, when you have to meet them face-to-face for the first time and try to create fresh conversation.

For those of you that tend to struggle with this and find yourself putting your foot in it, here is a reminder of topics to avoid on a first date -

- Ex's - Divorce or your last break-up - Horror dating experiences - Financial problems - Legal issues - Sexual preferences - How much money you both make - Past history of cheating - How you both feel about commitment - Difficult events in your upbringing

Although you may feel strongly about the above topics - the first date is not the time to delve into a deep and emotional discussion. These topics will make you appear intense and negative. It will scare away a new date because it is too much to handle on a first meeting. Down the track, there will be time to reveal these intimate details about your history or situation.

Instead, consider these topic areas to get things off on the right note: weekend or holiday plans, favourite travel destination, fun topical debates in the media or social media. Consider asking questions about the suburb or area they live in, their job, study, lifestyle and how they like to spend their spare time. Think about their profile and what you have already discussed to learn more about their interests.

Stick to open-ended, general questions that are light and casual - that way you'll both have more fun!

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)

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