Dating with Anxiety
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5 Things You Can Talk About On a First Date (even if you’re nervous)

What to talk about on a coffee first date if anxious or shy or nervous

Does the idea of a first date make you feel like a slippery fish is trying to climb up your esophagus? When someone says to you, “just ask them out!” do you want to shout back “THAT MEANS I’LL HAVE TO TALK TO THEM”

You’re not alone in finding even the thought of a first date as scary as a clown who doesn’t blink. First dates often feel so daunting because of the horrible, yet necessary, small-talk that is usually required. Sitting, staring, running through the usual questions like, What do you do? How long have you lived in this city? How many siblings do you have? When did you last pick your nose?

Here are 5 conversation topics you can use, even if you’re nervous for that first date:

  • Hometown: Ask about where they grew up. You can find out if they liked it, disliked it, miss it, etc. This is a good way to learn a little more of what “home” means to the other person.
  • Dream Job: Instead of simply talking about what someone does now for a living, spend some time asking about their dream job. If they had gazillions of dollars and could do anything they want, what would that be and why?
  • Least Favorite Subject: Ask them what they’re least favorite school subject was and why. Seriously? I could talk for quite a while on why math was my very own version of hell.
  • Comfort Food: Instead of just learning what types of food they like, you can also ask what they define as “comfort food.” What makes them feel cozy and safe and as warm as a California sidewalk?
  • Last love: Find out the last movie, TV show, or book the person absolutely loved. Not just “liked” like that sandwich you bought from the mini-mart this morning but loved like the pizza you got from your neighborhood restaurant. Find out why they loved it and then share your own answer.

Hey, I know a lot of this feels corny. Small-talk IS corny. It is inherently corny, like small kernels of conversation that are minuscule and unimpressive BUT with enough nurture and warmth that boring-ass kernel might eventually pop into something awesome. Also? This is my favorite metaphor I’ve come up with in a while. You’re welcome.

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