Here is a helpful list of things one should probably avoid conversing about on a first date (as informed by my extensive dating experiences over the past year):
Do not bring up marriage. Seriously. It’s freaky.
Do not talk about how badly you want children.
Do not talk about how great a parent you would make if the implication is in any way that you would be an awesome stepfather to my daughter. Just. Don’t.
Do not talk about the future. Now, it’s fine to maybe bring up plans for a second date… maybe even a third date. But by no means should you be planning future trips or our honeymoon. I will run. Fast.
Love. Do not use or even allude to the ‘l’ word. It’s definitely too soon; I don’t care what kind of connection you’re feeling with me.
Yourself. Okay, do talk about yourself. Just not endlessly. Because I’m sure you’re cool and all, but I probably think I’m cooler.
That being said, there are a few topics that others may advise you to avoid that I think are silly. Here are some generally acknowledged ‘no go’ topics that I actually don’t mind broaching on a first date:
Politics. People say wait to have these conversations, but why not get them out of the way? If our political views are that drastically different, we’re probably incompatible, anyway. Why waste time not knowing how incompatible we actually are?
Religion. Another of those things that I probably don’t want to wake up one day after discovering that I’m madly in love with you (unlikely, I know), only to find that you are a religious zealot and I can’t abide your religious fervor.
Your ex. I personally don’t mind someone bringing up their ex, even on a first date (if contextually appropriate). Why? Because how you talk about your ex/exes tells me a lot about you. If you use the word ‘crazy’ or ‘bitch’ or any other derogatory word to describe your ex, then you’re probably a douchebag. And if you have generally nice things to tell me about your exes, it tells me that you’re probably a reasonable, amiable human being.
Ah, dating. What a tricky thing it can be.