You’ve met a great guy, you’ve communicated with him, things are going well, and you’re about to go on a first date with him! But once the good vibes wear off, you’re going to find yourself facing a daunting question:
What the hell are you going to talk about on your date?
Don’t worry, answering this question doesn’t need to be stressful or nerve-racking. There’s nothing written that first dates need to be difficult affairs you simply need to survive.
In fact, if there’s any guiding principle behind first dates, it’s the fact that they should be enjoyable, regardless of their outcome.
While every date is unique, here are a few tips that will help you navigate the potentially tricky terrain of your first time out with a man!
1. Start casual and stick to shared experiences.
If the two of you met at a music show and have been texting about bands since then, feel free to keep that conversation going at the start of your date.
It’s natural for first dates to begin with general conversation, so don’t feel you need to kick things off by going deep with highly personal subjects. It’s best to get through that awkward opening stretch of the date with conversation the two of you already feel comfortable sharing.
“You’re looking to see if you
connect as two people first
and as two gay people second.”
2. Follow conversation threads.
Start with general talk, but always be on the lookout for little comments or asides that can easily transition into a more intimate conversation.
To keep the music analogy going, if your date mentions they saw a band in London, then you have a natural opportunity to ask him about his time in that city, about traveling or about any relevant topics.
Starting a date by asking them if they’ve ever lived abroad will sound awkward, abrupt and scripted. But asking that question when the conversation hints at it allows you to learn a lot about someone in a free-flowing manner.
3. Keep things fun and focus on the two of you.
Dates are meant to be enjoyable experiences, not depositions, and you can learn a lot about someone and their life experiences while having a good time.
A key to keeping things light and exciting lies in the simple truth that getting to know someone isn’t about accumulating a laundry list of facts about them. Getting to know someone is more about developing a feel for the specific connection the two of you share.
You aren’t aiming to write a biography about this person. You’re looking to see if the two of you share something worth exploring further.
4. Don’t feel the need to get into sexual politics.
Yes, one of the most obvious shared characteristics linking the two of you lies in the fact that you are both gay men, which means you’ve probably shared a variety of similar experiences, even if you grew up in different contexts.
But don’t think for a second you need to explore these shared experiences on your first date. You don’t need to recount your “coming out” story, you don’t need to talk about how long you “knew,” and you don’t need to discuss the particulars of what it’s like to be gay in your city.
If you want to talk about these topics, then have at it, but ultimately you’re looking to see if you and your man connect as two people first and as two gay people second.