What 64% of Americans Won’t Discuss on First Dates

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

When it comes to getting to know one another on a first date, how much is too much to share, especially in regards to breakups and exes?

In the latest DatingAdvice.com study, we found more than three in five Americans would not talk about their past relationships on a first date.

Hispanics stood out as the group most likely to avoid this topic, with 75 percent opposing the idea compared to 61 percent of Asians.

Younger Americans and low-wage income earners also were hesitant to bring up this subject when on a first date.

Respondents aged 18 to 24 were almost twice as likely to stay away from the ex talk than respondents aged 25 to 34.

In terms of salary, almost seven in 10 of those earning less than $25,000 a year don’t include past relationships as part of their first date conversations versus less than five in 10 of those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 a year.

“Sixty-four percent wouldn’t talk

about past relationships on a first date.”

DatingAdvice.com women’s dating expert, Rachel Dack, said she thinks the differences in response by gender, race, marital status, age and other factors provide important insight about first date behavior and the varying levels of comfort in getting to know someone new.

“As a whole, it is safe to say we are making first dates more about connecting with a potential partner in the present as opposed to dishing out our dirty laundry and relationship past too soon,” she said. “This is really good news for the health of our relationships because we are more focused on building a connection before opening up about exes, past relationships, etc.”

On the flip side, women and divorcees were among the least likely groups to stay away from this subject matter.

Fifty-five percent of women said they will not talk about exes, breakups and the like during a first romantic outing, but 63 percent of men said they will not.

Singles had a 14 percent higher likelihood of ruling out this as a first date topic than divorcees.

Regionally, the differences were a bit harder to spot.

At 66 percent, those living in Northern states were one percentage point ahead of those living in Southern states, two percentage points ahead of those living in Western states and four percentage points ahead of those living in Midwestern states.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: 


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