I first dates! Just f* cking kidding. First dates are the stuff of nightmares. No topic how many you’ve been on, how many mutual pals you and your date have, or how unshakably confident you are, a first date means that you are taking time that you could be spending with friends or snuggling up with the new season of to sit across from a veritable stranger/ potential murderer. I am a Larry David-level curmudgeon when it comes to making efforts to talk to strangers, so having a few first date conversation starters in my back pocket is a nerdy convenience I enjoy.

That said, you don’t necessarily want to ask “How about them North Koreans? ” to start the night off. You likewise don’t need to “practice laugh” the nighttime before the date, or prepare a lie about having a niece named “Torple.”( Shout out to my all-time favorite episode of Yes, I like Tv ).

The goal of a first date is, to ultimately, be yourself — two tiny words that are so hard to actually make good on. Here’s the thing: Being yourself means sometimes being nervous or awkward or not thinking of the right thing to say. Remember that your date is also in the same barge; all non-sociopaths get a little weird before a first date, so breathe.

Just in case, though, here are some conversation starters 😛 TAGEND

1. Say “Knock Knock”

Hopefully your date will say, “Who’s there? ” Then you can say “To” and they can say “To who? ” and you can say, “Don’t you mean to whom? ” Barf !

Just kidding. Please do this. I just wanted to lighten you up about first dates so you can see that you won’t crash and burn “knock knock joke”-level.

2. Ask About Their D

Their, ladies. Let’s not be absurd. Again, just trying to remind you that no matter what you say on a first date, there’s person out there who has said worse.

If you’re out for boozes and your date orderings a Manhattan, asking questions if that’s their favorite cocktail. Ask them if they have a favorite brew. Super boring, but super easy. Before you panic, recollect, you are able to look down at the drink in their hands.( If you’re not drinking, you can also ask about the other D term, dinner … best restaurant they’ve ever been to, favorite meat, whatever .)

3. Ask About Where They Grew Up, And If They Liked It

Again, this is a total go-to, but everyone loves talking about where they are from. I reckon asking them the best or worst part about growing up in Nashville or Miami or wherever stimulates the issues to more specific and allows you to learn more about them, too.

4. Ask “What’s The Most Recent Trip You Took? ”

Everyone desires to humblebrag about their sweet vacations. And if your date kills you down with an “I haven’t been anywhere in forever” rather than chime in about your bomb journey to Machu Picchu, ask them where the top place on their travel list is. Pro tip-off: This works on a bad first date, too, because you get to escape the put in your mind for a moment.

5. Ask “Where’s Your Favorite Place That You’ve Lived? ”

This is a good one because it allows your date to relive some happy recollections, and you’ll probably learn a bit about the performance of their duties and travel history as well. TBH, I’m having trouble answering this in my own psyche right now, so perhaps tell your date it’s OK if they pick more than one.

6. Ask “What TV Shows Are You Watching? ”

Yes, I’m biased because I desire this golden age of TV, but you can also ask about podcasts, movies, or museums if you’re that adulty. I believe getting a feel for where your date is at in terms of pop culture is a great way to ensure what else you might have in common. Don’t make them pick favorite of all time though. That’s merely annoying( and hard ).

7. Ask “If You Started A Start-Up, What Would It Be? ”

All right, so maybe you’re out with the an OG Airbnb employee, or maybe you’re out with someone who has no mind what a startup is, but I think this question is fun because it’s pretty much like asking: “What’s an app that doesn’t exist that you wish did? ” Try it out and let me know how it goes? Who knows, you could be on a date with a VC person who actually wants to fund your idea.

8. Ask “What Are Your Roommates/ Pals Like? ”

This is a better behavior of asking, “What do you do for fun? ” Hopefully, your date like their friends and will be happy to converses about them. This topic is very likely to allow you to get into where you each hang out in the place that you live, and get a feel for what mutual interests you might have.

9. Ask “Do You Have A Favorite Meme Of 2017? ”

You have to know your audience a little bit for this one, but if it’s an online date, “youre supposed to” have a good mind of their sense of humor from their profile.

10. Ask Them About The Worst First Date They’ve Ever Been On

So some people may disagree on this topic. You might think this is too “meta” or that it’s improper to talk about other dates or exes on a first date, but I feel like recognise how poorly things could go together is a great icebreaker. If they offer up a great story and ask for yours, it means that neither of you takes yourself too seriously.

11. Ask “If You Could Move On A Road Trip With Three People, Dead Or Alive, Who Would They Be? ”

Speaking of worst first dates … this is another “, don’t do this” that I took from my real life. OK, so it’s not a dreadful topic, but when I was asked this, my date blamed each one of my on-the-spot choices( Obama, Bowie, and Jenny Slate) and had me state all three of mine before rattling off his own, who the hell is definitely preplanned AF. This is a first date, dude , not a grad school application essay question.

All in all, even if you forget all of these dialogue starters and accidentally blurt out “I enjoy lamp” or come down with food poisoning mid-date, you’ll be giving person a great tale to tell on their next date. Plus, you’ll have your personal “worst first date” tale for the ages. Remember that the simple act of agreeing to go on a first date is a brave thing, and go out there and get them. Go on a date this week! F yeah.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV .

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