How To Avoid Getting Into Heavy Conversations On The First Date

It goes without saying that there are certain things you shouldn't talk about on a first date. First dates should be light and fun; they are not the time to discuss your parents' messy divorce or why your last relationship failed. Sometimes, things get heavy, even if you don't intend them to — it just comes up organically. Still, serious (and sometimes traumatic) conversations should be avoided at all costs. It's okay to be curious about the person you're going out with, but getting too personal too soon could scare them off. 


Or maybe your date is the one asking all the hard-hitting questions, which makes you feel uneasy. Chances are, they aren't trying to make you feel uncomfortable; they're just as curious as you are. However, it's important they understand which topics aren't really a first-date vibe. To prevent making your first date super awkward, here are a couple ways to avoid getting into heavy conversations when your date wants to go there. You'll need to set a few boundaries, and if possible, reach for a distraction. 

Set boundaries

Whether it's the first date or the sixth, it's important you set boundaries for yourself. Should your date start asking you personal questions you aren't comfortable answering, you have every right to state your boundaries. Politely tell them which topics are off-limits, such as past relationships. How you choose to move forward with the conversation depends on your comfortability level. Maybe you are okay with talking about your former partners, just not at the moment. You'd like to get to know your date more before getting into things like that.


If they try to pressure you into talking about it, that's an obvious sign they don't respect you or your boundaries. Constantly bringing up the conversation after you've politely explained you don't want to talk about that certain topic shows you what kind of person you're seeing (and it may not be the person for you). Remember, you never need to explain your boundaries; simply making your date aware of them is more than enough.

Introduce a third party

If you've exhausted all other options (changing the subject, asking about something on their profile, telling a joke, etc.), it's time to bust out the big guns. As a last resort, bring a third party into the conversation to ease the tension. Now, this one is a bit more challenging, given the other person may not be interested in talking to you, but at least it diverts the conversation from your date's dog dying the day before. For example, if you're in a coffee shop and notice someone reading, ask their opinion on the book.


If you're at a bar or restaurant, politely flag down your server or bartender and ask for a refill on your waters. In both scenarios, you're breaking up the conversation just long enough so when you turn your attention back to your date, you can bring up a less heavy topic. It's a subtle way to make things light and fun again.