When you’re on the search for Mr/Mrs. Right, I know you don’t want to waste your time with someone who isn’t a good match. And it totally makes sense: it seems logical to get everything out on the table so you can know right away if they could be the one!

This can be a big mistake on a first date, though. There are certain conversation topics that could keep you from making a true connection with a great person, and that can really sabotage your dating success.

So if you’re interested in a relationship that’s going to last, do your love life a favor and avoid the following topics when you’re out on a first date.

1. Don’t say negative things about yourself.
You may think that putting yourself down is a good way of seeming humble, or even getting attention, but it doesn’t achieve either of those things. Talking negatively about yourself is a major turn off.

If a person is on a date with you, they have obviously decided that they want to get to know you. Rather than announce to them all the reasons that they shouldn’t want to date you, talk about what you enjoy and what’s important to you, and help guide the conversation so that they can tell you about what’s important to them as well. If you want them to stay interested, keep the conversation interesting! Stay away from negativity

2. Don’t talk about your ex.
You probably aren’t interested in hearing your date go on about his /her ex, and the same applies for you; your date would rather learn about you, not some other guy or chic. It can be tempting to vent about past relationships, but a first date is no place for that. It can also be a red flag; if you’re speaking emotionally about your ex, your date may be concerned that you’re not really in a place to start a new relationship.

Instead, keep the focus on the two of you. If he /she asks about your past relationships, avoid getting into a conversation about it by telling your date that your ex was not a good match for you because he/she lacked certain qualities that are important to you. That allows you to talk about what those qualities are and get the conversation back to the present and looking to the future.

Note: if you are still emotionally invested in your ex, this is work that needs to be done ASAP. Find a coach who can work with you on letting go of your past relationships so you can move on and be available for the love you deserve.

3. Don’t talk about politics.
Hot-button topics like politics don’t do anything to help you get to know someone when you first meet. If you agree on an issue, you may end up talking about that instead of each other. And if you disagree, you may close yourself off to really discovering who he/she is, and that’s your job on a first date.

The last thing you want is to derail your date with a potentially polarizing subject. Anything you feel strongly about is something you’ll to discuss eventually, but some topics are better saved for later dates.

4. Don’t inquire about a second date.
Remember: your job on a first date is to learn about the person you’re meeting, and you can’t do that if you’re not staying in the present moment. In fact, your job before even going on the date is to learn how to be present within yourself. You want to feel complete by yourself so that your partner in life can be your complement, not someone who serves as a missing piece.

At the end of the date, it’s perfectly fine to tell him/her that you had a good time and that you’d be interested in continuing the conversation, if that’s the case. If they  feel the same way, then they will let you know, so there’s no reason to be preoccupied with what happens after the date. This isn’t about racing to the finish line; it’s about creating a lasting relationship. And being present is a great start in the right direction.

If you feel nervous and you’re not sure what to say, it’s okay. It’s very normal for first dates to be a little awkward! But remember, what you say or don’t say on a first date is completely in your control. While you may stumble a bit as you find your comfort zone in conversation, you can decide what you will talk about and what you’ll avoid. If you want a chance to connect with the person and for them to get to know you, being intentional about your conversation topics will go a long way for first date success.

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