What to avoid
Before listing subjects that will generate lively discussion it’s worth highlighting the topics to avoid at all costs. Anything contentious should be placed on the back-burner until you get to know the person better. So forget politics, where personal views can often clash, creating a fractious atmosphere. In a lot of cases, this will not be an issue, as there is every likelihood you share opinions. But it’s not worth making that assumption and tabling controversial opinions at a first date. Ditto for religion, or indeed any other spiritual aspect that runs the risk of creating an awkward atmosphere.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re surrounded by customers relishing their favorite blends and immersed in the satisfying aroma of percolating Coffee, then chat about it. Straight away it is something that you have in common. Everyone has the first choice of refreshment, so you could exchange the pros and cons of Americanos and Expressos. Any subject that has you licking your lips and glowing inside is certainly worth mentioning.
There’s nothing more guaranteed to break the ice on a first date than reminiscing about previous experiences that have not gone according to plan. One of the best methods of establishing chemistry during your initial time together is laughter. If you have stories about previous dates that have resulted in some mishap or misunderstanding then don’t be embarrassed about revealing all. By all means embellish details so that you paint a hilarious mental picture, as this will help to relax your partner and keep the Conversation sparky and bubbling.
Films or TV
Another topic we all have in common is spending a certain amount of our leisure time watching movies or television. Most people can name all-time favourite films; why don’t you compare your respective lists? If you are discussing comedies you can highlight the scenes that made you laugh the most. If you’ve both seen this film and can identify with it, this is another avenue for sharing mirth. When it comes to discussing romcoms, various situations can draw you into their romantic scenarios. For instance, it would be impossible to discuss that iconic diner scene in When Harry Met Sally without sending out subliminal messages about the passion that can arise from coffee dates.
Chatting about television conveys an atmosphere of convivial domesticity. You might be sitting in a booth in a coffee shop, but inwardly you’ll be picturing being snuggled together on a comfortable couch engrossed in some box-set.
A good way of getting your partner to open up about themselves would be to ask leading questions about their personality. How did they behave as a child or adolescent? Where they the naughty ones, forever being sent to the head teacher’s office, or were they the quiet, studious type? Unlike broaching some conversation topic they might be unsure of when they’re describing themselves the observations will flow.
As well as giving them something a bit deeper to pour over than idle chit-chat, it will provide you with an inroad into their character. If they are admitting to having been more quiet than extrovert, you can make allowances if they occasionally come across as hesitant or nervous.
A high percentage of us having been known by nicknames at some point in our lives. Sometimes these never last beyond teenage years. For others, it’s a lifelong thing. You can have quite a chuckle exchanging respective nom-de-plumes, especially if there’s a mortifying story behind its origin. You could even start to sparingly but affectionately use their nickname when addressing your date. This will have the unconscious effect of boosting familiarity.
If highlighting pet names is a positive train of thought that might lead to much hilarity, pet hates could uncover more common ground. Just as we all have things in life that excite us and bring us joy, there will be other aspects that cause the blood pressure to rise. A classic example of this would be the long-running television series, Room 101, in which guests are invited to discuss subjects or activities they detest so much they must be forever banished to an imaginary room. While this might seem as if it would be a negative outlook on life, the show is actually an excellent comedy.
Your coffee date and you could spend a while considering your own items to be consigned to this virtual dumping ground. Traffic wardens? Litter in public parks? Beetroot?! The beauty of this topic is that it is limitless, and will encourage you to seek empathy together. Discovering something you both detest with equal passion will bring you together just as much as uncovering mutual likes.
5 days, 2 days
As you try to find out as much as you can about your date you will inevitably focus on their professional life. What do they actually do for those (typically) five days every week? In bringing up the topic of work it’s important to skim the surface. All you need to provide is a general overview of whatever it is that you do. There’s absolutely no point in getting into the details, especially if it involves a lot of technical description that will only serve to make you seem a bit less dynamic. Also, listing the various colleagues at your place of employment, even when involving them in some anecdote, will come across as uninteresting.
By all means focus on whatever you like to get up to on your two days’ off. Your pastimes will be a fertile ground for discussion topics. Here is where you can truly get to know what makes each other tick, waxing lyrical about those hobbies and extra-curricular activities that make you individual.
Although some people are content to cruise through life on automatic pilot, never stretching themselves in any way, others are driven by dreams and aspirations. This is another conversation subject that will provide rich dividends. If you start to discuss the targets that you have, discovering shared ambitions will really start cementing your relationship. This is where your date can expand beyond the parameters of two people sharing their first coffees together into something of far deeper significance. Talking about your goals is a way of subliminally letting each other know you’re on the same wavelength.
Discussing domestic arrangements is even better because it is less abstract and more grounded in your surroundings. Start a conversation about your ideal living arrangements. No matter how comfortable they may be about their current accommodation, most people would willingly move on to somewhere bigger and more luxurious if they could afford it. Here you can begin visualizing this pad, inventing décor for the rooms, designing the furniture, visualizing what the garden will look like, what size of garage you will need for your transport, the nature of the kitchen, and so on. Unlike talking about your perceived future, which is liable to alter at any given time, here you are covering something far more attainable. And the key to managing to expand into somewhere roomier one day would be if you were to pool your resources. This is an excellent example of how your coffee date conversation can become really captivating.
In conclusion, chat in the coffee lounge doesn’t have to be as frothy as a freshly-decanted Latte. By all means, indulge in a harmless small talk in order to relax. But there is any number of topics that will allow you to start making more of a connection with your partner. What you discuss on your first date can go a long way towards forging a strong relationship.
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