- Making small talk on a first date can get awkward — especially if you ask the wrong questions.
- Business Insider spoke to seven relationship experts and found out their least favorite first date icebreakers.
- Their off-limit questions ranged from "Why did you and your ex breakup?" to "Do you always wear this much makeup?"
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
First dates can be a communication minefield.
On the one hand, you want to present the best version of yourself to someone who could potentially be your boyfriend or girlfriend. You want to get past the awkward "small talk" and figure out whether the two of you are compatible.
But on the other hand, you don’t want to get too invasive. While there’s no set rulebook for how to act on a first date, there are some questions that could give your potential partner the wrong impression. Business Insider spoke to seven relationship experts and found out their least favorite conversation starters, ranging from asking about an ex to bringing up sex too soon.
Here are the seven worst questions to ask on a first date, according to relationship experts:
What’s your relationship like with your parents?
Relationships experts say to stay away from overly personal questions on the first date.
Asking people invasive questions regarding their relationship with family and friends gets too nosy, says Rori Sassoon, a relationship expert based in New York City. "That’s just so personal, number one, and it’s not your business, number two," Sassoon told Business Insider.
If you’re not sure if something is too personal, you can ask your date if they mind sharing, Shira Teichman, a dating coach and cofounder of the dating app Forj, told Business Insider. While Teichman understands many people want to skip the "small talk" and get to a deep conversation, you must ease into these topics so the other person does not become uncomfortable.
"You can’t ‘fast-track’ emotional intimacy; relationships need to unfold in their own time and in their own way," she said.
Why did you and your ex break up?
Bringing up past relationships can also ruin first dates, experts say.
Some people might be curious about why their date broke up with an ex in order to spot potential red flags down the road, New York City-based love coach Susan Winter said. This question is problematic for multiple reasons, however — including the fact your date likely won’t be honest with you.
Plus, what happened in the past isn’t relevant to the date that’s happening right now. While someone may have had a rocky relationship with their last partner, you could bring out a completely different side of them.
"Sometimes we are different versions of ourselves with different people," Winter told Business Insider. "There are people who bring out the best in us, and there are people who bring out the worst in us."
What’s your favorite position?
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Avoid talking explicitly about sex on the first date, says Marla Mattenson, founder and CEO of a relationship consultancy. (The one "correct answer" here is "CEO," if someone actually asks this, Mattenson added).
Sassoon said men especially tend toward getting too sexual too fast. "They can be a little more inappropriate," she said. "It’s a little too much, too soon."
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