You’ve met a great guy, you’ve communicated with him, things are going well and you’re about to go on a first date with him! But once the good vibes fade, you’re faced with an overwhelming question:
What the hell are you going to talk about on your date?
Don’t worry, answering this question doesn’t have to be stressful or nerve-wracking. There is nothing written that first dates should be difficult affairs that you simply need to survive.
In fact, if there is any guiding principle behind first dates, it is the fact that they should be enjoyable, regardless of the outcome.
While every date is unique, here are some tips to help you navigate the potentially tricky terrain of your first time with a man.
1. Start informally and stick to shared experiences.
If you two met at a music show and have been texting about bands ever since, don’t hesitate to have that conversation at the beginning of your date.
It’s natural for first dates to begin with a general conversation, so don’t feel the need to start by delving into very personal topics. It’s better to get through that awkward initial stretch of the date with a conversation you’re already comfortable sharing.
“You’re looking to see if
connect first as two people
and as two homosexual persons in second place”.
Follow the threads of the conversation.
Start with general small talk, but always be on the lookout for small comments or asides that can easily transition into a more intimate conversation.
To keep the analogy with music, if your date mentions that they saw a band in London, then you have a natural opportunity to ask them about their time in that city, about travel, or about any relevant topic.
Starting a date by asking them if they’ve ever lived abroad will sound awkward, abrupt and scripted. But asking that question when the conversation hints at it allows you to learn a lot about someone in a fluid way.
3. Keep things fun and focus on the two of you.
Dating is meant to be enjoyable experiences, not statements, and you can learn a lot about someone and their life experiences while having fun.
One key to keeping things light and exciting lies in the simple truth that getting to know someone is not about accumulating a long list of facts about them. Getting to know someone is more about developing a sense of the specific connection you share.
You don’t intend to write a biography about this person. You are looking to see if the two of you share something worth exploring further.
4. Don’t feel the need to get involved in sexual politics.
Yes, one of the most obvious shared characteristics that unites the two lies in the fact that they are both gay men, which means that they have probably shared a variety of similar experiences, even if they grew up in different contexts.
But don’t think for a second that you need to explore these shared experiences on your first date. You don’t need to tell your “coming out” story, you don’t need to talk about how long you “knew,” and you don’t need to discuss the details of what it’s like to be gay in your city.
If you want to talk about these issues, do so, but ultimately you are looking to see if you and your man connect as two people first and as two gay people second.