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While you’re on a second date, your conversation should start getting deeper and deeper (as well as on your third and fourth dates). This is not just superficial conversation; you should be asking questions and discussing more in-depth topics. To find out if you enjoy the same topics, you can mention them and see what reaction you get: A blank stare? An eye-roll? A passionate debate?
If you like world events, mention the Iran Deal, Greek’s economic collapse, or ISIS. If you enjoy science, then mention global warning or stem cells. If you love entertainment, then bring up the recent Emmy nominations, Amy Schumer, and anything else trending. If you’re passionate about politics, then broach the topic of Donald Trump and then the dozen other Republican candidates. If current events get you going, then bring up the topic of racism and if police are using unnecessary force. And of course, there’s sports… but that’s an easy one.
You may find that you cannot see yourself with someone who doesn’t read the newspaper, or someone who only gets their updates from TMZ, or someone who’s politics differ too much to understand, or whose schedule revolves around SportsCenter. Differences are good, but you need to have respect at the core in order to have a healthy debate. If you do decide to enter into a debate during a date — which is fine — be respectful and don’t hurl personal insults or allow it to upset you. If that happens, then you likely have your answer about the fate of the date. Remember that looks fade, but the ability to have enticing conversation can last forever.
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Seriously, sometimes you need to just stop talking. It’s easy to get on to topics that are not really first date material — you’re vibe-ing and finding commonalities and having nice rapport, and it’s awkward to stop a conversation that’s flowing even when you know it’s not appropriate. So try and avoid the following topics and prevent the conversation from going there, before it gets to that point. This is a brief list:
- Exes: husbands, wives, fiances, boyfriends, girlfriends (stating when your last relationship ended/how long it lasted, how long you were married/when you got divorced is fine, just no details as to why it ended)
- Death: you just lost your grandmother, and that is awful, but it makes you sad… so perhaps don’t mention it. If you must, just don’t expand upon it
- Drama: with your job, family, friends — Do. Not. Go. There.
- Talking sh*t: whether your date knows who you’re talking about or not
- Finances: ’nuff said
Of course there are other topics that are personal to you and your story that you may not want to share. Joke about topics that are off-limits and say that you’d love to talk more about a topic if and when you’re on a future date. There are so many more positive and engaging topics you can talk about without bringing up too much about your past, or bringing in too much negativity.
It’s perfectly acceptable to briefly mention when your last break-up occurred, or what your political affiliation is, or to play Jewish Geography for a minute, even if you find you have people in common you don’t like (see “talking shit” above). Make sure you are listening to the answers after you ask a question because that should organically keep the conversation going and not turn it into a job interview.
under Date Night
If you’re going on first dates right now it’s probable that the war on and in Israel will become a topic of conversation. If you’re passionate about Israel then it may come up — even when there’s not a war going on — or if you’re passionate about another major current event then you can use that as a measuring tool as well. Finding out how someone feels about what’s going on in Israel, and around the world, will likely have an effect on how you feel about your date.
Let’s assume you’re a devout supporter of Israel’s right to defend herself:
If your date doesn’t have much of a clue aside from some headlines while they scroll through their Facebook feed or watch TV, then you may be turned off by the lack of interest in a topic that effects all of us.
If they are knowledgeable but don’t spend time advocating for Israel, then that may be acceptable to you.
If they are sharing articles, attending pro-Israel rallies, and losing sleep after watching the news then you may feel a deeper connection.
If your date thinks Israel is at fault, and denies Hamas’ use of civilian shields, and tweets FreeGaza, and so on, then this person is very, very likely not for you.
You can gage a lot about a person by how involved they are politically, and make some valid assumptions, and then decide for yourself if this is the type of person you want to be with in a romantic relationship. That said, don’t spend your entire first date debating anything political, that’s less than romantic. Simply stating that you’re stressed about what’s going on in Israel right now and listening to their response, should be enough of a telltale sign. Then carry on as you see fit.
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In light of the attack on Israel, and all the conversations and debates going on, it seems as good a time as any to discuss how to deal with politics when you’re dating.
This is not typically a first-date topic, but skimming the surface is important if politics is one of your passions. Knowing if your date shares your stance on domestic and international issues can be imperative in deciding if there should be a second date. Getting into a full-on debate over dinner on your first date, however, is not a good idea. Having a healthy disagreement on a fourth date is awesome though as it will reveal your date’s views on current events, their level of interest in current events, and how well they listen and respect your opinion.
Obviously if you are a pro-Israel advocate, and your date is a Palestinian sympathizer, then you may have difficulties. Same goes for a staunch left-wing, card-carrying member of the NRA and a super-liberal, anti-corporation socialist. Probably won’t work. But never say never. Respect goes a long way!