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First Date Topics to Create a Strong Connection

Featuring NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett
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Learn what to talk about on first dates and which first date topics to avoid in this episode with dating coach Connell Barrett.

You know what sucks more than rainy Mondays and popup ads? Running out of things to say on dates.

You’ve been there, right? After “Hey, nice to meet you,” you get stuck in your head. What should you talk about? Her job? Your dog? The weather.

And the only thing worse than boring conversation is when your date is filled with….um [pause]… awkward [errrrr]… silences.

And you know what that means: No second date.

If you struggle to come up with good first-date topics, you’re in the right place! In this episode of the Dating Transformation podcast, host and dating coach Connell Barrett—who’s had over 1,000 first dates!—shares his best tips for what to talk about, so you can choose topics that will help you make romantic sparks fly.

You’re about to learn…

  • The 5 best topics to talk about on first dates that'll help you create a strong emotional connection as your best, authentic self
  • The first date topics to avoid (make sure you don’t fall into these conversational traps!)
  • The one question you should ask ALL of your first dates to help you create an emotional connection with ANYONE, even if you and your date don’t have much in common!

"When you focus the conversation on her, on yourself, and on shared passions and interests, you create a powerful connection."

-Connell Barrett

"Authentic connections are formed through meaningful conversations that resonate with both of you."

-Connell Barrett

Listen now, so you can stop struggling with what to say on dates, and start discussing stimulating first-date topics that heighten emotional connection… and help you land the dream girlfriend you want.



Connell Barrett
Founder and Executive Coach of Dating Transformation


00:00 Introduction
00:20 Mastering First Dates: Expert Tips from a Dating Coach
06:49 Creating Meaningful Connections: Making the Conversation about Passions
10:01 Spark to Flame: Connecting Through Shared Passions
12:30 Creating Deep Connections Through Emotional Experiences
15:46 Emotionally Connecting: Unleashing the Power of Family and Travel Conversations
17:51 Building Emotional Bridges on First Dates
22:21 Embracing the Power of Genuine Conversations
23:39 Outro

This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at

Related Episodes:

First Date Outfits for Men

Spark Connections

How To Make Her Your Girlfriend


Connell Barrett:


Lower the bar for how good you think the conversation has to be on dates. It's just a date. It's not a Ted Talk, and it's not a stand-up comedy routine.


Connell Barrett:


Welcome to the dating transformation podcast. Here's your host dating Coach Connell Barrett


Connell Barrett:


All right, welcome back to the Dating Transformation podcast. I'm your host, Dating Coach Connell Barrett helping you attract amazing women, learn to flirt, and get a great girlfriend, all by being authentic, being your true best self, no creepy pickup artist moves needed, because, hey, remember, women like you for you. And I think one of the biggest problems that you might be struggling with is either not getting dates when you want them, or maybe you do get dates, but in the conversations, you struggle with what to talk about. You're not sure what to say, how to say it, and maybe your dates feel boring to her or to you. And you also might struggle with just the simple question of what the hell do I talk about? What's a good topic? What's a bad topic? And this topic came up to me recently because my client Jerry and I were talking and he's a brand new client of mine and he just really found himself getting stuck in the boring first date zone where women just aren't feeling those sparks. And that was frustrating him because he would have a date and the conversation would seem to flow well, but then she just didn't want to see him for a second or third date. So he and I have been workshopping this, and I gave him some simple strategies, and I'm going to give them to you right now. If you've been struggling with what the hell do I talk about on dates? What topics are good, what topics are bad, and how do we talk about them? So let me give you some strategies, because if you struggle with these things, man, there's nothing more frustrating than going out with a really attractive, intriguing woman and not being able to make that connection and not know why. Not knowing why is the real challenge here. So let's talk about what topics to talk about and how to talk about these topics on dates. And the first simplest tip I can give you is keep the conversation about two things: keep it about her and keep it about you. Basically, mostly you want to talk about her and you, and you don't want to talk about politics. You don't want to talk about what a jerk your boss was to you this week. You don't want to let her talk for too long about something that is not serving your date. Like, maybe she has been struggling with a work problem and her boss is being a real jerk to her, and she might want to vent for five or ten minutes about this. And you on the date, you're thinking, oh, I don't want to be rude. I don't want to interrupt her. So I'll just let her vent about her boss for five or ten minutes. But if she's talking about her boss or politics or something that's off topic, then you're basically not having the date. You're not making it about the two of you connecting as people, because really what first dates are about. It's about her and you being playful and light and also authentic and essentially becoming more vulnerable and authentic as the date goes on so you can make a real emotional connection. So, the simplest tip I ever got, way back in the day, from the very first coach I ever had working with me was actually during an approach. But an approach is kind of like a date, because you're talking to a woman, right? And my coach listened in for about two minutes of me talking to this woman. And we talked about the weather. We talked about the Empire State Building, which was right next to the rooftop bar where I was. We talked about my apartment and all these extraneous things. And afterwards, my coach came over to me and said, connell, keep it about her. And you talk about her and talk about you primarily. That should be , % of the topic, the two of you. So that one simple tip really helped me. So, yeah, talk about each other first and foremost, because, hey, what is her favorite subject in the world? Herself.


Connell Barrett:


I'm going to read your mind. Ready? I'll bet that you would love to confidently approach women, get great matches on the dating apps, flirt with Charm, and attract your dream girlfriend, right? But fear keeps you from approaching you're not sure how to flirt. You struggle on the apps, and desirable women just don't seem into you. Well, I have great news. Dating Coach Connell. Barrett can help. He's guided thousands of men like you to more confidence and helped them attract their dream girlfriends. So book a free strategy call today to see if Connell's coaching is right for you. On your call, Connell or a team member will give you personalized advice to help you have more confidence, more dates, and more fun. Oh, and you'll be dating women as your best self, a charming gentleman. That's because Connell does not teach creepy pickup artist tricks. He unlocks your most confident self so you can make authentic romantic connections. Your next steps? Book your free call Contact, and grab a time that works for you. Then you'll be on your way to more confidence, better results, and attracting bright, beautiful women. Oh. So you know, soon Connell will stop taking on new clients. So book a call today while you still can. Go to Contact and transform your love life. Bye.


Connell Barrett:


And what is her favorite subject in the world? On a date with you? That's you. She's her favorite topic. And you are her second favorite topic during the time of you being with her. Does that make sense? So yeah, think about it as you, meaning her, you, me, you, me. Talk about her, talk about me. So that's one general idea. Make it about you and her, not about the weather, not about sports, not about politics. And beware of a woman and catch yourself doing this too. It's not just something women do. It's something men do as well, if you might catch yourself talking about a topic that's off topic. Bring it back to the two of you. This is a date, especially if it's a first date. This is about the two of you getting to know each other and making an emotional connection. So first tip, make it about her and you. Now, in terms of topics about her and you here's, the great thing is you have total freedom to talk about anything and everything you want as long as it relates to you and her and as long as it's about things that you and she care about things that you and she care about that are important to you. Okay? So think of it this way. If you're talking about her and you and if you're talking about things that you both have passion for and a lot of interest in, that's a great place to be. That's a great topic to be discussing. So one of my favorite first date questions to ask or to have my clients ask is a really simple question. It's what lights you up more than anything else? What do you love to do more than anything else? And that's a great question and a topic to steer the two of you toward because she's about to go into her mind and think, oh wow, what do I love to do? What's a topic I love? And then she's going to tell you whatever it is, skiing, painting, dancing, her babysitting, her nephews, nieces, it could be anything, you never know. And you're going to ask her, hey, what lights you up? And then you're going to ask her why it lights her up. Because now you're talking about a topic that's very important to her and we don't know what that is until we ask her. So I wish I could tell you there was a one size fits all topic that's always great to talk about, and don't get me wrong, things like travel, things like movies, TV shows, people in her family that are important to her, these are great topics, probably. But what I love to start with, I don't necessarily start the date this way, but at some point in the first half of the date, you can say to her, hey, by the way, I'm just curious, what do you love to do? What lights you up more than anything? And then she'll tell you, hopefully. And it's a great question and it makes her think a little bit, but that's a good thing. It's a good thing to get you both sort of digging a little bit deeper, and then she'll tell you and then listen, of course. And then here's something you can do to help you emotionally connect with her is you listen to her answer. You listen to what it is and what lights her up about it. And then you go into your mind in your life, and you look for something that makes you feel the same way, even if it's a very different hobby or topic or thing. And then you can relate how you feel similarly about your thing compared to her thing. So, for example, I had a first date way back in the day, and I remember I said to her, hey, what do you love? What lights you up? She's a really cool, intelligent, successful painter. Her name is Jennifer. This is a long time ago, and I'm on a first date with Jennifer. And I say, hey, what lights you up? What do you love to do? And not surprisingly, she said, oh, I love to paint. I love to paint. She's an artist. And I said, Great. Tell me about painting. What do you love about it? Why do you love painting so much? And she stopped and thought about it. I could see her wheels turning in a good way, and I realized she'd never been asked that question before. And she said, well, when I'm painting, I just feel like time moves. Time sort of moves quickly. An hour passes, and it feels like a minute. And I just get so lost in the creative art of painting. And so I went into my mind, and I said, okay, Connell, what's something that makes you feel similarly? Because this woman, Jennifer and I, we might not have had a lot in common in terms of liking the same bands or TV shows or music. I don't think we really even connected on those things. But what I did is I said, what makes me sort of lose track of time? What do I love to do? And for me, my answer was writing. I've been a writer and a journalist all my adult life, and so I said, oh, Jennifer, you know what? I feel exactly the same way. When I'm writing, time stands still. I'm writing an article or I'm writing something for my column or writing an article back when I was a journalist. And I can look up at the clock, and, like, an hour has passed, and it seems like thirty seconds. So we both connected on the emotional level, even though they think of a hobby or something a woman is into. Think of that as a vehicle. And every vehicle unearths an emotional feeling and gives us an emotional feeling. So what you can do is understand. Oh, painting for her makes her feel like time stands still. I'm sorry. Time moves quickly. She gets lost and present in it. For me, it was writing that made me get lost and present. And all of a sudden, we were both connecting on the same idea of being artistic and creative. Even though I can't paint, I can't paint at all. And I don't know that she's a writer, but we didn't have to have the same commonalities. I guess what I'm trying to say is you don't have to have a ton of commonalities. It's a nice bonus if you both like the same TV show, like the same have traveled and have both traveled to Paris. But maybe you don't have those things in common. You can always make an emotional connection not about the topic, but about the vehicle and how that thing makes her feel. Let me give you another example. Another example would be my client Craig was on a date once with a woman, and he asked her that question. He said, hey, what do you love to do? What lights you up? What lights you up in life more than anything? And his date said, oh, I just really love to travel. I love especially love going to Paris. Paris is my favorite city in the world. I love it.


Connell Barrett:


Rejection, ghosting, loneliness, lack of dates, and lack of confidence. For many men, dating just sucks. But it doesn't have to. There's a simple yet powerful way to gain instant confidence and attract a great girlfriend. Be radically authentic. It's all laid out in the number one Amazon bestselling book Dating Sucks, But You don't. Your step by step Guide to Attracting wonderful women and Doing it with total authenticity. Author and dating coach Connell Barrett has had and fixed all the dating problems that you struggle with. He's also helped thousands of men gain confidence and find love. He's put his best tips and strategies into Dating Sucks, But You Don't so that you can confidently approach women and get dates. Become magnetic and attractive. Even if you're not tall or great looking, always know what to say to make sparks fly. Get lots of great matches and dates on the dating apps and attract your dream woman. You can find Dating Sucks, But You Don't on Amazon or wherever books are sold in paperback, kindle and Audiobook get Dating Sucks, But You Don't today to transform your confidence and find your dream girl.


Connell Barrett:


And he thought, uhoh, I've never been to Paris. But he dug a little bit deeper, and he asked her, oh, what is it about Paris you love so much? And she thought about it, and she said, you know what I love about Paris? My grandmother lived there, and it reminds me of learning French from my grandmother, and it just makes me feel closer to her. Paris makes me feel closer to my grandmother. And Craig thought about that, and he said, what makes me feel closer to people in my life? Because he doesn't have a French Parisian grandmother, but he does have vehicles in his life that make him feel closer to relatives. And he thought, oh, my God, I know exactly how you feel about feeling close to your grandma. I feel really close to my father whenever we watch sports, because when I'm watching the Chicago Cubs, our team, we're sitting there with our Cubs hats on, we're watching baseball, and we're laughing and joking and sometimes screaming at the TV. But you know what? Now every time I go to a baseball game, I feel closer to my dad. And so they were both connecting about a vehicle that makes them feel closer to somebody important to them instead of just talking about Paris. Does that make sense? So I guess what I'm saying is, if you find the underlying emotional feeling that a hobby, a thing gives a woman, and then you just go into your own mind and heart and experiences and say, oh, here's what makes me feel that way. Now, you and she can connect about that emotional commonality. You might not have tons of things in common with a woman, but everybody has emotional commonalities, and that's a great topic to talk about on a date. So that's kind of a deep way to think about this. So that's a deeper sort of dive into a topic and how to unearth that deeper emotional connection. Let's talk just about some simple, good topics to talk about without necessarily going deeper. I love talking on first dates about family. I like to say, hey, who's really important to you? Tell me about your best friend. Tell me about your mom, your dad. And I just like to find out who's important to that person and then sharing the same thing, letting her know who's important to me. Yes, you do want to generally keep the date about you and her, but it's okay to talk about your kind of circle of trust in your life, the people in your life who are in your core circle of trust, because it's just going to be helpful to give her a window into who you are. We're always trying to project transparently, honestly, that authentic, real self. I remember on my first date with my now girlfriend Jessaman, we talked about her brother, and I realized, wow, she is so close to her brother. They have a great bond, a great connection. And I said to myself, hey, if this is important to her, it's important to me, because I really am attracted to this woman, and I'm seeing some real potential here. So all of a sudden, we talked about her and her brother and how they were growing up together and how close they were. And so I then said, oh, yeah, I'm really close to my sisters. I'm not close to one of my brothers I'm not that close to, but I'm very close to one brother and very close to my three sisters. So we talked about being close to each other's family. So, yeah, talk about family, talk about travel. Now, that's a cliched topic. But it's a great topic, so don't be afraid of it. I love talking about where you could say you could ask her this: what's your favorite destination you've ever been to? Or if she hasn't done that much traveling, that's okay. You can talk about what is the greatest or sorry, what's the one place you would like to visit? If you could be teleported right now to a place in the world, where would that be and why would you want to go there? And then, here's the thing about dates. Don't worry if she doesn't ask you a question back, just answer your own question. If she doesn't ask you, Where would you like to go? Which she probably will. But if she doesn't ask you that question, you could just answer your own question. So any topic you bring up travel, television, movies, what's your favorite movie? Oh, here's another great topic I love for first dates. Desert island movie, desert island TV show. In other words, if you were stranded on the desert island for the rest of your life, what show would you watch for me? If I was stranded on a desert island for the rest of my life, I would watch Seinfeld over and over again. That's my answer. So she'll answer the question and then feel free to have you just simply answer the question, and that will help keep the conversation going. And I guess the last topic here, the last thing I want to say before we wrap up is the topics don't matter all that much as long as they're light. They're light and or meaningful to both of you. So just think, hey, is this topic light? Is it playful and fun? Or is it maybe it's a little bit deeper but meaningful? As long as it's falling into one of those two categories, then you're in a great place. So it can be travel, family stories, growing up, I love to say, what were you like as a kid? What were you like growing up? Were you cool? Are you the ugly duckling who became the beautiful swan? And then I'm going to have my own answer to that question ready? She might say, oh yeah, like that woman Jennifer I mentioned. She used to be chubby as a little kid, and then she grew up to be a tall, beautiful woman. I was also chubby, and I didn't grow up to be a tall, beautiful woman. Not yet. We'll see. But I grew up to be a tall, hopefully relatively attractive guy, so we're able to bond over that. So as long as you keep the topic about her and you about light topics, movies, TV, travel, or meaningful topics like family, friends, experiences, you're in a great place because she's not going to become connected to you and attracted to you because of the topic you talk about. She's going to become attracted to you because she sees that real, authentic self and that you're talking in an emotionally compelling way about things she cares about. So you can talk about light topics and then that's going to keep her and you out of that logical, informational mind and keep you both in a good, positive emotional place. And attraction is very natural, organic. She's already attracted to you, as I like to say. She just needs to see the real you and you need to help her see the real her. And then so much of chemistry and connection happens naturally and organically. Hope that made sense. Thank you very much for listening. I'll see you next time. And remember, women already like you, they just have to meet the real you. See you next time.


Connell Barrett:


Thank you for listening to the Dating Transformation podcast. For lots of free tips, video and other goodies, go to See you next time.



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Dating Tranformation with Connell Barrett

Welcome to the Dating Transformation podcast. I'm coach Connell Barrett, and I help men build confidence + connect with women by being their own authentic selves.

dating sucks but you don't #1 Amazon bestseller

Get this Book & Attract Your Dream Girlfriend


NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett

106 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

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