Most people’s greatest fear when going on a first date is that the conversation will die out, and that you’ll both be in awkward silence. Unfortunately, the more nervous you get, the more likely this will happen. To help keep the nerves away, we’ve come up with these great first date questions to keep the talk flowing.

Ask questions

An easy mistake to make when trying to keep a conversation flowing is to just talk about yourself. If you’re nervous in particular, you may have a bad habit of blabbering on about nothing in particular, without giving the other person a chance to speak. The best way to keep a conversation going is actually to ask questions. This puts the light on the person you’re on your date with and gives them a chance to speak. Most people love getting some attention and talking about themselves. Also, it will make you come across as interested and engaged with the person you’re with, which is an attractive quality. A great technique is to ask an initial question, and then find something of interest that they say and dig deeper into the topic with them. This will stop conversations being just surface level and will make for much more exciting topics.

Do some homework…just not too much

If you’ve met someone on a Dating Website – or, there will most likely be some information about them. Most dating websites have you list interests and hobbies in the sign-up process. This is a great place to get conversation topics. Similar to our last point, if you can get someone talking about something they are passionate about, then the conversation will come easy. If you have mutual interests, then great, you can make this a topic of conversation, and you’ll have plenty to talk about. If it’s an interest you know nothing about, then ask thoughtful questions and be genuinely interested in your date’s life. This will help you get to know them, and you might even learn something. The only caveat is not to do too much digging. Try to resist the urge to stalk your date on Facebook and bring up things you could only know by hunting for it. This may come off as creepy and will put your date off.

Don’t spill everything at once

One of the great things about dating someone is to slowly learn about their life and who they are. Sharing candid details about your life is how we become close to someone, but it needs to be done naturally and gradually. It most likely isn’t appropriate to talk about your disaster ex-girlfriend for two hours while on a first date with someone. Slowly open up as you get more comfortable with someone, and let them share things about themselves at the same pace.

Avoid controversial topics

Your first date should be relaxed and fun, so try to avoid controversial topics like religion or politics until you know the person better. This is a substantial ground to cover at some point, but save it until after your first date.