You’d think that by the time we’re 18, a legal adult with some experience under the belt, we’d know how to have a socially appropriate conversation with someone we just met. But when it comes to first dates, and you throw nerves, sexual attraction, a quirky sense of humour and some questionable boundaries into the mix, there are endless recipes for how the conversation can go downhill – fast. Some blunders, like politics, religion and marriage, you know to avoid. But even seemingly harmless topics can send up unintentional red flags. Want to actually see where things could go? Stop talking about these topics the first time you hang out. 1. Yourself, incessantly While it’s good to be open and talk about your interests, you don’t want to take it to the extreme. New Yorker Lynn says that other than asking what she does for work with no follow-up questions, the guys she’s been out with recently all talked about themselves the entire time. “Needless to say, they didn’t give me much incentive to see them again.” 5 questions to ask yourself if you want to date a friend This is so common in dating, says Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, a California-based sociologist and sexologist. “While it’s great to share your passions, make sure you’re also taking the time to get to know their passions and interests, too.” And skip topics they have no interest in: according to a survey carried out by dating site Match.com, about 75 per cent of people believe having similar activities and interests is crucial to wanting a second date. 2. Your insecurities “Are you sure I look OK?” “Can you tell I have a huge zit right here?” “I’m sure you like blondes more.” We all know confidence is one of the sexiest traits, so never put your date in the awkward position of having to incessantly bolster your self-esteem, warns Chicago-based relationship therapist, Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD., author of Quantum Love . Not only does it shine a bright light on your (nonexistent) “flaws”, but it also forces them to constantly reassure you, she adds. Less than 10 per cent people in the Match survey were down with a date who has low self-confidence. 3. Work drama “You might think that your co-worker cheating with your boss is hot gossip, but I promise it will bore your date to tears,” Berman says. “Gossip is almost always tiring after a while, but especially if you don’t know the people involved.” Instead, talk about what you like at work or, if you hate your job, about what you want to do instead and the steps you’re taking to get there. Both sexes consider passion and ambition two of the sexiest traits in a partner, according to a survey. You heard it here: work ethic is hot. 4. How much your former S.O. sucks “I actually don’t think it’s bad to talk about exes on a first date, because it gives you insight into what someone is like after a breakup – whether they’re bitter and blaming or can take responsibility,” Gunsaullus says. It does becomes a problem, though, if you start talking excessively about your S.O., particularly in a negative way. If you had an especially messy break-up, or had been together a particularly long time, dumping details forces the other person to hear private details they probably would rather avoid on a first date, Berman says. Move on, or they definitely will. 5. Explicit details about getting it on “If you’re interested in getting to know each other better, talking vulnerably about a topic like sex can create a false sense of intimacy and trust with someone whose character and values you don’t really know yet,” Gunsaullus says. However, if you’re open to it and feel comfortable, “I’m all for talking about sex on a first date – and it can be really hot,” she adds. How to get over a crush on someone who just doesn't feel the same Just be very aware that it will probably put the idea that you’re ready to go home with them at the end of dinner in his or her head – so be conscious of what you’re insinuating. 6. Your emotional instability “Over dinner, one date told me of a stay at a mental facility, a fairly recent suicide attempt and related scars, and a pretty detailed account of a very bad upbringing,” recalls Dan from Palo Alto. First, let’s be clear: there is no shame or embarrassment in mental health problems. But serious issues, past or present, are better off saved for a later conversation. That vulnerability is something that should unfold as you build a connection with someone, Gunsaullus says. Being so exposed so quickly can come off as emotional immaturity or a lack of boundaries, she warns. A better plan: talk about anything else that showcases your personality. “Be yourself and let him or her see if they can love your special brand of ‘crazy’,” Steinberg suggests. 7. Other dates you're going on 10 quick tips to guarantee they swipe right When you meet on an app, it’s implied that you’re probably dating other people, but you don’t need to give him or her a play-by-play of your craziest escapades. “This comes up all the time, because people seek camaraderie as they navigate the dating frenzy. But you don’t want them to feel insecure knowing they are up against a ton of competition to win your heart,” says sex and relationship therapist Laurel Steinberg, PhD, professor of psychology at Columbia University in New York. If dating comes up, just say you’re having fun and leave the DTR conversation for a later date, Steinberg says. 8. That your mother is your BFF Being close to your relatives is a major plus. In fact, 60 per cent of people want their significant other to have a close relationship with his/her family, according to the Match survey. But revealing that you have to call your mother for help with every decision can make you come across as incapable or lacking confidence, Steinberg says. Say you really value your relationship with your family and that you think your mom is a smart cookie. “This will show them you have great genes, and they can look forward to being around some really great people,” she adds. 9. Your rough relationship history Telling someone you’ve had back luck with relationships may seem innocent and honest. And sure, you may have been dealt a few bad hands that were out of your control. But like it or not, you are the common denominator in all of those relationships, Steinberg points out. Most right-minded people won’t bet on a losing horse, so don’t present yourself that way. This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.