When first meeting a girl, you want to capture her interest and learn about each other without engaging in discussions that are too controversial or personal. During initial meetings, following the old “never talk about politics or religion” wisdom is a good bet. Likewise, it is also wise to avoid talking about past relationships, complaining excessively or making off-color jokes. Instead, keep things light, but don't be afraid to share your passions and personality.
When you meet a girl, taking cues from the setting where you're talking can be a good way to start conversation, says Jennifer Tung of the Real Simple website. For example, if you're at a party, talking about how you each know the host can open up topics for discussion. Similarly, if you meet at a bookstore, talking about what books your recently read is a good first topic to engage her; however, if you clearly have different literary interests, you might want to switch the subject.
When first meeting a girl, bringing up potential common interests such as movies, television programs and music are good conversation starters. One good way to begin a conversation is to ask the girl about her favorites and then try to find common ground with her. If you have different media interests, share your perspective, and then ask her for suggestions for movies or music that you might also enjoy. You shouldn't feel like a failure if you don't engage her with the first topic you toss out. It may take two or three attempts until you hit on a topic that triggers a response, notes the Indiana Southeast University Shyness Institute website.
Although delving too deeply into each other's backgrounds might be uncomfortable during a first meeting, it's good to learn about a girl’s interests and passions. For example, you might want to ask what does for a living or what she's pursing in grad school. Likewise, asking her about her hobbies, favorite restaurant and other preferences is a good way to make conversation and see what you have in common. In turn, share the basics of your own life without going into any details that might make her feel uncomfortable, such as bad experiences with past dates, financial difficulties or problems at work.
You might also want to share interesting personal experiences such as where you traveled, or a something about your own hobbies and work. If you choose to tell stories, keep them brief and make sure you balance talking with listening. Keep in mind that if you only ask questions and never share anything about yourself, your contact with others will be more like interrogations than conversations, warns the University of Oklahoma website.