Sure, there are a lot of things we shouldn't talk about on first dates. Or really, when building any kind of relationship. We shouldn't talk about money, gossip, or gross personal stuff. TMI.
But deep topics, like politics and religion, can help you get to know a person in a deeper way. Those conversations go beneath the surface.
So let's talk about why you should care.
Some people say you should avoid talking about the deep stuff is because you can start an argument with the person you're trying to get to know. And yeah, you could start an argument. You could get heated and offended if you want.
Others say you risk the chance of losing a second date if an argument starts.
Really though, why would you want a second date with someone who argues with you? You can save time by knowing someone's beliefs. You can decide if it's a relationship worth pursuing, or if their beliefs are too drastically different.
And personally, I think that not being able to talk about subjects like that shows a lack of conversational skills. You should be able to share your views and opinions and have real conversations without becoming angry.
Good conversationalists know the difference between a debate and an argument. A debate is an exchange of views and ideas. It is civil and seeks to understand another's beliefs while expressing your own.
An argument refuses to listen to others and raises your voice above all others. An argument suggests that you think you are the only one who can possibly be right. But in reality, what is true for you may not be true for others.
So how can you debate? Your views and beliefs are personal, and so are theirs. Have a set goal of understanding those beliefs, and looking through the other person's perspective. Don't talk just to express your own views. Really listen to what they're saying.
You can learn so much by listening to other people's beliefs. You might find flawed logic in something you believe. You may see hidden value in yet another view. You can even become more convicted in your own beliefs. Understanding others is essential to personal growth.
So talk about politics. Talk about religion. Defend your beliefs with grace, and respect other's beliefs even if you don't agree. Seek to understand, not to argue. Because by understanding, you become better than you were before.