When two people are busy getting to know each other on a first or second date, the biggest mistake they can make is allowing the conversation to drift into deep controversial waters too soon.

For instance, is a first date the right environment for a heated discussion on such topics as politics, sex or religion? No – unless both of you are diehard social activists who simply can’t resist the opportunity to passionately spar about these issues over sushi and sake because it just plain sets your hair on fire.

Should you open up so much that you start spilling the ugly details about your last relationship or why you had to bail yourself out of jail because he or she lied and had you arrested during the breakup? Definitely not.

Is it permissible to drink to such excess that you start babbling about your family’s dysfunction or you admit that you’ve done some time on the psychiatrist’s couch trying to overcome serious bouts of depression? No and that’s a big emphatic NO.

Relationships Take Time

Consider that the relationship initiated by that first or second date is still so new and so fragile that it realistically can’t handle more than light conversational chitchat and a subtle flirtatiousness over dinner, a movie or a couple of drinks after a Knicks game.

The best advice is, take things s-l-o-w. Focus on less complicated subjects; for instance, where the two of you live, what you like, what you do. Comment on your surroundings during the date – how fun it was to slog through the rain to get from the parking lot to the restaurant, why you enjoy a good piano bar – all the while steering clear of weighty controversial subjects.

Once the two of you have had the chance to get to know each other better, there will be plenty of time to discuss the intricacies of your personal lives and backgrounds, the contrasts between your political leanings or why you disagree on such controversial subjects as abortion.

Less is More Initially

A first date is designed to help you get to know each other on a comfortable level. It’s important to focus on keeping the conversation light, casual and fun. Save the heavy stuff for later.

Moments for deeper discussion and disclosure about your lives will naturally present themselves. For instance, once the two of you have advanced to the point where you have four or five dates behind you, casual talk, like trying to decide whether to go out for breakfast or a late-morning brunch after watching the sun rise while snuggled up in a blanket on the beach together, may lead to more serious topics.

What you share about yourself after the two of you are that comfortable will not only be more interesting but that much more meaningful in terms of this new relationship you are developing together in the long run.