Lost for Words? Here’s What to Talk About on a First Date
As exhilarating as first dates can be, they are also often mild panic-inducing – imma right? There’s the question of what to wear? Where to meet? What to do? What to talk about?
Sometimes the conversation flows freely, other times it needs a little, um, help and on other occasions, you get a cacophony of crickets. But we’re not here to talk about those latter moments. I want to address the ones that need a little inspiration to get going and that often turn out to be quite interesting.
The key in any conversation is ‘connection’. Imagine sitting opposite someone who keeps looking around whilst you are telling them about your last holiday. They are clearly not sending signals of ‘hey, I’m listening, keep talking!’ Practising active listening is a great way to make the other person heard and for a connection to take place. Once you noticed the connection (relaxed face and body, smiling) steer topics to things you and your date may already have in common and try to draw parallels.
Expand on what you already know about your date from your initial chats/conversations to keep the momentum flowing. As an example tell them what attracted you to their profile such as their love of reading. You can ask them about their favourite author, genre, book, place to read. If you’ve been set up by a friend discuss how each of you knows them.
If you don’t know what you have in common yet, comment on your meeting place (no moaning please!). For example, you could ask if they’ve been to one of your favourite restaurants or bars. From there you could hop onto favourite cuisines, best cocktail bars, music etc. Picking up clues what your date responds to makes them and in turn, you, relax.
We have a signal
Once you’ve established a connection you can move onto deeper topics. What’s your date good at? What are they passionate about?
‘Tell me about your family.’ Can be a very enlightening conversation. Even if their story isn’t positive you can empathise (‘Wow, that sounds really hard. How did you deal with that?’) thereby giving you an even greater chance to connect
Asking about their friends is also a good way to get to know your date on a deeper level. Check-in on their long-term friends. Why have they been friends for so long? A lack of those types of relationships is usually a bad sign.
Going even deeper by discussing their aspirations for life or philosophical questions may seem like scary topics to tackle on a first date, so you can leave these for later dates. Perhaps it’s best to avoid topics like marriage and children on the first date. Instead, ask your date about what their perfect life would look like or who they most admire and why. It may be scary to ask these types of questions on a first date but these are often the ones that unearth real compatibility. Be brave, get in there!
Be careful you don’t shoot out question after question. You’re on a date, not interrogating a suspect. Likewise, pay attention to how many questions your date is asking you. Keep in mind that fast-talking is often a sign of nerves. Try asking them if there’s anything they want to know about you might make them feel more confident to ask you a question and get them out of their nervous state. But if your date continues to talk at you rather than with you, you may need to consider if this date worth pursuing or not.
It’s ok to finish a date early (Just say: ‘This was really nice meeting you. I have another commitment in 30 minutes. Let’s get the bill.’)
We hope you find this useful. What topics do you think are great for a first date? Feel free to share them below.
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