I just came across a really interesting article by Dan Ariely on wired.co.uk concerning to way we communicate with first dates. He explains that when we are in this situation, we try to express ourselves and learn more about our date while being overly conscious of holding back anything that may cause them to take offence. According to Ariely, most of us tend to be extremely friendly and aim to keep controversy to an absolute minimum.
He suggests that these carefully chosen topics include many universally shared interests such as weather, food and family “in an attempt to co-ordinate the right dating strategy.” However, he argues that this kind of preferred conversation “guarantees anti-stimulating conversation” and doesn’t “produce a desirable outcome for anyone”
So what did he do?
Arierly looked at emails between online daters and found most people chatting about topics such as family, hobbies, work etc. He then gave these people preset questions to ask which were out of their usual comfort zone such as;
- “How many romantic partners have you had?”
- “When was your last break up?”
(So basically asking the questions we are actually interested in! 🙂 )
It was found that once the daters asked these kinds of questions, the conversations became dramatically livelier and far more engaging for both parties. Both senders and repliers learnt more about eachother and were much happier with the interaction.
What does this mean for online daters?
- Think about how you can make your online discussion less boring but without being too risky
- Perhaps ask your potential date 5 difficult questions first instead of the usual first topics…. This could also break the ice a lot quicker, leaving you both feeling much more comfortable with eachother in a lot less time than usual.
- By forcing yourself to step out of your usual comfort zone, you may ultimately gain a lot more.
Hmm…interesting! So what do you think? Are you tempted to ask a few “out there” questions the next time you message someone?
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