Monday, April 27, 2009

What to Talk About on the First Date

So, you've written a great dating profile, you've used online dating (or some method), and now you've got a date.

You've taken all the steps - showered, shaved, and dressed to kill. You and your date are going to dinner or something similar, where you can do what? Talk.

What to talk about on the first date is a stumbling block for many people. A lot of folks assume that if it's 'meant to be', then conversation will just naturally flow. There is a wee bit of truth to that, but what that statement doesn't cover is nervousness. It doesn't cover shyness. You and your date might be a perfect match, but your nervousness might keep you from saying anything other than hi.

So, what DO you talk about on the first date? Here are some general rules.

If you met the person through online dating, you can talk about the basics that you've not yet covered via email, IM, or phone.

People Love to Talk About Themselves

Remember, people love to talk about themselves. So ask questions. However, this is not an interrogation, so be friendly. When you ask a question, a person may be more willing to answer it if you provide your answer first. "I was born in Boise. How about you?"

Asking questions this way is a great way to get conversations going. When they're answering the question, you will hear more about them, and if you're tuned in (as you should be!), this will generate more questions that they will find interesting to answer. Also, as they speak, you will identify areas of similarity that you can then comment on.

Compliments are great, but no one wants to feel like the compliment they're receiving is false. So make sure that your compliments are sincere and thoughtful. "I love how the color of your shirt contrasts with your skin. That is really striking."

Also, when giving compliments, don't use too many. You don't want your excessive complimenting to come off as seduction rather than just genuine appreciation, especially on the first date.

General Topics of Conversation
On that first date, everything that you've read here may fly right out your ears and you may forget it. But if you do, remember, you can always ask questions.

General topics are helpful. As you are out on your date, look around you. You will see many things to talk about. You will see trees, flowers, plants. You will see landscaping, architecture, cloud formations. You will see other people. You will see cars, stores, restaurants. Any of these may trigger a memory that you can share - a funny story or a joke you heard (but not ethnic, sexist, or racial jokes). You will see bicycles...basically, all kinds of stuff. Make comments about what you see. Hopefully your date will also comment and the flame of conversation will take off from these sparks.

Whatever you do, don't keep your thoughts to yourself, within reason. If you are thinking that some flowers look pretty - say it. If you think the restaurant has great atmosphere, say that. Talk about why you think it does.

Talk about the weather.
Think about it. A conversation about weather can give birth to many different topics - such as stuff you can do when the weather's warm, stuff you can do when the weather's cold, how much better you like California's weather, or the weather you experienced while on a recent vacation. Then, now that these things have been brought to both you and your date's minds, you can talk about them.

Not every conversation on a date is going to be deep. That's ok. You're getting used to each other, you're having a good time. As you get more comfortable with one another, hopefully, things will thaw. The art of conversation on the first date is simply to get you off to the best start possible and to have a good time together while doing so.

Good luck with your online dating or other dating!

Need dating advice? Contact the Super Dating Coach. It's free, I promise.

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