The hardest part of a first date? Picking the location and event. The second hardest part of a first date? Coming up with things to keep the conversation going. In fact, when we talk to guys, this is one of the most nerve-racking parts of the first date: Coming up with good topics for a first date . So here are a few pointers on keeping the conversational ball rolling — something that will help you out a lot better than static conversation starters.
Tip #1: Keep it Open Ended
One of the biggest mistakes men make when they’re talking to women is to ask a lot of closed questions. These are questions with yes / no or one word answers. The problem with these isn’t just that they don’t allow for the conversation to flow; It’s also that they can have her feeling a bit like she’s on a job interview.
The solution? Ask open-ended questions that allow for longer answers. For example, don’t ask her where she grew up; Ask her what it was like where she grew up. Don’t ask her what she does for a living; Ask what she likes about her job.
Tip #2: Listen Actively
Finding the right topics for a first date is important, but listening is far more important. When you listen, it’s important that you listen actively. Not only will she appreciate this — one of the most common complaints we hear about men from women is that men don’t listen to them — it will also keep the conversation flowing. Here’s how you actively listen:
- Listen: You need to be listening to her, not waiting for your turn to talk.
- Use Active Listening Body Language: Maintain eye contact, nod your head, say “uh huh” and “yeah” at the appropriate moments.
- Summarize What She Just Said: In one sentence, you want to summarize what she just said. Something like “Sounds like you got a lot out of growing up in the big city” or “Your job sounds really difficult, but fulfilling.”
- Relate What You Say to What She Just Said: You want to tell you version of what she just said, not just go off on a tangent.
Follow these four steps and you’ll find that conversation flows easily between the two of you.
Tip #3: Vary Topics
One mistake that guys make is clinging too hard to one topic. You want to get to know more about her, so be cognizant of whether or not a topic is outliving its usefulness. If she seems like she’s getting listless, don’t wait until you’re totally sure that she is. Just move on to something else and maybe come back to it.
Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Yourself
We’re big fans of vulnerability at The Art of Charm. Guys often think that if they talk about themselves that they’re going to come across as self-centered or even weak. In fact, opening up, being vulnerable and telling stories about yourself can be a great way to start making connections.
It’s not nearly as hard as you think, so don’t be afraid to dive right in.