Things to Talk About on a First Date – 3 Rules for Success
You should never run out of things to talk about on a first date. Keeping the conversation flowing on your date is very important. But you need to go a little further than just avoiding silence. (Hint: Silence can be a very good thing – read all the way to the bottom.)
Memorizing questions and key talking points isn’t a bad idea. But it’s much better to learn a few guidelines and use those rules to keep your conversation flowing. That way, you’ll be able to adjust on the fly and let the girl guide the conversation… if she wants to.
3 Rules for Things to Talk About on a First Date
Rule #1 – Keep it Focused on Her
You want a girl to come away from your date feeling happy, special, and exhausted (not what you think, guys!). The way to do this is to keep the conversation focused on her as much as possible. Talking about herself will make a girl feel happy. Having someone else express interest in her preferences and interests gives her validation and can actually raise her self-esteem. When you ask two or three follow-up questions about the same topic, she will sense that you are truly interested in her.
Pay attention to the answers she gives you – each bit of information she provides is an opportunity to go even deeper into her thoughts and feelings. After a long evening of having to think about her answers, she will feel a little exhausted from the effort. Don’t overdo it – you don’t want her to feel like she has been under interrogation (see rule #2). But if she has talked extensively about herself, then she will feel a little nervous about whether or not she gave good answers. In her mind, she will walk away from the date with some degree of uncertainty – and she will be hoping that you liked her answers enough to ask her for a second date.
Rule #2 – Reciprocate
If you’re looking for things to talk about on a first date, and you try to make sure that the conversation stays focused on the girl… How do you make sure she doesn’t feel like she is being interrogated? It’s easy – you reciprocate. Any time she offers you a bit of information about herself, you offer her some information about yourself in return. This is really important if you’re going to follow rule #1. Reciprocity lubricates a conversation and makes the girl feel more comfortable sharing information about herself.
Reciprocating is easy to do, and you can do it without taking the focus of conversation off of your date. You just slip in confirmations and little nuggets while she’s talking. If she says, “The reason I’m interested in psychology is because I’m fascinated by the way people think… (pause)… You know, like the things that motivate them… (pause)… The things that they really want and the things that they’re afraid of.” You slide your reciprocity in to those pauses. You say things like, “Me too!” Or, “I know.” Or, “It’s fascinating.” Your comments will make her feel like she’s taking part in a two-way exchange, rather than feeling like she’s getting the 3rd degree.
Rule #3 – Keep it Flowing
The easiest way to keep a conversation flowing is to ask open-ended questions. If you don’t know what that means, then you’re in trouble. The opposite of an open-ended question is a closed-ended question, and you want to stay away from those as a general rule of thumb. A closed ended question is like, “What is your favorite color?” She can answer in one word, and after a few of them, she feels like she’s being interrogated. Learning to ask open-ended questions is the key to never running out of things to talk about on a first date.
An open-ended question is like, “Why is green your favorite color?” Answering requires her to expand on her thoughts, and in doing so she opens up and talks at length about the things that are important to her. Instead of “green,” her answer is more like this… “Well, green reminds me of nature and plants. It makes me feel calm and relaxed. And it reminds me of my bedroom when I was a little girl back in Ohio.” She feels like you’re very interested in who she is and what she’s about. And you can take your pick about which way the conversation goes from there – Ohio, nature, or relaxation.
Generally, I only ask closed-ended questions if I’m digging for a subject to ask more open-ended questions about.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Fear the Silence
Depending on how your date is going, silence can be a great thing. If the conversation is flowing, you’re having a good time, and your date is smiling a lot – silence is golden. A comfortable silence – where you exchange a smile, and you can see that your date is happy – is a great way to project confidence. If she stops talking, gives you a look that says, “I want you to kiss me,” and smiles… You want to ride that silence for a short time. Give her a look that says, “I’m going to kiss the hell out of you,” and look away with confidence and contemplation. But don’t wait too long to say something – the timing is a bit of an art.
If you’re running into silence that is not comfortable – kill it immediately. Ask another question, comment on your surroundings, or offer up something about yourself that you think she will relate to. Don’t allow uncomfortable silence on your first date… ever.
Follow these rules and you’ll never run out of things to talk about on a first date. Like I said above, it doesn’t hurt to memorize some questions and talking points ahead of time. But you’ll have much better success if you memorize these three guidelines and always use them to keep the conversation flowing, and keep it about her.