Conversation flash cards
Sometime ago, I wrote this piece about the approach or attitude that usually works well when you go on a first date with someone. However, people continue to ask me what it means to be open or casual, what specific topics are okay to discuss and the likes. So I wanted to share a few broad themes that make for pleasant conversations on a date. These suggestions are based on personal experiences of some of my clients, so please feel free to customise them for yourselves.
1. It’s always a good idea to indulge in a bit of a pointless banter for the first few minutes until you’ve gotten comfortable looking each other in the eye without the need to obviously duck. You could talk about the news, the weather, the traffic and what have you. But remember that these topics only serve you well during the warm up, and you need to find your hook and steer away from these topics the moment you’ve gotten into the groove.
2. It’s always a great idea to take cues from what people have said on their dating or matrimonial profiles to quiz them further on those topics. If they’ve said something about books or travel, may be ask them about their recent experiences or tell them about your if you share their interest.
3. Shared passions or experiences are a great foundation to build a positive conversation, because then the conversation will be two-way where both of you can talk about your own experiences. Else it may feel too interview-ish.
4. On the first date, it’s best to stay off personal topics such as past relationships or health issues or future career plans. People take time to build trust and open up about intimate topics, and it’s courteous to allow people the space to do so at their will.
5. If you are unsure about about what is too personal and what isn’t,I’d recommend keeping an eye out for their feedback. If your date is visibly uncomfortable or getting defensive or vague about anything, chances are that they find the questions too personal or intrusive for a first date, and it’s best to back off.
Now, you could ditch all these suggestions and run wild with whatever comes to your mind, in which case all you need to do is focus on having a lot of fun on the date.