No matter how much time you spend on looking good and feeling confident before your date, it can all fall apart when you open your mouth. Maybe you freeze up and can’t think of a single thing to say, or you jump right in and talk about anything at all, only to see that “I’m listening politely while hatching my escape plan” look on their face.
Starting a conversation, particularly with someone you don’t know very well, can be the most difficult part of a date, but it can also be the simplest way to start a date off right. In today’s video blog, I share a couple of tips for getting your head in the right place and having something to say that will start the conversational ball rolling in a positive direction instead of downhill fast.
The best initial conversations are lighthearted and fun. This is not the time to get into a deep philosophical discussion or to go on and on about the many ways your boss drives you nuts. Before the date even starts, do whatever you can to lighten up—listen to a comedian while you’re getting ready, play with a pet, or sing along to upbeat music—whatever works for you.
Then on the date, remember that the key to being memorable is not to talk about yourself. The more questions you ask them, the more they will think you were the most fascinating person they have met. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true, and it works every time.
Think in terms of compliments, although keep them sincere. Don’t tell them you like their shoes if you think they’re hideous. They will just think you’re fake and feel even more on guard rather than more comfortable.
Also plan to ask them questions. You might think of a few before the date if you’re the type of person to blank out easily, but try not to fire off too many prepared questions or they will feel like you’re interviewing them. Really listen to what they have to say, comment, then tailor further questions based on what they said. If you keep asking questions from a prepared list, they will feel like you weren’t really listening.
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