Going from online dating to a first date can be intimidating but it can be can be easily mastered. When getting to know your future plus one, it’s important to spend time listening as much as it is talking.
Follow this simple list of Do’s and Don’ts and you will be a conversation pro in no time at all.
DO listen to the other person. When someone is speaking to you, try to quiet your mind and focus on what they are saying. Listen for influxes in tone and expressions on the face. These are clues to tell you how the person feels about what they are saying.
DO look the person in the eye. Whether they are speaking to you or you are speaking to them, eye to eye contact is one of the most important ways to show respect when someone is communicating with you.
DO respond to the question that is asked or to the statements. A good conversation is when there is an exchange between both parties. When things are one-sided, there is no flow of energy between the two parties. Keep the conversation moving by having a healthy ping-pong balance between the two of you.
DON’T let the conversation derail. Try to stay on topic with the subject at hand. If someone is discussing movies, talk movies. If someone is discussing music, talk music. It’s confusing to the other person when your comments don’t follow the flow. It may come across as rude or insulting that you are not interested in being involved in the discussion.
DON’T assume every one is into the same things you are into. When first getting to know someone, it’s best to keep subject matter light and mainstream. If you two bonded over something obscure, than that becomes your normal. But a first date is generally not the time to discuss your fascination with tiny animals, unless the other person is into it, too.
DON’T loose your cool. It is quite possible that a topic may arise that could push your buttons. If this happens, excuse yourself from the table for a moment. Gather your composure and when you return, politely let your date know that you’d like to change the subject. There’s no need to get into an argument with someone you just met. If the chemistry is there, it can be overlooked. If not, then it’s just another red flag that he/she is not the one for you.
By showing interest in the person you are speaking to, you are starting out on a healthy path to future conversations with more depth and substance – and overall, respect. With these building blocks, you are destined to have marathon long talk-fests that will go well into the night.