First Date Conversations Do's And Don'ts

What to talk about, what to avoid, and how to keep the convo flowing.
Sometimes, first dates are filled with awkward pauses so silent you can literally hear the crickets chirping. Pretty nerve-wracking, huh. Actually, it's kind of normal (after all, you're newly acquainted). But so what if eloquence isn't your middle name? Just follow these no-fail date conversation tips to break the ice, spice up your convos and deal with those uneasy speechless moments.

Do: Make small talk

Start with the obvious: Ask your date about his day, the last movie he saw, his pet, or his travel experiences -- they might seem like no-brainer topics, but it's surprising how often small talk like this can trigger a lengthy chatter. Just stick to cordial questions and steer clear of too-personal discussions like his past relationships, exes and sex life.

Do: Brush up on your current affairs

You don't have to act like you're a leading authority on the latest ground-breaking news stories but you can use current events to kick-start a conversation.

Do: Follow up on what he says

Everyone likes to feel that their date is interested in what they're saying and you can put him at ease by making it obvious that you want to get to know him better. Follow up on things that he says and ask questions to get him to expand on them further. Not only will he be flattered by your interest but it's a great way of keeping the convo going.

Do: Ask open-ended questions

So what questions to ask? Stick to open-ended ones that require more than just a simple one-word answer. For example, when he recaps his recent hiking adventure in Nepal, try asking "how's the scenery and local culture like?" instead of "was it fun?" This way, the conversation has less chance to fizzle out. Do note that there's a fine line between showing interest and coming across like you're trying to cross-examine him, though -- be selective when you pose your questions or you could make him extremely nervous.

Don't: Make things all about you

When you're trying to keep the convo going, it's easy to fall back on what you know -- yourself -- but soliloquy is hardly a wise tactic. Conversations are supposed to be a two-way affair. If you rattle on all evening, you'll come across as self-obsessed, and worse, uninterested in your date; don't be surprised if he doesn't ask you out again.

Don't: Be afraid to show your nerves

It's natural to be nervous on a first date and chances are that he's feeling exactly the same. So when the conversation grinds to a halt and you're both struggling with the awkward silence, make light of the situation by laughing it off, such as "Don't you just hate it when you feel like you've got nothing to talk about?" It's infinitely better than letting the silence take hold.

Do: Keep the date short

An hour or two is best -- enough for you to learn more about each other without running out of things to say. Even if the date goes on extremely well, resist the urge to stay longer. It's always better to leave him wanting more and looking forward to your second date.

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