How to Keep the Date Conversation Flowing
The whole point of first dates is to get to know the other person and figure out if you want to continue spending time together, but sometimes the awkwardness that ensues makes that a little tricky. Lulls in the conversation can make things a little weird but it’s possible to have an awesome date anyway. Here’s how to keep the conversation flowing smoothly.
First of all, don’t put too much pressure on the situation that a slight pause in the conversation spikes your anxiety because that will only make things worse. Most conversations have a normal ebb and flow to them, you just don’t usually notice because you’re not judging the dialogue you’re having with your friends for example. If a pause really gets weird just laugh it off. It’s not like it’s your fault it’s occurring, it’s just a shared moment and a new moment is quickly coming around the corner.
Part of the issue in awkward conversations is that the listener is busy trying to craft their next response instead of just totally listening. Once you realize when you do this you can try to remind yourself not to. Generally your response will end up being better if you listen to her complete thought before figuring out what you’re going to say.
If you need a second to compose yourself you can always repeat back one of the things she said and extrapolate on it. Such as “okay so you went to school in Maine…”
Naturally you want to come off as likable on a date so you might not want to insult the girl or anything, but don’t censor yourself in the way that you worry something you say might not come off as funny or interesting enough. It’s generally better to get the thought out, and if it’s not funny it’s not funny. Being yourself is the most important thing that you can do in the situation, because she is trying to get to know the real you.
One of the easiest ways to keep a conversation flowing is to ask the other person about themselves. People are generally pretty comfortable talking about themselves since it’s a topic they are well versed in. The key is to ask questions that authentically interest you and then ask new questions based on her responses. Avoid the interview tactic where you essentially rapid fire basic questions without following up on her responses. It feels too much like a job interview, which of course is stressful and impersonal…not how you want your date to go!
Every date is going to be as different as the people on it, and sometimes diving into serious conversation is just going to happen, but it isn’t mandatory. Discussing religious and political beliefs for example can be a little heavy on a first date, especially if your beliefs greatly differ. Instead of getting into a debate about whether the bible is real or not, stick with questions like “were you raised religious”. Some of these things can be deal breakers at a certain point, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of the first night.
Sounds obvious, but it isn’t always so. Some guys take on the belief that it’s good to poke fun at girls at a bit to get under their skin and make an impact, but unless you’re hilarious and somehow never offensive it’s not generally the best idea. Unless you’re going to tell her that she looks good she’s probably not interested in your opinion about her shoes or nail color. Asking questions is one thing, but commenting on her “interesting choice” in color pairings is not. Whether or not you ever see her again she did take the time to get ready for your date and she thought she did a good job at it. If you accidentally say something offensive and can feel her pull back, just recognize it in the moment and express how it came out wrong.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.