First dates can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, they provide the opportunity to get to know someone new and potentially forge a meaningful connection. On the other hand, it can be stressful trying to make a good impression and figuring out what to talk about. If you’re wondering what to talk about on a first date, here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
- Be yourself: The most important thing is to be genuine and let your true personality shine through. Don’t try to put on a show or pretend to be someone you’re not.
- Find common ground: Think about the things you have in common with this person, whether it’s a shared hobby, passion, or background. Having a starting point for conversation can help break the ice and make the conversation feel more natural.
For example: “I saw on your profile that you love hiking. I love it too! Do you have any favourite trails?”
- Ask open-ended questions: These types of questions can help you get to know the other person better and show that you’re interested in what they have to say. Avoid yes or no questions, as they tend to lead to short, one-word answers and don’t allow for much further discussion.
For example: “What do you enjoy doing in your free time?”
- Pay attention to body language and nonverbal cues: Maintaining eye contact, smiling, and leaning in slightly can show that you’re engaged and interested in the conversation. On the other hand, crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, or fidgeting can give off the impression that you’re disinterested or uncomfortable.
An example can be: “Your smile is so contagious, it’s hard not to smile back when I see you doing it.”
- Avoid dominating the conversation: While it’s natural to want to impress the other person, it’s important to strike a balance and allow them to share as well. Try to ask questions and listen actively to what they have to say.
If you feel you’re dominating the conversation, you may say: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to talk so much about myself. Tell me more about your experience travelling.”
- Be present in the moment: Put away your phone and give the other person your undivided attention. It’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts or worries about the date, but try to stay focused on the conversation at hand.
If you catch yourself losing focus and looking at your phone, you can say: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to check my phone. I’m just so focused on our conversation that I forgot it was even there.”
- Look for shared interests and values: As you get to know each other, you may discover shared interests or values. This can be a great way to build a connection and find common ground for future conversations.
You may add: “I love that we both have a passion for volunteering and giving back to our community. How did you get involved in that?”
- Try something new: If you’re struggling to come up with things to talk about, consider trying something new or going to a unique, memorable location for the date. This can provide built-in conversation starters and help you both have a more interesting and enjoyable time.
If you feel adventurous, you may say: “I’ve always wanted to try skydiving. Have you ever done it, or is it something you’d be interested in doing together?”
- Be genuine: In the end, the most important thing is to be genuine and see if there is potential for a meaningful connection. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your true personality shine through.
You can say…“I know I may be coming on a little strong, but I just really enjoy your company and wanted to be honest about my feelings.”
- Have fun: Don’t forget to relax and have fun! A first date is an opportunity to get to know someone new and enjoy their company, so try to let go of any nervousness and just enjoy the moment.
Be sure to say…“I’m having such a great time getting to know you. Thanks for agreeing to come out with me tonight.”
Following these tips can help make your first date more enjoyable and help you get to know the other person better. Remember to be yourself, find common ground, ask open-ended questions, pay attention to body language, and look for shared interests and values. With a little preparation and a positive attitude, you can have a successful and memorable first date.
- “The Science of Conversation: What to Talk About on a First Date” by social psychologist Arthur Aron, published in The New York Times
- “The Top 12 Things to Talk About on a First Date” bydating coach and matchmaker Susan Trombetti, published on Elite Singles
- “20 Things to Talk About on a First Date That Will Tell You If You’re Compatible” by dating coach and matchmaker Samantha Burns, published on Business Insider