What to Say on a Date07.12.13
There’s no doubt all of us have been on a date and felt like there’s nothing to talk about. But that doesn’t mean there’s no potential chemistry between you and your possible mate. Anxiety can leave your tongue tied when otherwise you may have made an instant connect. But how do you move past the jitters and on to jabbering the night away. Cotton Candy solicited the help of dating strategist and writer Damona Hoffman. She gives us ten ways to spark the conversation and keep your date full of chatter.
Even if you’re answering a yes or no question, follow up with details. If your date asks if you like classical music, and your answer is yes, then add on by also mentioning the composers that make you swoon. Details will help your date get to know the things that make you unique.
Personal experiences differentiate us from others. You don’t have to be an amazing storyteller, but everyone has that defining moment or childhood story to share. Have on hand a couple stories that you feel give someone a window into who you are and what you’re about, which will help spark conversation throughout the date.
Retell your best stories in the mirror, to people at parties, or with friends so you can deliver them vibrantly and off the top of your head even when nerves kick in. Practice promotes comfort.
Try to listen even more than you talk. Listening will help you understand the other person and respond in a more thoughtful way, which will make him feel connected to you.
Discover what you have in common.
You don’t want to get into an argument or offend your date when you’re first getting to know one another, so stick to the things that you have in common, perhaps hobbies, favorite movies or restaurants.
Talk about dreams.
People light up when they talk about the things they dream, wish, and hope for themselves. It could be as simple as a place they have always wanted to travel to or as deep as what they want to be known for in life. Respond with your dreams. Even offer a word of encouragement.
Your questions can also inspire your date to share valuable details. Rather than just asking what kind of music he listens to, ask him about the last concert he saw.
Make an observation.
If you feel stuck, try making an observation about something you see at the venue. You can then have a laugh or a discussion around a shared experience. This can be easier when you’re in a place you’ve never visited or a place that has a distinct décor.
Find out what he loves about his job.
Most dates go awry when you end up talking about work the whole time. However, most people spend more than 40 hours per week at their jobs, so it’s a topic that’s close to the surface. You’ll get more passion out of your date if you focus on the things they love about their jobs rather than their challenges or the specifics of their daily tasks.
Draw his family tree.
You can find out a lot about a date by the way he relates to family. Try to get a picture of who he is close to and the role of family in his life.
Remember body language.
Your body is talking even when you’re not. Make eye contact, convey a body positioning of listening, and smile – a lot. We tend to reciprocate what others give to us. So a smile will likely be returned with his handsome grin.
Damona Hoffman (aka “Dear Mrs D”) is a dating strategist and writer who has coached singles on how to find love in her JMag column and on UBN Radio. Hoffman is the author of Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating.