Avoid first-date anxiety with these five conversation tips. (stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net)
First dates can be a lot of fun. You’re getting to know someone new who could potentially be your next boyfriend or girlfriend, and the prospect of that new person is exciting. There’s also the scary part where you want to vet the other person and make sure they don’t have a criminal record or a bizarre armpit fetish.
We go into dates wanting to get to know the other person and see if or how they would fit into our lives. This is normal, we want to make sure we’re not wasting our time. But sitting across the table from an almost stranger and firing questions at them can be exhausting for both of you. There are ways to get to know them without letting them know you’re going through a mental checklist.
1) Show interest in them as a person. This means getting to know the human being and what makes them who they are instead of qualifying them for the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend you’ve decided you want after watching too many romantic comedies.
2) Talk about the things you already know you have in common. Even if you know very little about this person, there has to be one thing that you can both relate to. If you met online, you can ask them about their online dating experience. If you met through work, you can talk about a project you feel passionate about at work. If you met them at an intersection when you were stopped at a red light, you can talk about traffic and your driving skills.
3) Tell them an interesting story about yourself, but allow them to add to it with their own experiences. The story should not involve you getting wasted and blacking out unless that’s your plan for your date.
4) Talk about where you grew up and gradually take the conversation to where they grew up. This kind of talk usually brings up all the skeletons in their closet, helps you decide to stay and get to know them more or pretend you have a friend who just went into the hospital that you need to visit pronto.
5) When all else fails, talk about food. Everybody eats food, even anorexic people. You can ask them what their last meal would be and find out why they choose that meal. In the least, you’ll learn about their food allergies.
It’s easier than you think to learn about a person. All you have to do is show interest and let them get to know you. Now, all you have to do is find a date.