Messaging a potential date online is drastically different to trying to find suitable chatting topics whilst sat opposite them in a busy bar or restaurant. This is why we’re here to point you in the right direction. These aren’t exclusive to first dates, so store them in your head for those awkward silences that need filling. As an added bonus, by being the conversation starter you will most probably win points for making them feel more at ease and therefore get to know the real personality, rather than the nervous small talking one.
To save time lets firstly just cover the no-go topics (at least until you’re comfortable together anyway). Ex partners always evoke a plethora of emotions and tales of usually unhappy times, which will make you both feel uncomfortable, so that should definitely avoided. If you start to get into the danger zone where one of the conversations you have ends with “I went there with my ex” get off that topic as quickly and subtly as possible. Religion and politics are the other two subjects that tend to divide or bond people, however, for your first couple of dates this is unnecessarily heavy. Find out if you like each other on a more basic level before moving onto whether you’re going to convert to their faith.
Ok here goes with our failsafe conversation starters. Quick note first though, remember to ask these and then listen to the answers too. It’s not a quick fire game of twenty questions. Listening is a skill many struggle with in a date scenario as they think if they talk continuously it won’t be awkward and the other date attendee will get you know you more quickly. This is false; your date will just think you’re strange or inappropriately drunk.
People that have had, or continue to have, a positive influence on your lives is a great start. This will tell you a lot about your dates upbringing as well as the effects the people they describe, have had on them. Don’t forget to share yours too, after all the date isn’t all about them!
Other happy topics that will hopefully encourage anecdotes and laughs are asking about your dates best friends, who are they, what do they do and how they met as well as their favourite place in the world and why, which will probably start a lengthy chat about gap years or dream holidays. Next, what better to chat about than what makes you laugh, this won’t be as awkward after you’ve been chatting a while so allow yourselves to warm up first. Everyone wants to be made to laugh, right?
Next, why not try running through some of your favourite things. Films, foods and bands will give you a real insight into your date and whether their love of cheesy 80’s pop is something you can learn to love.
Finally, if you’re still struggling, a real foolproof way to get your other half talking is to discuss your goals. Whether its to learn to knit or have a huge family and beach cottage, it is another method of seeing how ‘on the same page’ you are.