It can get embarrassing when you run into a lull in conversation, especially when you first meet someone. That is when you think, “I should have given further consideration on what to talk about on a date.”
What to Talk about on a Date – Why Did the Conversation Go Silent?
While silence may be golden for some, it is downright painful when those who are dating someone new. In fact, during and after the date, you may start to ask yourself questions when this happens – questions that undoubtedly will affect your self-confidence.
For example, you may wonder about the following –
- “What did I say that caused him or her to stop talking?
- “Should I have said things differently?”
- “What did I do to make him/her feel uncomfortable?”
- “Did I scare him/her away with that awkward and embarrassing pause?”
- “Should I text him/her?”
You may also frantically tell yourself the following, when everything goes silent.
“Oh no! This is no good! This conversation has become boring. What do I say?!”
What is bad about an awkward silence is just that – it is so darn awkward. And it happens when you don’t want it to – when you are trying to impress someone. That silence also seems to happen more often on a first date, or more frequently with a person we have just met. That is because we are trying to make a first good impression.
The Awkward Silence Zone
You may want to come across as charming, witty, or funny, and therefore may place a lot of pressure on yourself. Add a fear that you may come across as weird or dumb, and guess what? You enter a zone you want to avoid – the awkward silence zone.
How to Become More Conversational
If you want to prevent this silence from happening and get more mileage out of your communications, you need to go the distance in being a conversationalist.
Ask yourself the following:
- What do all conversationalists have in common?
- Do they speak more eloquently or have more to say?
- Are they smarter or more charming?
1. Develop Your Listening Skills
People who keep a conversation going know how to listen. Therefore, all conversationalists share this trait, and have developed their ability to really listen to another person. That way, they can easily go with the flow, and know what to talk about on a date.
2. Preparing Yourself Conversationally
Instead of asking yourself self-doubting questions, make it a practice to ask fun and pointed questions – questions whose answers are interesting to contemplate. You might call these questions conversation starters – questions that will engage each of you into speaking more fluidly.
However, before you survey this listing, you need to prepare in other ways too. For example, it is always a good idea to read upon current events. That way, you are already psychologically equipped to ask questions and listen.
3. Ask Questions and Listen
You should also be direct. For example, if you feel a bit anxious, it never hurts to admit that you are nervous. By asking questions and listening, you can forget your nerves more easily.
Also, don’t forget to compliment him on how he or she looks. For example, you might say, “I really like your hair style” Where did you have it cut?” Or you might say, “That is a nice-looking shirt. Where did you buy it?” Those questions alone can get a conversation ignited.
How to Get Them to Talk
Remember, most people do not find it difficult to talk about themself. Therefore, you can always ask the following questions and get a conversation going:
- Where are you originally from?
- Where did you go to college?
- What do you do on your job?
- What do you usually do on the weekends?
Any questions that you ask that help you get to know someone better will usually keep the conversation going on for quite some time.
Learn to Stay Calm and Relaxed
You can ask questions more easily when you learn to stay calm and relaxed. Don’t worry about impressing you date. Be yourself and behave naturally. Just don’t talk about yourself and overdo it. While it is natural to talk about life goals, hobbies, and interests, you don’t want to commandeer the discussion. Not only is it rude, your date will probably consider you to be conceited – someone whose interest lies only in themself.
When asking questions, ask questions that will clue you in on your date’s personality, and his or her likes and dislikes. Select inquires that intrigue or inspire.
10 Conversation Starters + One Bonus Question
Below are some great conversation starters.
- What is something I would never believe about you?
While this question is a bit mischievous, it gets your date to express as much or little as he or she wants about themself.
- If you did not have to work, how do you think you would spend time?
This question helps you learn more about your date’s interests and values. At least, if they don’t fit with yours, you have been forewarned.
- What do you like the most about living in this city?
This permits you to find out what you do or do not have in common. If you find that you share some common interests, you can plan activities for future dates.
- What do you like to watch on TV?
What a person likes to watch on TV, reflects his or her tastes. Does he or she watch the news a great deal? Maybe he or she save times to watch sportscasts. If you like sports too, you will find that you have a common interest.
- What have you read lately?
You can tell a lot about a person by what he or she likes to read, or by his or her lack of interest in reading at all. Learning the answer to this question will allow you to discover your date’s intellectual passions or pursuits.
- Do you still talk to childhood friends?
When you ask this question, you can get an idea of how your date values loyalty and friendship. Knowing this information will give you an idea of what to talk about on a date.
- Do you live close to your family?
How your date responds to this question will give you further insight into his or her background and values.
- What were you like when you were a child?
The answer to this question will give you a hint as to their involvement as an adult.
- Who are your friends? Do they work with you?
When you enter into a relationship with someone, you also have to get along or communicate with his or her friends. Being able to talk about others enables you to talk to one another with less apprehension or stress.
- What music do you like?
Use this question to find out more about your date’s tastes and preferences. Does he or she like to dance? What musical genres does he or she prefer? Does he or she like country, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, instrumental, classical, or jazz?
One Bonus Question
What is the worst pickup line you have ever heard or said?
Why not add a bit of flirtatious fun to your conversation? A bit of friendly banter is always good at breaking the conversational ice.
Some Additional Pointers
Once you have some starter question to ask, you can ask some questions related to the basic stuff. For example, if you ask your date what he or she likes to read, you can also ask if he or she has a favorite author. When it comes to talking about TV, you might ask what was the last show he or she binge-watched, or what TV show he or she liked as a kid.
If you talk about favorites, you can also ask about least-favorites. For example, you might ask, “What is your favorite ice cream?” and “What is you least favorite ice cream?” Just be careful not to turn the discussion into a debate or argument.
When speaking about favorites, as well, you might ask about his or her favorite outside activity and favorite inside activity – always a good way to get an idea for a second date.
When you ask about favorites or ask your date whether he or she prefers morning or evening, you are getting to know them better – all which allows you to turn that first date into a longer relationship.
Looking Out for the Conversational Red Signs
To make sure you keep the conversation flowing or know what to talk about on a date, look out for red warning signs first when you are speaking to someone over text. These signs give you clues about how your conversation might go if you choose to accept a date or plan a date with this person.
- If you feel a certain awkwardness while texting, it probably will continue if you meet him or her.
If the other person provides only one-word responses and asks the same dry and ho-hum questions, you may want to forget setting a time for a date. For example, if he or she asks you what you do for fun, or does not elaborate on his or her responses, you need to reconsider going out on a date. Ask yourself: What are the true motives of the respondent? Does he or she really want to meet me?
- Nailing down a place to meet becomes a chore.
If you are trying to plan a date with another person and he or she cannot tell you when they will be free, or takes forever to respond, how can you really talk on a date? If he or she keeps stonewalling, you may never have any kind of conversation to worry about.
- The other person unloads everything about himself or herself on you before you have even met.
While you won’t have any trouble getting this person to talk, you won’t have much to contribute, as most all your answers or responses will be short. Don’t waste your time with someone who texts his or her whole life story before you even meet. Use this sign as a warning – don’t go out on an IRL date or worry what to talk about with this kind of person.
Ensure a Smoother Conversational Flow
While planning a first date is not all that difficult, conversing in real life can be a challenge. Forget about romantic chemistry and leave that for the movies. What you say or don’t say can decide whether your first date will continue to date number two.
While a natural and organic discussion is best, most of us are a bit nervous when we have a first date. To ensure a smoother conversational flow, remember the following:
- Admit that you are nervous upfront.
Your date is probably somewhat nervous too. By making this admission, you can take some of the pressure off of talking. Focus on getting to know each other. Learn more about the other person and let him or her get to know you better too.
- Again, ask questions.
When people talk back and forth, they make progress conversationally. If you do not ask questions, the dialogue can become stale fairly fast.
- Asking about “favorites” helps keep the words flowing.
Who does not revel at talking about his or her favorite food, sports team, or pastime? When you ask about favorite things, you keep the date fun and light-hearted. Maybe you both love rocky road ice cream. If so, you have a reason to see each other again.
- Don’t reveal everything about your life.
While it is okay to be honest and forthcoming, you don’t want to replicate a therapy session when you talk. Let him or her reveal a little something about himself or herself, and you do the same.
- Don’t talk about politics.
While the discussion may become heated, and you both will have plenty to say, you should not begin any dates by talking politics. Awkward silences and heated discussions both lead to conversational disasters.
- Never lie.
Even if you tell a small lie, you are beginning your relationship on the wrong foot. People may lie to impress another person or when they want to appear more likable. However, if you continue to date the person, the truth, you will find, has a way of surfacing.
Get Your Self Worth from the Inside
Learn to emphasize your own qualities and strengths and focus on giving yourself validation rather than getting it from others. When you don’t focus on seeking another person’s approval, he or she will respond better to you.
By taking this approach, you won’t worry so much about what to talk about on a date. By developing a certain measure of confidence, you can talk more freely and openly, and develop healthier relationships.
Work on Your Self-Image
Do you believe in you? Are you giving yourself the credit you need and deserve? Self-esteem is an integral part of life – for forming relationships that last. If you work on your self-image, you can more easily talk to people.
For example, do you agree or disagree with the following statements:
- I think most people who talk to me find me boring.
- I have what it takes to socialize with others.
- People tend to respect you more if you are successful or good-looking.
- How I feel about myself is more important than others’ opinions of me.
- Being myself is a guarantee that people will dislike me.
- Being myself is a guarantee that people will like me.
- I deserve love and respect.
- It is important to me to be liked by the people I meet.
- I will never be as smart or skilled as most people.
- I’m afraid of rejection, especially from friends.
- I genuinely like myself.
- When someone rejects one of my ideas, I feel insulted.
The Fear of Rejection
When we run into glitches in conversation, or seek for what to talk about on a date, it often has to do with the fear of rejection. While rejection may hurt, most of us try not to let it affect us in how we feel about ourselves.
Remember – the only approval you need to worry about is your own. When you respect yourself, you are more likely to project that kind of self-confidence to your date, all which makes talking easier and more fun.
How to Build Your Self-esteem So It Is Easier to Talk
Your self-esteem stems from a number of personality traits, attitudes, and habits. That is why it is good to get into the habit of getting prepared for what to talk about on a date. Doing so will give you the knowledge and ability to make things more interesting for you and your date.
Keep in mind that your date also has weaknesses and is human. Often, we place the other person on a pedestal and overlook our own strengths and experiences. Remind yourself of these facts, and you will feel less anxious. When you feel less anxious, you can interact more easily and know what to talk about.
Exercise Your Socialization Skills
If you are more of an introvert now than an extrovert, you just need to exercise your socialization skills. However, instead of jumping into the routine, you need to warm up first. For example, you cannot expect to watch TV by yourself during the week and go out on a Friday night in a highly socialized setting. You need to get yourself into the social mold.
To know what to talk about on a date, you need to regularly phone friends and ask how they are doing or speak to people briefly during your daily routine. Get into the habit of asking people, “How are you doing?” That will give you the momentum you need to know what to a talk about on a date. By gradually honing your social skills, you can talk more easily in settings where the social stakes are higher.