Few occasions can be as exhilarating or nerve-wrecking as a first date. There’s the question of what you’ll wear (we recommend something you already feel confident in), what you’ll do, and of course, what you’ll actually talk about-besides your professions. Whether you’re getting back out there after divorce or breakup, or you’re just interested in meeting new people, these first date conversation starters and tips will help prevent the date from drying up before you’ve ordered an appetizer.
Experts agree, one of the greatest ways to decrease anxiety linked to first dates is entering the meeting with a plan. No, you don’t need talking points on index cards or a script you’ve rehearsed, but a solid strategy to increase the chances of chemistry can’t hurt. Who knows, follow these suggestions and it just might be your last Oxford free hookup dating sites first date (wink).
Build on what you already know.
Expand upon what you’ve learned from the initial source of connection to propel the dialogue. For example, if you matched online, refer to something in their dating profile and ask them a question about the topic, says Carbino. If a mutual friend set you up, unpack how each of you knows them. And so on.
State the obvious.
If you’re not sure how to jump into a conversation, comment about something in your environment. For starters, you could ask them if they’ve ever been to the coffee shop, park or wherever they proposed to meet, before, or if they spend significant time in that neighborhood, says Carbino. “You could then quickly segue into a broader conversation about the city, food, travel, or another topic, based upon the cues you pick up initially,” she adds.
Don’t ask them what they do for a living.
“A first date is all about showing interest,” says Dr. ily therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. Instead of asking the typical ‘What do you do?,’ frame the query in an open-ended way. Greer suggests trying the following: ‘How did you decide to go into this line of work? When did you know this was what you wanted to do?’ Another way to approach this topic: ‘Is there anyone who inspired you to pursue your career or stick it out, though you may have faced challenges? If so, what’s the story there?’”
Getting your date to elaborate will reveal more about their personality and interests. “In this example, you’re looking for more information about their background and line of thinking, rather than just a description of their job,” says Greer.
Pay attention to how they respond to you.
To determine if your person of interest is relational or self-centered, note if they inquire about you at all, recommends Dr. Henry Cloud, psychologist, speaker and author. “When you answer, do they immediately turn it into talking about themselves, or can they stay on you for any time at all,” he says. Granted, there could also be nerves involved (often, it’s easier to ramble) but this is something still worthy of cueing into.
It’s also important to listen to their actual answers; a person’s responses can often show their true selves. For example, if you ask how long they’ve been on a dating site and what their experience has been, are they saying belittling things like “There are so many idiots out there.” Or, are they more level-headed, with responses such as “I’ve met some nice people, and had some good experiences. and of course, some that weren’t.” Cloud says focusing on conversation patterns like this is an essential tip to gauge character.
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