Your first date is a make or break situation. If it goes really bad, there is a 95% chance that you are not going to get to try again, and if it goes really well, there is almost a 100% chance that you will get to try again. Because the first date is all about communication, you need to have a plan for making the first date conversation rock.
Whether you like talking or not, this is just something you have to do. If you say nothing, your date will become suspicious of your intentions and lose trust in you as someone viable for a relationship. So, use the following tips to make sure your first conversation is awesome enough to earn you another date.
1. Leave Your Phone In The Car Or Turn It Off
If you have your phone on you, then your first date conversation is going to be full of awkward pauses where you check to see who texted, what alert you got, etc. Unless you are waiting for an emergency call, it is completely unnecessary to have your phone on the date. It is a sign of disrespect (my phone is more important than this date) and it interrupts the flow of the conversation.
For instance, you may be talking about something really important to your date and be invested in the conversation knowing that it is helping you form a stronger bond – and then your phone beeps. Habits die hard so you won’t be able to resist taking a look to see what is was, and instantly a conversation that had meaning, and was helping you get closer, will become something of much less importance and likely stop altogether.
2. Don’t Talk About Something You Have Already Covered – Unless It Ties Into Something New
If you have talked briefly before or lots on the phone, there are certain things that you have already covered. You don’t need to bring them up again unless it is a reference point for your new conversation. If you start talking about stuff you’ve already mentioned, then things are going to get awkward. When that happens, you will panic and get stuck for what to say and the conversation will go downhill.
But, you can talk about something again that ties into your current conversation. For instance, if you are talking about a time that you went bungee jumping, you can bring up the time that you told your date about your fear of heights. This helps tie the two things together and reinforces the little tidbit about you in their mind.
3. Make Some Of Your Stories Exciting
What’s the best way to bore someone to death on your first date? Talk about boring stuff! Exciting stories rev up the excitement towards you while boring stuff makes you look uninteresting. On a first date, it’s all about being interesting enough to sell yourself as someone they want to spend more time with.
I realize you may be an accountant who really enjoys numbers and excel, but talking about that stuff is not going to excite your date and make you look interesting – unless they are an accountant too. So, take into consideration what your date likes and talks about, and then add stories that reflect that into your first date conversation.
Stories are really the best way to give your date a clearer picture of who you are and why you would be fun to be around. During a first date conversation, making it clear how awesome you are is important because it helps you paint a picture of why you would be a good long term partner. Not to scare you, but most people are looking for someone they can spend their life with and a first date is kind of like a test run to see if you would make their life more fun or just drag it down.
4. Don’t Let Big Pauses Ruin Your Date
On a first date, you are not comfortable with each other, so big pauses are going to be awkward! When you get to know each other better, and just want to take in the moment, they won’t be so bad, but for now you have to keep the conversation going if you are face-to-face and there is nothing to watch or do.
I learned a trick a long time ago called cherry picking that becomes a natural way to continue the conversation once you master it. This requires listening, so make sure you got your listening ears on during your first date.
What you do is listen for one little ‘cherry’ to talk about and then you pick it to start a new conversation. Let’s use the following conversation as an example.
Your date: “I get a few days off this week.” (No cherry)
You: “What are you going to do?”
Your date: “I’ll probably go visit my mom and do some gardening.” (Gardening is a cherry. When you get stuck later on, you can ask your date what type of gardening they do.)
You: “Do you visit your mom often?”
Your date: “Yes. I’m there almost every weekend. We have a very close relationship.” (No cherry)
You: “What do you two do together?”
Your date: “We cook, watch movies, and go for walks. We are both nature freaks, so we like to hike.” (Cooking and nature are both cherries, but because they emphasized the hiking, bring that up next and save the cooking for later.)
See how that works? As long as you can remember little things that your date is talking about, you will always be able to bring up something that interests them. You don’t have to continuously ask them questions either. In fact, you shouldn’t because constantly asking them questions can feel weird for both of you after a while.
Keep in mind that they may not realize how much they disclose to you and how carefully you are listening, so you can randomly start a story about gardening or cooking if you have one and it’s pretty much guaranteed that they will be interested and a whole conversation will ensue from it.
5. Don’t Say Everything That Is On Your Mind
Sure, you may not normally date people with their hair color or car, but you don’t have to say it! Some things are just rude to say, and there is no need for them. They will hurt your date’s feelings, make them question how much the date really means to you, or piss them off. This includes, but is not limited to:
– You are not as outgoing as my ex.
– I only came to this place because I knew you would like it.
– I wasn’t sure if I was going to like you.
– My friends are the ones that convinced me to come out with you.
– You should eat faster/slower/more/less.
– I usually don’t date people like you.
– I guess I have much more ambition than you do! (I’ve heard this!)
– This date is going better than I thought it would!
– I’m not sure if this date is going well.
Anything that feels rude or criticizing probably is. Put on your filter, pay attention to your thoughts and what is going to come out of your mouth, and then keep the bad stuff in that filter unless you never want to see your date again.
6. Be Clear About Your Points
Don’t leave any room for your date to read between the lines during your first date conversation. Often, your date won’t want to clear up what you are saying because it feels intrusive, so what they read between the lines will be stuck in their mind as they consider going out with you again. If you leave it up to their imagination, they may decide that it was something too serious for you to talk about.
For instance, if you are talking about your relationship with your parents who you recently got upset with, and you say, “Yeah, we have a pretty close relationship,” while you shrug your shoulders and roll your eyes, then you are telling your date that there is more than meets the eye between you and your parents.
Something that simple could affect how your date sees you. Especially if they feel that family is very important and anyone they are with needs to have strong family ties. To make it clearer, you should say, “Yeah, we are pretty close. We have our ups and downs like any family, but family is important and we all stick together.” This will help your date get a clearer picture of your family dynamics and leave nothing to the imagination.
7. Maintain Eye Contact
If you shift your eyes around the room as you talk, then you are going to set yourself up to look disinterested, nervous, awkward, and possibly even a little annoyed. It depends on your date’s perception of people who do not make eye contact and what your date reads into it.
Eye contact is the best way to show interest whether you are talking or listening. It is also the best way to show that you are being honest and sincere as you talk. If you say something and look away, then that sends a message that you are annoyed or bored (however they perceive it) and you may make them feel uncomfortable, which will add an awkward element to your date.
8. Don’t Joke About Things That Could Hurt Their Feelings
You may think you are joking when you talk about their large appetite or funny laugh, but they won’t. They will hear criticism, which will make them think that they are not living up to some potential you have in your mind. It’s a first date conversation, so they don’t know when you are joking or not. They don’t know how you interact with others. And they don’t know how big your ego is or isn’t. So save the jokes and insults for some other date.
If you are not sure if you are being insulting or not, imagine talking to a stranger. It’s probably the best way to cover all your basis of rude things to say. If you wouldn’t say it to someone randomly as you pass by, then don’t say it on your first date.
9. Don’t Ask Questions And Not Show Interest In The Answers
Don’t ask something just for the sake of filling in the conversation. Honestly, it would be better if you said nothing at all at that point. This is because your disinterest will show and your date will feel as though you don’t like the answer or really care about the answer, and you are just being nice by asking. Talk about making your date’s mind up about you! They will never want to go out and make you disinterested in them again.
Remember, every answer you get from your date is important to them. They are not just spewing out nonsense that they made up on a whim. They are sharing real details of their life with you, and if you are not interested in what they are saying, then you are sending the message that you are not interested in them.
10. Don’t Try To Get Too Personal
Asking them about their sex life, ex, family life, or other personal stuff is not appropriate on the first date – for most people. You might meet someone who breaks these rules, but for the most part, people aren’t comfortable enough yet to talk about those things. You are just getting to know each other, so you have not entered each other’s personal space yet.
If that doesn’t convince you, then think of this: If you get too personal, then you could make your date feel more connected to you than you want. If you are not interested in them, and they have already shared personal things with you, then you may have someone too invested on your hands. Stalking could become an issue, but more often than not you are going to have to deal with an emotionally upset person who you have only been on a date with once.
11. Don’t Ask About Their Friends
Lastly, don’t ask about their friends during the first date conversation! This is especially true if you have met their friends. Why? Because the date is about them, not their friends. If you ask about their friends, then they could interpret that as you are more interested in their friends than them. That will not be a good thing! So, unless they bring up their friends, leave the topic alone.