So you have a first date on the horizon and you’ve spent a good three and half hours (and about a month’s rent) getting dolled up enough to leave your date speechless the moment he lays eyes on you. No matter how fantastic you look, however, all of your efforts will be done in vain if you are struggling to communicate with the guy. So that you don’t find yourself caught up in bad conversation or hearing crickets accompanied by the gulping down of your own wine to pass the seconds, be sure to check out the following tips for great first date conversation:
Remember to breathe. First dates always have the potential for a little awkwardness, but if you put too much pressure on what to say, it’s going to be difficult to get over it and onto good conversation. Of course you’re going to be riddled with nerves—there is no way around that. But remember that your date is going to be feeling nervous too. Take a deep breath, relax and pretend like you’re sitting there chatting it up with one of your best friends.
Just be yourself. One of the most important rules in dating is this one. We all want to impress others, but when you focus too much on trying to impress someone else rather than just being yourself, you won’t know if your date really likes you for you…or if he likes you for the person you’re pretending to be. The key to really impressing your date is to lead with your personality, honesty and confidence. And if that doesn’t work, then he wasn’t right for you in the first place—so on to the next!
It’s a date, not an interview. If you conduct the date as if you were conducting an interview for a job, don’t expect for him to take the position. Remember that a first date is an experience to have fun and experience someone new—you are going out with a guy, not putting him in the hot seat for a rehearsed series of twenty questions. Once you get past the initial small-talk, hopefully the ice will be broken and the two of you will be feeling more comfortable with one another. Of course, get to know him by asking meaningful questions, but let the questions arise naturally as the conversation flows.
Leave the past in the past. We all have pasts comprised of crazy exes and tales of crippling heartbreak. But your first date with someone new is no place to reveal a sob story that is sure to send your mascara running into your lobster dinner and your date running for the door (and you left there to foot the bill). Instead, sticking to light-hearted topics centered on the positive parts of life that you enjoy will make for smiling, laughing and easy conversation.
Let him talk. People love talking about themselves; and if you’re one who is prone to such conversational behavior, be mindful of it so to let the guy get a few words in edgewise. Dating is about getting to know someone new…so take advantage by actively listening to what your date has to say. Take note and be sure to provide feedback so that you both can determine whether or not there is a connection and possibility for more dates in the future.
Don’t get too serious. A surefire way to send a guy into panic mode is the mention of your dream wedding, the Vera Wang dress you already have a down payment on, and the names of your three unborn children. If you ever want to see the guy again, do not do this. Even if you can hear the ticking of your biological clock in your ear telling you that it’s time to settle down, DO NOT BRING UP THE FUTURE. It’s only a first date, so just focus on the present and take things slowly. You never know where it could lead—and that’s what makes dating so fun!
Erica St. Claire is a guest post author who enjoys writing about dating and relationships. In addition, Erica owns Catholic Dating Sites where she provides tips to the Catholic community for safe online dating.