Maybe you are looking for that certain person to spend the rest of your life with. Perhaps you are just looking to expand your social circle and are looking for a lady to share nights out with. No matter what the reason, the truth is that first dates are tricky for everyone. Knowing how to talk to your date may seem simple but, for shy people, it can be difficult.
Throw an introspective personality into the mix and the process of dating can be a minefield for shy men. So, what can you do to improve your dating skills and increase the chances of a second date? Let’s dig into the question, what to talk about on the first date?
Tips and Techniques for Dating Chat
If you are a shy person you already know that you tend to overthink things. A first date can soon become awkward if you are not fully in the moment. Use these techniques to prepare for your date and give yourself the chance to shine.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Small Talk
Nobody expects you to be delving into your personal history or revealing intimate details on a first date. In fact, this can be incredibly uncomfortable for both parties. Here are some things to talk about that will get the small talk flowing:
● Talk about the weather if it has been interesting. Has it affected your journey to the venue, or has it affected your date’s experience?
● Talk about your pets. Most people love animals and it can be a great way to bond.
● Vacations. This is a perfect subject to chat about with your date. Share pictures on your cell if you have them.
● Music. Ask your date what her preferred type of music is and if she has been to any interesting gigs lately.
Tell An Amusing Story About Yourself
Have you said or done something recently that was silly or maybe a bit absent-minded? Showing a funny self-deprecating story can show your date you have a warm sense of humor. Showing you are approachable is a great way to make your date feel comfortable.
How To Give Your Date A Compliment Without Seeming Creepy
Chances are your date has made an effort with their appearance and it would be rude not to comment. However, the comment you make should be appropriate. Telling your date that they are stunningly beautiful on a first date is a bit over the top. Telling her she has a radiant smile is much better. Comment on her style of clothing or maybe she is wearing cool shoes. Has she got a funky belt or any type of unique clothing? Also avoid commenting on any type of body part as, no matter what you say, it will be creepy.
Conducting a conversation that flows is essential. When you ask questions to make sure they can be expansive with their answers and your question prompts more than a “yes” or “no” response. Begin your conversations with “What do you think of….” Or “What kind of …….” Combined with regular eye contact and relaxed body language you will encourage your date to join in the conversation.
Show Interest In Your Date
Give them a little bit of information about yourself and then wait for them to share similar stuff. Talk about what you do for a living without becoming too geeky. Nobody wants to hear every last detail of your job on a first date. A general description is fine and you can follow it up with a question about her work. Share aspirations about your career but avoid being too specific. You want to show your date you are a good prospect without being boastful.
Find A Common Interest
If you are lucky, you will find a common interest that you can talk about. Maybe you follow the same sports team or love the same type of music. This is not essential on a first date, but it is worth trying. You could find a topic that will help you bond and be the start of something beautiful!
Focus On What You Are Comfortable With
Being shy means you find it difficult to release information to people you don’t really know. Focusing on subjects you are knowledgeable about will relax you and help you open up to your date. The first thirty minutes will be the most difficult and as you become more relaxed you will feel more confident to explore different subjects.
Choose The Correct Setting
A first date can be daunting. If you are dating someone who is a stranger to you it can be awkward to meet in a venue that is too quiet. Choose a cinema or theatre date if you are uncomfortable talking for lengthy periods of time. This option can have drawbacks though. What if your date doesn’t appreciate your choice of film or show? Choosing a film or show should be a joint decision and it can be handy to give your date several options to choose from.
Many people choose restaurants for first dates and this can work for shy people as the meal becomes the focus of the date rather than the conversation. Again, you need to make sure your date is happy with your choice of venue. Choosing a place that serves an eclectic mix of food types is a safe way to keep it comfortable and helps your date to feel relaxed. Food is also a great way to share experience and can give you fun topics to talk about.
You may want to keep it casual for your first date if you are worried about what to talk about. A museum or art gallery can give you the option to begin a date with culture and discover if you want to prolong the date with drinks or dinner. Allowing the date to flow will help you feel in control of the experience and gives your date options. If the date is too formal and dictated by a timeline it is difficult to find a way to end it if needed.
The perfect first date should be tailored to both of you. A noisy venue will not be ideal if you want to get to know each other but can be a distraction. Encouraging the date to progress in real-time will give you an indication of how your date is feeling.
What NOT to Talk About on Dates
Your Complete Life Story
Yes, your date should be interested in you, but do they really want to know every detail of your life? As a shy person, you may feel the need to overcompensate for your natural reticence. This is not needed! Keep it light and amusing. Ask your date about themselves without being too intrusive. A first date is meant to be fun and a chance to find out about someone new generally is.
You may feel more comfortable if you fess up and admit you are shy. If your date is aware that you have issues with making connections, they will feel extra special that you have made the effort to reach out to them. Your natural caution will tell you what you are comfortable revealing.
Never bring up negative aspects of your former love life. You can mention if you have been married previously and have children but trust me your date doesn’t want to hear details of any former relationships. Subjects such as former girlfriends or wives are for the future, way in the future!
Never talk about your future together on a first date. Even if the connection seems to be electric and you are already dreaming of a rosy future together. If you presume she feels the same, you could scare her off forever. This is your first date, hopefully, the first of many – so make sure you remind yourself of this fact if you feel the need to speculate about the future. Discussing a second date should be left until the end of the date unless she brings up the subject.
Your Cell Phone
The perfect scenario is to turn off your phone for the date but maybe that is not possible. If you need to keep your phone turned on, make sure you only respond to emergency calls or texts. Chatting with someone else on the phone will give your date the impression you are losing interest. You are there to get to know your date, not to chat with friends.
Politics and Religion
Two huge topics to steer clear of. Nothing creates conflict like politics and religion. You can always find out what your date’s thoughts are further into the relationship.
Awkward silences and how to deal with them
Shy people are used to awkward silences. They are usually too busy processing their thoughts and feelings during a conversation to carry on talking. This is fine once your partner is used to it but on a first date, it can be extra awkward.
Knowing how to move the conversation on with a few prepared phrases can be the key to a successful first date. The key point is to ask questions that require details and can lead to other topics. As with small talk, the more you practice filling awkward silences the more adapt you will become.
Learn Some Basic Icebreakers
Icebreakers should be simple and encourage discussion. “What do you do for fun?” or “How do you like to spend your free time?” will help to fill a silence. If you have mutual acquaintances, you can ask when your date last saw them and how they are doing. TV shows and films work well as conversation starters and popular characters can provide interesting chats.
Avoid Conversation Stoppers
We have already discussed open-ended conversations and how to pose a question that opens other avenues. Answering a similar question with a ‘yes” or “no” response is likely to lead to an awkward silence. When answering a question always expand your answer and include personal information.
For example: “Do you enjoy swimming?” Always respond with an answer that leads to further conversation. “Yes, I love to swim. I went snorkeling in Mexico last year and saw some amazing tropical fish. Have you ever snorkeled?”
Take The Pressure Off
Having pre-prepared topics to talk about will help the date flow but be prepared for silences. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Smile at your date and take a deep breath. Focus on a new topic that seems appropriate and try again. Your date will understand and appreciate your effort.
A quick tip: If you fidget when you are nervous, try sitting on your hands if the conversation dries up. Nothing is more distracting than someone flailing their hands and even drumming on the table. The good thing is if you do need to fidget, you can do it without your date realizing. Keep your hands in your pockets or under the table as your anxiety levels rise.
Mirror A Conversation
You need to show your date you are listening and have not retreated from the conversation. Mirroring is a technique to show them you are engaged and interested.
For example, your date tells you that she is learning French at night school, you can then respond “Wow, learning a new language is something I have always wanted to do. Why did you choose French and how are you progressing?” You are validating what the other person is saying by repeating a key factor in their statement.
Change the Subject
Topics can be exhausted and lead to silences but knowing how to change the subject will help. Try these phrases to move a conversation along:
● “Hey, on a totally unrelated matter, how do you feel about….”
● “Going back to what you said earlier”
● “What is the weirdest thing you ever….”
Bringing up a new subject up out of the blue can seem quirky but it will help you show your fun side. You can also use your surroundings to fill a lull in the conversation. Commenting on an inanimate object will break a silence. “Wow, look at that painting over there, are you artistic at all?”
What To do If You Have A Bad Date
First, accept that not all dates are going to be successful. If they were, life would be so much simpler. Second, was it a bad date or just a bit awkward? Try having a few phone conversations before arranging any further dates as you may find a spark that encourages you to meet again.
If you find the date just isn’t working for you, know when to call it quits. There is no need to be rude. Just use a non-committal comment like, “I really should be going now. Thanks for a lovely dinner” will signal your intent does not include another date.