Photo by Rawpixels/Pexels Fundamentals of First Date Conversation image

First date conversation can seem daunting, but you really just need practice.

If you’re someone who struggles with conversations, especially when meeting someone for the first time, that’s okay. These conversations can be challenging for a variety of reasons, and our trepidations about talking with strangers can prevent us from connecting, which ironically would make having a conversation easier!

As a confidence booster and refresher, here are some basic tips about the fundamentals of conversation that you can work on in preparation for your date!

1. Listen, really listen!

This is the key to a good conversation. Just making sure you’re engaged, really present, and listening. It’s so easy to let thoughts wander during a conversation, especially on a date, to things like: “is this going well?” “Did I get something stuck in my teeth?” or “What should I say next?” that you can actually lose the thread of conversation. Ironically, focusing internally during a date is highly likely to result in a bad conversation, because people are very good at sensing when you’re really listening to them.

2. Find balance between questions & contributions

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, asking questions is an important component of a good conversation, and yet no one wants to feel like they’re interviewing for the job of your partner. Asking questions without adding personal details about yourself decreases the fodder your date has to ask questions about your life! A good strategy is to add a detail about yourself but follow it up with a question, putting the ball back in the other person’s court.

3. Avoid judgment

Whether it’s taste in movies, thoughts on world travel, or politics, if your date says something you disagree with, try to hold back judgement. You probably know where your red lines are, but strong, conflicting opinions on which Fleetwood Mac album is the best can actually lay the foundation for a spirited, healthy conversation. So try to keep an open mind as much as possible.

4. Be open

Although there are things you may not want to get into on a first date, being as open as you feel comfortable being will help keep your conversation flowing. When we’re authentic, we express ourselves more freely, and that tends to make for a more natural, flowing conversation.

Check out some additional tips here.