The Dating Chat Game

BY COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT

KOLARELE SONAIKE

When asked to identify the most important trait that people look for in a date, ‘meaningful conversation’ was the top answer. In a recent Plenty of Fish survey, 87 percent of daters said they found someone more attractive after a good conversation. 

So here are three simple tips to update your conversation game in time for your next first date:

1) Listen Actively

It’s important to listen equally as speak. But listening shouldn’t just be a passive exercise of just waiting silently until it’s your turn to speak. 

Instead, make your listening active using a few techniques:

  • Good eye contact while they speak. Make a connection with your eyes for about the length of a sentence or two (5-10 seconds) and remember that when we smile genuinely, we see it in the eyes.
  • Open responsive body language like leaning in to show interest and avoid crossing arms as it signals disinterest.
  • Put the mobile phone away or, to really make a point, let your date see you turn it off
  • Ask follow up questions that let your date say more ie not “that reminds me of the time when I…”  as in story about yourself.
  • Active listening signals that you find them interesting, which in turn will make them want to reciprocate.

2) Take Conversation Risks

Boring questions are conversation dampeners. “What do you do?”. “What movies do you like?”. “Do you have any brothers and sisters?”. These are all questions that will get you information, but not much insight.

Remember, it’s ‘meaningful conversation’ people want. So go for bolder questions that push the conversation into more revealing territory. If you have to talk about work, how about: “Would you still do your job if you didn’t need the money?”. On movies: “What’s the last movie that made you cry with laughter?”. On family: “Whose the rebellious one in your family?”. It is riskier, but you’re looking for love and attraction not a knitting partner. 

3) Find Passion

‘We had nothing in common’ is the top reason daters give for bad dates. But don’t assume that this means you need to like the same things. The chances of both of you being into the same kind of HIIT workout are quite low.  But where you can connect is through your passions. If I love stamp collecting and you love Aussie Rules Football, then what we have in common is a passion for our interests. That is a great space to share. 

Ask and talk about the things that arouse your passions. There is no better aphrodisiac.

Good luck and if at first you don’t succeed, date, date, and date again. 

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