How to start a good conversation? You have to be careful with first date conversation starters. Get it right and away you go, but get wrong and you can really crash and burn. You want to be interesting and you want to get the conversational ball rolling, but this can be difficult when you don’t know anything about the person sitting opposite you. A good start is to avoid anything that could be too controversial, so leave politics and religion until you get to know the guy better and try these less dangerous conversation openers and techniques instead:
1. Share your day
One of the easiest first date conversation starters is simple – share your day. Starting with small talk is the easiest way to get a conversation started and what happened to you today is a good enough place to begin. Don’t just go with ‘my day was awful, how was yours?’ that’s going to go nowhere. Expand your description of your day with a story like how you lost your phone or someone scratched your car and that way you will encourage a more detailed response, than ‘Really? Me too’.
2. Make the most of your opportunities
Another tip on first date conversation starters is – don’t miss any opportunity to get the conversation going. If you are dining out and you’re both looking at the menu, think about these two different ways that you can ask what your date is going to eat: on the one hand, you could say ‘what are you having?’ The answer to that could well be one word ‘Lasagne’. On the other hand, the question of ‘what kind of food do you like?’ could lead to an entire discussion.
3. Ask about work or favorite hobbies
Asking about work, career plans or hobbies is a pretty safe bet to get someone talking and, if you show an interest in what interests them, you will learn more about the person as well. Most people are happy and feel comfortable talking about work, even, if that’s only because it gives them an opportunity to tell you how much they hate their job.
4. Comment about an item of clothing
First date conversation starters also include compliments. Compliments are the easiest way to put someone at ease, so something along the lines of ‘I love that tie, where did you get it from?’ is a good lead into many other possible topics from shopping to even travel, if he bought the tie on a trip abroad.
5. Refer back to past conversations
Even on a first date, you will most likely have talked to the guy before, even if it was only to arrange the date. Think back to your earlier conversations and use them to create new ones. He might have said that he can’t do Wednesdays, because he always plays a sport on Wednesdays. There you go, you have a conversation: ‘What sport? Is he in a team? How long has been playing? Does he play any other sport?’
6. Keep up with the news
When you know you are going on a first date, check out the news bulletins and current affairs programs on TV, if that’s something that you don’t usually do. ‘Did you see that piece of news on the TV?’ is a guaranteed winner. If he hasn’t seen it, you can tell him about it and if he did see it, then you can discuss it further.
7. Talk about not talking!
Another one of good first date conversation starters is to start talking about not talking. Half the battle is just breaking the ice, so if you really have nothing else to talk about, try talking about that. You’re probably both feeling the awkwardness of the situation, so try saying ‘it’s really a bit awkward when you first meet someone, don’t you think so?’ Job done! You might be talking about not talking but you’re talking!
8. Lead with a statement, not a question
Whatever you do, you don’t want to make a date sound like an interview. You can avoid this by making a statement before a question. For example, if you wanted to ask what movies he likes, start by talking about a movie that you have seen recently and then ask what kind of movies he likes. That will avoid it sounding as though you are bombarding him with one question after another.
9. Listen with your both ears
Listening carefully is another good tip on how to make a good conversation. If you ask a question then listen to the answer, because that’s where your next comment will come from. The easiest way to keep the conversation flowing is ask him to expand on his last comment, so pay attention and show an interest and he will return the favor.
10. Remember, it’s just talk
A first date is quite a weird and false situation really. You want to impress and you want to find out as much, as you can about your date. By far the best piece of advice that anyone can give you is to try and relax. When you’re with your friends, the talking probably never stops, so you know that there’s no magic to it. On a first date though, you will both be nervous, but if you relax, then the chances are that he will relax too and the talks will begin.