The Art of Conversation on a Date

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How do we define a date as "great"? What is that special something we’re looking for to determine whether or not there is a spark?

Conversation. Dates, especially a first or second one, have their own rhythm. You want the conversation to be fun, engaging, flirtatious, but also informative.

Mastering the art of conversation for a date can help you determine fairly quickly if there is potential, while also giving you the room to learn about each other. At the end of your time together, you should know more about one another than when you started. Here’s what has helped me have great dates while also guarding my heart:

Ask questions: Where have they traveled, and what did they learn about themselves? What is their family like? Where would they like to be in 5 years? Questions like these will help you begin to gauge their values, interests, priorities, and ambitions. And they’re easy for him to ask back, helping him get to know you as well. And if a question sparks an enthusiastic conversation that takes up the whole time, go with it!

Be engaged: 38 percent of college students cannot go ten minutes without checking their phone. Wish I could say I’m much better, but I won’t tell you how many times I’ve compulsively checked my phone while writing this post. It can be just as difficult when on a date. When that other person is speaking, show your interest with eye contact, open body language such as leaning forward rather than crossing your arms, and facial responses that register your engagement. (Men appreciate this, too.) There will be plenty of time to text your friends and update your Facebook status when you’re back at your own apartment.

Know your boundaries: So you've put the first two tips into practice and the conversation chemistry is unbelievable. Everything is flowing so well, you’re tempted to let him into the inner corners of your heart. But this is not the time to air out the past-relationship baggage or other such personal details. It may be that someday he will have earned the right to know, but, at this point, you need to be wise about sharing enough for him to begin to know you without overwhelming or misplacing trust. And, of course, leaving him wanting to get to know you better is good!

What have you found helpful for getting to know someone when you first start dating them?

(Image via Shannon Lee Miller Photography)

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Joanna Hyatt

chill out music