Ever gone on a dinner date with some hottie and been totally struck down with a bad case of nerves? Yep, you know what I’m talking about. That awkward silence. It’s just the two of you, face to face, with nothing to say. Rather than reaching for that extra glass of alcohol, here’s a few tips on how to start a conversation and get those nerves back in check.
Rather than talking about yourself, which can be a total turn off, particularly when it dominates the conversation; ask them some questions about themselves. For example, how they chose their career, what hobbies they might have and what interests them, if they are close with their family, do they have a particular place they like to go or any travel they’ve done or have planned. There’s always something you don’t know about a new love interest. Dinner dates give you both the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better.
The trick to reducing those date jitters is being able to start the conversation. Using open-ended questions is the key. These are the types of things you ask someone, which require more than a one or two word response. Close-ended questions can be a barrier to communicating, especially when you’re a bit nervous. Here’s a few of examples of both so you can appreciate the difference.
“I know you’ve been working at (wherever they work) for a while. Do you like working there?”
“ It’s a nice change to get dressed up and go somewhere different. Thanks for bringing me here. Have you been here before?”
“You said that you like the footy. Do you play or like to go and watch?”
“I know you’ve been working at (wherever they work) for a while. How did you end up working there?”
“It’s a nice change to get dressed up and go somewhere different. Thanks for bringing me here. What made you choose this place?”
“You said before that you like the footy, but I’m not sure if you play or like to go to games. I’d really like to hear more about that?
As you can see, the first set of questions can be answered with a single word response; while the second set opens the opportunity to begin a conversation. Listen to what your date has to say and you can build on the conversation, using more open-ended questions. This will keep the conversation flowing. Asking closed ended questions is okay once the conversation has begun.
There is an art to effective communication. Remember, if you are nervous, chances are your date is as well. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively will ease the nerves for you both and will result in an exceptionally enjoyable and successful date.
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