I’m going on a date tonight, and I’d love some tips on how to keep the conversation going. Our pre-date communication was quick, to the point and not very involved; we set a time to go on our date (she responded to my date idea, which was “How about we try one of the rum punches at Cienfuegos”) and that was that. When I get nervous, I either clam up and give one word answers, or I overcompensate and talk too much. What can I do to ensure that I’m a good, entertaining and not over-bearing conversationalist? –Male, 28
First off, good date idea: Alcohol is a delicious salve that will help calm your nerves and hopefully keep your word diarrhea at bay. So, yay! You’ve already got that going for you.
When it comes to being a good conversationalist, it’s best to remember a few pointers:
People love talking about themselves. No, really, they love talking about themselves. I do, don’t you? And if you appear semi-engaged and interested in what your date has to say, making conversation should be no problem. I’m not advising you bombard her with an endless list of questions — it’s a date, not a police interrogation, dude — but starting off with a few basics and then branching off from there is probably a good way to go. Ask her about her day, her neighborhood, where she grew up — and actually listen to her answers. Keep it light and easy: Ask her about the weirdest or funniest HowAboutWe date she’s seen posted on the site, or talk about what movies you’d like to see. If you do this, conversation should flow pretty naturally.