The first date is always the hardest. You’re worried about making a good impression, and unsure of how to connect (or at least start a conversation!) with this total stranger.
Here are some tips on how to break the ice on the first date. Like all of o5.com’s recipes for life, these dating tips are concrete, practical, and tested by real people. You’ll find ideas on how to calm down, put your date at ease, plus actual questions you can use to get the conversation going.
Dating tip # 1: Remember that he’s just as nervous as you are.
Your date may look suave, well-dressed, and cool as a cucumber, but he’s just as eager to get to know you and just as worried about looking like an idiot. Smiling and saying, ‘Wow, these first dates are tough aren’t they?’ may actually help both of you laugh off your nervousness.
Dating tip # 2: Don’t set the stakes too high.
If you start each date thinking, ‘He’s the one!’ then you’ll only feed your anxiety. Don’t think about romance. Grab the date as an opportunity to get to know somebody, possibly make a friend, or at the very least, do something different on a Friday night.
Dating tip # 3: Ask about your date’s day.
After you’ve gone through all the niceties—name, place of work, the weather—a simple and sincere, ‘So, how did your day go today?’ can do the trick. What if he’s not talkative and just says, ‘Oh, just had a lot of meetings.’ Then ask him about his job, a typical day at work, which can easily segue to ‘What’s the best thing you love about your job?’ or ‘I bet you meet a lot of interesting people. What’s the craziest client you ever had to deal with?’
Dating tip # 4: Talk about the places you’ve visited.
Let’s say you’re eating at a Thai restaurant. You can say, ‘I’ve always loved Asian food… One day I’d love to take a trip to Thailand. Have you ever been there?’ From there, you can talk about the places you’ve visited, or would like to visit. ‘What’s your dream vacation?’ you can ask, or, ‘Would you ever take one of those adventure vacations, like African safaris?’
Dating tip # 5: Ask about college life.
You can’t assume that your date has gone to college, but if he does mention it, it’s a great way to get to know him. For example, if the course he took was very different from his current career, you can say, ‘So what led you to do ….’ Or you can ask, ‘If you could do it all over again, would you take the same course? What would you do differently?’
Dating tip # 6: Talk about hobbies and haunts.
Ask him about his favorite restaurants, or what he likes to do in his free time. People always relax when they talk about their passions. IF he says he’s a music collector, then get him to talk about his ‘top 5 bands of all time.’ If he has a unique hobby, like spelunking, then ask him how he got into it. You can also ask general questions like, ‘What’s the last book you read?’ or ‘What’s on your iPod playlist right now?’
Dating tip # 7: Avoid talking about religion or politics.
While you’ll eventually want to know if you share the same values, it’s best to leave emotionally-charged topics like these to future dates.
Dating tip # 8: Talk about a mutual friend.
If you were introduced to each other by a common friend, then ask how he got to know her or him.
These are just some of the dating tips for a smooth and enjoyable first date. You may also like our dating tips in 9 Easy Tips for a Successful Date. You can also find more specific dating tips for special issues like dating tips for single moms and dating tips for workaholics.
Photo from sheknows.com
Thanks for giving these conversation starters! They’re useful for both dates and mingling at cocktails.