How to win with first date conversations


Date chat

By Sloan Sheridan Williams

The cliché answer given by most happily married couples when asked how they knew they liked each other on the first date is that you just know, but amongst the butterflies and the panic of what to say next, we can often miss the most obvious of signals which leaves us in the dark as to what our potential mate is thinking.

When we are apprehensive about what the other person is thinking our attraction level dwindles, but how do you get the right balance of showing your date you like them without appearing too desperate?

It is a universally acknowledged fact that communication is mainly down to non-verbal factors like body language with only 20-25% coming from verbal communication so it is good to look at the whole impression that you are giving off and not just what you say. Focusing on conversation content only can make you come across a little stiff and lacking authenticity, so it is important to feel confident in yourself inside and out. Knowing what your date’s body language means can reassure you and help move the conversation in a direction that will make them warm towards you.

Keep your conversation interesting and engaging

Show your date you have a life but don’t harp on about something so abstract that they cannot relate.

Many of us know open hands is a good sign, potentially indicating honesty, but the more important cue for you is to watch out for hand signals that mean your date is thinking. Such signs include playing with the wine glass, reaching for something from a table or slightly leaning their head to the side for example. These signs show contemplation and thought. This is your cue that you have hit on a topic that interests your target and is a sign to slow down, ask questions and allow room for thought and engagement.

Keep positive and upbeat in your conversation

A great way to do well in a first date conversation is keeping your date interested in positive topics by continuing to converse about topics that make them more facially engaged in your conversation.

You can then ask them questions, opening up their involvement. Make sure you steer away from any conversations that make them disengage or worse still turn their head when the slightest distraction happens in an attempt to the survey the room for their escape. Such an obvious signal is a clear indication to change the subject immediately.

Don’t overshare

It is very easy with nerves and one’s tendency to want to make a good impression to start rambling on and sharing lots of personal information early on when dating someone. Therefore it is critical to the success of a first date to be very cautious about what details you volunteer to your date. Remember that you hardly know the person sitting opposite you and they have not earned your trust yet to be privy to personal details. Quiet your stressed mind and watch what you say.

Drunk and disorderly is not a good look

Alcohol is often if not always present as the social lubricant on a first date and in moderation a little Dutch courage does help make things go more smoothly. However, just as oversharing can be an easy trap to fall into, drinking too much can so simply derail a first date.

Dating a drunk is not an attractive proposition for anyone on a first date so avoid descending into the realms of slurred speech by drinking responsibly, sip your drink slowly and order water for the table or have a soft drink after every alcoholic one.

Ignore any negative comments

If your date is sarcastic or makes negative comments, gloss over them in a breezy fashion and move the conversation on to something more pleasant. Don’t take anything personally. You can always analyse such comments with your friends later and see if they really were that annoying but do not be reactionary on a date. You are already in super critical mode and you are bound to be making subjective judgements after such a short time together.

Be flirty but don’t be crude

For those of you who have already mastered the more obvious signs above, the tell-tale sign to see if your date is interested in you or at least your topic of conversation is the size of their pupils. If and when they enlarge you are on to a winner you can introduce more subtle flirting, however if their pupils shrink or worse still they glance away then quickly dial the flirting back a notch.

In addition, don’t forget to check your own body language, rather than faking it just be honest, open, enjoy the date as the opportunity to meet someone new and your body will reflect the same, without the need for playing games.

Good luck with your next conversations with someone you like!

For more dating tips visit Sloan’s website, or follow her on Twitter @sloansw_london and Facebook.

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