More Than Small Talk

Dating involves more than just asking a person out and then going on a date. You need to have some sort of conversation on the date, hopefully with substance and enjoyment.

Don’t Interrupt
Let your date finish their thought before interjecting your own. Wait for a pause in the conversation.

Don’t Hijack the Conversation
In other words don’t try to “one up” your date. For example, if your date is venting about their crazy roommates, don’t interrupt by saying, “Well you think that’s bad, my roommates do this and this.”

Don’t Be Negative
Few things are more of a turn off than being negative about the activity or life in general.
Venting about a hard time in your life with someone you have built a relationship with is okay, but it shouldn’t become a habit to vent to your date on the first few dates.

Ask Open-ended Questions
Questions that involve more than just a yes or no answers.
Often you can reword close-ended questions to develop a deeper conversation. For example, instead of asking “Do you like your roommates?” say “Tell me about your roommates. Have you known them for a while?”
Follow up a closed-ended question with an open-ended related question.

Make Eye Contact
This goes for the person talking, as well as for the one listening.
Wandering eyes will signal to your date that you are not interested, even if you may be.
Men tend to give stronger eye contact when they are truly listening, but they do like to break away for a few seconds and then return to deep eye contact Allred said.

Listen to Your Date
Give signs you are listening, nod your head, offer feedback and conversation interjections at appropriate times.
“Women give occasional verbal cues called ‘listening noises’ such as ‘yea,’ ‘mmm,’ ‘oh,’ ‘uh huh’,” Jennifer Allred, adjunct instructor in interpersonal communications at BYU Idaho, said.

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