I've had amazing first dates with seamless conversation and first dates that feel like pulling teeth, where I have to sing and dance around my date in order to entertain them. Obviously, the seamless ones are more fun, but it can be difficult to know what to say on a first date in order to get the conversation moving, especially if things don't feel natural or organic with your crush. And hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not everyone is a pro when it comes to dating.
One of my girlfriends gets so nervous before she goes out with guys that she throws up and loses her entire personality when she finally hangs out with her crush. And she's one of the most interesting, talented people I know. I personally know that I talk too much and do this weird laugh that makes me sound like a mad scientist. My best guy friend tries to play things cool, which often just comes off as him being an *sshole. Regardless, dating isn't a perfect science, and sometimes, when a date gets awkward, you need to figure out how to save it. Because let's face it: At some point, when you're hanging out with someone romantically for the first time, things are gonna get weird.
So here's what to say on a first date when you can feel the conversation fading. It's not necessarily a bad thing. We're all just super bad at this. BEING A HUMAN IS WEIRD!
1. "Are You Nervous?"
I went on a date a few weeks ago with a guy I was hoping I'd have a lot of chemistry with, only to find out we had nothing to talk about in person. Literally, we started discussing the weather. He asked me what my favorite soda was. I inquired as to whether or not he ate cheese. When I finally realized that lactose intolerance wasn't a hot and sexy first date topic, I decided to get out in the open what both of us were probably thinking and just ask the question "Hey, are you nervous?"
Finally, the ice was broken — hell yeah, we both were. And then, like that, we suddenly had a million things to talk about. Sometimes, addressing the elephant in the room is all you need to get a conversation going. So if you find yourself hard pressed to find things to talk about, maybe just acknowledge the awkwardness. It might ease the tension and increase the level of comfort and communication between you and your partner, which is a valuable tool you'll need in your relationship anyway.
2. "Do You Go On A Lot Of Dates?"
Your date isn't going great? Don't take it personally. Ask your crush if they're used to dating in general. Remember the ol' "do you like soda?" guy from above? Well, it turned out, I was his second online date — ever. So clearly, that's why he was so nervous. And apparently, his first date went really badly.
So if you're running out of topics of conversation, ask about the dating game in general. But don't delve too deeply into the topic, or it could send you and your crush into the friend-zone.
3. "Why Did You Want To Go On A Date With Me?"
A good way to avoid the friend-zone? Ask this question. We all want to know why people chose to go out with us, or why, in a sea of options, they decided to swipe right. And of all the people they swiped right on and messaged, why did they decide to move the relationship with you IRL? If you're curious, then ask. Plus it's a good way to make the conversation flirtatious and complimentary.
4. "Do You Think Anyone Else Here Is On A First Date?"
I love people-watching. Plus, if you and your crush are having trouble finding things to talk about with one another, then just turn the conversation outward. Look around the bar or restaurant and try to guess who else might be on a first date. Read everyone's body language. Try to make up a backstory for everyone else who is getting drinks or eating dinner. If you need to take a break from figuring out conversation with one another, deviating to creative story time is a good way to lighten things up.
5. "Tell Me About Your Best Friend"
I don't know about you, but I always brighten up when people ask me about my BFFs. And I love to brag about them — their relationship, their personalities, how amazing they're doing in their careers, and how fun they are to hang out with. Most likely, your date feels the same about the people they surround themselves with. So if conversation is at a lull or if your date is starting to feel more like an interrogation than something romantic, ask your crush about the people in their life that matter most. It'll not only reinvigorate the conversation, but it'll give good insight into their personal life.
If you feel the conversation fading on your first date, don't worry. It happens to the best of us. You or your crush might be getting nervous, or your energy might be starting to wane. Order another drink, crack open a Red Bull, and try asking one of these questions. It'll get the conversation started again in no time.
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