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Conversation Starters for First Dates

We have all been there, and we probably all agree – breaking the ice with a stranger is very hard. Okay maybe they’re not a complete stranger – you’re going out on a date, and you’ve probably chatted online a bit too. But seeing a person in the flesh for the first time complicates everything; it may be that the relaxed rapport you had has suddenly vanished.

What you need is a few secret weapons – the kind you only bring out in an emergency. Emergency being those moments of awkward silence and avoidance of eye contact, which strike many first dates at some point in the evening. “Well, the weather’s being very good recently, hasn’t it?” just doesn’t cut the mustard, so here are a few conversation starters to keep those silences at bay.

Have you got any pets?

People love talking about their pets, so this is a sure-fire winner. Even if they haven’t got any you can ask them why not – they might have an interesting story behind it. And if they do, you might discover a common interest

Are you into films/Have you seen … ?

This is good because most people watch films every now and again. Many people have a favourite, and if you haven’t seen theirs it could lead to a cosy, romantic night in as a future date. Similarly…

Are you into music/Which artists do you like?

Again, many people like music, and those that do love talking about it. If you both happen to like the same band it can create an instant bond, but you have to be careful with this one – it could highlight differences between the two of you.

Have you ever … ?

Ask them about something you know a lot about or enjoy doing – you might have some common ground. Or, if they have never heard of your favourite past-time you could offer to show them what they’re missing. But be careful not to brag about it; saying “I have done over thirty parachute jumps” does not impress people; it only makes you appear insecure. If they show no interest, move on quickly before you bore them.

Do you like sports?

Sports are very popular with both men and women and people can be very passionate about them, so this can be a great conversation starter. If you both enjoy the same sport you could think about getting tickets to the next big game together. And if you both support different teams all is not lost – use this as a flirting opportunity. People love a bit of gentle teasing, so remind them just how embarrassing it was when Beckham missed that penalty for Manchester United.

Have you ever been to … ?

If there’s a local haunt of yours – a restaurant, club or park – ask them if they’ve been to the same place. If they haven’t, this is even better: “Oh you don’t know what you’re missing, we should go there sometime!” But beware – it can be a bit creepy to be organising a 2 nd date date this early, unless it’s towards the end of the night and you’re already getting on well.

Perhaps you have noticed, all of these reserve questions have one thing in common: they all contain the word “you”. People love talking about themselves, so any question which encourages this will be welcome. It will show that you’re interested in what they have to say, and do not just want to bore them with your own anecdotes.

The most important thing, however, is to relax. Try not to move conversation along too quickly or force your point of view. Let the conversation flow naturally and before long you will be talking like old friends.

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