Nine times out of ten, worrying about making the best impression on the first date is more stressful than the date itself.
We know establishing that initial rapport can be challenging, so we’re making it as simple as possible with a little inspo on how to get the conversation flowing, and have fun while staying safe and respectful.
Ask an open question
Direct questions – stuff like ‘What are your hobbies?’ or ‘What are you into?’ – can put people on the spot and lead to stale answers. There’s nothing in them to guide your date’s thoughts – someone might have a lot of interests, not many interests, or might not be sure which ones to share.
So instead, ask open questions to get conversation flowing.
Something as simple as ‘What’s your favorite thing that happened this week?’ can kick-start conversations that last all night.
They’re also totally low pressure – their answer is entirely up to them and what they’re comfortable sharing.
Thanks to your team of fusers, you already know there’s a good chance you’ll find something in your date’s responses that you’ll relate to, and before you know it you’ll be building a conversation around shared interests and experiences that flows naturally into other topics throughout the course of your date.
Compliment them (but don’t be weird)
Personal appearance is exactly that – personal. Commenting on the way other people look isn’t something to take lightly, and not everyone appreciates it.
That said, first dates are up there with weddings and job interviews as one of the main times we want to look our best, and a genuine compliment can go a long way.
Keep any compliments about your date’s appearance light and friendly, and make sure to only compliment the things they’ve had active control over – their amazing outfit, or next-level nail art.
Letting your date know that you like what they’re wearing, or their sense of fashion, immediately creates common ground between you – it shows you have shared taste, and makes it easy to start conversations that stay away from knotty subjects.
Or, if you’d feel more comfortable avoiding commenting on their appearance all together, consider any other positives that they’ve brought to the date. They might have an incredible sense of humor, perhaps, or just an all-round warm energy.
Respect people’s privacy
It’s important to give your date the opportunity to talk about themselves and to bring things up if and when they want to.
As much as you may want to know more about them, remember not to pry, and let your date choose the things they want to share. That’s not to say follow-up questions are strictly off-limits – but if you’re getting the sense that your date doesn’t want to divulge something, simply take that topic off the table and move on.
Finding common ground is all about things you have in common – topics you can talk about easily and freely – so make sure that’s what you’re focused on and don’t make people feel pressured to talk about things they’re not ready to talk about.
The same goes for you, too. If a date wants to know more than you’re willing to share right now, remember you’re under no obligation to make yourself feel uncomfortable.
On a first date, common ground doesn’t have to be making sure you align on all of the big political issues – friendly, engaged conversation can be enough to help you both decide if you want a second date.
Pick the right setting
Leading on from the above – some people struggle to share much about themselves at all with someone they’ve only just met.
One-on-one venues, like restaurants or cafés, are great for creating an intimate atmosphere on dates – but conversation can run dry if you or your date prefer to keep what they share to a minimum – at least, at first.
If that’s you, or you think it could be the person you’re interested in, then choosing a venue with that in mind can change the game completely.
Instead of dinner or drinks, get to know your date by doing an activity that works as a topic of conversation: bowling, crazy golf (no, seriously), and darts are all great options that’ll allow you to hold a conversation, but also give something else to talk about if the chat isn’t flowing smoothly.
Or, if you want something a little more fast-paced, try a VR arcade (those headsets don’t flatter anyone, but that won’t matter when you’re blasting those zombies), or even an escape room – you’ll get a chance to see how your date behaves under pressure, and how well you work together as a team.