One question I get asked a lot is “What should I talk about on a date?”
Sure, now you know HOW you’re supposed to talk, but so many guys get stuck on WHAT to talk about. After all, those dead silences are murder for attraction, right?
First off, not so fast bad-mouthing silence. More on that later.
Second, it REALLY doesn’t matter WHAT you talk about on a date, so long as you make it interesting. I’ve said this again and again, but let me stress it now: you can talk about ANYTHING and it’ll be ok.
You can tell a date her butt looks HUGE in that dress. Say it right and she won’t walk out or slap you, she’ll laugh.
You can wonder aloud whether postal workers get high on stamp glue.
You can go on for half an hour about the off-color corner of that rare Elvis stamp you have framed on your wall… well, ok, maybe not that one. If you talk at length about certified punchline hobbies, you might be in trouble.
Unless you’re making fun of them, of course.
But seriously, this isn’t rocket science. This isn’t even high school science, despite how often the word “chemistry” gets bandied about.
When I was still studying these skills, some of my “natural” friends would tell me lines they’d used with great success. I didn’t believe it. The things they related to me sounded so… DUMB, I couldn’t fathom an attractive intelligent woman would go for them.
Then I saw these guys in action. Sure, I could HEAR the stupidity of some of the lines – the corniness, the transparency, the if-this-were-in-a-Bond-movie-I’d-groan-now quality to them.
Still, they worked. I had new respect for groaners in Bond movies.
The key was ALL in the nonverbal delivery, as we’ve talked about at length.
Ok, so now that I’ve hopefully reminded you not to worry too much about the actual content, let me add sometimes you don’t need content AT ALL.
The Golden Silence is as good as the Golden Tongue
Strange, eh? I have one friend who isn’t a gabber, who doesn’t like to partake in anything CLOSE to small talk. And when he’s out with women on dates, there are numerous silences.
And it WORKS. Why? Because he’s comfortable with it.
Listen, reality is all about perception. If you’re scared of awkward silences, they become awkward. If you aren’t, the silences become NATURAL. And that kind of thing stinks of relaxed confidence.
When you’re relaxed and comfortable enough to let a silence come and it DOESN’T BUG YOU, it communicates all sorts of positive things. Relaxed Confidence. Real (no games). Uh, we need a new word here, not gravity, but the opposite of frivolity. But while staying playful. We’ll call it gravolity.
To be clear, don’t overdo this. If you never say anything, well, you’re just boring. But don’t be scared of the occasional silence, or letting the lady start a topic and playing with it. (My silent friend does this all the time – and pretty soon, the women are starting all sorts of conversations and he’s viewed as fascinating because they’re talking about things they like to talk about. Who started the conversation never really enters into their head.)
(Hey, by the way, did you know that psychological studies say that the person who is LEAST comfortable with silence in a group – and hence breaks it – is almost always the MOST insecure? Still want to fill every last second of air time?)
Still, sometimes you will find yourself in need of something to talk about. And your mind will be blank. You know the time for conversation is here – but you’re clueless how to start it.
Well, this is one of the reasons I recommend avoiding dinners and traditional dates, and prefer shared activities. Especially in fun cool areas. Who needs to worry about conversation when there’s a man on a leash walking in front of you on the sidewalk, or a shop window with a dismembered mannequin head smeared with lipstick wearing a Ronald McDonald wig and a sign saying “Love me?”
If you can’t think of anything to say in stimulating areas, then you’re just not trying. Or you’re freaking – in which case you need to use one of your relaxation triggers to get yourself CALM and able to THINK.
Come on, some of our granddaddies kept their heads with the enemy shooting at them. You can do it with an attractive lady.
But you can’t ALWAYS be in a Greenwich Village knockoff. Sometimes you need to come up with topics all by your lonesome, right?
Wrong. See, the definition of conversation is you have to have at least two people. And that dynamic helps a lot.
Lets borrow a trick from sales, where the seller needs to establish a friendly connection quickly. How do they do it?
They listen for key words in statements they hear. And you can do the same. One simple sentence from your favorite lady can lead to a night’s worth of dialogue.
“No, I’m not. Or were you offering? I barely know you, and already you bring psychotropic drugs into our relationship? Wow, you are one crazy chick.”
(She should be laughing, if you delivered it right and she isn’t a nun.) “No, I don’t do drugs on a first date!” (key word: take your pick, drugs or date)
“Oh, but on the second you jump right in? You’ve said two things, and they both relate to illicit substances. Get your mind out of the gutter and learn to enjoy life clean too.” (Then order her a beer).
See what’s going on? Just pick a key word from her conversation, and riff off it. The above doesn’t apply because it’s too early in your duologue, but even within a few minutes of talking to ANYONE you’ll hear them use keywords that are important to THEM for whatever reason. Hook onto those and she’ll think you’re the greatest conversationalist ever – because all you talk about is what interests HER.
“That dog smells like a Thai sewer.” (key word: Thai)
“And how would you know? When were you in Thailand?”
“Last month, actually. It’s insane!” (key word: insane)
“And that’s what attracted you about it? You wanted to find others as crazy as you are?”
“No! I went to get my scuba diving certification.” (key word(s): scuba diving, and you have a topic for the next 15 minutes that you KNOW she wants to talk about).
Pretty easy, eh? In fact, it’s so easy, I’m going to make your homework nice and simple. Go out and have five conversations where you cue the other person off their keywords.
Have five more where you NEVER start a topic, and see how the silence feels, bearing in mind that you are SEEKING it.
Finally, pick five interesting eclectic spots near you, and go for a walk in them. Just comment in your head on what you see.
That’s it. Enjoy your new expression of personal wit and get out there and impress some ladies with it on your next date. You’re ready.