Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Talk About Anything On A First Date

Jack's Rose Cocktail

Its not usually I agree with these things but Elite daily has a piece title: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Talk About Anything On A First Date.

…when it comes to first date conversations, most people stick to the basics: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What shows/music/whatever are you currently obsessed with?

Now technically, there isn’t anything wrong with these safe subjects, but TBH they’re kind of boring and definitely won’t reveal anything meaningful about the person sitting across the table from you.

And while a cute outfit and a friendly demeanor are first date requirements, sticking to this safe, vanilla small talk shouldn’t be.

That’s right: We’re here to tell you that NO subject should be off limits. In fact, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from years (and years and years) of research, it’s that cutting to the chase from the start is the best way to figure out if someone’s a good match for you.

  • Small talk is forgettable.
  • You probably already, um, researched the person anyway.
  • You won’t waste your time.
  • Your date’s reaction will tell you a lot about who s/he is.
  • Scaring someone away might be the best thing that ever happened.

To be fair I adopted this approach a long time ago in speed dating, first dates and life generally. Small talk is forgettable, boring and tells you nothing. Sometimes I get really odd looks and responses; but than also tells you plenty. Of course this is all contextual but if you can quickly get down to a deeper level, then its all good for everyone.

I do generally think if you’re not in a deep meaningful conversations then its highly likely there won’t be another date and most likely not right for me. I once put on my OKCupid dating profile, something about being deep and frankly Its something I’ve removed as it sounds wanky but its very true.

Just say hello…

Bemused 1

One day I’ll meet Sarah Ryan, as she gives some great advice, this one included. The last point resonated with me .

Just Say Hello There is a chance, dare I say it, that you may come across someone dashingly handsome or delightfully beautiful in your local coffee shop or whilst picking up a loaf of bread at Waitrose. What is the worst that can happen if you just say hello, ask for the time or ask where they purchased an item they are donning? It may seem like a daunting task but we can not hide behind our laptops & iphones forever in dating- we do have to tackle the human element to make a relationship work. Top Tip:  Try saying hello to someone new everyday, wherever, whenever. You never know who you might meet!

Absolutely…!

Sarah is right, the thing which mainly stops people is the fear of rejection. I was showing my blog about myself to a colleague a while ago and they asked me, what goes through my mind when I do the things I do?

I said, I do have that level of fear which naturally comes to everybody but I dampen it down quickly and not let it fester in my mind. I feel the longer you let it fester, the more likely you won’t act or so anything.

But on the same point, the opportunities and experiences I have had, make it even easier to do it again and push myself even further.

The other day I was in North Tea Power with my headphones off as usual, working away on visual perceptive media. I heard a women next to me talking on the phone, but she happen to say….

Things would be so much easier if there was one ontology for everything….

After she finished, before the fear crept in, I repeated back to her the statement and added a question mark to it (aka raised my voice at the end) From that moment we were off talking for about 20mins. Learned a lot about her and she may have learned a lot about me. Such a lovely conversation we had…

Funny enough (on a related note) Sherry Turkle has been popping up here and there recently…

I bought her excellent book Alone Together and haven’t started on the new one, reclaiming conversation.

I was listening to the Tech news today #1418 special with her and happen to tweet it, when Martin pointed out she was on Radio 4 at that exact moment (the beauty of serendipity and being open to it)

So I checked it out,  BBC Radio 4 today,. Interesting stuff… Expect another blog entry about this and more Sherry Turkle thoughts soon..

What conversations would you put in the national archives?

Chatting

Kate pointed me towards the BBC Radio 4 listening project which is touring and coming to Manchester in October.

The Listening Project is a partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC local and national radio stations, and the British Library.

Capturing the nation in conversation

We are asking people up and down the country to share an intimate conversation with a close friend or relative, to help to build a unique picture of our lives today. Some of these conversations will be broadcast across BBC radio and archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations.

I like the idea of this and funny enough I started listening to 33 Voices which reminds me of the sadly gone IT conversations.

There is something about conversations which are fascinating, its what made podcasts so raw and  interesting…

Nothing like a overheard conversation although there are ethics too, maybe its the reason why I don’t use headphones when in cafes and on standard class trains?

I look forward to hearing more and maybe even contributing to the project in some way.

First dates hacked

The Town is All Their's Tonight

The man who usually trolls me Josh sent me a link to the lifehacker article about first dates.

First dates are tough. You’re trying to make a good impression on someone, but you’re also trying to read the person you’re with and see if they’re worth your time. Dating may not be an exact science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little science to our advantage during that first interaction.

Once again, anyone who says its no big deal obviously has no idea what there on about, or hasn’t been dating in the last decade. Lifehacker has your back…

Here’s what you need to know.

A perfect first date is different for everyone, but you can guess that anyone will want solid conversation skills and a good first impression. Beyond that, though, things start to get complicated. Statistics help, but to really craft that perfect first date you need to know exactly how to handle yourself. This is where that science comes in. A lot of the relationship research out there is pretty useless (with riveting studies about how an unpopular name affects your dating success or women find men more attractive when another woman smiles at them), but we went out to find some of the more useful studies to help us craft that perfect first date. Here are the more useful tips we found.

Without ruining the article it boils down to…

  1. Keep the Conversation Interesting (and Risky)
    Absolutely…! This is the part of the date I kinda of enjoy somewhat. Maybe another reason why I quite like speed dating? You start with the basic stuff and before long your in risky territory pouring over past experiences. Its slightly cathartic in nature.
  2. Use the “Right” Amount of Eye Contact
    The right amount? Well I tend to look at people mouths because I’m 25% lip reading and 75% listening. But I do tend to look around the face. I agree the right amount of eye contact is important, no one wants to be eyeballed for long periods of time, specially on a date.
  3. Watch for Mimicry (But Don’t Go Overboard)
    Ok this is something talked to death about in certain books. Its also called mirroring and its go to hear the downsides to mirroring as well as the good. I know certain people who mirror too much and it comes across as weird. No generally I don’t mirror much but I’m conscious of mirroring.
  4. Mind Your Body Language
    Another key one. I don’t generally make a lot of fast or close moves because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable around me. I’m also not the kind of guy who gets super close at the very start. I know some people will sit side by side instead of ahead from the other. It seems cute but I think its too much.
  5. Be direct with plans
    Although I like the idea of this one, I’m not so certain its a good idea. That extra pressure at the end of a date seems like a bad idea, I mean who wants to go home thinking about how they were pressured into a 2nd date?

Generally the advice is good and the links are excellent…. Good work Lifehacker