He (or she) gets your number and calls… Yay! But not so fast. The awkward silence quickly falls over the conversation. What do you say? What do you say? Your mind’s drawing a blank. In a last ditch effort to save the conversation, you start asking, “So, what kind of movies do you like?” The other person abruptly answers (but maybe it’s due to a bad case of nerves), “Oh, any kind.” “What kind of pets do you like?” “Any kind.” “Favorite color?” “None in particular.” “Favorite actor?” “Don’t really have one.” Or maybe he (or she) answers, “Juliette Lewis.” “Favorite hobbies?” “Music.” “What kind of music?” “Oh, any kind.” OMG, back to this again…
How do you keep the conversation going without sounding like an employer interviewing a potential employee? Chances are that in this case you don’t. This is part of the reason a first date at the movies may be a lot less intimidating than at a restaurant because then the pressure to keep talking isn’t as strong. Plus, if your date gets popcorn stuck in his (or her) teeth, no one can see it in a dark theater as opposed to broccoli stuck in between four different teeth in a well lit dining room. (Just saying…)
However, rather than jumping from question to question so quickly, try to expand on the topic at hand. For example, “Oh, you like any kind of music. What was the last concert you saw?” If you get another short reply, tell an exciting story about the last time you were at a concert, which may encourage the other person to share something similar that happened to him (or her).
The key, though, is to build the conversation with questions/answers that invite the other person to give responses that turn into a meaningful and entertaining discussion. In some cases, you may have to encourage the other person to expand on his (or her) short answers, but here are some ideas to help do just that.
10. “What kind of work do you do?” The reply may be simple. “I’m a banker.” But everyone has work stories, and the trick is to invite a conversation where you both share some work stories. For example, you may ask, “How did you move up the ranks?” Some people may have traveled, worked for crazy bosses, dealt with nutty co-workers, worked in a great team environment, worked in several fields, shared promotion tips, had interesting interview experiences, so a conversation of this nature may be easy to build.
9. “What did (or are) you study (or studying) in school?” Even if the other person hates school, work the conversation to find out why and trade a few funny stories about getting detention. If the person is or was in school, there are lots of ways to build this conversation from why the person chose a particular major, how long it took, how the education helped, etc.
8. Look up each other’s horoscope and discuss.
7. “Do you text?” Talk about current texting laws, texts you like/don’t like to receive, crazy texts you have received, crazy people who have texted bombed you, gadgets on your phone to block these crazy people, (What? This never happened to you?) but don’t text any pictures of yourself that would be an embarrassment should you ever run for public office. (Again, just saying…)
6. “Where are some places you like to go?” This can be restaurants (in which case discuss your favorite meals/drinks), hangouts (in which case discuss what people do there/funny or interesting things that have happened there), vacations (describe the spot, what’s around it, fun things you did), etc.
5. Discuss a current event. Once upon a time, this meant news items like laws passed or rare events, but if by all means a celebrity sighting/story stirs up some conversation or discussing how if you were Taylor Swift, you would have taken off your shoe and hit Kayne with it (Once again, just saying…), by all means discuss whatever keeps you talking! (Okay, okay, violence is never the answer, so maybe counter cockiness would have been a better solution and Taylor should have said, “Well, Beyonce’s not up here! I am! Security!!!”
4. Talk about family. If an ex-marine told you he has two brothers, reply you have four, so no one better mess with you! It may get a laugh and open up a conversation about family dynamics, birth order, and some really funny childhood stories that keep you laughing.
3. Some people may or may not want to get too deep in initial conversations, but asking “Why is such a hot (or successful, beautiful, sexy, etc.) man (or woman) single?” in a flirty, complimentary way may open up a pretty lengthy conversation about previous relationships, future relationships, and relationships in general.
2. “What are you looking for?” may also open up a nice conversation that focuses more on future relationships and dreams that have yet to be accomplished.
1. Avoid one or two word answers when possible if you want a conversation started. Even the questions in the initial scenario don’t have to be conversation killers. If someone asks you any question, try to give open ended answers by providing more depth in your responses. If you’re asking the questions, prompt the other person to give open ended answers. For example, “So, what kind of movies do you like?” Even if the reply is a “any kind,” try to invite a more in-depth response by figuring out a movie both of you have seen and discuss what he (or she) thinks about the acting, the plot, the actors, what other people have said, or some crazy spoof… Turn a question about a pet into a funny story about something you’ve seen an animal do that triggers the other person to share a similar story. Turn a favorite color into a discussion about a local art gallery that both of you have seen.
Conversation really is an art form. Think of it like a tree branch where you take a subject, branch off by relating it to some experiences/knowledge you have, and branch off again by gaining some insight about the other person with it. On the other hand, conversation is a two-way street. Regardless of what you say, the other person just may not be interested, preoccupied, or whatever. (His or her loss, really.) Sometimes you “click” with people, and sometimes you don’t. Either way, it’s okay because when the right person comes around, the best times with him (or her) may not involve conversation at all.
About the Author: Victoria Cannon is the author of several erotic stories. Child of the Fallen Angels, Tania, and (coming soon) Tania’s Hot Chocolate are available through Dark Roast Press. So So So Good is available through Club Lighthouse. Visit her website at www.victoriacannon.webs.com.