How to have a meaningful date conversation – “So … do you like bread?” is NOT what’ll land you a 2nd date. Dating apps are useful ways of finding love in today’s world. Surprisingly, many successful long-term relationships began with a click and a swipe. But it’s also possible to waste a LOT of time hoping for miracles.
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Dating in the digital age is hard enough, but how do you make the most of that all-important first date by having a conversation that balances hope and reality so you don’t waste precious time on a relationship that will ultimately go nowhere?
As a psychotherapist, talking to strangers is my trade. Each time I interview a new patient, we are both trying to decide whether we should take our relationship to the next level. Therapy is an intimate relationship that flourishes if the chemistry is right. Do I think I can be helpful? Does the patient feel comfortable with me? Are we a good match? I might be a perfectly goodtherapist, but if there is no chemistry, we won’t get very far.
Many of my patients are also interviewing for intimacy — but of a personal kind. They courageously go online seeking a relationship that can grow and develop into a special bond. But how do you make the most of that first encounter to decide whether a real relationship is a possibility? How do you balance practicality with sensitivity? Patience with self-interest?
Here are six tips for making the most of a first date conversation so you know whether there should be a second date. A sound approach based on observation, curiosity and preparation can turn a first date into a reliable measure of the potential for future love.
1. Stop talking so much.
When we’re anxious we over-talk. That’s less time for getting to know someone. People usuallystart with small-talk, but as they relax, they tend to open up.
Minimize chatter after the first 5 minutes. Don’t fill every pregnant pause with the first thing that pops into your mind. Leave space for something interesting and unexpected to emerge. Embrace moments of just being together and see what you get.