So you’ve met someone who really makes your heart race and you’ve agreed to go on a date. Unless you’re something of a natural on the dating scene, the majority of us get butterflies and sweaty palms over this all important first encounter. Even if you’ve been talking online or texting for weeks, everyone dreads the possibility of awkward silences on a first date. So to settle your nerves and prepare you just in case you do experience a bit of a long pause, here are some tips to help you avoid awkward silences.
Ask Open Questions
It takes two to tango, and many people are unaware of their conversational habits until they step back and think about the way that they communicate with others. If your date asks you a question, be sure to bounce it back on them (if appropriate!) afterwards to get their stance on the matter. Make sure that you aren’t simply talking about yourself the whole time, and when you do ask them questions, make sure they’re open. So rather than asking ‘do you like to films?’ phrase the question as, ‘what sort films are you into, do you have a particular genre that you really like?’ to prompt a more elaborate response.
Silences are only awkward if you make them that way. So if you do come to a pause in the conversation, try not to panic as this will only risk making a big thing out of it. Don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes in to your head, embrace the opportunity to think of something interesting to say and you might spark a big long discussion instead of simply filling time. And whatever you do, do not EVER point out the silence with comments like ‘I don’t know what to say,’ ‘well this is awkward’, or anything else that will make both of you cringe!
Move the Conversation On
It can be difficult to move the conversation on when you’ve exhausted a topic and brought a discussion to a close, and this is often when pauses occur. When this happens, don’t try to keep going over the same old ground, think about a new topic that you can talk about instead. If you are particularly nervous when meeting new people, you could plan out a few ideas for topics ahead of the date, so that you don’t flounder when searching for things to talk about on the spot.
If you’ve got real chemistry with someone that you’ve met through free dating online, the chances are that you won’t struggle to keep the conversation rolling. However many pauses are natural or down to nerves, so don’t let the situation panic you if a silence does descend momentarily. Act natural, think before you speak and show an interest in your date, and things should soon be back on the right track in the event that you do have pause during your first date!
Photo Credit: Sergey Sus