For single women, there’s nothing quite like hearing, “Would you like to go out with me?” Eight words, twenty-five letters, and a question mark. This question is void of flowery metaphors and rhythm to qualify as poetry, but the sensations it inspires are nothing short of poetic. The question paints her cheeks a warm shade of pink, and this warmth journeys across her body until the butterflies in her stomach are reawakened, their wings fluttering above the gardens that she tends in her soul.
These butterflies, silly creatures that they are, never tire even after she says “yes.” Their motions continue as she rummages through her closet for the perfect dress, stepping in and out of a dozen or so pieces. They affect the inflection of her voice when she describes in detail to her girlfriends the moment leading up to when the question escapes the guy’s lips; her giggles disturbing her sentences.
Her girlfriends encourage her. “He’s so mad about you,” they say. Then, panic begins to set in as she realizes the reality that plagues every woman and man is about to conquer the Game of Love. She’s as clueless as a blank piece of paper and so is he. Neither has any solid idea of what conversations can fill the night.
While getting lost in each other’s eyes is romantic, it becomes awkward at some point. There was an experiment a few years ago that suggested coasting through a set of thirty-six questions and staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes, then eventually falling in love. Even on a first date, mind you.
The first half of this activity is divided into three sets and is significantly longer than the second part. While there’s no time limit, except maybe until the end of the night, it takes about an hour to ask and answer all thirty-six questions. The reason behind this is it’s important to get to know each other and to cultivate “mutual vulnerability” that promotes closeness.
Attraction is the friction that ignites the spark. Without anything to sustain it, its brightness will dim before completely disappearing, leaving only a faint trace of smoke. Conversations fan the spark until it becomes a hot ball of flame that potential lovers revolve around.
Not all conversations can keep the fire burning, though. The flame must be stoked with meaningful conversations. Here are interesting conversation topics that’ll help to keep the fire burning brightly.
Or her story. This isn’t a crash course in history. But there’s no problem at all if you’re interested in it. Rather, it’s an introduction to the different sides of your date’s personality. Familiarizing yourself with your date’s personal history will help you gain a better understanding of who they are.
An overwhelming majority of dating how-to’s will advise you against asking about their personal lives. While there’s truth to that, it’s a matter of knowing your limits. Remind yourself that this is only the beginning.
Think of them as a lake and at the bottom lies a treasure chest that holds diamonds and precious stones, the secret to life, or whatever you imagine that treasure trove houses. Your goal is to retrieve the treasure chest. The shore is your starting point. You can’t just magically appear beside the treasure box. You must swim to get there.
A relationship with the person you’re talking to is your ultimate goal. There are stops before reaching that destination. In the “treasure chest at the bottom of the lake” analogy, your initial step is wading into the lake before the water is deep enough so you can swim. The period before the date can be compared to wading into the lake. You know a handful of information about them. Asking them personal questions is getting under the water and starting to swim toward the treasure chest at the bottom of the lake.
Start by asking them what the craziest or most interesting thing is that they’ve done lately. Always do this with a smile or a smiley. Chances are they will take some time to come up with an answer. Once they begin their tale, write mental notes where you can later draw questions from.
Letting people talk about themselves makes them like you more. This expresses a genuine interest in them, and it’s your opportunity to demonstrate that you are a good listener. People tend to put more trust to those who listen.
This can be a tricky conversation topic to navigate because the person you’re talking to might not have had a chance to explore the world yet. Asking them about their last vacation might prove to be an awkward choice because their last vacation might have been half a decade ago.
Better yet, ask them what cities and countries they’d like to explore. As in other conversations, you’ll receive a laundry list of places they’d like to visit. As always, pay close attention to what they’re telling you. Let them know if you’ve set foot in any of the cities and countries they mention. Relate to them your own stories. Recommend sights to see and delicacies to taste.
When you’re in the midst of a conversation about traveling, don’t forget to ask them about their intention, such as the reason why they want to visit certain places, and how they plan to travel, whether they plan to backpack or stay in hotels.
You might also want to recommend films that heavily feature certain places. Do they dream of visiting Paris? Tell them about Midnight in Paris. New Zealand? Mention that the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones were filmed there.
If there’s a place you both want to visit, don’t forget to bring it up, too. Who knows? They might want to meet up with you.
Name one person who doesn’t love music. If you can come up with an answer, chances are that person hasn’t flooded their ears with great music yet. Because music is beloved by everybody, a conversation centered on music becomes a bottomless well that no matter how many buckets of water you fetch, water never runs out.
Ignite the conversation by asking what songs they are tired of hearing. If you recognize any from their list and share the same sentiments, bond over what the two of you dislike about certain songs. Don’t be afraid to disagree, but always remember to go about it in a polite manner. This can elicit a few laughs between the both of you, but be careful to not spend too much time on this one question. Afterward, ask them what their favorite tune is and why. If it’s a song you’re unfamiliar with, ask them to sing a few lines for you. Smile and assure them that it doesn’t matter if they’re out of tune. Pay attention to the lyrics or ask them what their favorite part of the song is, and then promise them that you’ll check the song out when you get a chance. If it’s a song you know, tell them or sing to them the parts you like. This can lead to a few minutes when you two sing the entire song.
If they can carry a tune, be sure to compliment their vocal ability. Also, try to ask if they play any musical instruments. If not, ask them what instrument they would like to learn how to play. On the other hand, if they say that they can play, ask them to tell you about how and when they started playing, and what inspired them.
School or Work
Love knows no age. Having said that, the person whose beauty you’ve been captivated by might still be a student. They’re either in college and universities or pursuing post-graduate studies. Whether they’re still in school or not, chances are they’re employed.
When talking about school or work, it’s quite easy to come off as pompous and brag about certain things even though you have no absolute intention to. Take note of the no-no’s when engaged in a conversation about your studies or your professional life. These include the following:
- You’re studying at or graduated from a college or university with a high reputation
- What today’s lesson is about
- How much your annual take home pay is
- Whom you have fooled around with
- How busy you are with studies or work
- Your job or your chosen field is superior to all others
- Have I mentioned how much you make per year?
Of course, you’re proud of your alma mater. But when talking to someone, it’s nearly irrelevant. Instead, talk about things that will loosen the both of you up.
If there’s one thing people love when conversing about school and work, it’s gossiping. Yes, being a gossiper has earned a bad reputation. However, that’s not what you’re going to do. Vent about your boss or that co-worker who eats three times as many free doughnuts. Share funny stories about that one time you fell asleep in the middle of your 8 AM class.
Go forth and start the conversation. Don’t wait for them to speak first.