One of the biggest determiners of whether or not an initial date goes well or not is how the conversation goes. People come home from a date deciding whether or not to have additional dates or not. A lot of this relates to how the talking and listening
went, both directions. If it went well, there is a far greater chance more additional dates will happen and that a relationship will develop. If not—if the conversation was flat or contentious, the first date will likely be the last date. So, what can you
do to promote the conversation going as well as possible? You can start by learning, practicing, and implementing the ideas given below.
*Learn how to strengthen your conversation skills. Spend regular time learning about and developing skills for how to have a good conversation. There are many good books, videos, audios, and classes on the subject. When you regularly review
conversation and communication skills boosting materials, you will naturally increase your ability to talk to others on a first date and in general. Here are a few references that may be useful to utilize:
--How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
--Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray
--Tongue Fu by Sam Horn
--Your Perfect Right by Robert Alberti and Michael Emmons
--The Assertive Woman by Stanlee Phelps and Nancy Austin
--People Skills by Robert Bolton
--That’s Not What I Meant! by Deborah Tannen
--You Just Don’t Understand! by Deborah Tannen
*Practice by yourself. Video record yourself having brief theoretical conversations:
asking questions, making comments, and showing listening skills. Your cell phone show be fine for this. Review the videos and notice your facial expressions, your body language, and most importantly your tone of voice. Do you look, sound, and
act engaging? Warm? Nice? Considerate? Most importantly, would such a conversation be likely to be received well by the other person? Develop a positive conversation mode that you can quickly and effectively get into through your practice, refinement, and self-awareness. Until you like what you see and hear in your practice, probably won’t like your conversational style either. To further your self-awareness and improving how you come across to others, you may also wish
to read the book First Impressions by Ann Demarais and Valerie White.
*Practice asking inquisitive questions and listening. Most of what will help conversations go well is to become strong with asking questions and listening in a warm, interested, engaging fashion. Actual real-life trial and error in real conversations is essential. Practice as often as possible apart from those you date whenever the opportunity presents itself. Find out about and take an interest in others. The more the focus in on the other person, the more likely the other will feel the conversation went well, which is the goal.
Along with the recommendations given previously, there are a few things to remember to not do in conversations. First, don’t talk too much about yourself. It can sound egotistical and that you aren’t interested in the other person. Also, minimize awkward silences. You can get skilled at blending questions to the other with some feedback about yourself. Looking at your cell phone during a date is tacky too and needs to be minimized. Also, talking about or asking about ex dating partners or spouses is usually a mistake. Doing so sounds like you are still hung up on them. Complaining about or criticizing others is general is a downer and should be avoided. Getting into controversial subjects like politics is also something to be careful of, as this can go very badly, very quickly. Finally, don’t jump to sexual talk or premature talk of the next date. Either can be tacky and a turn-off. It is just too early. Basically, avoid a conversation dragging, being overly about yourself, or focused on negative/risky topics. If you combine these “don’ts” together with the earlier “dos”, your conversation should go well for a first date and thereafter.
Please remember the importance of conversation in a relationship, especially during a first date. Work on your conversational abilities. If the conversation is negative or flat, usually there won’t be a second date. Remember, it is hard for
someone to imagine sharing a life (or an eternity) with a person they cannot have a decent conversation with. So please take this issue seriously. You can improve in this area and have the relationship you want. Because “…neither is the man
without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).