Tips On Improving Your First Date Conversation

First dates are usually the hardest. Everything is new so you don’t have any idea how to talk to the person you’re with. Nervousness adds to the equation and so you’d find yourself floundering for conversation topics, often making a mess of everything. The good news is that this doesn’t always have to be the case. First dates can actually be very fruitful if you have planned ahead and know exactly how to approach the conversation. If you’re scheduled for that big first date with a special someone, following are some conversation techniques that could help lead to a second and third date.

Dress Right

The right clothes can tell a lot about you in 5 seconds flat. For a first date, the clean and casual look is usually best. Of course, this may depend on the kind of restaurant you are taking the person. Keep it casual, perhaps a well-known restaurant that doesn’t require dressing up. For males, try to place a reservation to impress the lady. Make sure to arrive on time or perhaps a little earlier to prepare.

Flattery Works

Let your date know that you appreciate the preparation she went through for the occasion. Compliment her dress and any other factor that might catch your attention – but don’t do it too much. Moderation is the key here since overselling the flattery can actually turn her off instead of turn her on.

Watch for Reactions

Observe your date’s reaction and change your conversation techniques according to what you see. There are subtle body movements that can tell you if your date is entertained or bored. Some hints that something is wrong includes crossed arms, nervous movement of the feet and tapping of fingers on the table. Positive signs include smiles, nodding heads and even biting of the lips.

Encourage Conversation

Ask questions about your date even as you answer questions about you. Make sure that the conversation is a two way street by lobbying the ball back in your date’s court. This can be something as simple as asking them the same question you’ve been asked, therefore creating a level ground for comparison. Listen to what your date has to say and react accordingly. For example, if they start talking about their last trip outside the country, you can perhaps ask them where they went and then throw in a bit of information about your last trip.

Maintain Eye Contact

Eye contact is crucial during a first date as you both try to assess each other’s reaction. Eye contact also helps convey interest during a conversation. When the pupils dilate, this is also a good sign of attraction and arousal.

Be Sure

Don’t be too indecisive with your actions since this can make you seem weaker and unsure of yourself. Taking too long to place an order or consider the wine also makes nervousness plain for your date to see. Instead, be aware of what you want even before showing up for the date.

Be Aware

Your body language also tells a lot during a date. Don’t fidget too much or do any unnecessary movement. Be natural and relaxed which can be quite difficult at first. The trick here is to arrange yourself in a position you’re most comfortable with before proceeding with the conversation. Pay close attention to what s/he is saying and don’t over think things as this will only make you feel self conscious.

Conversation Suggestions

There are several conversation suggestions that you can try out starting from something as simple as where they work and what they do. Some of the best conversation topics involve favorite vacation spots, what they think of the restaurant, the food and so on. Finding common ground is best because it helps you establish a rapport quickly. Note that the topic of your conversation can be highly useful in case you want a 2nd date. By storing all these personal information about her, you’ll be able to ask for a date in less formal surroundings, perhaps somewhere you both enjoy.

Conversation to Avoid

While there are some topics that are just perfect to talk about, there are also some that should be avoided at all costs. Never talk about her past, particularly old relationships as this can ruin the friendly atmosphere. Instead, focus on the future or recurrent personal pursuits such as hobbies and work.

Get Close

A classic technique to show interest is by leaning forward on the table in an effort to get closer to your date. If they do the same, this can be a prelude to a touching gesture which basically ensures a 2nd date.


Don’t forget to act the role of a gentleman throughout the date. This can be something as simple as taking off her coat and pulling her chair for her. If you slip up, try to laugh it off and return to the lighthearted conversation.

The Bill

This is perhaps one of the most awkward moments during a first date. Should you shoulder the bill or should you split it in two? Typically, the male handles the full cost of the bill but most women will try to pay their share. Be respectful in fobbing her off, perhaps joking around until she lets you handle payment. If she still insists, you can try to joke about her handling the bill on your next date.

Ending the Date

How you end the date is also important and will basically set the stage for any further dates. Typically, you can hug and kiss your date at the end, telling her how wonderful it was and that you should do it again soon. It’s unnecessary to arrange another date immediately, but you should have each other’s number to help with further plans.

Of course, those are just few of the things you need to remember during a first date. Keep in mind that your date will also be watching out for your reactions so be expressive if the situation demands it. This way, you will both find it easier to read each other’s interest.

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Written by 

Christine Reay is a veteran journalist from Chicago. She works for ANR Miami as the Head of Editorial Content.