While lust at first sight requires no words, the kind of love that inspires and endures usually begins with conversation.
As Dead Prez so accurately rapped:
“We could have mind sex, we ain’t got to take out clothes off yet…Before we make love, let’s have a good conversation.”
Obviously, conversation is important not only in love, but in every aspect of our lives. A great conversation is often what determines whether and how someone remembers us as well as how people gauge the most integral parts of your character.
You can lead the most interesting, multi-dimensional life imaginable, but if you do not know the tricks of effectively communicating who you are and what you think about to your date, you might not get a second one.
Because there is nothing more fatal to new romance than bland chit-chat, we’ve gathered the most commonly broken rules for a great conversation.
Follow them and you’ll be booking date after date. After all, everyone loves a great conversationalist.
Listen more than you speak
A no-brainer, but actually difficult to execute as there needs to be a balance. Try to make sure the conversation is 40% you speaking and 60% the other person speaking.
Keep your end of the conversation qualitative, rather than quantitative. If both parties follow the 40/60 rule, neither of you will come home wondering, “How did he/she manage to eat without ever closing his/her mouth?”
In order to be genuinely curious, you must ask questions that one, you actually want to hear about and two, are substantive rather than simply narrative. “What did you do today?”, while polite to ask, usually results in narrative chit-chat. “Are you the eldest? Do you agree with the whole birth order/personality theory?” leads to the sharing of opinions, histories, observations. You know, the fun stuff.
Avoid the play-by-play
When someone asks you a question, there is no need to relate every detail of the story. If you’re in the habit of doing this: “And then she said…and then I did…and then we went…and then we saw…” Just stop it.
Boil the tale down to the bits that matter and present it properly or scrap it altogether.
This ties into #4. Share the parts of the story that are the most interesting. Invite your date to ask questions.
Keep it relatable
Especially at the beginning of relationships, you don’t have to share every aspect of yourself, your thoughts, or experiences. The point is to build a common ground.
Make sure that the anecdotes you tell and the references you make are of interest to the listening party.
Quick tip: if you have to end a story by, “Yea, you just have to have been there”…it’s probably not worth telling.
Another tip: Unless you know the other party is into say, Greek mythology, avoid arcane references to said subject.
Avoid declarations about yourself and your personality
There’s no need to state that you’re kind, or considerate or generous or fill-in-the-blank, most people with their senses intact will be able to gauge most of these qualities simply by observing your mannerisms and your conversational content and style.
It’s always better to demonstrate than state.
Anything that can be said is infinitely more charming when spoken with a smile.