Prepare talking pointsiStock/demaerre
Set aside time before the date to brainstorm a few topics you’d like to cover in case the conversation runs dry. Steer clear of topics that may be too personal, such as past relationships (and avoid saying these words on a first date). According to expert online dating coach Joshua Pompey, asking questions related to travel, television, or hobbies is a great way to get the conversation flowing. If you met the person you’re dating online, you had an extra advantage. “If you’re online dating someone, you probably have a sense of what they like to do most,” Pompey says. “You have an online dating profile as your personal cheat sheet—use it to your advantage and bring up those topics that they seem to enjoy.” These conversation starters make you instantly interesting.
Be playful and establish inside jokes before the dateiStock/stockrocket
Walking into a blind date without talking much prior can feel uncomfortable. To avoid awkward silences during the date, establish inside jokes beforehand—”I’ll be the one who’s 10 minutes early!” “I know you won’t be ordering the sushi!” or “I promise we’ll tip well (not like at your old summer job)”—and refer back to them during the date. Make sure to gauge your playfulness of the other person’s response. If they aren’t matching your tone, dial it back. “You don’t want to be all jokes all the time, because then you’re only showing a one-dimensional person who comes across as a clown,” said Pompey. “If you can balance playful messages with some more serious messages as well, that definitely presents a well-rounded person.” Follow these secrets of naturally charming people.