There's nothing like a lull in conversation to make a date go downhill in a few seconds. We know, we know, people get nervous when they're seeing someone new, but that's where conversation starters come in. Everyone should keep a few good topics in their back pocket (even if it's not your first date or two). It's so easy to rely on questions like "How was your day?" or "What do you think of the weather?" But you probably should make it your rule of thumb not to ask your suitor the same questions you'd ask your mailman.
Keep in mind that the purpose of these questions is to gently work your way toward a natural conversation, not just barrage your date with questions. Once you have determined something that you have in common, take the time to dig deeper. And don't forget to elaborate; use an answer to probe further. That said, remember, you want to converse, not interrogate.
Keep in mind that it’s normal for there to be an ebb and flow in conversation. But to avoid awkward silences, use these first date questions to fall back on if things are getting uncomfortable.
What Is Your Go-to Conversation Starter?
In an ongoing effort to tap into our readers' lives, we posed the question, "What's your go-to conversation starter when you're on a date?” Here are five of our favorites.
"I generally prefer to talk about travel, whether it's places they have already been or maybe where they want to go. I also ask about places they want to live if they would consider moving somewhere else. With that said, I notice men tend to ask a lot of questions about how I grew up (Was my family strict? Private school vs. public school?). And then there are the ones who cannot filter themselves…" — @laurenculpepper
"If you were a dessert, what would you be? (I like to think I'm a scoop of chocolate gelato on a waffle cone)." — @itsannaboyer
"I ask them to tell me the story behind their most interesting scar." — @thejosephinechan
"Favorite question to ask on a date: What's the best compliment you've received? It shows what they value and if they are just surface level, and it usually brings up a good backstory." — @tallisr
"My go-to conversation starter on a date is to ask about one's travels, in particular, what their favorite city in the world is. It allows for your date to tell a story and now you have them talking and sharing something that excites them! Lastly, it allows you to respond with the same level of engagement and share your own stories or relate to theirs." — @luxe_sf
Up next: our readers sound off on what it means to be single.