The date started out great. You talked about your work and his work. Then you shared some stories about mutual friends. He knows the names of your pets and you know about his car.
Then comes the dreaded stall – that awkward moment when the conversation seems to have nowhere else to go. The salad is only going to last so long and then both of you have to say something. But what?
Here are a few conversational kickstarts so that you can decide which is most comfortable for your personality. Whatever you choose, just make it natural and comfortable.
If you have a quick wit and a real sense of humor, then you can bridge a silence in a way that leaves both of you laughing. Maybe you can find something funny in a strange situation.
Or you make a light of how the chef must be out back chasing down the chicken to take so long for your dinner order to appear. The only problem with being funny is to avoid sliding into sarcastic.
Unless you know your date well enough to know if his sense of humor matches yours, then go easy on the humor. Making a casual amusing comment is one thing, but don’t start a comedic monologue over the entrée. If he can’t get a word in between your jokes, then humor isn’t a conversation starter it’s a date ender.
When you have a love of books or travel or architecture, you may know a wealth of interesting information on that subject. Let’s say you are having dinner at a Victorian hotel and you know a lot about Victorian era literature.
You might ask your date if he knows how today’s dining out experience is different from that in the time that this restaurant was originally opened for service. Add a few interesting tidbits without sounding like a high school teacher lecturing her students.
Share ideas and pose open-ended questions so that he gets to say something. Trivia is like seasoning – used sparingly and at the right time, it leaves you wanting more but over-used, it makes you want to want to leave early.
Maybe you’re slightly eccentric or just marching to a different drummer. Even if he seems more conservative, he might find your free spirited nature refreshing and enjoyable.
Tell him that your friends are constantly amused at your random questions and fascination with even the slightest things. Ask him to try a spur of the moment action with you just for fun.
Offer to start a word association – you toss out a word, then he does, then you respond and so forth. Before long, you are both laughing and have even more to talk about with this word game.
A sure conversation starter is to ask him about something that he relates to in his world. You might ask what a typical day in his job is like or what is it that attracted him to that job.
Before that topic bogs down, offer to tell him what your dream job is if he’ll tell you what his dream job is. If he talks about his dog or his hobby re-building classic cars, then ask him what you would need to know to appreciate his interests. Just keep it current and avoid talking about your ex-boyfriend or his ex-girlfriend.