Being able to have a good, easy and comfortable conversation with a guy forms the foundation for a memorable, positive date. But that's often easier said than done! If you find yourself getting tongue-tied the next time you're chatting with a single guy, several tips from counselors, therapists and relationship experts can help you steer the conversation in the right direction.
Ask a Question
Guys like talking about themselves. By asking him about himself, you give the man something he's easily able to talk about. This also takes away some of that awkward silence that you might encounter when first getting to know someone. "Asking a guy about his work, life, interests and passions are all topics he’s sure to enjoy discussing," says dating coach Jess McCann on her website. Make sure your questions are open-ended and not answerable with a simple "yes" or "no." For example, instead of asking, "Do you like your job?," ask "Why do you like your job?" This keeps the conversation flowing.
Paraphrase What He Says
When the guy you're talking to says something that seems important to him, paraphrase his comment back to him to show that you're paying attention to what he's thinking or feeling. In a sense, you're saying to him, "I got you and understand you." Single guys like to know that the woman they're chatting with is being attentive to what they're saying. "If you appear to be genuinely interested in what he has to say," says McCann, "he will walk away from the conversation feeling great."
Talk About the Present Moment
While it's easy to talk about your past dating life, your childhood and other elements of your past, men in today's dating scene want to know about who you are right now, not who you were then. "Talk about yourself as who you are today in the present and the values and goals you have for yourself in the future," psychotherapist Gina Marchando says in a May 2013 "Psychology Today" article. "They want to know who you are today not how you were in a past relationship or lifetime." By talking about your present status, you give the guy something current and relevant to bond with you over.
Be Conscious of His Needs
Every guy has a topic or issue that he doesn't want to discuss. Maybe it's politics, his past relationships or his viewpoint on a local issue in your city. If you find him skirting an issue or trying to avoid a topic, don't push it. Instead, move on to another topic that you both find interesting. "There are just some topics people don’t want to talk about," says Kelsey McCoy at the Florida Institute of Technology's counseling department on the university's website. "What makes or breaks a date is if you respect your date’s wishes and drop the subject."
Keep the Conversation Balanced
A great chat is a two-way street. Guys don't want to have to carry the burden of a conversation during the entire date. Just like you, they're looking to find out more information about the person with whom they're talking. If the man you're with shares an interesting story, a fun anecdote or a personal memory, try to share something similar from your own life to show that you're willing to both give and take. The best conversation should alternate between both you and the guy. You want to show that you're actively engaged in the chat, but you also don't want to monopolize the conversation and be the only one talking.
- Jess McCann: How to Talk to Men - 3 Easy Tips for Chatting Up Guys
- Florida Institute of Technology Counseling and Psychological Services: The Art of Dating
- Psychology Today: 10 Ways to Make Difficult Conversations Easier
- Psychology Today: 10 Dating Do's and Don'ts From 6 Therapists
- Caltech Counseling Center: Dating 101, Part 2
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