If you've ever sat across the table from a date who went on and on about the benefits of eating a raw food diet, winding up with an exposition on the history of mankind, you know what not to do on a date. Being interesting, however, is more difficult than avoiding the temptation to drone on about your favorite subject. It involves being authentic and helping the other person feel comfortable, whether you're meeting for burgers or attending an art opening.
Break the Ice
If it's your first date with a person, starting a conversation can be awkward. To be interesting, break the ice by asking questions that you genuinely want to know the answer to. For example, instead of asking if she's been enjoying the weather, ask her what book she's enjoyed lately. Follow up with a warm remark, such as "That sounds interesting. What is your favorite part?" advises psychologist Jeremy Nicholson. Open questions such as this one will naturally lead to more conversation.
One of the goals for a first date is to have fun, according to communication researcher Sean M. Horan in a 2012 article in "Psychology Today." If possible, set up the date in an environment that will facilitate a good time. Your date is much more likely to perceive you as interesting if you're both having a ball seeing who can scramble up the wall at the rock gym the fastest than if you're sitting at the coffee shop hoping that your conversation will last more than five minutes.
It's tempting to think that you'll be more interesting if you are up to date on the latest news about conflicts in the Middle East, but this is rarely true. What makes a person most interesting is his ability to listen to the other person. If you catch yourself thinking more about what you will say next than what your date is saying, you're getting off track. Focus on your date, look her in the eyes, nod when appropriate and ask relevant questions that relate to what she is talking about.
Have an Interesting Life
It's difficult to be an interesting person when your life is boring. Take a cue from Jim Carrey in the movie "Yes Man," and say yes to (almost) every opportunity that presents itself. Learn a foreign language, participate in an extreme sport, take a trip to an off-the-beaten-path location and get to know the interesting characters that pop up in your life. Your enthusiasm for life will shine through, making you not only an interesting date, but a fascinating friend as well.