Today’s message is a simple one. It’s a set of suggestions to keep you from being a first date disaster. It’s a gentle reminder, gentlemen, to spend more time asking her questions and less time talking about yourself.
When we talk to women who use eH+, eHarmony’s personal matchmaking service, about their first dates there is a common refrain. “He just talked about himself all night. He never asked me a single question.” Why does that happen?
First off, it’s more complicated than it seems. Peppering a person with questions on a first date can be even worse than talking about yourself all night. What’s a man to do? Here are three suggestions:
1. The first date is about conversation, not your checklist.
No one wants to endure a first date that feels more like a job interview. Set aside your questions about her life plans (“Where do you see yourself in five years?”) and focus on fun conversational questions. “What do you like to do with your free time?” is a good start. Yes or no questions are also roadblocks to great conversation. Open-ended questions let the person riff and think out loud, “When was the last time you were totally relaxed?” or, “If I could snap my fingers and we could be anywhere tonight, where would you want to go?”
You’re trying to give her room to express her personality.
2. Unless you’re a film director or an astronaut, don’t talk much at all about your job.
I know it’s interesting to you, and past dates seemed more than happy to listen…except they were faking and found the entire topic boring. Touch on your job and then MOVE ON. Talk about your passions, your favorite destination, your inner world. If she wants to know about your recent sales presentation, she can ask.
3. Be an active listener.
Active listeners acknowledge the speaker as he/she is talking. (“Ok…Really?!…Were you scared?”) They nod and maintain eye contact and give feedback to the speaker. Looking around the room, or at the waitress, is a very bad idea.
We all want to be with people who make us feel good about ourselves. If you spend the evening asking questions, talking about the important parts of your inner world, and actively listening, she’s going to feel great about the time you spend together.
Ladies, what are your biggest complaints about first dates?
eH+ is a service that combines eHarmony’s science with hand-selected and vetted matches and the guidance of a personal matchmaker. Here’s a short video preview…