If you’ve ever felt anxious about running out of things to say on your first date, or having a bunch of awkward silences, you’re not alone.
At one point or another we’ve all worried about running out of conversation, or not having anything to talk about.
I’ve always found this amazing, because most people in the dating pool have upwards of twenty years life experience. How can someone with twenty years of interesting experiences and stories run out of things to talk about in less than a few hours?
The short answer is – you don’t.
Think about how things are when you’re around a really good friend: conversation flows naturally, you bounce back and forth between a bunch of different topics, and no one ever talks about one thing for very long. When you’re with someone new, the social pressure of the situation can cause you to become self-conscious and start worrying about how things are going.
This pressure prevents you from being present in the moment and behaving normally, but there’s a way around it.
The secret to having smooth conversation even when you’re feeling uncomfortable is learning how to use conversation branching to your advantage.
When people are having a good time, they naturally branch topics, and if you become aware of how conversation branching works you can do it well in any situation.
Say for example you ask a girl what she did last night, and she says “Not much. Went out with some friends then relaxed at home for a bit and watched some TV.”
Within her response, there are at least three obvious branches: watching TV, going out with friends, and not doing much.
The key to transitioning from boring fluff conversation like this into fun, more natural conversation is humour and teasing.
Here are three possible replies to what she said that incorporate teasing, open up additional branches, and generally move the vibe away from boring conversation and towards either fun, flirty conversation or relating and rapport building.
“Oh no… you’re not one of those Jersey Shore reality TV addicts are you?”
“Where’d you guys go?” ( wait for her response, then tell a funny or cool story about going out with your friends that relates to her answer )
“Long week? You don’t really seem like the stay at home type.”
All of these responses avoid the interview style trap so many guys fall into, and her answers will allow you to branch out again or continue with fun banter a bit until you find another topic you want to talk about. When you’re good at transitioning naturally from topic to topic you don’t need to worry about what you should say or what topics to bring up; things will seem a lot more natural and you’ll have a lot more success.
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