First dates are our chance to create an initial connection with a man, and see if we are a good fit. We trot out our best stories and questions to make a great first impression, and we avoid uncomfortable silence at all costs.
But these strategies aren’t real ways to start a connection with a man. In fact, they feel more like an interview than a romantic experience. If you really want to get the conversation flowing, focus instead on connecting to his heart by being vulnerable and authentic. Here’s how.
TIP #1: ASK HIM ABOUT A PERSONAL DETAIL
Rather than asking him about his job or where he lives, ask him about a personal detail that opens the door to unusual conversation. It’s a great way to find out more about him and let him know you’re interested.
So say something about his class ring or the shoes he’s wearing. Chances are, there’s a story there; and he’ll welcome the opportunity to share it. It will feel more spontaneous and refreshing, because it isn’t the same old conversation starter.
TIP #2: ASK HIM TO ASK YOU
A good way to communicate your openness and find out what’s on his mind is to ask him: “Is there anything you’d like to know about me?”
Doing this gives you great insight into his personality. You’re letting him lead the conversation so he feels you’re open to him, and you’re also learning about what matters to him. He’ll probably turn it around and ask you to do the same, and this will keep you chatting away. The fact that you’re open to revealing stuff about yourself will also give him the impression that you’re spontaneous and comfortable in your own skin, and this is very attractive.
TIP #3: ADMIT YOU’RE NERVOUS
It’s normal to think that we have to seem upbeat and at ease on a first date, so we try to cover up our nerves and discomfort. But this just creates an artificial experience between the two of you, and causes you to miss a real opportunity for connection.
One of the quickest ways to put him at ease – and instantly connect with his heart – is to confess what you’re really feeling. So if you feel nervous, tell him! You can say something like: “You know, I’m feeling really nervous here. I felt we had a great connection online, and now I’m not sure what to say,”
There’s a good chance he’ll venture that he’s having the same problem, and then you’ll have something in common! What’s more, the fact that you expressed your true feelings will let him see that he doesn’t have to be a mind reader with you…and it will touch his heart.
TIP #4: GET COMFORTABLE WITH SILENCE
This tip is the hardest to get used to, but the most powerful.
When people are nervous, they tend to create small talk. Small talk will help pass the time, but it won’t help you make a heart connection with him, because you’re just sharing facts rather than engaging with him on a more personal level. So let go of the need to carry the conversation, and challenge yourself to sit with the silence. Know that you don’t need to speak.
Instead smile, relax your shoulders, and get comfortable. Just doing this will take the pressure off him, because he’ll feel that you’re okay being in his presence. He’ll feel accepted, and that’s when he’ll feel safe enough to trust you and relax. Gradually, you’ll find yourself sharing a true heart to heart.
Much of the pressure from first dates comes from testing to see if we can trust this person enough to start revealing who we are. But it really works the opposite way. The more you reveal about yourself and your true feelings, the more he’ll feel comfortable opening up about himself. If you keep this in mind, you’ll find that your next first date will be much more enjoyable. You will have learned something meaningful about another person. Even if you decide it’s not a romantic fit after all, you’ll have also gained valuable practice in how to open yourself up to the right man.