It can be difficult finding things to talk about during a first encounter or date. Most often you’ll drift into inane conversations about the weather, or your favourite desert. But this won’t benefit you or your date. So here’s some ideas to kick off the debate.
Talk about Travel, Not Movies.
From Richard Wiseman’s book Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things
“When talking about movies, less than 9 percent of the pairs wanted to meet up again, compared to 18 percent when participants spoke about the top topic—travel… For instance, 49 percent of men liked action films compared to just 18 percent of women, and 29 percent of women liked musicals, compared to only 4 percent of men. Whenever I walked past the table where participants were talking about films, all I heard was arguing. In contrast, the conversations about travel tended to revolve around great holidays and dream destinations, and that makes people feel good and so appear more attractive to one another.”
Keep it Controversial
Dan Ariely, a researcher in behavioral economics did an experiment via a dating site, where daters could only ask each other to controversial or personally revealing questions. ie., “how many romantic partners did you have?”, “When was your last breakup?”, “Do you have any STDs?”, “Have you ever broken someone’s heart?”, “How do you feel about abortion?”
“Instead of talking about the World Cup or their favorite desserts, they shared their innermost fears or told the story of losing their virginity. Everyone, both sender and replier, was happier with the interaction.”
Arthur Aron, a psychologist created 36 questions that participants had to ask each other over the course of an hour. The process of doing it formed a bond that was stronger than most of the friendships between 30% of the participants. Here’s a couple of his most effective questions:
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
- If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
- Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?