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Avoiding awkward first date silences

17 Aug 2014

The Metro newspaper recently revealed a study that showed Brits spent on average just 52 minutes in silence a day. Plus, more than 10 million Brits spend no time in silence whatsoever! Even when we do experience silences, many people feel desperate to fill the gap as silences can make many people feel uncomfortable. Not surprisingly, the silence we dislike the most is the ‘awkward’ one, especially when we are dating. We gave the Metro our view on avoiding awkward first date silences, see the full article here. We could talk all day about this topic, so, how do you avoid those awkward first date silences and make a good impression?

1. Think about the date location

Getting to know someone on a first date is key, but that doesn’t mean you have to seclude yourself away from everyone else. Picking a date location that has some light entertainment or an activity date is best for a first date if you find you get tongue tied easily. It depends what your date is into, but some good ideas are bowling, cooking classes, comedy, food festivals, wine tasting, galleries, cocktail making and so on. Your surroundings ultimately set the mood and will help keep the conversation going, so choose wisely.

2. Avoid closed questions

Closed questions are questions that just lead to a yes or no answer. These sort of questions will quickly end the conversation and leave you scrambling to think of something else to ask. For example “do you like to travel?” can easily just be answered “yes”. However if you ask things like “where did you last go on holiday? What did you love about it?” you will get more meaningful answers which will get the conversation flowing and lasting longer. Try and think of as many open questions before your date as possible. This is a really simple but effective way to keep the conversation going.

3. Ask your date about themselves

Everyone loves to talk about themselves. If you find conversation stalling, just ask your date about their life. Find out where they grew up, if they have brothers and sisters, are they active, do they like to cook, what are they passionate about? The list is endless! And remember, keep the questions open.

4. Have a few back up questions up your sleeve

If you think you might run into some silences in the night then it might be best to think of a few back up topics to speak about on the date. Having a few questions up your sleeve in case conversation dries up is always a great idea. Read a paper on the way to your date in case there are any interesting stories to chat about and try and think of some funny stories or experiences you can share. Avoid any talk about your ex, work or politics etc. Anything too full on will not be good on a first date. Keep it light and fun.

5. Order a cheeky drink

Dutch courage anyone? Ordering a drink before your date arrives can be a good thing. The aim is to calm your nerves, feel relaxed and chatty. The aim is not to overdo it and make a fool of yourself.

6. Make a joke out of it

Turn the awkward silence into something funny to break the ice, these can go either way so be careful what you say. I’m going to draw from my personal experience here, my current boyfriend said to me on our first date if there is any awkward silences we will just have to fill them with kissing. Did I purposely let the conversation run silent – now that would be telling! Making a joke out of it will make it seem light hearted and less of a big deal. It worked for me!

Just remember that if you are going on a first date both parties will be nervous, it’s natural for us to be nervous around someone we like. Dating isn’t always easy!


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