There are ways to have a good chat and there are ways to ensure that the date goes down the toilet and you don’t end up seeing them again. Hopefully, these handy tips should keep the date on a positive note.

Don’t Interrogate
I went on a date a few months ago and I thought I was on an interview. I was tempted to pull out a sheet of paper and say ‘Here! Read that!’ but instead I wisecracked, ‘Will you be shining a light in my face next?’ However tempting it is to roll off a list of questions because it keeps you on track and stops you from feeling nervous, don’t do it because you sound like a dick. Guys tend to do it more than women as we are natural conversationalists and gossipers.

Take Charge
If the conversation is boring you, then change tack and introduce something else. Dates are a two way thing and if you sit there and listen to them bore you all evening, you have your part to play in it too.

Don’t Waffle
Some people don’t realise that whatever is floating their boat at that moment is not floating someone else’s. I have had dates with guys that have waffled on about building work, maths and gigabytes and megabytes. Unless you both work in the same field, it is unlikely that they want to hear every last bit about your job or whatever it is. You are more than that.

Be assertive
I draw the line when one person is expected to hold up the conversation, provide the excitement and the stimulus. You’re on a date which means it would be a wise idea to speak up and create an impression. Dates are a two way street.

Don’t Be Shifty – Make Eye Contact
It doesn’t feel very nice when you’re talking to someone and they won’t look you in the eye. It can seem rude and it gives the impression that you’re dodgy. First impressions do last. This means make eye contact, don’t stare at breasts, and don’t focus on crotches.

Be Polite
It is so unpleasant to hear someone being rude to someone who is serving them. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth and is unlikely to score you or them any brownie points. If you are on a date with someone that behaves like this, it’s a red flag. Notice it and pay attention.

Don’t Go ‘There
Avoid getting into religious, political and ex discussions. The first two can spark an unpleasant debate and the latter makes you appear as if you’re still clinging to baggage. There should be more than enough to talk about on dates without having to talk about an ex. And, if an ex does come up in conversation and they start lambasting them, it’s a red flag. Run like the wind.

Don’t Analyse Whilst On the Date
I went on a date a few months ago where towards the end he started analysing each aspect of the date in front of me. It was so unpleasant and I actually told him that it was inappropriate. Save the analysing and bleating for your mates poor ears, not your dates.

Don’t Panic When There’s Silence
I’m not talking about extended ones, but the occasional uncomfortable moment won’t kill you and is part and parcel of the unknown territory of dating. Silence is when we have a tendency to cock up though because we attempt to fill the gap with the first thing that pops into our heads and it doesn’t always make things more comfortable. Try to keep things balanced so that both of you are taking turns to rekindle the conversation when it hits these awkward spots. Oh and think for one extra second, so that the next thing that comes out of your mouth isn’t a blooper.

Don’t Overdo Things
We have a tendency to want to impress on first dates but go easy on the one upmanship and bragging. Don’t be OTT about money, your job, your lifestyle as it’s a turn off. Yes, there are some people that are drawn by material things but most of us aren’t. It’s crass. These ‘wonderful’ things about you should come about easily through general conversation and they shouldn’t be conversation starters or fillers. ‘I drive a 3 series BMW’ will hang in the air like a horrid fart.

I don’t mean perve or leer, I mean have a bit of fun, a bit of banter and flirt, but steer clear of dodgy sexual innuendo’s. When you are asking each other questions, have fun with it and if it’s an opener to a joke, make one if you’re capable of it. Obviously choose your jokes carefully!

Check the Newspaper
If you’re worried about struggling for interesting things to talk about, check your local newspaper or your favourite news site for a couple of interesting news topics to discuss. ‘Did you hear about that?’ can open up the doors to a fun conversation that can spiral into discovering other things about each other.

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