Dating Sites HQ is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
10 Things to Talk About – that Help Fill the “Silent Gaps” on Your First Date
It’s your first date and that is awkward enough. If you haven’t spilled the coffee or walked into the wall, you are doing well.
And then it happens – the “silent gaps” on your first date. This isn’t always a sign that things aren’t going well, it is a sign that two people are just meeting for the first time.
Remember that silence can sometimes be OK:
- There should be a comfortable lull after 20 or so minutes of conversation.
- It is OK for someone to take time to think about an answer.
- It is common for people to need a few minutes to get back into the conversation after an interruption (such as a waiter, acquaintance or something loud happening).
Don’t panic when silence hits. Here are 10 things to talk about that help fill the “silent gaps” on your first date.
Talk About –Books, Movies and Shows you liked
Talk about the type of entertainment you like – don’t be broad and general (like “I like action movies), be specific. Bring up actors, writers, shows and episodes you really enjoy. Don’t talk about what you didn’t like, keep it positive. Talk about sequels you want to see and upcoming films; these could become ideas for a second date.
Talk About –People who influenced your life
Talk about who influenced you in your life and why. It doesn’t have to be someone huge like Gandhi, or expected – like your 7th grade teacher. Talk about who really has made an impact on your life, and what that impact looks like in your life now.
Talk About –Your heroes
Back to Gandhi and your 7th grade teacher, talk about your heroes and people who you admire. Yes, you can even talk about superheroes but explain what it is about them. Talk about what they inspire you to try and do in your life.
Talk About –What you love to do
Talk about what you love to do and are passionate about – but – mind the time. It is easy to go off on a tangent and talk so much about it that no one else can get a word in.
- Let them see what you are passionate about.
- Don’t go on about it for more than three minutes.
- Don’t immediately ask what their passion is; let that be something they choose to share.
Talk About –Where you wish you could go
Dream talk about adventures and vacations can be good, as long as it isn’t presented as something you absolutely have to do or are planning on – that can put people off if they don’t share the same wish.
Talk About –A skill you admire
Mention a skill you really admire, whether you have ever tried it or just admire it.
Talk About – What you wish everyone could have
Go beyond peace, happiness and enough to live on and talk from your experience about what is good in life.
Talk About – Your dream house
Like talking about where you wish you could go, keep this firmly in fantasy land – have fun with it.
Talk About – The ideal weekend
Think potential date when you talk about this and keep it simple and open to another person’s input and ideas.
Talk About – The change you want to see happen in the world
The last idea for things to talk about to fill the silent gaps on your first date is to talk about the change you want to see happen in the world. Much like #7, this is a way to share what you have learned from life, what has made you strong and what you wish for everyone – it isn’t about politics or advocacy. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t talk about when it comes to your past is hard enough in a relationship, if you haven’t met someone yet it can be even harder. Here is a brief guide to how much of your past life you should tell her if you haven’t met in person yet, and when it is time to start talking about the past.
The 3 things you shouldn’t talk about until you meet in person
Knowing what you should and shouldn’t talk about when it comes to your past is hard enough, but these are the 3 things you just shouldn’t mention until you meet in person.
- At first this will seem OK, but then the fact that you are telling a stranger who you can’t see – and who can’t see you – to provide for gauging and reading emotions is going to cause problems with communication.
- Getting fired, dishonorable discharges or other loss of social status/income. There are too many questions to be asked that need body language feedback to keep the conversation on good terms to do this with messaging.
- Especially if this is recent, it is a “slap in the face” kind of word. Save this for when there is time in person to talk.
Most of these are mentioned because most of the conversation is going to rely on visual cues from the person and not words. Emoticons just aren’t going to cut it.
The 3 things you shouldn’t talk about until you have a face to face relationship
As much as you may feel like you are made for each other, there are some things that you need to save talking about until you have a real relationship in the works.
- Don’t talk about your traumatic family upbringing. If it is that bad, then it shouldn’t be something your treat so lightly as to trot it out for strangers. Make sure it is given the respect it is due by only sharing it when there is a strong enough intimacy established.
- Don’t talk about past relationships in detail. In fact, this one can wait for quite some time.
- Don’t talk about any history of drug or alcohol abuse if it is more than 5 years in the past. If it is, and you are still talking about it as if it is the most important thing in your life – it is, and not in a way that is good for a relationship.
The 3 things you should tell her about your past before you meet in person
When it comes to your past there are some things you do have to tell her about if you haven’t met her in person. These may be hard, but they show that you both have accountability in your life – and respect for her.
- Tell her if you have kids that are living with you.
- Tell her if you are involved in any kind of relationship (separation, divorce, etc.)
- Tell her if you have any kind of past felony record
This last one is very important. More and more jobs these days require their employee to have background checks and who they keep company with can mean the difference between getting hired, and not getting picked. She may not be in a position, if she has young children too, to risk this because of custody. Do the right thing and own up to any felony convictions before you meet to be fair to her.
The Top 7 Things Women Hate to be Told in Online Dating Messages
It’s easy to ruin your chances with a woman before you even get started by saying the kind of things that women hate to be told in online dating messages. Here are the top 7 things they hate, so don’t say them.
Women hate to be told they are sexy/beautiful in the first message.
If they have a profile picture posted then they know you are also responding to how they look. They will also be getting a stream of messages that lead off with the physical. Make yourself really stand out from the crowd by leading with something that shows you read their profile.
- Wait until the 3rd or 4th message before you mention something about how they look.
- Make sure that there is no “but” statement possible after your comment so it isn’t a back-handed compliment
Don’t tell them they look like a kind or compassionate woman.
Sending this in the first few messages is a huge red flag. It sends out the signal that you are looking for someone to be your mother. Kindness and compassion isn’t something that show, it’s something someone does.
Don’t talk about how many women message you
You wouldn’t believe how many men lead off with some comment about how many messages they get but how you are the only woman that appeals to them. The woman reading this will immediately call “bulls–t” and trash your message. Be real, and be respectful; don’t play games that seem to pit women against women – it will make you come off as a narcissistic troll.
Women hate to be told that they “sound smart.”
Telling a woman that they “sound smart” is a backhanded compliment. It implies that you didn’t expect them to be smart, and that you don’t really believe it.
- Don’t tell them, if you think they are smart write messages that respond to that.
- Use good grammar and spelling.
- Don’t make any comments about school or jobs related to how “smart they sound.”
Don’t tell them you aren’t any good at messages
If you are writing then you are doing better than all the other guys who are liking from afar. No one is ever really good at the first few emails, but by drawing attention to it you are also drawing attention to yourself. You want to keep more of it on her.
Don’t go on and on about your toys
You may have the bike, the car, the boat and the house; but let those things be something she discovers about you. She doesn’t want to hear about them in messages on an online dating site because it sounds like they are your crutches. When someone needs their things to be out in front of them as the first thing a woman gets to know it suggests there isn’t much else there.
They don’t want to hear how your life is so wonderful but you are just missing that special someone.
Saying that is a big red flag. One of the things that women hate to told in an online dating message is how much you are looking to for someone to complete your life. Not only is that a huge sign of insecurity and codependency on your part; but it also puts you into the “could become a stalker” category. Also, by saying your life is perfect – except for having someone to share it with really implies that your life isn’t that wonderful after all and you could be angry or depressed about it.
7 Questions You Should NEVER Ask Women on a First Date OR on a Dating Site
There are times to ask things, and times not to ask. When it comes to a first date or the first few messages on a dating site, there are a lot of questions that are off limits. Here are the top 7 questions you should NEVER ask women on a first date or on a dating site – not if your want a chance of a second date.
Don’t Ask – How come your last relationship didn’t work out?
Probably because she was just as much an ass as you were in yours. If you don’t want an answer like that, don’t ask such a wrong-minded question. Leave her past and exes out of the first few encounters.
Don’t Ask – Do you want to settle down?
Everyone wants to settle down eventually – even if they swear they don’t want to now – it’s part of the process of getting older. This rates as the kind of vapid question that sounds deep, means nothing and is incredibly boring.
Don’t Ask – How do you feel about (sex act)
Don’t talk sex the first time you interact. It will immediately put you into the category of a troll and get you blocked, online and in real life.
Don’t Ask – Are you good with kids?
Oh no. Never ask this on a first date or during the first few messages on a dating site. First of all, it sends the message that you aren’t interested in her as a person. Second of all, it sounds like you are just shopping for a nanny.
Don’t Ask – How much do you like to party?
As soon as a woman hears this she is going to immediately think you have a problem, or that you are ragingly immature. Even if you are only 18, this is no question to ask the first time you meet a woman anywhere.
Don’t Ask – What do you think of (political topic)?
On the first date – just stay away from politics. Why would you want to start an argument? Even if you agree, all it is going to do is get everyone’s defenses up. Politics don’t matter when you are just meeting.
Don’t Ask – Don’t you want to do something more (exciting, fulfilling, well-paying etc.)?
The underlying message here is that you don’t think they are exciting or living a very worthwhile life. This is a great way to have a door slammed on your face – the best part is you won’t even understand why it happened. Phrasing a question in this way is a fine example of a passive-aggressive approach to communication.
So what can you ask about instead?
Here are some ideas for questions that will be sure to get her interest –
- What was the best vacation that you ever went on?
- Do you have a show, movie or book that you always return to?
- Who would be your ideal non-romantic roommate/
- Do you think that you will want the same things in life 20 years from now?
- Who is your hero?
- What sport do you wish you could be a pro player at?
The idea behind these questions is they are about discovering more about her, and not about defining her by her past or argumentative issues. When you are first meeting someone you want to find out more about what they desire and dream of in life – that gives you an idea of where they are going with themselves. The past comes out, but later once there is a reason for revealing what may be vulnerable details. Politics are just about the surest way to get moved into the friend zone fast, so stay away from that.