9 Conversation Starters and Tips to Save an Awkward First Date

As you were getting ready for the first date, it all seemed so promising. You hair was cooperating with your demands, your outfit was just the right mixture of sexy and modest, and you were in such a great mood. So, if it was all so promising, why are you currently sitting across from this tense-looking guy in painfully awkward silence? Instead of filling up the silence with “So yeah” and “Um…,” why not fill it up with conversation starters that can potentially salvage an awkward date and set you up with a second? Try out some of these awkward-proof conversation starters and banish the uncomfortable glances and stiff laughs for good.
“Where’d you grow up?” Okay, fine. It’s a super simple question, but I firmly believe that, unless you’re with a total bore of a date, it’s a great way to start a conversation. It’s not too invasive, but it still can give you some insight on your date’s background. It can lead to questions like, “Do you like it better here?” and “Would you ever want to go back to live there?”
Think of where you met and ask about it. Let’s say you met in a political science class. Ask your date about the class, with questions like, “Do you like the teacher?” or “Is political science your major?” Once again, these types of questions can lead to more questions. As long as you listen, you can always come up with good follow-up questions.
“Do you have a nickname?” Once you’re a little more comfortable on your date, the question can be super fun because, more often than not, it brings out the funny side of your date. People often have cute and goofy stories behind their childhood nicknames; these stories can get you and your date joking and laughing. It can also give you a sense of your date’s family or friends, depending on who gave them the nickname.
“Do you prefer books or movies?” Say what you want about this question, but it often makes for a fun conversation. In fact, any preference question (“winter or summer?” or “Football or soccer?” etc.) will do. You’ll not only get to know a little bit more about your date’s likes and dislikes, but preference questions can push the conversation along and it keep it from faltering. As long as you and your date put in effort, there will always be more questions to ask when it comes to each other’s preferences.
“What’s your favorite kind of music?” Yeah, it’s a super cliché question, but I’ve found some of my best conversations with people to start off with a question about music. As long as you and your date aren’t completely psychotic over your preferences, you might find some common ground to talk about, as well as some not-so common ground to learn about from one another.
Now, you may have the right questions, but do you have the right attitude? Here are a few tips along with your conversation starters to ensure that you can keep the awkwardness at bay:
Listen to your date! I can’t stress this enough. In order to enjoy yourself, learn more about your date, and keep with the conversation, you have to listen.
Don’t be afraid to ask seemingly goofy questions. Look, if your first date has taken a wrong turn into awkward boulevard, you have the right to ask some cliché and silly questions. More often than not, that’s how you get a fun date started.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Smile, laugh, and enjoy yourself. It’s okay to tease and get teased, as long as its harmless fun. Don’t become so tense; loosen up and laugh off the awkwardness.
You don’t have to put in all the work. Don’t try to carry the date on your back. If your date refuses to give you something to work with, don’t feel shy saying so. You can’t do all the heavy-lifting on a first date, or any date for that matter.
[Lead image via pio3/Shutterstock]

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