2. Make a Connection
Follow up small talk with some things to make your date (and yourself) feel comfortable. Compliments are a great second step! Throw in a compliment or two about an article of clothing they’re wearing or if their perfume smells nice.
Talk about how this date got set up. If you’ve been eyeing each other for a while, casually mention that you were looking forward to meeting. If you met through a dating app, bring up an interesting detail from their profile.
Practice active listening. Don’t focus on what you are going to say or ask next — this isn’t a quiz show. Instead, pay close attention to what your date is trying to tell you, establish eye contact, nod, smile, laugh, and ask thoughtful follow-up questions.
3. Dive Into More Personal Details
After some small talk, you may be ready to get a tad more personal. It could be as simple as talking about where you each go to work or school, what you do or study there, where you were born or raised, and where home is.
Such questions can open the door to conversations on different (or shared) cultures and you can exchange deeper aspects of how you grew up.
Taking cues from the direction of the conversation, you can talk about the reasons why you got that job or took that course, what it was like growing up or what it is like living in your neighborhood. These topics could also branch out to talking about family life and memorable experiences.
Allow for time to feel each other out. Don’t sweat the awkward or silent moments — these are normal for first or second dates and even after. Nobody is expected to talk non-stop; in fact, taking the time to listen, think, and then phrase your replies or questions well will show a level of maturity and seriousness your date will appreciate.