In our first First Date 101 article, we talked about RAC, Rapport, Attraction, and Comfort. The key to establishing rapport is, you guessed it, conversation.
Being a master conversationalist can take a lifetime. There are so many factors that go into all aspects of dating conversation that we couldn’t possibly hope to cover them all here. However, with that said, there are several basic principles and concepts that can get you up to speed on “date talk” very quickly. But in this article, we’re going to start more high level, and focus on the goals of conversation.
Apart from the obvious goal of building rapport, conversation can also be used to increase attraction and build comfort. For most of a first date, conversation is your primary medium of communication. Sure, eye contact and physical touch have important roles; but you won’t get to do much physical touching if you botch the conversation aspect of things.
Your conversation goals should be:
(1) Establish lines of communication — this simply means getting things started: awkward silences are the last thing you want on a date, so first things first, get the conversation started.
(2) Find common ground — part of building rapport involves building a connection, and an easy way to build a connection is to find some common ground. There’s a pretty good chance, even if you are quite different from your date, that you have some similar interests. That’s a good starting point for finding and establishing common ground.
(3) Build attraction — physical touch is a great way to build attraction, but so are your words. Remember, we write about many non-physical attributes that women are attracted to. You can use your words to convey that you have these qualities.
(4) Build comfort — Many guides will suggest you try to turn the conversation sexual. While this can be effective (we’ll talk about how and point you to the right places later), we prefer to use physical touch to amp up the romance and use conversation to build the comfort necessary to amp up intimacy. Your words should be making her comfortable with you.
Establishing Lines of Communication
Starting conversation on a first date is easy– you probably don’t know much about your date, so there are a lot of basics you can cover. Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing wrong with getting started with the boring details (where’d you grow up, how long have you lived in XYZ, etc.) To establish lines of communication, try phrasing questions in ways that lend themselves to more open ended questions and follow ups that flow naturally.
For example. instead of, “How long have you been in NYC” try “What brought you to NYC?”
If you think about your phrasing to allow open ended answers, it will be much easier for you to find common ground.
Find Common Ground
Finding common ground starts with open ended conversation and paying attention. Conversation is equal parts talking and listening. You’ll want to listen carefully to her answers so you can identify common interests, among other cues. Once you establish some good topics, wait for her response to end, and then capitalize by diving deeper.
A major mistake many men make in conversation is being afraid to change topics. Don’t be! If you found some common ground that you think will build a connection, change the topic of conversation.
Do you have some attractive non physical traits you want to share? Maybe you’re an expert pianist, or a former college athlete. Maybe you were valedictorian at MIT. Whatever it may be, think about how you can inject these “bragging points” into conversation in a confident but not cocky manner. Note that the “humble brag” is not necessarily the best way to communicate a positive trait–you should be proud of your accomplishments and confident to talk about them–the humble brag is spotted from a mile away.
For example, if you had a painting exhibited at a major gallery in SoHo, you don’t need to wait for the conversation to turn to art to bring it up, anything with city locations, restaurants in or near SoHo, or the like, can be a window of opportunity, for example: “I love SoHo, but the roads are kind of a pain, I used to be pretty big into painting, and had an exhibit there, I think I was almost run over 10 times unloading artwork”. Injecting a little humor is a good way to smooth out the edges of what’s essentially, bragging. It’s also a great way to build comfort.
Attraction gets them interested, comfort keeps them interested. Indeed, attraction can only go so far, which is why even some of the most attractive men out there are single and alone. Furthermore, not only does comfort keep women interested for longer, it can actually work hand in hand with attraction to get you closer to her–women don’t generally want to be intimate with someone they aren’t comfortable with.
Conversation is one of the best tools you can use to build comfort. Building comfort is the culmination of all the other goals of conversation–you will use the lines of communication, the attraction, the similar interests and commonalities, all to make her more comfortable around you.
Stay tuned, the next article in the series will talk about more concrete conversation Do’s and Dont’s.