Meeting a date for the first time is never easy. In fact, it can be terrifying and leave you pondering all the worst case scenarios. Will I look good? Will I speak too often? Or too little? Will they be nice? Will they look like their picture? Or God forbid, will the weather be the most interesting part of the conversation?
Yes, It can be mentally exhausting going on a date; let alone spending hours arranging one. It's a risk, and a step outside the much-loved comfort zone.
So in the interests of all our readers still looking for that special someone, we've compiled ten natural conversation starters that are all but guaranteed to start a flowing (and hopefully interesting) conversation.
1. Good day?
Let's start with the basics. Starting a conversation about a cliched topic such as the weather is, of course, a no-no.
It already suggests you're devoid of ideas and screams unease and a lack of confidence. But playing it safe with a genuine interest in their day allows the conversation to grow organically.
2. The traffic wasn't too bad, was it?
Dependent on their mode of transportation, asking your date if the traffic was bad or if the train was busy isn't the worst conversation starter in the world so long as it's followed up with something interesting.
You could even follow the question up with a funny story about how your face got squashed on the train on the way to work.
3. You look really nice
While best served in moderation, complementing someone (especially women) on a first date shows you appreciate the effort they've made while also making it clear you find them attractive.
However, any saccharine language is usually ill-advised. Telling someone they look 'stunningly beautiful' or 'dazzlingly pretty,' for instance, is unnecessary and can give off an air of desperation.
4. Any awkward date stories?
After you've said hello and found some sought of natural rhythm to the conversation, you can break the ice by asking them if they have any funny date stories they'd like to share.
It can offer light relief to the initial unease of meeting a stranger, and also gives one another a glimpse at their sense of humor.
5. Favourite book/movie of all time?
The wonder of creative entertainment serves billions, not only you, which means conversations around books and shows can quite easily go in an upward direction.
For instance, if you've just finished watching an episode of Game of Thrones, ask them about it! Chances are they'll like it too. It may sound rather generic, but once you have a similar interest, you'll hopefully feel more at ease.
6. Dogs or cats?
This is always a favorite question. Something along the lines of, "Okay, first things first: cats or dogs?" can quite easily proliferate into a fun and impassioned conversation about likes and dislikes.
You could even ask them if they like cheese....
7. What are you looking for in a relationship?
It may seem like a direct and intimidating question, but with time, it's necessary for both parties.
Asked correctly, with interest and lightness, it can offer an insight into how that person is, which could save you a lot of time and money.
8. What's your dream?
Asking someone about their dreams and ambitions is a great way to know someone and gauge how they are in general. You want to know as much as you can on a first date, and one thing we as humans hold dearest is the possibility of our dreams coming true.
So ask! Who knows? Their dreams might even align with yours.
9. What kind of music do you listen to?
Even if you're not the biggest music aficionado, chances are you probably have a similar playlist with at least one person you date.
So ask them what they think of popular artists like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Again, these are light-hearted questions that can lead to so much more.
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Everyone likes to envisage their ideal location. It offers escape and a chance to romance wistfully about future happenings. So ask! While daunting, a date is an escape from the mundanity of everyday life, so ask them questions associated with dreams and exotic places.
Chances are you'll then be able to ask follow-up questions. Have you been before? What is it you like about such climates? Would you ever live there?
Remember, a conversation starter is intended to spawn more interesting and in-depth discussions. So take these questions as a starting point for something special.