“Hey.” “Hey! What’s Up?” “Nm, you?” “Same.” “Cool. Ttyl!” Nope.
Dating a new person can be nerve-racking.
There’s a lot of newness which can be a little awkward.
The date itself may be great, but nerves can really get going in between the actual dates.
You want to text the person but you have no idea what to say, or you’re already having a conversation and it’s starting to fall flat, or you have no clue how to reach out.
Instead of texting your friends in a panic, try having some of these conversations.
1. Ask for another date, then make some plans.
“If you really connected and liked the person, ask them out again. If you’re interested in someone, let them know. Everyone is afraid of rejection on some level, but social psychology research shows that people tend to like people who like them back. We tend to hold back from fear of rejection but if you want to see that person again, let them know,” Dr. Monica O’Neal, licensed clinical psychologist and relationship expert, tells BuzzFeed Life.
2. “What makes you laugh harder than anything in the world?”
Don’t just ask what they think is funny, ask them what makes them laugh so hard their stomach hurts. You’ll likely start laughing just as hard and you’ll have an instant bonding moment.
3. Talk about a specific part of daily life without saying the words, “Hey, how was your day?”
It’s important to get a sense of that person’s day-to-day life. “Does she work crazy long hours? Or does he tend to take a nap after he comes home from the office? Does he cook himself dinner or always order take-out? Use the idea of the ‘how was your day?’ question as an opportunity to understand the person’s lifestyle and if you’d like to be part of it,” Natasha Burton, relationship expert and author of 101 Quizzes For Couples, tells BuzzFeed Life.
4. Follow up about a specific event or activity they mentioned during the date.
If the person mentions a class they’re taking or a huge presentation at work that week, text them to ask how it went. “Showing interest in the person signals interest and real curiosity about getting to know them,” says Dr. O’Neal.
5. Play the “Versus Game.”
This one comes from the book What to Talk About. It works really well when there’s a lull in conversation that needs a little boost. Ask the person to choose between two things, preferably two things that could theoretically be pitted against each other in the real world. Once they choose, they need to defend their choice. Here are a few examples:
– Cheeto fingers vs. a popcorn kernel stuck in your throat
– Day-old pizza vs. day-old fries
– Completely hairy vs. completely hair-free
6. Ask about how he/she relates to his/her friends and family.
“Try to get a sense of his/her relationships with the other people in his/her life. And notice how he/she talks about these people—does he absolutely love his friends? Is she close with her family? This can be a good way to understand his/her priorities and level of care about other people. And if he/she has no friends and mentions no one else in his/her life, that’s obviously a red flag to consider,” Burton says.
7. Discuss tattoos (whether they be hypothetical or already done).
Tattoos are incredibly personal and a pretty easy conversation starter. Ask if he/she has a tattoo and about the meaning behind the ink. Or, talk about what they kind of tattoo they’re thinking of getting.
8. Ask about their weekend hobbies.
“It’s pretty neutral territory and allows both of you to open up about why you’re into what you’re into and how you developed your passions. You’ll also get some good second and third date ideas: Maybe she’s a golfer and wants to take you the driving range, or maybe he’s an awesome cook and can teach you a thing or two in the kitchen,” Burton suggests. Don’t forget: Binge watching Netflix counts as a hobby.
9. Make a callback to an interest they mentioned.
“If there is something fun or silly within pop culture that they mention on the date, send them a funny but short article, a cartoon, a vine, etc., about it or ask them their opinion. It’s an opportunity to connect via your shared banter and laughs. Most people report that they want a partner who can make them laugh,” says Dr. O’Neal.
10. Share the podcast/YouTube channel/Tumblr page you love.
If the person has never heard of what you’re talking about, it’s easy to send a link via text or Facebook message. They’ll get a sense of your interests and you’ll be able to follow up with their thoughts during your next date.
11. Talk about food.
Food counts as at least half of a date, so once you learn what the person likes or hates, you can better prepare yourself for the next shared dinner. Or, you can find a recipe you want to cook together, which can be an entirely different date.
12. Talk about pet peeves.
They may just be minor annoyances, but people can be really passionate while talking about the things that bother the crap out of them. Plus, the fringe benefit of knowing someone’s pet peeves is knowing what to avoid.
13. “Tell me about the first time you ever _________.”
This doesn’t need to be a heavy question, but it’s a great way to hear a more personal, detailed story about someone. Here’s a list of suggestions to fill in the blank:
– Drove a car
– Quit a job
– Cooked a proper meal for yourself
14. Play a few rounds of “F#@K, Marry, Kill.”
Besides being incredibly fun, it’s an easy way to get a better understanding of what makes the other person tick. Need some ideas? Take inspiration from “The Hardest Game of ‘F#@K, Marry, Kill’ You’ll Ever Play” or “The Ultimate Game of ‘F#@K, Marry, Kill: TV Edition.”
15. Have them tell you about their favorite story from their first job.
First jobs are typically goldmines for hilarious stories. Ask where they worked, why they left, or about the most ridiculous day they had at work, then share yours.
16. Have them tell you about the person who knows you best.
Constantly talking about yourself can make you feel a little on the spot, so asking someone about the person they’re closest with can help shift the spotlight in a positive direction. They’ll be able to open up without that weird feeling that they may be talking about themselves too much.
17. Pick a few favorites out of 36 questions that lead to love.
The questions are actually meant to lead two people towards a better sense of closeness once all 36 have been answered. While they’re fairly simple, they tend to bring out interesting which can lead to enriched conversations. Here are a few to choose from:
– Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
– Would you like to be famous? In what way?
– Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
– What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
– What is your most treasured memory?
Now, a few things to keep in mind while you’re in between dates.
You don’t need to freak out if there’s a lack of communication.
“I urge everyone not to assume that someone’s amount of chattiness and communication is any indication of their interest, or a sign of their ability to communicate. It is not realistic to expect that two people will have a sincere investment in one another [when they just start dating]. As people continue to date and make more time for one another, they’ll experience real indicators on each other’s interest and communication styles,” says Dr. O’Neal.
Steer clear of mentioning something they shared on social media if you’re not actually friends on social media yet.
“If someone hasn’t shared something with you but you know every detail about what they did in the last week, you would absolutely freak them out. Dating and connecting is a process and the beauty in the process is learning one another together. Taking away the opportunity for someone to share with you what they want you to know is overstepping their boundaries. No one wants to be closer to someone who can’t respect their boundaries,” suggests Dr. O’Neal.
Most importantly, communicate in the way you feel most comfortable.
“Use whatever means allows you to most be yourself. However, texting and email is great for between dates because it gives you time and space to craft what you want to say. It’s easy to just blurt out anything over the phone (especially if you’re nervous) and while you want to be yourself, of course, you also want to make sure that whatever you’re saying or revealing this early on is exactly what you want and mean to say,” Burton suggests.