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August 2010

Conversation Tip: Soft News

Politics, war, natural disasters...  looking in a newspaper, it can be hard to find a topic that's suitable for a first date. But look past the more controversial subjects and there's a bounty of possibilities.

One section that always seems to have something fun to chat about is the Technology section.  Earlier this week, the NYTimes had a fascinating post, Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime, which cited research showing that our brains need downtime.  And that all of our multi-tasking and constant stimulation can actually make it harder for us to learn.

An article like this could lead to a long and interesting conversation, whether or not your date has read it.  

Dating and Technology - Making Smart Choices

Most of todays' single professionals can still remember a time without cell phones, texts or omnipresent email.  Oh, how times have changed.  Nowadays, we're all hyperconnected.  Always communicating.  And yet, somehow, the human element of those communications can sometimes get lost.

Time and again, in surveys and in raw feedback from clients, we hear about technology getting in the way of the dating process.  Causing trouble.  That said, here are a few cautions in relation to technology and dating.

1)  First, never ask someone out on a first or second date by email, instant messenger or text.  A phone call is always a better choice.  It's fine, however, to work out the details via email or text. 

2)  It's not a good idea to discuss the details of your personal life by email.  Remember—emails can be forwarded or read by others.  Keep your private life private.

3)  If you’ve gone out with someone and they're not returning your emails and/or texts, consider that person not interested.  Don’t push and understand that he/she is probably not interested. Move on.

These simple guidelines are really just the tip of the iceberg.  Next up, we'll talk about dating etiquette and social media.  For today, we'll leave you with this, It's Just Lunch matchmaker PJ Osgood's recent appearance on The Today Show.  The topic, "Do Technology and Romance Mix?".

Conversation Tip: Talking About Hometowns

Some cities are full of newcomers, people from all over the world who come there for one reason or another. Other places have a more settled population, with most residents living in the area for their entire lives.

No matter where you live, there's a simple question that can open up a great line of conversation: 


  • "How long have you lived in...?"  or  
  • "Have you always lived in ...?"


This can be followed up with questions about why a person decided to move, questions about their hometown, questions about other places they've lived, stories about your hometown (or the fact that you've always lived in the same town).  

This is a topic that should allow most everyone to talk comfortably about themselves and let their guards down.

It's In His... Smile

Over on the It's Just Lunch site, there's a questionnaire page that's dedicated to getting down to the nitty gritty reality of dating facts.  

We ask simple questions and get honest answers about the things that matter most to single people everywhere.  For example:


Now, let's assume this poll is accurate (though, not scientifically accurate). It's an anonymous poll and so there is no reason for a person to lie.

Over half of those polled believe that a smile is the most attractive feature of the opposite sex. A smile. Not great legs or hair. A smile.

Why is this so important? Well for starters, how many people do you know who are so insecure about their appearance that they fear dating/don't try to date at all? We've all heard people say, "I need to lose 10 pounds (or 20 pounds) before anyone will want to go out with me". Or the very attractive men who worry than their receding hairlines make them suddenly unattractive to women.

No one is perfect. Very few people look like supermodels. And most everyone is attractive, in their own way. Yes, it's important to take care of yourself and take pride in your appearance. But nothing is more attractive to the opposite sex than a warm, confident smile.

Conversation Tip: Talking About the Movies

We've moved the weekly conversation starter from our Facebook page to here on the blog.  

Many people, when stumped for something to talk about, ask, "Have you seen any good movies lately?"  And movies can be a great topic of conversation.  

Here's a tip: instead of asking a general, yes/no question like, "Have you seen any good movies lately?" ask about a specific movie: "Have you scene that new XYZ movie?"  Make it something you have an opinion about. You can talk about why your date has or has not seen the movie.  Why you did or didn't see it.  Your opinions (each of yours, be sure to ask questions and listen for the answers) and movie reviews.  A simple, specific question can lead to 30 minutes worth of conversation.