True story: Awkward silences are just a part of life. Unless you’re hanging out with your siblings or a friend that you’ve known since you were five years old, awkward silences are inevitable. But awkward silences on a date can feel unbearable.
Everything is rolling, conversation is awesome, then… you hit a lull. Please relax; it happens to everyone. But, to make things flow just a little bit easier on your date, we’ve compiled 6 conversation strategies to show you how to avoid awkward silence on a date:
- Be genuinely interested in the topic. Sure, it can be difficult to be wholeheartedly interested in everything your date has to say, but you have to remember that even the dullest topics can have a silver lining of interest. If anything, take this as an opportunity to educate yourself on the topic so the next time it comes up, you won’t feel so lost and wishing your date would move the conversation elsewhere.
- Ask questions. For every question asked, an answer follows. In creating a dialogue with ample amounts of questions, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep a rhythm going. Then, when it’s your turn to share your stories, hopefully, your date will follow your lead and ask you lots of questions, too.
- Avoid generic responses. From “really,” to “that’s cool,” to “yeah,” we’ve all been guilty of answering in generic ways that interrupt the flow of conversation. Do your date a favor and avoid the run-of-the-mill response.
- Make sure you occasionally nod. If someone thinks you’re not listening, he or she is going to cut the story short. While throwing out an “mhm,” can be distracting, giving nods while your date has the floor will show that you’re paying attention.
- Keep it light and positive. The best way to kill a conversation and up the awkward factor to bring up a sad story that, although sad stories will have a place in your relationship at some point, they are best saved for later on down the road. People have a hard time responding to sob stories, because of outside of “I’m sorry,” what else is there to say?
- Don’t fear the silence; enjoy it. If you spend your entire night trying to avoid silence, then it will befall you. It’s called Murphy’s Law. So don’t stress about it happening, and if it does, for the briefest of minutes, be happy that it will give you a chance to finally take a bite of your dinner.