Man and woman on a date having cocktails


Opening gambits

Topics of conversation, opening lines, small talk, these might be your worries before the first date. Unless you have the natural gift as a smooth talker, it’s a good idea to have a list of things to talk about.

Of course, everyone is nervous during the first date. But once you get past the “hi”, you may begin to have the confidence to work your way to the opening lines. There is one universal opening line that is guaranteed not to fail, just say that he or she looks handsome, beautiful, ravishing, divine…..just choose an adjective. Although it’s a good idea to be specific, you should avoid mentioning certain body parts; just stick with the head. Your date may also return the compliment and you’ll feel a surge in confidence.  Using compliments for the opening lines can make both of you feel at ease, because each one of you knows that all the preparations weren’t in vain.

Unfortunately, even the greatest opening line won’t be enough; it’s just the beginning of a date-full of conversation. After all, you can’t keep on complimenting her or him; or your date will think of you as a nice, but dull person. Eventually, you need to talk of something that interests both of you. It doesn’t mean that you should start talking nuclear physics, just ask about something that he or she will glad to answer. You shouldn’t let your date see you cower, gobs of nervousness can be contagious; so is a bucketful of serenity. Don’t try to act cool unnaturally. Just relax. Take a few deep breaths and say your words clearly.

These are common questions often used during small talk:

  • How are you? The normal response is ‘fine, thank you’ or ‘I’ve never been better’.
  • Why are you late? It might be easier to answer if there was a twenty car pileup on your way from home. But it is more difficult to answer if you overslept or even forgot about the date. If your date is late, it could be difficult to avoid sounding like an angry parent in the first five minutes.

But, if it’s already an hour and you can’t reach him or her on the phone, then you should make a decision. You may wait for thirty minutes more or cancel the date. In the next date, you should explain politely that you are a little bit compulsive about being on time.

  • How do I look? Although this is an acceptable opening line, it could be a sign that you are trapped on your insecurities and focus too much on yourself. Use this question carefully. If you are nervous, you should focus at the moment and forget about your experience earlier in the day. It’s actually better to think that you look fabulous and just focus on your date. Don’t fish for compliments when it is not necessary.
  • Mind if I smoke? Often people do mind, unless you are dating in a cigar bar. Even if your desire to smoke is so great that your fingers are twitching, you should give your tobacco addiction a rest now. Smoking is like screaming out loud that you are nervous.

No matter what your questions are, you shouldn’t get too elaborate that you ignore the original question. A good question can’t be answered by just yes or no. When people are stressed out they often revert to childhood habits that make them feel safe and calmer. Women shouldn’t fall into a kind of “mothering mode” when their date looks nervous, this may only make men feel like inadequate kids. Women should only be considerate and let men work their way out of the mess they make.


These are other good opening gambits:

  • What movie (book, TV show, pet and so on) is your favorite?
  • What did you do today?
  • Whatever the answer is, you should show interest. You are building a conversational bridge block by block, by moving slowly from inessential stuff to the most important information. Talk about friends, books or anything you have interest in.

Good opening lines can set up a long bridge across a deep chasm that separate two newly met strangers so they can talk comfortably with each other.

Small talk

Small talk has gotten a bum rap. It is mistakenly associated with air-headedness. Small talk is not only about chitchatting about life’s inessential moments; they may also cover a number of burning issues underneath.

Small talk are important and an essential part of our life and social fabric. They are a way to know one another, so just find your conversational seat and get comfortable. Without small talk, life can be more efficient but very harsh, for example a doctor might say on the phone, “Hi, this is the doctor, your father has passed away ten minutes ago, thank you”.

You should be good at small talk and be comfortable with it on reasonable doses. Small talks are just a way of chatting comfortably and easily about daily issues without intensity or rancor. It can help people to talk about big things smoothly.

Safe subjects

Words can be like a cool breeze or cause a huge explosion. Your goal is to set up a comfortable conversation zone by using some ice-breaking methods. These tidbits can put daters at ease:

  • Weather: It is so true that talking about weather is almost a national joke. However, you can make comments about weather meaningful. The old chestnut “What nice weather we are having today” is obviously a waste. However, confiding that the weather is so beautiful and clear, so both of you can spend the lunch hour in the park or beach is another story entirely.
  • Location: if you notice something unusual about the place it can be a good conversation subject. Comment on the sounds, smells, tastes and colors in a positive way, so your date can understand your perspective about the location.
  • Friends in common: Don’t gossip! You should try to establish links not trying to spread bad rumors.
  • Popular culture: Talk about rock stars, concerts, movies, plays and others.
  • News events: Be well informed, read news websites, daily newspaper and news magazines. You don’t have to talk about politics during the first date, but by being well informed you can come up with many safe topics.

Surely there are other topics to use as conversation starters, but maybe these can give you a head start on how to think about them. Keep it simple and without controversy and you should be just fine.