A couple of recent dating experiences led me to think about this subject a lot. These in particular were very different but stem, I think, from the same issue. So before I get to the 5 reasons let me set the scene.
Very intelligent lady, background in athletics and now a business consultant (not sure how she arrived there) but anyway….
We were having a good chat, got onto the subject of various personality and influencing theories that are useful in business and everyday life. I mentioned NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming),it’s not as scary as its sounds honestly, as something id looked into to help me at work.
Her reply to that was..
Well why don’t you use those skills on dates? I’m making all the conversation here.
Okay I thought… I can go one of two ways with this, get freaked out that she’s challenged me on this or just move on. I chose to ignore the comment and move on rather than dwell on it.
So it made me think…. Was she feeling the need to fill any silence with conversation? Was she uncomfortable in silence?
Again a with a very intelligent business lady (I find intelligence quite sexy) I found it a bit of a struggle to kick off conversation with her. I tried to ask about any experiences she’d had, talked a little about mine to try and lead her into something but nothing came back. I always try and steer away from interview style dates. “Where you from?” “What do you do?” “Have you got any holidays planned?” Ultimately these tell you nothing about the other person’s personality or what they really enjoy doing and to be honest after a couple of those types of dates you just want to bang your head on a table.
I thought to myself this really isn’t going well what should I do? I excused myself and went to the toilet in order to think it through. Again I had two options, end the date and walk away or just raise the issue with her. Thought f$ck it!! I will just ask her if somethings wrong as she really isn’t talking much, took a few deep breaths and went back into the bar.
“I feel like I’m talking at you rather than talking with you, is everything ok?” I asked….
Well I’m used to being asked questions….
Ok, so she’s only been on interview dates and seemed to struggle with natural conversation in a dating scenario. So I changed tack and started asking questions.
So back to my reasons of why silence is golden on a date.
- Pauses for thought are not a bad thing, it gives you both a chance to take a drink, actually look at the other person and work out where it would be fun to take the conversation next. Pauses naturally occur in any conversation and they shouldn’t feel awkward. What seems like minutes is usually seconds. Thinking about the next conversation rather than just blurting out the next rubbish that comes into mind is a lot better. The amount of times people talk about their exes or ill health just because that’s what comes to mind first, I’ve found very common.
- Endlessly talking from either side can risk the other person feeling like they can’t get a word in edgeways. Even if you are mid conversation, pause for a moment, they may have something they wish to add. Feeling like you cannot contribute to a conversation or even worse, that the other person isn’t interested, is not a good start.
- I personally like a confident lady. Someone that can handle a pause without freaking out or needing to fill it proves a lot. You can’t always be talking about something, there will always be some silence so you should be both comfortable with that. I’m quite a tactile person, so may pause and gently touch the person on the shoulder for example. This has to be well timed though and relevant to a recent compliment or moment. Badly timed and it would seem a bit weird. A date without any physical contact makes a goodbye kiss very awkward.
- Pausing to observe your surroundings. If you are struggling to think of something to talk about or the conversation has run a little dry, making an observation is a great get out and conversation re-starter. For example, tennis in the park, “Hey I see they are playing tennis over there, do you play?” Dogs or I’ve even seen a cat on a leash before that was certainly a great conversation starter. There are usually so many things going on around you that are great to add into a conversation to take off the heat and make a date more natural.
- Relating back to point 3. Pausing and being comfortable in the moment can be sexy. Generally both men and women like a confident person. If you pause and just give your date a cheeky smile, it oozes confidence and can really turn what has been just an average date, to one where attraction starts to build.
What have been your experiences of silence on your dates? Squirmy and awkward or smoking hot?
Leave me a comment below a let me know.