Three Tips for Starting Conversations That Aren’t “Hey”
Online dating. There are no words for how frustrating it can be sometimes. For years I have seen so many dead end messages, going nowhere because they are so tired, so boring. Frankly, I no longer start conversations with men who lead with a pithy opener. These openers include, but are not limited to, ‘hey’, ‘hi’, ‘how’s it going?’ and the dreaded, ‘how are you?’ Allow me to set the record straight: these words alone are NOT conversation starters. Please stop treating them as such.
Starting a conversation involves asking questions, but not just yes or no questions; rather, questions that start you on the path of determining your mutual interests. Ideally, the conversation leads you to determine if the person with whom you are chatting is someone you’d like to meet or date. Open-ended questions, questions that don’t have a yes or no answer, are a great way to kill the awkward radio silence of your opening message on a dating site. Science has done the work to help you start a great conversation in order to gauge more quickly if you have a connection,get to know someone’s personality, and areas of compatibility.
Ask your questions differently. Instead of asking “what do you do?”, ask a more revealing question like, “what does a typical day look like for you?” The question will give you a meatier response and you’ll learn far more.
Talking about travel can get you a second date. Richard Wiseman, a British psychology professor at the University of Hartfordshire, has studied how luck plays a role in our lives. He found that 18 percent of couples who discussed travel had a second date, compared to only 9 percent of couples who talked about movies.
Learn about their friends. Asking about your prospect’s friends is a great way to get insight into them by learning about the people with whom they spend their time. It’s often said that people are reflections of their five closest friends in many ways: behaviors, income levels, values, and so on. If they don’t have friends, that’s a red flag.
The secret sauce to starting a conversation and creating a connection with someone is to share secrets. Sharing personal and emotional exchanges takes things a step further in the get-to-know-you process and fuels the brain, making a far more interesting conversation. By asking better questions, we can have more amazing conversations and, maybe, generate a connection with someone special.