It can be quite daunting for singles to make conversation both online and in person with a new love interest. It would be great if you could just sit back and watch the witty banter unfold, but for many this doesn't happen that easily.
Never fear! Preparation is the key with this. Just like any type of skill you might be trying to build up, if you put some time into research and practice, odds are you will improve. Here's an exercise for you. Think about these 6 topics areas and then come up with some questions of your own that can kindle a spark - either online or on a date:
FAVOURITES: "What's your favourite item of clothing and why?"
A very casual non-threatening way to break the ice is by asking about someone's preferences, likes and favourites. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves and this will tell you a little bit about them without getting too heavy too early on.
OPINIONS: "What are your thoughts on......?"
Finding out a person's opinion on something can be a great way to open up the lines of communication and get an understanding of their values and beliefs. It's best to start with out with something light and fun, and over time move into more serious topics. Movies, TV, food, music, sport - all of these are good choices to begin with.
GOALS: "What's your secret ambition?"
It's an exciting thing to ask a new love interest about their goals, hopes and dreams. It gives you insight into their levels of ambition and overall drive to fulfill their potential. It allows you a look into their future and shows you a glimpse of what's to come with this person.
FRIENDS: "What is one trait that you simply can't do without in a friend?"
You can tell a lot about a person from the friends they hang out with. So why not ask them about friendships and what's important to them? How do they spend their time with friends and how big is their social network?
SKILLS: "Have you got any hidden talents I should know about?"
This is a good one for seeing if your love interest can recognise their own strengths and talents. It can be a surprising line of questioning that allows you to learn about their quirky little abilities and it's a fun and cheeky conversation to have.
LIFESTYLES: "What would your ideal Saturday afternoon look like?"
You want to know what this person does when you're not around. What type of lifestyle do they have - does it involve fitness, movies, sports, partying, travel, reading, gaming, or enjoying quality wine and food? You'll soon start to see a growing interest between the two of you as you get to know more about their lifestyle choices.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)