Small talk can be as painful as a tooth extraction at the dentist, and first dates aren’t always my cup of tea. However, over the past couple years I’ve adopted a laissez-faire mindset about dating, which lowers the pressure and makes first date “small talk” more fun. Here are some tips that should make your first date conversation feel like a breeze!

Have the right attitude
Change your attitude about dates. Think about it like this – if the sparks aren’t there, you at least walk away with a new friend or a good story. Make an effort to talk to your date with ease, as if you are talking to a friend. If you loosen up, the conversation won’t feel like a formal interview!

Be yourself – flaws and all
I can guarantee that your date isn’t perfect – and that they would prefer to date a REAL person. Your date will feel more relaxed when he sees that you’re not a flawless, perfectly composed alien. Show the real you, including your quirky and goofy side.

Remember your manners
Bad manners are never attractive. Show up on time, put your phone on silent, and say “thank you” if the other person is paying. And of course, don’t forget the Golden Rule. Be kind to your date, and to others!

Less talk, more listening
Don’t do all the talking – you want to take the time to listen to your date, and ask engaging questions. How else will they know that you’re even interested in them?

Keep it light
Too much emotional baggage is never attractive – especially on a first date. Keep it light! Save the heavy stuff for when you end up in a relationship.

-Shalyn Tharayil

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