If you have been on the dating scene for any period, you will no doubt have had an awkward experience. Here are 10 Conversation Starters That Can Rescue A Bad Date and help the chat to flow again.
This doesn't necessarily mean the date was terrible, but just that conversation didn't quite flow naturally. The pause between courses can feel excruciating if the conversation has begun to run dry.
10 Conversation Starters That Can Rescue A Bad Date
Talk about Sports
Do you have a favourite sport that you know inside out? Perhaps you can share your passion or ask whether the sport is enjoyed by your date. If not, what sports do they enjoy?
Do they participate in any sporting activities, or are they more of a spectator? If you get really into the topic, you can go more in-depth with more obscure questions.
You might not be on a date with Dermot Gallagher, but you can always speculate on which games you would have most loved to referee or been on the sidelines for.
Do you have any childhood or school friends in common?
We all like to reminisce now and again. People will have different experiences of their school days; they are not everyone's best days of their lives, so avoid big general questions like did you enjoy school?
Instead, try to hone in on questions that will generate a lighter tone to the chat. Who was your best friend at school? What do they do now? Did their career surprise you?
You can also speculate if there are friends they lost touch with on what they might be like as grown-ups, and if you are feeling incredibly bold, you can take turns looking up old school friends on an app to check out if you've guessed correctly.
Keep the topic fun and light and be ready to share some fun anecdotes from your school friendships as well.
Talk about your enjoyment of the Arts
Whether it is cinema or art exhibitions, books or ballet, most people will enjoy some kind of artistic endeavor. Ask about what your partner enjoys and if they have a favorited artist that they like to listen to, watch or read?
Art doesn't need to be highbrow either, so don't worry if you cannot tell your Piccasso from your Paolozzi, a favorited band or musical you once saw is just as legitimate an art form for a conversation starter. Don't just stick to here are my favorite's, what are yours? Try to explain why you love a particular artist or art form?
Can you remember why you first fell in love with it? Open up about your passion and ask your date similar questions about their love too. If you don't know the artist try to learn from them. You may take on board their enthusiasm for the subject.
Start a discussion about your love of animals
Whether you love them or loathe them, everyone has an opinion on pets and if you are a fan, which animal makes the best pet.
Don't go on forever about why your doggie is the funniest, cutest creature ever. Instead, keep the topic more general.
Which animal would make the funniest pet? Or do your friends have a pet that you secretly hate? Pets are emotive, so don't delve too deeply if your date steers away from the subject, they may have recently lost a pet and not be in the best place to chat about it.
Talk about your favorite travel destinations
Everyone has somewhere in the world they would love to visit. Maybe it is a place they want to return to after a memorable experience or maybe its somewhere they have never been before.
Travel is an excellent topic as it can go off on tangents about past holidays or adventures, ones you are planning and ones you would love to make in the future. It can also reveal a lot of information about your date.
Do they love wildlife and nature, or are they more of a fan of urban city streets. Do they like new cultures, or do they prefer to stick with what they know?
You could ask for top-five places you would love to visit and see if you get a matching destination. You can share in your mutual fascination and explain why you would love to go there in the future.
Talk about your favorite streaming series
Most of us have a trashy television program that we just love to watch. Whether it is toe-curlingly cringe or so bad its good, you can have a giggle revealing what show it is that you just can't take your eyes off.
Guilty pleasure tv shows are a great topic as they are usually light and fluffy and won't end up with you accidentally opening up a conversation that is far too deep for a getting to know you style date. The key here is not to be too judgmental. Instead, try to share in the joke and be willing to admit how obsessed you are over your guilty pleasure too.
If you end up making your date feel like they should never have admitted what they like to watch, then you are getting the tone wrong. This should feel more like a hilarious gossip than an actual confession.
Keep the conversation flowing by asking if there are any shows that they wish never got cancelled or ones that they now can't believe they ever watched.
Everyone loves talking about Food
"If music be the food of love, play on" is a famous Shakespeare quote that shows food and romance have always been compared and interwoven with each other. If your date has picked the restaurant or cafe, try to find a compliment for the food or service that shows you are grateful for their excellent taste.
This little topic is fab as each new course gives you a chance to refresh the conversation. Try to expand beyond just discussing what is on each other's plates.
Do they have a favorite dish they like to cook at home? What style of cuisine do they love, and is there any that they hate?
If you live in the same city or town, you may have frequented many of the same restaurants, try to compare reviews and see where your tastes are the same and where they differ.
Remember, just because you have a different palette doesn't mean you are incompatible, that's why restaurants have menus to choose from. If you want to have a bit more fun, ask about what their go-to junk food of choice is and what was their favorite treat as a child?
If you are getting into the chats, then you can ask whether their family have any meal traditions and this can open up more conversation about each others families and upbringing.
Talk about things like your most treasured possesions
This falls into the 'what if' category of question that requires a little imagination. What if your house was on fire, everyone was safe, but you could only save one possession? What would it be?
This question may sound silly but asking someone about what they treasure, tells you a lot about their value and ethics. This can be a real measure of your compatibility. If they would rush in to save their fur coat and leather shoes, might not be the best match if you are a vegan, for instance.
Similarly, ask them if they keep keepsakes like ticket stumps or old school photographs. This might denote that they are sentimental. If they don't keep anything, they might be more freedom-loving, ready to travel at a moment's notice.
Ask why an item holds value to them. If you get stuck in practical items like cellphones or laptops, remove them from the questions until you get an interesting answer that you can chat about.
What was your worst first date?
If you have both been dating for a while, then you will have a horror story or two to share. Be careful, though. You want to keep this light. You don't want to spend a whole meal talking about someone's ex.
Limit the conversation to people you only went on one or possibly two dates with. You want to be laughing about it not consoling your date over a relationship that went wrong.
Make plans for a future date - as long as things are going well!
Ok, this is a bold move, but if you strike the tone right, you can learn a lot about your partner and what they would like out of a relationship. Do they have a favorite romantic spot in the city, or are they more spontaneous?
Only bring this conversation up if you feel attracted to your date. It is unfair to get someone's hopes up only for the sake of conversation. However, you can have a lot of fun planning a follow-up date and seeing how silly, fun or outlandish you can make it.
Perhaps there is a restaurant you always wanted to try, or you realize that neither of you has ever gone ice skating. This topic is significant to gauge whether your date is keen to keep seeing you.
But beware, if you are met with an icy reception, then you need to be resilient enough to take the hint and try to enjoy the rest of the date knowing it might be the only one you have together.
If none of these topics reignites the conversation, then maybe it is time to notch this date up as a loss and move on. Remember, if a date does not work, you are under no obligation to hang around. Keep safe, offer a polite goodbye and hope that your next date is a little less off-putting.