Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent. Should the relationship evolve, there will be plenty of time to get into weighty topics. When a person reveals too much too soon, it can give a false sense of intimacy. Biggest clue of all: The salad course is punctuated by strained silence and forced small talk. Before we get to those, let’s review a few general guidelines for dating discourse: Listen as much or more than you talk. The two pick at their dinner salads, staring down at the leafy mound before them. Finally, one of them tries to grease the wheels of conversation. Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly.
A man and woman face each other across a table at a downtown bistro, looking nervous and awkward. There is a stiff formality to the way they sit—no slouching. It remains to be seen if it will pick up speed, gain altitude, and soar skyward . Sometimes they lead to burning love; sometimes they go down in flames. Great communication starts with being genuinely interested in the individual you’re with and paying close attention to what he/she says. The process begins by providing lots of space for the full expression of information and asking follow-up questions to further draw out the one talking. The main mission is to keep the conversation going so the two of you can truly get to know one another and figure of if the attraction you feel right now has enough of a foundation to grow into a lasting relationship.Having the right kinds of conversations can do that for you.