Suzette Leal
3 minute read
14 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Dating Tips: Talk a good game

Suzette Leal

You're meeting him at the restaurant, being the independent, dynamic woman you are. This strategy also spares you the awkward, close-proximity chit chat in the car which, let's face it, is hardly a sexy introduction.

Couple talking and having red wine. Picture: AFP

You know a little about him but hardly enough to prepare for possible conversation topics adequately. Good news. Don’t over-prepare. If you’re going to pre-pick certain discussions, you’re going to sound like a badly rehearsed school production. Listen and engage with the sincere intention to get to know him better. If, while he’s talking, you’re either thinking of what to say or ask next instead of actually listening and focusing on what is being shared with you, you’ll ask stupid questions or make dumb comments.

Conversation is like a dance, but he doesn’t have to lead. Due to the male word limit being around 7 000 a day as opposed to the

female target of more than double that, men are typically quieter and more relaxed within conversations. This is no excuse to blabber on senselessly, but it does give you the right (and often obligation) to sometimes guide dialogue. You can and will have to introduce certain topics by chatting about them instead of waiting for him to do so.


Two young people hanging out. Picture: AFP

Two young people hanging out. Picture: AFP


However, have you ever come across a man who likes a great tear-jerking drama? Because men hate drama. You may want him to be your bodyguard, rescuer, knight in shining armour and in time, if he’s the right one, he’ll turn out to be a wonderful support but not on the first date.

Keep the evening light and positive. Talk about stimulating and exciting things like travel – places you’ve seen and want to, hobbies or activities you’re involved with, books you’ve read, funny incidents that occurred.

Show a keen interest in his stories and responses. Appreciate what he has to say and respond to his stories in either inquiring about more details or by sharing something similar. It’s like flowing dance moves – initiate a topic or respond to one, listen, respond to the response and continue in this way. Try to avoid ‘why’ questions when directed at him or any of his actions as these may convey that you are questioning or doubting him.

Have an opinion. Men are interested in our views and the different insights we can provide. Communicate your sentiments in a non-opinionated, open-minded fashion and respect and appreciate his. The absolute epitome of date conversation disaster topics is exes. Should he inquire about your previous relationship you can give him a brief overview but without being negative or insulting. Steer away from interrogating him about his exes. It’s not relevant at this point.

The way you treat and speak about others is hugely indicative of your own character. Refrain from negative chatter about others as you may come across as a bitter and twisted spinster. Flirt by complimenting and occasionally touching him. Maintain eye contact throughout and an open posture towards him.

Remain true to yourself and your core values, beliefs and opinions. There’s no point in misleading someone to such an extent that they wake up with someone completely different a year later.