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September 14, 2015
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October 10, 2015

What Do I Talk About With That Handsome Man? Dating 201

By Catherine Muss

So you’ve caught a man’s attention and initiated contact with “Hi” and “How do you know the host?”. Well done!

Now what?

Before your palms start to sweat, I’ve got good news for you. Men are easy to talk to. Yes, really. The approach may be a little different than when you’re talking to your girlfriends.

When you’re talking to men, say it like you mean it. Unlike your girlfriends, men don’t have a lot of interest in minute details such as what day you did something, “Ok so I went out on Monday. Or maybe it was Tuesday? What did I even do Monday? I really think it was Monday. But maybe not.” girlfriend, just say “Recently…”.

Be honest. Don’t act like you understand something you don’t. In fact, ask questions if you get onto at topic you don’t know much about. “I don’t keep up with the Bond franchise, but I’ve seen bits and pieces. What’s your favourite Bond movie? Why?” Use this tactic to find out what you DO have in common and branch off on conversation from there. Perhaps you both admire Daniel Craig’s work.

Don’t hide your brains. If you know a lot about topic you’re talking about, never ever dumb yourself down for fear you’ll make him feel insecure or intimidated. You want him to like you for YOU, right?

So what are you looking for in this conversation?

  • Eye contact
  • Easy conversation
  • Interest in your opinions
  • For him to face you
  • Unhurried conversation

What are signs to walk away?

  • He stares at anything but your face
  • He avoids facing you
  • Hurried responses
  • He does all the talking
  • He interrupts you
  • He doesn’t find anything else to talk to you about

A note about first impressions: If the man you’re talking to sounds like a guy right off the bat, consider that he may be as nervous as you are about this chat, and that he’s overcompensating to make a good first impression. He doesn’t realize that he sounds like a self-centred jerk. Trust your instinct. If you’re not into him, move on. But if you’re thinking you’d like to talk about something else and just see whether he really thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips, go for it! You can excuse yourself to the bathroom after the second topic and continue your dating journey elsewhere.

Here’s a list of neutral, easy-conversation topics

  • Books
    • Read any good books lately?
    • What’s your favourite book?
    • What’s the best book-turned-movie in your opinion?
  • Movies
    • Have you seen _______?
    • What’s your favourite childhood movie?
    • Have you ever wanted to walk out of a movie theatre?
  • Music
    • What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
    • Have you seen any band live that was a total disappointment?
    • Who would you pay $100 to see live?
  • TV
    • Do you watch _________? What did you think about the last episode?
    • Do you believe the hype about__________?
    • Are you into reality TV?
    • What’s your favourite guilty pleasure show?
  • Cell phone companies
    • I’m thinking of switching cell phone companies. Who are you with?
  • Commercials
    • Have you seen that commercial with the kid and the dog? I love that one!
  • Sports
    • How about those Blue Jays?!
    • Did you think so-and-so deserved that penalty last night?
  • Travel
    • If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    • What are the best places you’ve traveled to?
  • Local attractions
    • What do you think of the new movie theatre?
    • What’s your favourite restaurant around here?
    • Have you seen the new statue at city hall?

Notice what’s missing from this list: career, kids, relationships, politics, religion, money. Those are all personal topics and this is not the time to breech that threshold. Keep the conversation positive – it’s so easy to bond over grievances and complaints, some something as simple as the poor service at the restaurant or the matters of the heart such as your failed relationships. It’s too easy to get caught up in the negative, which will set the trajectory of your relationship down a damaging path. Be confident in yourself and your part of the conversation; guys like insecure women because they can manipulate her into making her priorities about him. A man wants a woman who is confident, because he wants to get along with her, walk the road of life with her, not because of her. Keep in mind that you’re dating a potential new friend because ultimately you’re looking for your BFF!

Catherine Muss is a freelance writer based in Waterloo Region. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, and she would have minored in psychology if she’d taken the “right” psych classes, but she took the fun ones instead.

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