Friday, December 11, 2009

Let's Talk About Dating - Part III Attempting Intelligent Conversation

Dating is a hard thing. You are expected to not only fulfill whatever whacked out physical needs the other person requires, such as nice hands, but also you must provide some sort of verbal stimulation. This is in addition to any chemical attraction you might have to each other.

I have a hard time. I am not known as an exceptionally shy person, but dates are different. They feel like a social test to me. I already have a speech impediment. Nothing is more attractive than a person who is so nervous that speaking becomes MORE difficult than normal. Who wants to be Elmer Fudd? (Here's a clue: NOT ME!) In addition to getting the words to come out of my mouth, I also have to think of something to say. Let's start with the basics.

The first thing you will probably say to a person will be a greeting of some sort. "What up, Dog" is not going to fly here, gentleman. I'm not saying that I don't say that to my little brother to drive him crazy, but I leave the G-Talk at home. If that's the way you speak to everyone at all times, including your boss, you have my permission to keep on keeping on. I find that a hello and hi are a good starting point.

The greeting is kind of the gunshot start to the relay that is the pre-date-conversation. At this point, the opportunities are endless. I try for what I consider intelligent conversation. Intelligent conversation does not include:

  • Fart jokes. (No matter how funny they are, just hold them in.)
  • Lengthy explorations of past relationships.
  • Sex talk. 
  • Personal finances
Look, I like fart jokes as much as the next person, but I like to save those nuggets of delight for a time when I know a person better. Some people, as shocking as it may seem, do not like fart jokes or talk of bodily fluids at all. It may gross them out.

Your past relationships need to stay in the past. If you spend twenty minutes lamenting the fact that you were dumped by prince charming, who you hope dies screaming and on fire, I seriously doubt that you are ready to be dating. Even if you only have wonderful things to say about your exes, keep the ex-chat to a minimum. You are here to build a new relationship, not to wade through the swamp of relationships past.

The main reason I think sex talk should be avoided is because during a pre-date-conversation or date you are trying to get to know each other better. I know I spoke of relationship goals being different for each person, but for most people the tag and bag approach is not what you are going for. Talking about sex can be a distraction from more important topics.

Personal finances should not be discussed. You are not applying for a loan or buying a house. You are trying to get to know a person. A person is not defined by their wealth or the lack thereof and talking about that seems very coarse to me.

I am interested in getting to know a person. Dates and pre-date-conversations should be about two people trying to figure each other out. When I have a pre-date-conversation or go on a date, I am trying to get into your head. I want to know the real you.

Before I go off into the night, I'll give you a couple subject that are always safe and fun to talk about:

  • Music
  • Books
  • The Arts (Theater, museums, whatever.)
  • Sports
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Where you grew up.
  • TV Shows & movies.
  • Cars (Not necessarily yours, but the kind you like.)
  • Animals
  • Dream Vacations
I like to listen and ask leading questions. Not every pre-date-conversation or date will be wonderful, but they can be enjoyable. For our next installment, unless my attention is diverted, we will discuss "If successful during the intelligent conversation stage progress to the "Planning an actual date" stage." (Hopefully, we can shorten the name up.)

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