Was the talking or listening all one way? Did one person seem uninterested or bored, self-centred or reticent? Were there awkward silences? Was one of you hogging the limelight? Did you enjoy the conversation? Did it last for hours or just ten awkward minutes? The aim of the call is to build the relationship between you, and to judge whether, and how much, you want to take things further. One thing to remember with phone calls is that, unlike emails, there is no record of what was said.
This helps to avoid the embarrassment of getting different people muddled up. Some people also find it a useful aide-memoir, after each conversation, to rate their interest in the other person on a point scale. As always, let us stress that the best way to decide whether things are going well is not to judge the person in isolation but to imagine yourself having a relationship with them. Would it be fun? Would it be rewarding? If the answer is yes, then you will probably want to talk with them again.
The salad course is punctuated by strained silence and forced small talk. The two pick at their dinner salads, staring down at the leafy mound before them. He seems tongue-tied, she seems self-conscious. Finally, one of them tries to grease the wheels of conversation. More excruciating silence ensues. As would-be romances go, this plane is very slow to leave the gate and get onto the runway. It remains to be seen if it will pick up speed, gain altitude, and soar skyward.
Do not let this happen to you! Sometimes they lead to burning love ; sometimes they go down in flames. The key to having a positive experience is relaxed conversation, and that can be helped along with some well-chosen first-date questions. Listen as much or more than you talk. Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly.
But the ability to speak is only one part of the equation—and not the most important part. The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. Each person gets a turn—and no one hogs the ball. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. But some people, overeager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast.
They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. Should the relationship evolve, there will be plenty of time to get into weighty topics. For now, take it easy. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: When a person reveals too much too soon, it can give a false sense of intimacy.
Online dating: 5 things to say in your first message
97 Online Dating Questions to Get the Conversation Started
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