It allows us to engage and identify common ground with safe, low-risk topics -- it's an on-ramp. Ask open-ended questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers: Instead of these... Someone invited you over for a meal, either mistakenly or on purpose. Careers, marriages, and even science can hinge on what's said between or during bites.
The following activities will guide your conversation into the fecund realm of imaginative exploration. Pause dramatically before you reveal the answer, and then say, "Actually, I have no idea." Then discuss how you might construct an answer based on only the things you do know. Family When chitchat between strangers suffers, it's often from a lack of familiarity.
If you’re just looking for casual questions to ask someone on a first date, go here.
Go around a circle, and use the name of two or more objects you see in the order you see them to make the best indie band name: e.g., Clock Head, Juicer Man, Dog's Butthole Computer. Bonus points if you can hum a tune or describe your band's first music video to go viral. Pick a couple across the room, out of earshot, and dub their conversation. Having mastered the art of starting the chat, you must now learn to stop once the time has come.
You also need to know about how the other person feels about kids, (yes, no, number, who raises them) lifestyle locations, (city, suburbs, country, nomad) marriage, (soon, later, never) religion, (same, different, important, not important) family, (close, absent, involved) recreation, (outdoorsy, night life, traveler, sporty…) Those things can be discovered when you’re dating already.
Some other ways to find out more about the person you’re dating is to take a Myers Briggs personality test, the Strengths Test in Now Discover Your Strengths or go to or and create a fictional profile, answering all the questions together.
Listen actively to your partner's answers and ask follow up questions to extend the conversation.
Imagine almost any situation where two or more people are gathered--a wedding reception, a job interview, two off-duty cops hanging out in a Jacuzzi. Almost all of them involve people trying to talk with each other. We stagger through our romantic, professional, and social worlds with the goal merely of not crashing, never considering that we might soar.