Do you find yourself loathing the dreadful “awkward silence” that accompanies some first dates? Between nervousness and the pressure to keep the conversation flowing, these painful pauses between two new people can feel pretty uncomfortable.

Navigating awkward silence on a date can be challenging, but with the conversation tools, you can keep the conversation flowing smoothly and maintain a comfortable atmosphere. Here are six strategies to help you handle those moments of silence:

Opt for Open-Ended Questions

It’s pretty much always great advice to ask questions on a date, but the type of question matters. If you want to keep the conversation going, ask your date questions that encourage them to talk.

Try to think of questions that might prompt your date to tell a story or give their opinion about something. By asking open-ended questions, you’ll encourage your date to share more about themselves.

If you want to keep the conversation going, ask your date questions that encourage them to talk.

Instead of asking questions like “Do you like hiking?” which can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” frame your questions in a way that invites your date to elaborate. For example, you could ask, “What do you like most about hiking?” or “How did you get into hiking?” Asking in this way encourages your date to share their thoughts and experiences, leading to a more engaging conversation.

Share Personal Stories

Sharing personal stories or anecdotes can help break the silence and create a connection between you and your date. Share a funny or interesting story from your own life that relates to the topic you’ve been discussing.

For example, if you’ve been chatting about your favorite childhood movies, you could share a story of how you reenacted the scenes with your friends. A fun anecdote of your own can also encourage our date to take a trip down memory lane and share a story about their life in return.

Sharing your own lighthearted anecdote can encourage your date to open up with their own stories.

Be careful not to overshare too early in your dating relationship. Sharing too much too fast might make your date uncomfortable and sabotage your chances of connecting with one another. It’s okay—and encouraged—to get personal, but it’s also best to keep it lighthearted.

Play a Game

Injecting a bit of fun and playfulness into your date can turn an ordinary evening into a night to remember. Consider starting off with a lighthearted game or activity that sets the tone for laughter and bonding.

For instance, “Two Truths and a Lie” can be a fantastic icebreaker. It’s a chance for you and your date to learn more about each other in a playful way. You’ll share three statements about yourselves: two of them true and one a lie. As you take turns guessing which statement is the lie, you’ll have a chance to tell fun stories and deepen your connection.

Another option is to play “Would You Rather.” This game offers a delightful opportunity to explore each other’s preferences and quirks. Would you rather spend a day exploring a bustling city or relaxing on a remote beach? Would you rather have the ability to time travel or read minds? These questions can lead to intriguing conversations and provide insight into your date’s personality.

Icebreaker games like “Two Truths and a Lie” or “Would You Rather?” can help you avoid awkward silence by adding some structure to the conversation.

As always, keep it light. Try to steer clear of heavier topics like money, politics, and medical issues for now. The goal is to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where you can both let your guards down and be yourselves. It’s a chance to share laughs, make memories, and strengthen your connection.

Talk About Your Surroundings

Use your surroundings as conversation starters. Imagine you’re at a cozy cafe with your date. You could start by remarking on the charming decor – perhaps the vintage posters on the walls or the soothing color scheme. This opens up opportunities to ask questions like, “Do you have a favorite type of ambiance when you go out for coffee?” or “What’s the most unique cafe you’ve ever been to?”

If you’re at a restaurant, take note of the menu options. You might comment on the variety of dishes available or the chef’s special for the evening. This could lead to discussions about food preferences, favorite cuisines, or memorable dining experiences. Ask your date about their favorite dish or what they like to cook at home.

Talking about what’s happening around you can help you and your date stay in the moment.

Talking with your date about the things going on around you not only keeps the conversation flowing but also shows that you’re interested in sharing the experience with them. Plus, it can create a comfortable atmosphere where both of you feel more at ease expressing yourselves in the moment.

Express Genuine Interest

When you’re on a date, what’s more appealing than someone who is truly interested in what you have to say, who actively engages with your thoughts and experiences, and who listens with intent rather than just waiting for their turn to speak?

Showing genuine interest in your date’s thoughts, opinions, and experiences is not just a nicety; it’s the only real way to form a connection. It’s about more than just nodding along politely—it’s about actively engaging with what they’re saying, asking insightful questions, and showing that you value their perspective.

Active listening is key here. That means giving your date your full attention, making eye contact, and really focusing on what they’re saying rather than letting your mind wander. Resist the urge to interrupt or interject with your own thoughts; instead, give them space to express themselves fully.

Showing genuine interest in your date’s thoughts, opinions, and experiences is not just a nicety; it’s the only real way to form a connection.

Asking follow-up questions is another crucial aspect of showing genuine interest. This demonstrates that you’re not just passively listening, but actively engaging with what they’re saying and trying to understand them better.

Expect Some Silence

Awkward silence can sometimes sneak up on us during a date. You know, when the conversation hits a lull, and suddenly you’re both just sitting there, not sure what to say next. It’s a moment that can make even the most confident person feel a little uneasy.

But “awkward” silence isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can be quite natural and even a sign of comfort between two people. When you’re truly comfortable with someone, you don’t always feel the need to fill every moment with chatter. Sometimes, just being together in silence can be enough.

So, next time you find yourself in the midst of an awkward silence, take a deep breath and relax. Instead of scrambling to come up with something to say, try to embrace the moment for what it is. Maybe take the opportunity for some quiet reflection or simply enjoy each other’s company without the pressure of constant conversation.

 Quiet moments are natural and can be a sign of comfort between two people.

When you’re on a date with someone new, don’t worry about a little bit of a lull in conversation. By incorporating these strategies into your dates, you can navigate awkward silence with confidence and ensure that both you and your date have a positive and enjoyable experience.