A Request from the Peanut Gallery

We’ve had a request for best conversation starters for dates, ranked by men and women.

Now, I find that a bit tough to tackle. I prefer situational conversation, like “A Scion? A rental I hope?” (Okay, I wouldn’t say that. I would hope you realize that, but some commenters probably wouldn’t, so…)

So, probably, my #1 conversation starter is, “Where to?” My next is based on the drinks menu, “If there’s anything you like, I can drive home.” (No guy has ever taken me up on that one.)

You get the idea.

So, first, off the top of your head, what’s your best opening line? And when you’ve exhausted your head, you can dredge up some oldie-but-goodies from this list, courtesy of Blobby.

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18 thoughts on “A Request from the Peanut Gallery

  1. I don’t have any opening lines per se, I usually start by talking about where we’re going and if the girl has been there before. My second topic is usually hobbies, hoping that after the girl tells me she has none, she’ll at least ask me the same question in return. If that doesn’t work I’ve been thinking of trying either “Do you believe in love at first sight?” or “My mother said you were a size 4?”

    bad4: Do you really offer to drive home if they want a drink? Would you go out with them again if they took you up on it?

  2. BJG – I hate the hobbies question. I haven’t a clue how to answer it. “Hobbies” suggests structured activities that fit into compact soundbytes like “I ski” or “I’m writing the next great American novel.” I keep busy with whatever project currently takes my interest. Exactly how do you describe that as a hobby? So no, I don’t have hobbies.

    …Oh, and I love the “love at first sight” question. πŸ˜€

    I’m up for anything once, especially if he’s calling my bluff, but I don’t think he ought to make a habit out of it. Kinda like my ordering a beer. Once is a joke, twice is… weird.

  3. I usually start off with “so how was your drive here?” and the rest of the conversation usually takes its own course

  4. Bad4: I’ve realized that most girls have a hard time answering that question. I asked why that was in my dating Q&A post, most of the commenters gave similar reasons to yours. I usually follow up with more specific questions (i.e. “do you like to ski?”). In reality, I ask the question as much for a chance to talk about my own interests as to find out what she likes.

    You may like the “love at first sight question” now, wait until some guy actually asks it, what are you going to do then? πŸ™‚

    I know what you mean, I probably wouldn’t take a girl up on an offer like that, I would like to be offered and it would be interesting to try just once.

  5. Music seems to be the most easily related topic to everyone. Just about everyone like some sort of music and even of they don’t, it’s easy to discuss why you don;t like it. As I’ve said before, music conversations can be started in the car simply by “forgetting” to leave your CD player/radio/iPod off when you get out of the car to go to pick up the date. When the car turns on (and the stereo turns on with it), you both hear the song and a conversation springs easily and unforced out of it.

  6. I ussually comment about the parental encounter πŸ™‚ then the boy ussually says oh i like talking to parents its interesting bla bla bla and somehow evolves into a convo….
    If my parents are not there I comment about how easy that was without parents there.
    Then I ask him where we are going which is a never fail first date ( or any date) conversation starter.

  7. I usually start with “so how long did it take to find parking?” or “do you come into manhattan often?” (surprisingly it’s always no- which sparks a whole conversation about city life. No, I never had a backyard, but I have a subway…)

  8. NYC Girl: I’m an out of towner, whenever I date girls in NY I take them to Manhattan. I always ask them how often they come to the city and they almost always say not often. It usually leads to a whole conversation about the city, often with me teaching them about the city. I don’t understand how people can live so close to such an amazing place and know nothing about it.

  9. I love the “anything on the menu you would like to try..” line. I think I’m gonna try it. It would be very entertaining to see the guy’s reaction.
    I don’t think I would enjoy a conversation about love at first sight on a date. Especially since every date seems to kill that suggestion. It would be really odd. I once had a guy bring up this discussion, and the Jewish perspective. It was a real turnoff. I really don’t appreciate a shmuz about what love means from some guy.
    Music is really a conversation starter, but I find that it can kind of get you into trouble. At the same time, you can debate Jewish music vs. non-jewish music.

  10. thank you so much for this post! i’ve always wondered what other people started off their dates with!….and as many people as i asked still was left in the dark until i got into the car πŸ˜‰
    thanks πŸ˜‰
    a frielichein purim!

  11. girlnextdoor: I meant the “love at first sight” line as a joke, did that guy bring it up to you on a first date? Also you’re right about music getting you into trouble, the last couple of dates I went on I could tell as soon as I brought up goyish music that there was not going to be a second date. It’s odd b/c when I brought up TV and Movies both girls didn’t seem to think it was a problem. I do think it’s a good thing to talk about though, if something like that is going to be a problem for them, it’s better to find out right away.

  12. It’s not about being allowed, it’s about having reason and opportunity to. When something is just there, you’re less likely to take advantage of it. When you go somewhere as a tourist, of course you make sure to. Whenever I go to other cities/towns, I wind up giving my friends a tour of their own place.

  13. Yeah, I’m an in-towner and don’t get around NYC much myself. Luckily my brothers and I decided to be tourists for a day and went to check out the Twin Towers in late 2000, though.

  14. Ideally, conversation should flow naturally. Yet there are rampant instances of stunted conversation, awkward silence and what-else-is-there-to-talk-about-with-this-guy dread.
    The basics like work, school, ‘hobbies/free time’, neighborhood etc. are a springboard starter. Imo, the strategic skills come into play when attempting to ‘flesh out’ the other persons answers. The point is about getting to know them better, right? So questions that dig deeper into their answeres usually elicit a more personal response. For example: “Hmmm, what’s that like?” “How did you like it?” “Tell me more abt that” “That’s pretty cool, how did you choose that decision?” and variations of that theme. I find it’s those small, targeted questions delivered with openness and interest that encourages the other conversant to really share their thoughts and feelings on the matter. It helps delve into the more personal nature of an otherwise scripted or stale conversation. Plus found out things I would never have known or the person was too reticent to share!

    On “City Living” – It’s just human nature that living in a certain place doesn’t carry the same novelty for the citizen as for the visitor.
    Though dating provides a great opportunity for discovering the hidden gems in your own town, more often than not, I’m much more well-informed about NYC than I care to let on to a date…….!

    In the same category as “NYC Girl” broach topics like travel, parking city stuff etc – to bring up the fascinating topic of city living and open up the floor for the usually baffled bochur-who-struggles-with-the-concept-of-frum-city-living.
    Yes, I think it’s weird in the grand scheme of suburban frum communities, yet it’s just a different way of life.

  15. Thanks for answering the request. This is all very interesting. I’m looking forward to what might come up on the “worst actually experienced conversation topics” part II of the discussion. πŸ™‚

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