For those of you in the Seinfeld generation, you might remember George Costanza’s no-fail strategy for a pre-date phone conversation: an index card of talking points. WHAT A JOKE! A basic rule of thumb for dating? If the conversation doesn’t come naturally, it’s just not meant to be. Very few healthy and successful relationships can blossom from a dry, dull conversation. Unfortunately, we’re not all stellar conversationalists. So, here are a few starter topics for great discussions.

  1. Reel Your Date In

February is a great time of the year for film lovers, especially since the Oscars took place last weekend. Talk about the most controversial new movies – as well as any controversial Academy Award winners. You can get a taste for each other’s pop culture preferences. Is she into foreign films, like last year’s Best Picture winner The Artist? Is he a Quentin Tarantino fan, crazy about the new Django Unchained? This relatively safe discussion topic gives you plenty of room to get a better sense of your date’s likes and dislikes. Just try to stay away from more polarizing discussions, i.e. anything directed or written by Michael Moore.

  1. Tell Travel Tales

Travel is another great way to see if you two have similar goals. Maybe it’s always been your dream to go backpacking through Europe. Meanwhile, your date may have grown up in London before moving to the U.S. Or, if your date is more domestically inclined for travel, you two could share some really exciting adventures. Do your best to avoid some of your saucier travel stories, like your spring break trip to Cancun. Some stories are just better left untold.

  1. Be an Open Book

If you’re a total bookworm, you can get a feeling for your date’s intellectual level too. Don’t write them off as totally cliché if the first name they drop is “Michael Crichton.” Maybe your date is a closeted science nerd; you could stand to learn a lot from somebody with a strong sense of curiosity. Similarly, your match doesn’t need to hear that you read the entire Gossip Girl series after getting hooked on the show. Instead, think about something intriguing, but not so over-hyped. You can score serious points by recommending a book you really care about — one that your date might not have heard of before. Also, offer a book swap… it could create a sense of community, which is a great trait to foster during a first date!

  1. Dig Down Deep

Your goals and aspirations might seem a little heavy for a first date, but you can really learn a lot about your date if the topic manages to seem light and inspired. Perhaps your match feels trapped in his finance job and he’s really looking to start a business with his college friends. Or maybe the girl you’re meeting is happy in her position at a PR firm, but really dreams of writing her own book. It can be really motivating and fascinating to see a different side of your date. Just remember: this is a date, not a therapy sesh! Try to keep this discussion on the shorter side initially, and if the convo really picks up, you might be on your way to fostering a killer connection!

Janis Spindel is just 2 Marriages shy of 1000, and she has been in business for 21 years! Specializing in pairing up upscale clientele who are well-educated, sophisticated, attractive professionals, including public figures and celebrities, this self-proclaimed Cupid in a Chanel suit is no-nonsense when it comes to the business of “getting people married.” For more info on Janis, check out
One Comment
  1. I am impressed with the quality of advice. I just don’t agree with the basic premis, that people have to be impressive on first dates. I don’t agree because it’s a direct frontal incompatibility problem with another great principle, honesty and non-deceit. If two boring and dull people, whom fate sweeps together in the dust-collector of Life, are unable to utter a single word on the first date, and she checks out the ladies’ attire in the hotel restaurant where they meet, and he checks out the ladies’ intire as they walk past; are they, these two, dull people supposed to impress still, or maybe they should be left alone to be themselves and find attraction in each other?

    I am talking from example. I was called to a house (by mistake) by my taxi dispatcher one day. I knocked and peered through the front window. He was reading the paper, and she was knitting. Not a words spoken betwixt the two. In fact, you could cut boredom and dullness in the air, it was as thick as smoke in a western-movie set in a Hollywood studio.

    Finally he looked up. He looked at the wall clock, then at his wrist watch. I watched his lips utter, “who on earth could this be, Julia? at this hour. It’s nearly eight o’clock in the evening.”

    He mosied to the front door, opened it, with the paper still in his other hands. I stated my case (that I not for a moment consider it a fact that he called me, my dispatcher may have had one of those “call it hunches, Sanches, and don’t forget the sandwiches” ” or “call it a gut-feeling” calls by divine inspiration that you might need a cab), and he looked at me, as if I were a watch, and said, “I have a car. If I want to go somewhere, why on earth would I hire a taxi?” The very idea of “fun” or “a night on the town filled with laughter, craziness and romance” would have fatally overuninundated his mind. He never conceptualized why people would need a taxi — this was the first episode in his life that he was forced to face this challenge to generate for himself hitherto unconsidered inner, mental models of alternative lifestyles. (* Alternative to his personal reality, not as “gay”, or “SM/DB”, “role-playing”, etc.) His car was by all likelihood well maintained, oil changes on schedule, liquids levelled, lubricants applied gleefully, and the whole thing reeked of two dull people finding absolute true happiness in each other’s lives, and forming a holy communion, with three children fruited, despite having marital relationships altogether twice in their 30-year-long marriage.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *