Last week, I met with an old friend. She’s been in the dating circuit for a while. She’s not a model but she is attractive, healthy and is doing well career-wise. There’s never been a moment where she isn’t dating anyone. I’ve always thought she’s one lucky girl. But no matter how many dates she’s been on, unfortunately, her answer remains the same, “I can’t seem to connect with anyone.” How does one not connect after a date? The truth is, it’s very common. The thing about making connections is that some people are very good at it but others might need a little help. Here, Professional Matchmaker and Relationship Expert Linda Prescott reveals the secret to making a real connection.
Play Ping Pong
Not so much the game but the conversation flow. Lots of people go on dates and even after spending hours together still fail to make a genuine connection. Is that even possible? Absolutely. It’s when one party doesn’t really offer much information to the other, possibly keeping the conversation going by agreeing with most of the statements made by their date and asking follow up questions but wall-up when it’s their own turn. Linda Prescott says, “Conversation Ping Pong is when you take turns asking questions and exchange information with each other. If you don’t hit back, the ball will drop. And if you offer too much, the ball will bounce too far. Give your date enough information to get them interested and hooked for more.”
Ask Open Questions
Keeping a conversation flowing is an art. You sort of have to ride the wave. Try asking questions that start with “how” or “what” can get conversations flowing. Maybe ask your date what their favourite food is or how they got into their career can lead to interesting answers that will help you form a bond with this new person. Another way to encourage a nice conversation flow is to say ‘tell me more’. This gives your date the opportunity to expand upon what they are talking about. Need some Open Question ideas? Try these:
Travel – Favourite destinations, places you would like to visit and why. Type of holidays you enjoy?
Different countries you would like to live in and why?
Food – Favourite styles? Restaurants you have had great experiences at?
Music Genres – What did you grow up listening to? Concerts you’ve been to. Favourite artists that you would love to see.
Books – What types of books do you read? Favourite authors?
Career – How did you get into your field? What do you enjoy most about your job? Why are you passionate about your career?
Passions – What drives you? What are your goals for the future? When are you your happiest?
Keep an Open Mind
Even if someone doesn’t tick all your boxes at first, don’t dismiss the date too soon. Linda says, “If you have a big wish list or are too concerned whether they tick the boxes you have listed you are not enjoying the moment which allows emotional connections. You need to be open minded with limited expectations to develop connections.”
Remember, an open mind = open heart. You may meet someone who isn’t exactly ‘your normal or how you had “envisaged” so you shut down.
“For example, you say, ‘Hang on – I ordered the Pork and I got chicken.’ Well if you just give the chicken a chance without dismissing it – you may actually like the chicken even more than the pork,” says Linda.
Allow emotional connections by simply just being natural and invested in getting to know someone and them you.
Anyway, what’s the worst that can happen? — you have a good time!
If you have to take away one important tip, this is probably the one thing you should never forget — genuine people are more attractive than fake ones. And a genuine person always connects better. Psychologist Dr Jeremy Nicholson says, you need to “be aware of your own feelings and present them to others, rather than putting on a “fake” attitude that is separate from what you are really feeling. This establishes trust in the relationship.” The higher your wall, the weaker the connection with your date or partner. You must be able to show that you are human. You can be strong, confident and sexy but you can also show some vulnerability. And when your date is talking, be present, be there, be human. You definitely appreciate the same from your date.
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