Seniors Dating: How to start a conversation with a stranger
Love can be found anywhere. In the queue at the supermarket, in the antiques shop that you like exploring, or at a friend’s garden party. However, though for the extroverts amongst us this may be no big deal, for those who are more timid, starting a conversation with someone new can feel a little daunting. What should I say first? How do I keep the conversation flowing? What if they don’t want to chat with me?
Stressing over how to strike up a discussion with a stranger doesn’t only concern those of a more introverted nature though. You may not be particularly shy but might still find it difficult to make the first move with someone you fancy. Perhaps you are usually outgoing but struggle when it comes to breaking the ice or maintaining a conversation. If you’ve decided to look for a 50+ match or simply want to meet new people, here is how to start chatting with a stranger, regardless of whether you’re shy or not.
Step 1: Make a good entranceFirst of all, you need to find the right moment. Talking to a stranger walking down the street or someone using their phone in the coffee shop is clearly not ideal. They probably won’t be keen or open to chatting with you. Chances are that you’d be perceived as a nuisance.
If, however, the person does seem available, move towards them with a large smile on your face, making eye contact so that they feel more at ease (but don’t stare!). Remember that your body language can say a lot about you. So don’t curl up into yourself or lower your head. Keep your shoulders back and chin up! This will make you look confident and friendly. By the way, talking to them as if they were a friend (but without overstepping the mark) will increase the odds of them being friendly in return.
Step 2: Break the iceInstead of asking them lots of questions that could bother them or make them feel like you’re invading their personal space, start the conversation with a statement. Don’t worry about being too original, just relax and use your surroundings as a topic of discussion. For instance, if you’re in a shop, talk about the items around you. Talking about something that you are both experiencing or seeing will help you to feel connected and comfortable. You could also comment on something that arouses your curiosity, for instance, their clothes or the book they’re holding. You could also look for something that you have in common. If you’re in the supermarket and you bought the same thing, you could also start with that.
Step 3: Keep it casualOnce the ice has been broken, your job is now to hold the conversation for a while. Whether it’s just for a few minutes or a little more, it’s best to keep it casual. Don’t enter into details or in-depth discussions too quickly. Keep the serious stuff for another time.
If you’re queuing at a cinema, you could talk about the kind of movies that you like or interesting facts about the film they’re going to see. At a friend’s party, you could talk about how they met your host. In a supermarket, chat about foods that you like. If you’re in a pub and there is a TV, you could comment on the news that is on screen, preferably avoiding anything too political or religious. Keep the topics simple and straightforward.
Step 4: Listen actively, ask questions, answerThe ideal is that the conversation is 50% you and 50% them talking. Therefore, try not to talk for more than two minutes when it’s your turn, and make sure that they participate in the conversation. Ask them their opinion about what you were just saying, learn a bit more about them and their interests. The best is a good mix of questions and answers. To keep the conversation flowing, listen actively to what they say, in order to ask them for more details, or to share your own experience concerning the matter at hand.
Step 5: End the conversation and ask for their detailsDepending on whether you’re talking to someone queueing behind you in the supermarket or at a friend’s party, the length of the discussion might not be the same. In both situations however, the conversation will have to finish one time or another.
If, after your little chat, you would like to see them again, you can try to get their contact details (phone number, emails, Facebook or LinkedIn - it’s up to you). And if you’re a mature single looking for love, who knows? They could be looking for their significant other too!
You need to introduce this smoothly, though. Here's an example of how you could do it: First, thank them for their time and tell them that you need to go somewhere else or do something else. You could then say that you would like to continue this conversation with them another time. If they agree, you could exchange phone numbers etc. Finish the conversation on a high note with a nice, friendly smile. Then it’s up to you to contact them and ask them for a date!