It's one of life's most perplexing questions: "How do you create chemistry with someone on a first date?" Is it just looks, or something more. And what if your date is not physically attracted to you initially... is there something you can do or say to change that? Well yes there is something you can do: practice the art of stimulating conversation. Engaging your date in interesting, meaningful conversation can create a connection, even if the physical chemistry is not there initially. Here's how:
  1. Talk travel, not movies: less than 9% of couples that talked movies wanted a second date vs 18% of couples that talked about travel. The conversations about travel tended to revolve around great holidays and dream destinations, and that makes people feel good and so appear more attractive to one another. (Source: Richard Wiseman, Ph.D.).
  2. It’s not just what you talk about, it’s how you talk: add to what they say and bounce the ball back. This is how to have smooth first date conversation. Avoid extremes in autonomy. Don’t dominate, but don’t be a non-contributor either. (Source: Finkel, Eastwick, and Saigal).
  3. Share secrets: emotional, personal information exchange during first date conversation promotes powerful feelings of connection. (Source: Sam Gosling, Ph.D.); {P.S. from ESD: sharing selected 'positive' personal information can elicit connection, but avoid 'over share', particularly on a first date}.
  4. Choose controversial over dull every time: forcing people to discuss interesting but more controversial topics made for more enjoyable first date conversation. (Source: Dan Ariely); {P.S. from ESD: be careful with this one; controversial can be okay, offensive is not}.
  5. How to create "Immediate Physical Chemistry": dating site OkCupid found one question that was the single best predictor of whether men or women would have "Immediate Physical Chemistry" on the first date: “Do you like the taste of beer?”; {P.S. from ESD: consider the source on this one; online dating sites are often more geared towards 'casual encounters'}.