What’s Your Conversational Style? Grade Your Quiz

by Caryn Alper under Relationships

Welcome back!  Last week, I posted a quiz to (unscientifically) determine what type of conversational style you have while on dates.  Today it’s time to grade the quiz. We’re using the honor system here – no cheating!

To score the quiz, count the number of As, Bs, Cs, and Ds you chose.

  • If you chose mostly As…

You are an “interviewer.” You are generally interested in getting the facts upfront and quickly. The who, what, where, and when of your date’s past and future of utmost importance to you, and you’re not afraid to ask the tough questions to get the answers you need. You don’t have time to waste on a date who’s not up to snuff, so if you don’t like what you see, you call in a new candidate.  My advice to the interviewers out there: slow down! You don’t have to decide whether a first date will become your spouse. You just need to decide if you are having a good time in the present moment.

  • If you chose mostly Bs…

You are the “silent type.” Your approach is passive, and you are more comfortable listening than talking. Your confidence may be on the lower end of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good impression on a date – remember to smile and practice thinking of some conversation topics to bring up before your date.

  • If you scored mostly Cs…

You are a “chatterbox.”  Always interested in hearing your own voice, you like to talk about anything and everything.  You’re always telling long-winded stories and yakking about yourself and other people. Keep in mind that when you are on a date, you should spend about half the time talking and half the time listening, so chatterboxes of the world, adjust your conversations accordingly.

  • If you scored mostly Ds…

You are the “situational type.” You tend to live in the moment and adapt to the present situation, making observations about things you see, hear, and taste.  You might reference jokes or observations from earlier in the night or tease your date in a playful way. Situationals are fun and put others at ease, but remember that it’s okay to dig a little deeper after the first couple dates.

Accurate? Totally off base? Are you the same type on dates as with friends and family?  Keep in mind that nerves tend to alter our natural conversation pattern.  For example, I’m usually a pretty good listener, but when I’m nervous, I get chatty! Other people shut down when they are feeling anxious and get quiet. My point is to recognize how your speech comes across to the person sitting next to you so that you can maximize the success of connecting with him or her. Happy chatting!


What’s Your Conversation Style?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Are you a good conversationalist? Are you sure?  A simple conversation can reveal how you communicate with another person — and communication is such an important part of dating that it warrants a two-part series! When you talk to someone on a date, are you open? Passive? Direct? Brief? Today we’re starting with a pop quiz to identify your conversational type, since conversations can really make or break a first date. And, in next week’s second installment, we will score the quiz and learn what your conversation style says about you.

Disclaimer for the legal types out there:  This has no valid psychological basis – it’s intended for entertainment purposes only! So without further ado, grab your pencils and keep your eyes on your own paper (screen?).

 

What’s Your Conversation Style?

Choose the response that most closely matches your likely response in each of the following scenarios:

1.  You have just met someone in person for the first time, and after saying hello, you:

  • A)  Ask where she works, where she lives, and where she went to school, all in a row
  • B)  Wait for your date to say something
  • C)  Tell him all about your work drama that just happened that day
  • D)  Ask if he/she had any trouble finding your meeting spot and then add you like his/her shirt

2.  You’re on a first date and there is a lull in conversation. You:

  • A)  Ask where your date sees him/herself in 5 years
  • B)  Do nothing and look down
  • C)  Fill the silence by talking about what you had for lunch, including condiments and drink
  • D)  Make some comment on the décor of wherever you are

3.  It’s the end of a second date, and you wonder if you will have a third, but you’re nervous to bring it up. You:

  • A)  Ask your date if he or she sees a future with you
  • B)  Say goodnight
  • C)  Retell the story of something funny that happened on the date
  • D)  Say you had a good time

4.  You’ve had several pretty good dates with someone, but you can see that he/she has been regularly logging in to JDate.  You:

  • A)  Confront your date and ask where the relationship is going
  • B)  Do nothing
  • C)  Say your friend saw someone she was dating on another dating site… and then proceed to tell about what happened to your “friend”
  • D)  Instant Message your date when he/she goes on JDate

5.  You’re talking with your date and discover that he/she strongly favors a rival sports team. You:

  • A)  Demand to know why he likes that team
  • B)  Nod and don’t mention your team
  • C)  Tell him or her the details of the first game you ever attended
  • D)  Poke fun at the rivalry whenever there’s a future lull in conversation

Ok, time’s up, pencils down.  You can grade your quiz here!


It’s All About Them

by AndyCowan under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

In this era of ADD and multi-tasking, the art of focusing on something other than our own everyday mishegas is becoming a lost art. Aside from the hand-held devices that compete with actual hand holding, what if we tried letting go of those, as well as other barriers to bonding on that next JDate? This could be crazy, but hear me out. It’s called… hearing me out.

What if we paid absolutely no attention to our own needs, desires, egos, inner voices telling us what else we should be doing, and zeroed in exclusively on the conversation and well-being of the other person? Empathizing, relating, appreciating, learning. Not a one-way street dead end, but a synchronistic two-way street. They become fully invested in you, and you them. From the get-go!

The more invested you are in each other, even if it’s just a mental exercise, the more likely you’ll really start to become invested in each other.  Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you! You have nice eyes. (Or pick something about them that’s nice. Their nails. Their shoelaces. Something!) Thanks! You have nice eyebrows… Thanks! (My eyebrows? What’s wrong with my eyes? Inner voice, get lost. Back to them!)

Okay, we’re still in the beta stage here. Probably a few bugs to work out. But imagine, just imagine, if first dates made you feel good. With apologies to John Lennon, it’s easy if you try.


Pretty Predicament

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Which is more important – looks or personality? Would you rather spend the rest of your life with someone who is smart as a whip, a great conversationalist and well-read but not particularly gorgeous or someone who is beautiful and has an amazing body but spends most of her time discussing the latest celebrity gossip. So is it brains or beauty?

Obviously we each strive to find our Beshert whom we are attracted to both physically and mentally, but if I had to choose one, I think I’d prefer the former. I’d rather be able to have scintillating conversation for the rest of my life. Not only do looks fade, but they can only get you so far. Do you want to roll over in bed in 50 years and see a wrinkled has-been (or worse, someone overly-nipped-and tucked) and talk about Kim Kardashian or do you want to see someone that you’ve grown to be attracted to and can discuss politics, current events, philosophy and so on?

Of course we strive to find the best of both worlds – someone who enjoys watching trashy television together after unwinding from a long day of work and also enjoys a good-natured debate about next year’s Presidential election.

When I first spotted my husband across the bar I was struck by his stature, his smile and his eyes. But it was the four hours of conversation after that which sealed the deal. We couldn’t stop talking – both about things we agreed upon and things which we respectfully agreed to disagree upon. I liked that he was the right-leaning moderate to my left-leaning moderate views. I liked that he was educated, worldly, sociable, and of course could make me laugh. He wasn’t just a pretty face.

When you’re out there dating you need to keep in mind that pretty isn’t the most important thing. You may initially be drawn to the most attractive person online or at the bar, but try to gauge what else they have to offer, otherwise it will seem like you’re having a date with a pretty painting, and you’ll soon be bored out of your mind. Needless to say, something about the person needs to make you want to get to know more about them, right? You can’t “see” substance, which is why you have to give everyone a chance and get to know them before discounting them.

Attraction can grow and it can diminish so make sure you’re contributing to a stable, steady growth in your relationships, and not responsible for it taking a nosedive. If you notice your date’s eyes roving or just a stream of “uh-hum’s” coming from their end of the conversation or if you keep going on first dates that never turn into seconds, try to see what you can change about yourself to stimulate your situation. Obviously you’re not going to know if you’re boring, but try to be aware of your date’s perspective of you. It doesn’t matter what you look like, but it does matter what comes out of your mouth. Read up on the news; make sure you’re up to date on the latest in your hobbies and interests; learn weird and interesting tidbits that you can share to create conversation. Do what you can to up your attractiveness quotient through other channels outside of your appearance.


Short Term Communication

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

After 4 or 5 days of either emailing or speaking on the phone, my JDate communications die off? What can I do?

Dear Short Term Communication,

The best thing to do would be to make plans after 2 days of communication instead of letting the conversation continue and then taper off. In order to really see if a JDate is for you, you have to meet. A relationship can only go so far online or on the phone. As women, we prefer to have the men do the asking out, but you’re already communicating in this situation so there’s nothing wrong with asking a guy what his plans are for that week/weekend and saying you should meet up for coffee. If he doesn’t take the initiative to make plans, then be straight with him and let him know you’d prefer to just meet and make sure there’s chemistry before spending anymore time getting to know each other.


Don’t Waste Your Time Talking to the Wrong Fish

by RollingStone9862 under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

I am trying to get better at determining when it’s a good time to transition from an online conversation, either via email or Instant Message, to an actual face to face first date, or when I am better off just ending things because neither of us really seems that interested.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs I am not someone who operates under the same pretenses and patterns with every person that I meet online.  Therefore, it is important that I read the situation correctly and trust my instincts so that I don’t waste my time talking to a bunch of women with limited potential for actually ever going out on an enjoyable date.

While figuring this out isn’t rocket science I do believe that there is a fair amount of calculations that go into determining what is the right course of action in a given situation. First off, let me reiterate my feeling that you can’t treat every person and situation the same, and those who have a template for how they approach and communicate with people in my opinion are making a big mistake. You can’t lump everyone you meet, whether it’s online, at a bar, or at work, into one group and interact with them all in the exact same way. While I do understand that some people like to ask a few of the same initial questions of those they are getting to know, that is hardly the same as waiting for a certain amount of emails  to transpire before asking someone out for coffee, no matter what vibe the other person is giving you.

You have to feel people out; pay attention to the underlying tone in their responses in order to determine if they are becoming more comfortable sharing information with you, or whether they seem to be uninterested. One of the questions I always try to ask myself is whether or not I feel like the other person is pushing the conversation forward as much as I am. Are they asking me questions that show they’re truly interested in me, or are they just answering my questions and repeating them back to me?  If that is the case then perhaps I should just leave well enough alone since I’m not getting very much out of the correspondence.

During every online conversation there are signals that indicate if things are going well and if it’s the right time to meet, or if it’s not. Often times, especially when we haven’t had any good conversations in a while, we try to force things along and end up either turning the other person off or going out on a first date that we never should have gone on. So keep an open mind when talking with people, trust your instincts when gauging their responses and figuring out their level of interest in you, because there are a lot of fish in the online sea so why waste your time trying to force things to work with the wrong ones.


The Art of Opening a Conversation

by RollingStone9862 under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

There is an art to starting a conversation with someone online. With so many males and females saturating the JDate community, simply plowing into a conversation through some sort of generic, vague opening line or email probably isn’t going to get a response, or at least not one with much substance. This same theory applies to IM conversations, where simply saying “Hi” doesn’t really ensure a substantial response. 

With so many people emailing and Instant Messaging each other every day, you have to put a little time and effort into how you open a conversation in order to increase your chances of getting a quality response, and progressing from there. If you are really looking to get to know someone, and potentially go out with them, then you have to a take a little time to read through their profile and look at what elements are attractive to you. You can then use what you’ve learned and include those items in an engaging email, or a clever opening line in an Instant Message.

Personally, I like to skim through women’s profiles and look for words or phrases that peak my interest, and then use them to formulate questions, where the responses will offer me more depth and insight into the other person. Additionally, I try to include a few things that we have in common, and then use those commonalities to interject pieces of information about myself which weren’t necessarily included in my profile. While everyone on JDate is looking for something different, and will respond uniquely to each person who approaches them, you can’t go wrong with a more personal approach.

I truly believe that people appreciate others who take a genuine interest in their lives, which usually helps them to lower their guard and open up about their own life and personality. Therefore, if you are like me, and are looking to send emails and Instant Messages with the intention of starting meaningful conversations, then please skip cranking out those same generic messages to every person who looks like they might loosely fit what you’re looking for and take a little extra time to read through their profiles and get to know something about them first.