Obviously, asking “and how are you now?” for the fifth time in a single evening is not cool. It’s definitely not how to keep a conversation going…at least not a good conversation.
Picture the scene:
You’re on a first date. You’ve brought your ice-breaking game to the table, and you’ve breezed through the first thirty minutes. You listened, you were funny and you asked great questions. It was a dream and you clearly know how to keep a conversation going with a guy!
But you’ve now asked a redundant, closed ended question that required only a one word answer: “No.”
In just one swooping monosyllable, you’ve both conspired to kill the conversation dead in it’s tracks. You don’t know what to say next, and by the looks of his awkward shuffling and darting eyes, neither does he.
Uh-oh- This is real. The pressure is on. And in minutes he’s probably going to receive the standard “emergency phone call from his buddy Harry who’s got stuck in the bath”.
The Fear Is Real
The fear of awkward silences is so universal that it almost always seems to pop up in movies and sitcoms. In Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman’s character reasons that when two people start to actually feel comfortable during lulls in conversation, it means they dig each other.
In the hit U.S. sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray and his wife Deborah analyze silences between partners from a longer-term perspective. Instead of feeling awkward whenever there is a huge pause between someone talking, they instead begin to worry that after so many years of marriage, they’ve actually ran out of things to say to one another. Which is equally uncool.
As they discover, though, periods of pause just mean you’re so darn comfortable with one another that you don’t need to keep talking. You can just enjoy being with each other.
Unfortunately this is not always true in the early stages of a relationship where silences can be super awkward.
How To Keep A Conversation Going With A Guy
If you’ve had a few conversational lulls in the past and just the very thought of them gives you the chills, follow these top tips and turn yourself into a pro communicator.
1. Resurrect The Last Topic
So you seemingly asked a closed ended question, he gave you a blunt monosyllabic reply, and boom, that seems to have exhausted that topic.
So what do you do?
You could resurrect the last topic you just discussed, and which he seemingly made redundant. For example, if you asked whether or not he still sees his parents and he answered “NO”, you could get him to expand by saying: “Would you like to see them again?”.
Fun scale: pretty low.
2. Bring Up A Related Subject
If a conversation feels flat and you don’t know how to keep a conversation going with a guy because you don’t want to revisit the last topic you just spoke about, you could bring up a related subject.
This is a technique that many of us rely on all the time during the everyday to’s and fro’s of a conversation. But because we do it unconsciously, we forget to rely on it whenever we feel put on the spot.
For example, if he was talking about his last Kite Surfing vacation in France, you could pick up this thread and talk about foreign languages. Maybe you could say how you’d like to become a digital nomad and live in Colombia for 6 months to learn Spanish.
3. Become An Active Listener
When I was younger, I was really shy. I’d freeze up.
Then I started dating. To get me through the dates, I’d prepare a list of topics beforehand to talk about. But it still didn’t help because I was thinking about my list while the other person was talking (no bonus points there). It wasn’t until I worked on becoming a better listener that conversation really started to flow. So, stop. Listen. Take your time. Repeat. Learning how to keep a conversation going all starts with listening.
4. Ask About His Passions
Guys (like us) love to talk about their passions, ideas and dreams. So, ask him an open-ended question about one of the three, and you could potentially keep him talking for quite some time. And the best part? You find out what really makes him tick.
5. Be Creative
Good communicators know how to keep a conversation going AND get the answers they want. Their secret? They use their creativity to ask the right questions.
For example, if a guy is feeling down, and doesn’t seem to want to talk about why he’s feeling down, don’t keep asking him what’s wrong. Instead, ask him what one thing right now would improve the situation. Ask him how and not why.
Think outside the box and try different ways of approaching subjects. Ask open ended questions and avoid the mundane and negative.
Knowing how to keep a conversation going with a guy is an art – but one which can easily be learned one conversation at a time.
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