first date conversation

My friend accidentally sent a sip of Coke up her nasal passage. She was laughing too hard at Jeremy’s story.

I bet you’ve had some lively conversations like this.

Think about the most fun you ever had with a group of friends. Chances are, you and your friends stumbled into some lively conversation topics. Maybe something that got you all laughing.

Or maybe it was happy news a friend shared. Whatever the case, your conversation topics were a part of what made the interaction a bonding experience.

Today I want to tell you about a weird psychological research study.

Psychologists were trying to study the power of subconscious mental associations. It’s a well known fact that our mind notices things outside our conscious awareness.

But the question was, “Can this be used on purpose to influence people?”

Psychologists gave research subjects lists of words that seemed random. But all the words had a very subtle connection.

For example, one was, “foam, horse, and shell.” (Can you guess what these words have in common?)

Most people don’t consciously notice an association. But sophisticated research methods have revealed that your mind becomes primed to think of the sea when exposed to these three words as a group.

(The connection is sea foam, seahorse, and seashell…all containing the word “sea”).

Anyway, the psychologists used this “priming effect” to get research subjects to unconsciously think about old people (using a different set of words but same idea). Afterward, they secretly timed how long it took the participants to walk down a hallway to another room.

Those who were exposed to “old people” words unconsciously adopted a slower pace of movement. Those exposed to other mental associations walked faster.

Now, I’m setting a bad example. Never launch into a story about a research study on a date (unless you are both Ph.D. students with a common interest or something).

The reason I bring up this research study is because I want you to recognize something important. Your date will unconsciously associate YOU with whatever topics you discuss on a date with him.

first date conversationHis experience of you is very limited at first. First impressions are formed quickly, based primarily on how he feels in your presence. But the effect is still there even after years of spending time together.

So here’s my advice. Tap into peak life experiences.

A peak life experience is a fun adventure, a moment of happiness upon getting a new job, or a great vacation that he will never forget. It’s any memory that pulls up a well of positive emotions.

It’s easy to ask bland questions about his work and how many siblings he grew up with. But those topics will not generate the kind of feelings you want him to associate with being in your presence.

Don’t interview your date about facts. You can always come back to learning the details about him later. But don’t start there. Instead, start with spontaneous, fun conversations. Start by tapping into his memories in search of peak life experiences.

If you’d like to see a whole list of topics men love to talk about, we have training material available on our website focused on that, plus common things women talk about that turn men off.

Talk to you soon!

James Bauer

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