A few months ago I wrote a blog about a “Mr. Meathead” asking his date what type of massage she liked. Not a problem if they had been dating for a while, but since this was within the first couple dates it was in fact a problem. Last week I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker (Don’t judge, it’s a guilty pleasure) and watched a guy turn every comment into a sexual innuendo on the first date. And then there was the couple at the restaurant last week. They didn’t say a word to each other for 20 minutes at a time. It looked awkward and I’m sure it felt worse.
All of these examples highlight the need for something better. Something that will set you apart from the crowd, keep the conversation going and help ensure a future date. Something like sports.
Finding a date is the top holiday stress among singles. But reeking of desperation isn’t going to get you a date. Talking sports just might.
By engaging in a sports related conversation you’re doing three things:
- Setting you apart from everyone else.
- Using a non-threatening subject to open the conversation
- Allowing for follow-up questions and more personal sharing
Women here are the steps I want you to take. Go to a restaurant/bar with a TV tuned to a sporting event. Spend a couple minutes watching TV to determine what sport is on – basketball, hockey or football. Look for the single guy, or group of single guys, who are watching the game. During a break in the action – or as you walk by the group casually ask if they’re watching the game. Now you’re in.
Appropriate follow-up questions include: Is it a good game? Are you following a particular team? How’s your team doing this season? Why do you follow that team? Did you play sports growing up?
See how the conversation turns from the game itself to the person? With any luck the gentleman will engage in the conversation and ask you a few questions. When that happens, be honest. If you don’t normally watch sports – but you’d like to, especially with him – tell him you’re just getting into football or basketball. If he asks about a favorite team and you don’t have one, tell him in a way that encourages the conversation to continue. For example, “I grew up in Seattle, but didn’t really follow a particular team.” You’re being honest, but giving him room for a follow-up.
Men, this same approach works on female sports fans. So pay attention to the gals watching SportsCenter at a bar.
The real key for both men and women is a willingness to listen. The reason sports conversations work so well, is because they allow a sports fan to share their passion. When a fan opens up about their favorite team, he/she is building credibility and trust. Once that’s established, it’s easier to open up about more personal matters and get to know each other.
I can’t promise this will lead to a date by Christmas, but I can guarantee this approach will set you apart from most of the folks attending Christmas parties.