Online Dating Blog

My Date Doesn’t Ask Me Any Questions

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A reader recently wrote in with this frustration: on dates he is able to get conversations going easily but finds most of the women he meets, while willing to answer his questions, ask no questions of their own. They often appear very interested in the conversation but are willing to allow it remain about them. He questioned whether these women, who often seem swept off their feet, are actually interested at all. His dates would also say things like “Gee, you seem really quiet” which frustrated him even further since they were barely taking a breath when speaking. Here’s the advice I provided him which hopefully others will find useful:

date does not ask me any questions
Interrupting Is Allowed
It’s okay to interrupt your date while they’re talking with thoughts of your own. Interrupting each other on a first date can actually be a great sign as you’re both anxious to talk to each other. Obviously, it should be done only when you really do want to interject something. But that’s the point: if you wait for some people to allow you to talk you’ll be silent the entire night! For example, if I was on a date and she started to describe a TV show I also like I might interrupt her with: “I love that show! Did you see the one where Michael ran over Meredith?!”. I know my date wouldn’t mind at all.

Sometimes You’ll Need to Answer Your Own Questions
Try this: ask a question, allow them to answer, and then allow them the opportunity to ask you a question back by remaining silent. If they don’t ask a question, it’s okay to start talking about yourself anyway. It should be about whatever you had asked previously to make the flow of the conversation go well. Just pretend that they asked you what you had asked them. Hopefully as you describe yourself they’ll ask you follow-up questions. If you can’t get them to ask you questions even with this effort…you might just be on a bad date.

Keeping the Conversation Going Isn’t the Only Goal
Don’t fall into the trap of asking questions just to make sure the conversation flows well. Ask questions you really care about and that you would like to learn about your date. If a date starts to feel like an interview it may mean that you’re approaching the conversation like a problem that needs solved instead of something that should grow naturally between the two of you as the date progresses. As a side-note, a date feeling like an interview isn’t a bad thing as long as both people are asking questions.

A Second Chance is Often in Order
People get nervous. It’s often a good idea to give them a second chance with a second date. Some people lock up when they’re nervous but others can’t shut up. You might find that these poor conversationalists become better at sharing the discussion as they become more comfortable spending time with you.

Excitement Over a Good Date
If you show actual interest (i.e., are a good listener) and your date is attracted to you, many times they will get excited and that will cause them to talk even more. I would say the more attracted the woman was to me when I was dating online, the more likely she was to end up ruling the conversation. It’s not that she was trying to, it’s as if she temporarily lost control. If I’m honest, I had similar responses when I felt that I was on a great date, too. That’s why on the best of the best dates, we talked over top of each other all night long. If you’re concerned that they’re not interested in you just because they’re doing all of the talking, that’s not always the case. As a matter of fact, it might just mean they’re more interested in you than you are in them! If they are saying things like “Gee, you seem really quiet”, that might be another way of saying “Am I doing something wrong?”. The fact that they want you to talk is a good sign (even though they don’t recognize all their talking is the reason you haven’t been).

 

My reader’s thoughts were that something was going wrong but I feel that he was extremely close to having a ton of great dates based on what he described. Remember: sometimes when someone does all the talking it’s not a bad sign but a good one!

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About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.

Discussion

  1. Jimmy  February 15, 2011

    I have to disagree with the author. I think a date, or any other person, that continues to talk non-stop ia someone who is self-absorbed. Regretfully, that is very common in men and women who don’t have a reflective type of disposition — or have failed to stop and take the time to listen to someone else. Unless this guy is very patient, I’d advise this person to hold out till he finds someone who better suits his own personality.

    (reply)
  2. Brad  April 6, 2011

    Thanks for your thoughts Jimmy. I’ll stick by my original thoughts, especially considering he mentioned that this was happening repeatedly with different women, but I can appreciate where you’re coming from. I would say that if you frequently find yourself sitting “outside” the conversation on your first dates, it may be best to consider some of the advice above. It is not only the person talking who creates the environment. A totally silent person can be just as bad as one that never shuts up!

    That being said, for those one-off cases where you meet a guy or a girl that is self-obsessed (lacking a reflective disposition as you diplomatically put it), I would agree. Moving on to find someone that better fits your personality is a fine idea.

    On a personal note, I once had a date where she was obviously excited and asked me very little about myself. On our second date, things went much better. Did I end up marrying her? Nope. But I was glad I gave her another chance because on the second date I got to see who she really was (not who she was when she was horribly nervous).

    (reply)
    • Genny  November 6, 2012

      As a woman, I have to say that I’ve fallen into the trap of talking too much out of nervousness. I think it’s important to be sensitive to WHY a person might do it instead of judging it categorically good or bad. Sure, some ppl are self-absorbed. Others may feel that any moments of silence are a sign that the date is not going well. As Brad said, they may really like you and just not feel confident enough to ride out the pauses. Still others (including me) actually feel shy about intimacy with someone new, and for us entertaining banter is a way of keeping the shyness at bay. In some of these cases the babbler may really appreciate you jumping in with even a word. In my case all it takes is someone playfully or gently asking “Are you nervous?” and I completely calm down. They also get extra points for being direct, genuine and perceptive.

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