After sharing last Saturday's failure to get a date with my friend Margaret, she told me that I'm often guilty of putting my worst foot forward when making first impressions. I'm not consistent at all. At times I'm totally on, other times you don't know what will come out of my mouth.
Margaret and I set out to make a list of things that I should avoid talking about when meeting women, along with a list of things that are approved to talk about:
BAD - Eliminate completely or save for later in relationship
Unfortunately, my buddies and I talk about porn quite often. It's like that great guy that is no longer living in our town, but is always mentioned:
"Hey how has Porn been?"
"Did you hear Porn got a new job?"
"Gotta love that Porn-when's he coming back out here?"
OK, maybe it's even worse than that. I don't think my friends and I are dumb, but porn just seeps into the conversation from time to time. Margaret stresses that I'm allowed to talk porn with the guys, but I should avoid it at all costs with the ladies.
My buddy and I are kind of snobby about music. We get annoyed when people like mainstream stuff like Coldplay or newer John Mayer. Not that these musicians aren't talented. We just like to unearth smaller bands and know there is more out there. So, we can get preachy about music. And, I almost always offer to make a mix CD for a cute girl I'm talking to about music, which can be a bit overwhelming at first.
Sure, some of us have an interest in the darker side of human existence. But few of us have studied up on the history of serial killers like me and some of my friends. A few weeks ago at a party, my friend and I stood in front of a crowd answering questions on some famous killers: Dahmer, Gacy, The Zodiac Killer. So, I guess I look smart, but the guy who knows a lot about mass murderers is not the one who gets the ladies at a party, unless he's someone cool like a Profiler...and we all know I'm not that.
GOOD - approved for all occasions
I've been surprised by how happy girls are when I tell them I have a crock pot and a wok. I make jambalaya in the crock pot, and stir fry all sorts of things (love bok choy) in the wok. I make a lot of family recipes: soups, stews, pasta sauce, meatballs, etc. It never disappoints a woman that I can cook, and there's always a lot to talk about with it.
Discussing sports can get testy at times, but I actually admire other teams and I'm very humble about my teams-Orioles, Ravens, Terps, University of Delaware Bluehens-because they let me down so often. When I talk sports with women, I find out a lot more about their hometown, and their youth through their memories of rooting on sports teams.
Family (Specifically my Nieces)
I look for women who have tight families, and I'm sure they are looking for the same. My nieces are always entertaining to talk about. I've had many a brainstorm and shopping trip with friends looking for fun gifts for them. And everyone loves the fact that my two-year-old niece can't say "Uncle Rich", but she has no problem saying "Uncle Bitch," which is what she calls me.
I can do no wrong by asking a woman about herself. I have to start listening better, so I can do some follow up questions too. Sometimes I forget to ask, and listen.
What things work best for you when you're meeting an interesting guy in conversation? What are the best and worst things guys bring up in conversation with you? Is there anything that can make or break it conversation-wise during your initial meetings?
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