Small talk often vexes the less sociable among us. Either we aren’t very good at talking about the lesser things in life just to make a quick connection with someone – or we’re so uncomfortable with the idea that we somehow react with hostility to the actual benefits of small talk. But good socializing and effective interaction can mean talking about the small things; when it comes to double-dates, understanding that simple fact can be crucial.
After all, a double-date has four people and subsequently four times the opportunities for awkwardness. And when you’re in a larger group of people, those awkward silences seem even more out of place.
So what do you do? It’s quite simple: keep reading, and learn four easy and safe topics for double-dating small talk. You’ll be surprised at how bringing up one of these lines of conversation can spark tangents off to other places and make a conversation feel natural and fluid.
1. The Usual: Jobs and Family.
Ask about your date’s job and/or family and, sure, you’ll be asking the “usual” questions. But you’ll also be using a casual, friendly starting point for conversation that can really help the conversation feel nature. You don’t have to talk about jobs and family for the entire night. But if you feel an awkward silence coming on, a simple “So, tell me about your work” is a great way to get something new started. That’s all it takes. It will require you take the lead sometimes, but other people might also surprise you by taking the conversation even further.
2. Other People – But Not “Behind Their Backs”
Talking about the relationships you have in common with each other can be a great way to establish a link – especially when you’re two couples out on a double-date. Let’s say all four of you have a common friend who is always cracking jokes. Talking about how funny that friend is can really liven up the conversation – especially if one of you remembers a funny story about that same friend. Again, it can present opportunities for other threads of conversation.
A word of warning: don’t use talking about other people as a crutch, as it can quickly turn into a problem of talking about someone behind their backs – and that can be a major turn-off for the other three people at your table.
3. Popular culture.
Another way to relate to new people quickly is to talk about something slightly more universal – popular culture. Ask if they watch any good shows, or if they’ve seen any good movies lately, or whether they go to concerts (but don’t ask all of these questions in a row, of course). If you find something that you all enjoy, you’ve suddenly found a quick connection.
4. News (but not politics).
Again, try to search for something more universal if you can’t establish a more intimate conversation connection – but try to avoid talking about politics unless you’ve been out a few times. The local and national news can make good conversation topics, particularly if you find something a little more fun and upbeat to talk about – a woman successfully having sextuplets is a little more upbeat than talking about the latest tornado to hit.