Mini Date Lesson #3: Choose Your Conversation Topics Wisely

My friend and NLP/ wellness blogger MaryAnn Reynolds knows my interest in questions.  I told her about the Mini Date experiment and she asked me about the questions I used.

With the 15-30 minute time constraint of a Mini Date, what we chose to talk about was key. My friends used their Mini Date adventures to suss out definite “no match” guys and then they used future meetings and experiences to define who might be a “yes.”

I discovered that I like hearing about what people think or feel is most important to them or what they do with most of their time. I discovered that I liked the results of questions like:

  • What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
  • What fun thing are you anticipating in the next week or month?
  • What has you attention been on this week?
  • What’s the most enjoyable adventure you’ve ever embarked on?
  • Bonus points question if I was feeling lucky: What’s the most useful question you’ve ever been asked?

Chit chat questions were ok if needed, but only when I wanted to focus the conversation more:

  • What’s your work like?
  • What’s your family like?
  • How have you successfully done this online dating thing? What has worked for you?
  • Questions about books, movies, websites, etc.

I also discovered some horrible questions to ask on a Mini Date! These questions brought out the worst in people (good to know later in a relationship but awkward on a first meeting). If they didn’t produce wildly awkward answers, then I would receive a generic answer devoid of personal information, which was also unhelpful. Here are my worst *bad* Mini Date questions:

  • Why did you break up with you last ex?
  • Have you ever had a really horrible first date?
  • What’s the worst you’ve felt in the past few days/ weeks/ months.

One final learning in the arena of conversation topics: I learned that I have an NLP Enthusiast personae that comes out in coffee shops sometimes, even when I don’t purposely invite her! Of the first 10 people I went on Mini Dates with, 4 of them became clients or students and therefore un-datable! Oops! I learned that to date instead of do business, I need to mostly talk about my hobbies and interests and limit my chat about my work, especially when I’m explaining how great a class/ method is.

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Read more in this series: