John Gray Q&A: “Why Am I a Lousy First Date?”

By John Gray

HandsDear John,

I’ve been told I’m sexy and sweet. Despite this, I’ve been on a lot of first dates-but not too many second or third ones. I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing wrong: I’m a chatterbox.  Besides saying too much, I guess I also say the wrong things. What tip would you give someone who tries too hard to impress?

-Motor Mouth Minnie, in Chicago, IL

It’s great that you’ve picked up on the fact that you may be dominating the conversation. That said, consider that the turn-off might not just that you’re saying too much, but also that you’re saying the wrong things.

To help you break your losing streak, remember these four tips before speaking:

Tip #1: Smile.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  But you’d be surprised how often people forget the expression on their faces.

Keep in mind, we don’t just “talk” with words. We also talk with our body language. And men are more visual than oral: they may not listen well (a common complaint women have), but they certainly pick up on all the subliminal signals. If you’re worried about the kind of impression you’ll make, you may not realize that you’re frowning, or solemn. And both of these give the wrong message.

Tip #2: Breathe.

Yes, you should make conversation. Don’t be afraid to leave gaps between thoughts or sentences-or, as it is sometime put, to “come up for air.” In fact, make it a point to a big breath-say, a full ten seconds- after each sentence. Doing so encourages your date to pick up the slack. Your silence is his golden opportunity to shine.

Tip #3: Listen.

By actually listening to his words (as opposed to considering things to say that might impress him) you may actually find some unique common ground between you. Seriously, opening your ears prevents you from sticking your foot in your mouth.

Tip #4: Laugh.

No doubt about it, men love gorgeous women. But they also like women who admire them: specifically their minds. If you think he’s witty, or funny, or interesting, and you show this buy chuckling in all the right places or hanging on his every word, believe me: he’ll remember you as a wonderful date.

And call you again. And again.

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pic24John Gray is the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the number one best-selling relationship book of the last decade. In the past ten years, over 30 million Mars and Venus books have been sold in over 40 languages throughout the world. His latest book is Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships While Understanding How Men and Women Cope with Stress. Check out John’s website: