Communication is important in relationships, but if you don't communicate well on a first date, you might not get a second. And that doesn't just mean you have to have interesting stuff to say. You also have to listen.
Here are five ways bad communication skills can derail a good date.
1. Interrupting. Even if you're agreeing about something, let the other person finish their thought before you jump in.
Obviously it's fine to nod or say a few words so they know you're listening. Just don't hijack the conversation, or it'll come across like you care more about what YOU have to say.
2. Steamrolling the Conversation. Meaning, you don't let your date get a word in. Again, it communicates that you think what YOU have to say is really interesting, but what they have to say ISN'T.
Remember, when you're on a date you should be getting to know each other. So the time spent talking should be split evenly, especially if it's a FIRST date.
But some people just talk and talk when they get nervous. So if you realize you're dominating the conversation, the best thing to do is start asking questions . . . then shut up and let them answer.
3. Over-Thinking Your Responses. As in, you're not really listening to what your date is saying, because you're too busy thinking about how you'll respond. And that can make you seem detached from the conversation.
It's an easy habit to fall into, especially when you're nervous. Just try to listen to everything they say, almost as if you have to repeat it back word-for-word.
4. Acting Like a Know-It-All. It's good to seem SMART. But if you act arrogant or start presenting your opinions like they're facts, you'll seem pompous and closed-minded.
Plus, if you say something they don't agree with, they'll get defensive and the date will pretty much be ruined.
5. Story Matching. Which is when they tell a story, and you respond with a similar story. That's okay in small doses, because it highlights how you're similar.
Just don't do it a lot, or you'll start making the date feel competitive rather than collaborative. Again, if all else fails, ask questions and let them talk.