How to Break the Ice on a First Date

Q. First dates are very stressful. Little nagging questions in my mind cause me to close up and feel nervous. How do I overcome my jittery nerves?

A. Here are five tips for men to deal with that first date and land a second one.

1. Prepare Ahead of Time: Choose five topics that interest you ahead of time, so you know you can default to those if organic conversation doesn’t flow right away.

Choose at least one that is a national news item. This enhances the chances that your date will likely have something to add to the conversation.

If you found her through online dating sites, look at her profile and learn a bit about what interests your date. Your goal should be to find someone who interests you. One of the best ways to do that is through conversation.

2. Don’t Do All of the Talking: Let your date talk. Remember that you want to find out “who” she is as a person. This can also make your date relax and enjoy the conversation. A good goal is to use the 40/60 rule. You talk 40 percent of the time and let her talk 60 percent of the time.

3. Be Engaging, not Dismissive: Pay attention to what she says. You want her to feel that what she says is important to you. This will help her be more open and less nervous. A good way to be engaging is to ask questions that are deeper than just surface observation. Don’t edit yourself.

4. Focus on Hobbies and Activities: By talking about hobbies and activities, and why she enjoys them, you get to see more of who she is as a woman and person.

Do something on the first date that she likes. This allows her to feel and be more of an authority. It also allows you the opportunity to ask many questions. This leads to stimulating and positive conversation and both of you will have a good time.

5. Share Experiences: Share your experiences where they revolve around common interests. The goal here is to build trust and finding experiences that you may have both shared is a great way to do that.

You can improve your odds of getting a second date through first date conversations that are balanced, humorous and stress-free.


Jasbina Ahluwalia is an Indian-American Attorney-turned-Entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host and Matchmaker/Dating Coach. She is the Founder & President of Intersections Match by Jasbina, the only Premier Matchmaking & Dating Coaching Firm for Indian Singles in the U.S., Canada & the U.K. A finalist in OPRAH’S search for a TV Host, she’s also been featured in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post & Entrepreneur MagazineShe has also moderated/participated on panels at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Northwestern & Columbia. Jasbina previously practiced law in San Francisco and Chicago. She earned her B.A/M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and JD from the University of Michigan Law School. To learn about Intersections Match by Jasbina please visit – Jasbina can be contacted at

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