Eyeing love across the table or in the screen

Good speed dating conversation starters

As dating experts agree, having a number of good questions can be an easy way to o keep up your talk and continue a conversation. While, sure, you know some basics, what about the captivating and interesting queries that really get to the heart of your date? The key to having a positive experience is relaxed conversation, and that can be helped along with some well-chosen questions.

Here, we take a look at the best conversation starters you should definitely test out the next time you’re eyeing love across the table:

1. What makes you laugh?
In virtually every study of ‘what singles want in a partner,’ a good sense of humor ranks high. No matter the season of life they’re in, single men and women want a partner who can bring laughter, wit and humor to the relationship. Discovering the kinds of things that make your partner laugh will tell you about his/her personality and outlook on life.

2. What’s your big passion?
This question gets to the core of a person’s being. If the individual responds with “I dunno,” that might be a red flag that he or she isn’t passionate about anything. But you’re likely to get valuable insight from the person who answers —from traveling and their job to rock climbing or their church — that give you insight into their value system. Follow up with questions about why the person become so passionate about this particular endeavor or emphasis.

3. What’s the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
No matter where they are in the career ladder, chances are your date will have at least one unusual or intriguing job to tell you about. Which will give you a chance to share about your own most fascinating work experience. Though lighthearted, this question gives your could-be partner the opportunity to exercise their storytelling abilities.

4. Where is ‘home’?
Everyone can rattle off where they currently live and where they’ve traveled before now, but the definition of ‘home’ can widely differ from where they currently pay rent. Is ‘home’ where he/she was raised? Where family lives? Where certain adventures were had? This first date question allows you to get to where their heart is tied to.

5. Do you read reviews, or just go with your gut?
Seems like a strange one, but this helps you understand differences and similarities in a simple query. Some people can’t go to the movies without reading multiple reviews first. Others can buy a brand-new vehicle without doing an iota of research. Find out which camp your date belongs in—and then you can admit if you read restaurant reviews before making date reservations.

6. Do you have a dream you’re pursuing?
At any stage of life, dreams should be nurtured, cultivated, and acted on. Hopefully, you have dreams for your future, whether they involve career achievement, world travel, volunteerism or artistic expression. You want to know if the other person’s dreams mesh with your own. Listen closely to discern if your dreams are compatible and complementary.

7. What do your Saturdays usually look like?
How discretionary time is used says a lot about a person. If she works on her ‘day off,’ she might be highly career-oriented…or maybe a workaholic. If he spends the day coaching a kids’ soccer team, it’s a good bet he loves sports, enjoys kids and wants to help others excel. If he watches TV and plays video games all day, you may have a couch potato on your hands. This question is a must, considering not all of your time spent together in a long-term relationship can be candlelit and wine-filled.

8. Who are the most important people in your life?
Pay attention to how your date answers this question. How come? More likely than not, they’ll have an instant reaction like, ‘my parents’ or ‘my college roommate’ or ‘my colleagues’ In addition to understanding the other person better, this question allows you to assess his or her ability to form close relationships.

9. Where did you grow up, and what was your family like?
Eminent psychologist Karl Menninger said one of the most reliable gauges of a person’s emotional health as an adult was a stable, satisfying childhood. This doesn’t mean — of course — that you should automatically avoid someone who had a difficult upbringing. But you do want the assurance that the individual has insight into his or her family background and has sought to address lingering wounds and unhealthy patterns.

10. Do you have a special place you like to visit regularly?
We’ve all got our go-to spots that keep luring us back, whether they are funky coffee shops, scenic hiking trails, or relaxing weekend getaway locales. Your date may have a local park he/she frequents or a Asian city that’s been a regular destination. Learning where your partner likes to go will provide insight into the person’s tastes and temperament.

11. What’s your signature drink or beverage?
After the introduction, this opening question should follow. Though it might not lead to a long conversation, it does help you understand their personality. Does she always order the same drink? Is he addicted to fair trade coffee? Does the bartender know to bring a gin and tonic to the table before you order? Break the ice by talking about beverages.

12. What’s the most unforgettable meal you’ve ever had?
Instead of asking the predictable ‘What’s your favorite kind of food?’ question, ask something more specific that will likely get an entertaining story about food and travel, rather than a one-word answer.

13. In which television show’s or Netflix or K-drama world would you most want to live?
Pop culture can both bond and divide us. Keep it light and fun and ask about the fictional world your date would most want to explore. Wouldn’t “Cheers” be a great place for a first date?

14. What’s on your bucket list for this year or even this month?
This question offers plenty of freedom for him or her to share their dreams and interests with you. His or her list could include travel plans, career goals, personal milestones, or adrenaline-junkie adventures. Or he or she could just be psyching herself up to finally try escargot.

15. What toppings are needed to create the perfect burger?
Assuming your date’s not a vegetarian, get the conversation going with a pretty innocent—but telling—question. You’ll discover how particular your date is about his food, how adventurous his or her palate is, and if you share a love (or hatred) of mustard.

16. What’s your most valuable possession?
This question will help you to discover your date’s priorities, passions and pursuits. Maybe it’s a photograph. Maybe it’s a classic car. Maybe it’s a tiny trinket that represents a cherished person or memory. Putting your date on the spot might make the first answer an awkward one; let him/her amend the answer as the night goes on.

17. Who’s the most fascinating person you know?
Get to know the people in your date’s life by asking about the most fascinating one. What qualities make a person so interesting? How does your date interact with the person? Hearing your date brag about someone else might reveal more about him/her than a series of direct personal questions would.

18. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? The scariest?
Instead of prying into past heartaches and failures, give him or her an opportunity to share struggles any way he/she so chooses. What obstacles does he/she define as the ‘hardest’? How did they overcome or survive the struggle? Even if the answer is a fun one, try to appreciate how strength was shown in weakness.

Now that you’re armed with some great first date questions, let’s review a few general guidelines for dating discourse:

Listen as much or more than you talk
Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly. But the ability to speak is only one part of the equation—and not the most important part. The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. Each person gets a turn—and no one hogs the ball.

Peel the onion, don’t stab it with a paring knife
Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. It’s a slow and safe process. But some people, over-eager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. Should the relationship evolve, there will be plenty of time to get into weighty topics. For now, take it easy.

Don’t dump
If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent. When a person reveals too much too soon, it can give a false sense of intimacy. In reality, premature or exaggerated revelations are due more to boundary issues, unresolved pain, or self-centeredness than true intimacy.

Now that you’ve got questions for your dating experience, please feel free to check us up at www.loveexpress.com.sg or www.divineconnect.com.sg.

If you are interested in joining our virtual dating events, check out our events here.

How to ace a virtual dating event

Pre-Event Preparation

For Ladies

  1. Choose to wear an attire that you would as if you are going for an offline event or for a date.
  2. Wear a light makeup
  3. Test out your mic and video in the attire that you would wear 15 mins before the meeting.
  4. An important tip about virtual speed dating is that you may want to show your presence, hence it would be good that you sit further away from the screen so that the other people can see your body action or language.
  5. Look directly into the camera with good eye contact.
  6. Adjust the camera to point to your face at a parallel angle of 180 degree.
  7. Choose a private place where you can expect no noise or interruptions from your family members or pets.
  8. Make a tea or coffee with some light snacks so that you do not need to walk-away from the event.

For men,

  1. Choose to wear a neat collar shirt that you would as if you are going for an offline event or for a date.
  2. Take some time for personal grooming before the event.
  3. Test out your mic and video in the attire that you would wear 15 mins before the meeting.
  4. An important tip about virtual speed dating is that you may want to show your presence, hence it would be good that you sit further away from the screen so that the other people can see your body action or language.
  5. Look directly into the camera with good eye contact.
  6. Adjust the camera to point to your face at a parallel angle of 180 degree.
  7. Choose a private place where you can expect no noise or interruptions from your family members or pets.
  8. Make a tea or coffee with some light snacks so that you do not need to walk-away from the event.

During the Event

  1. Maintain a pleasant facial expression throughout the event. Put a mirror in front of you so you can check yourself now and then.
  2. Maintain good eye contact throughout the conversation by looking straight into the camera.
  3. Do not look at other things on your mobile phone or laptop, or reply to messages or take a phone call. Mute your phone/laptop and all notifications.
  4. Pay attention to the conversations of other participants when you are not speaking.
  5. Be a good listener by giving verbal cues by saying “yes”, “good”, “that is fun” etc.
  6. Do not repeat yourself. Just say “over” when you wanna stop the conversation.
  7. Write down the names of those participants whom you would like to keep in contact.

Post Event

  1. Put on the feedback the names of those participants whom you would like to keep in contact.
  2. Be positive when you contact them post-event via email or Whatsapp.
  3. Share a short writeup of yourself and your impression of the other party.
  4. Try to reply messages and e-mail promptly within a few hours. If not possible, explain why not and give a date you would reply.

Interested to join our virtual events, you can check them out here.

If you have any comments, you can write to admin@loveexpress.com.sg.

Should I text the guy first?

Should I text the guy first?

You met a guy through a mutual friend. Both of you got along well and exchanged numbers. It’s been a week and he hasn’t contacted you. When you get home, you have the idea to text him, but you hesitate. Should you text him first? He hasn’t contacted you yet, so texting him would seem “desperate”, right? You don’t want to seem “desperate”, of course.

What’s with the paranoia about seeming “too desperate”? This leads to two people who like each other hide their real feelings instead of being upfront. Why do people feel the intense need to hide these positive feelings, though? The reason could be due personal pride. A human being will use any excuse to protect his self-esteem from social awkwardness. People do not want rejection and embarrassment.

However, after a date, there is nothing wrong with sending a guy a simple message like: “Hey, I just wanted to say that I had a good time tonight. Thanks.” Probably, he feels the same way and would reply the same. If he doesn’t, then who cares? At least now you know. You are transparent of your feelings. If he’s a decent person, he will respond in kind by showing you all of his.

So instead of playing a guessing game, you can take the first step to establish openness and authenticity early on in the relationship.

By being upfront, you are also showing courage. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. This doesn’t mean that you have to be “pushy”. It means that you’re not afraid to text him first if that’s what the situation calls for. Some women seem to have the erroneous belief that men will be turned off by women who are obvious and upfront. This is not true in most cases. A sincere person is hard to come by. If anything, your guy will probably be impressed.

If both of you are avoiding texting each other first out of fear, eventually you’ll start to forget the good feelings you felt when you saw each other. Your fond memories will fade. Don’t delay things so much. If he’s taking too long to text you, then text him first and get things going.

Tips for online messaging

online messaging

Imagine this: after weeks of scrolling through endless online profiles and waiting on replies that never seem to arrive, you’re finally having a conversation with someone – and you feel like you might actually have a shot with this person!

But then one night you check your inbox for the umpteenth time and see no reply to your last message. What gives? Did your message get lost in the Internet’s black hole?

why

Don’t panic just yet, because here are four quick tips to keep your instant messaging from turning into an instant disaster!

Timing is everything. Well, almost.

Before you give up on online dating, check the timestamp of your message. Messages sent during work hours or when your match is offline run the risk of getting buried among other messages delivered during this time.

The next step? Follow up on your message at a better time when it’s convenient for them to reply.. There’s no need to look to stars for answers: just consider your match’s schedule. If he/she works office hours, send out your message during lunch or after dinner time.

waiting

Quick tip: take a peek at his/her online status. If both of you are online at the same time, it increases your chances of getting a reply if he/she is really interested in you.

More than words

Without being able to draw cues from body language or facial expressions, interpreting the tone of online messages can be a challenging affair. Mimicking the language of the other person can make your messages easier to understand, but for those who want a quick fix, emoticons are a good bet.

Attaching an emoticon to your message can help your match to read the tone of your message better while softening an otherwise curt-sounding text. As a bonus, they can also help you score more dates according to a TIME magazine research!

emoji 1emoji 2

Another great way to keep things from being drab is to share pictures of what you’re up to. It gives room to bring up new topics if he/she spots something interesting in your pictures. Saw a funny picture online? Why not share the laughter!

Fun fact: “emoticon” is a mash up of the words “emotion” and “icon”, best representing the value of these expressive pixel faces.

Ping! You’ve got a message!

Ever been intimidated by a wall of text? Keep things short and sweet so your match actually remembers what you said without having to reread your message – it’s called instant messaging for a reason!

Another pitfall is when too much slang or short forms are used. A string of alphabets may mean something to you, but to others it could involve time trying to figure out just what it means, and chances are nobody has time like that.

whaaat

Quick tip: loosen the tie when you’re messaging! You can be polite without being overly formal, which can mask your true, bubbly personality.

Keep the ball rolling

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a dismissive “Hahah oic!” reply, you know how difficult it can be to continue the conversation. Keep things going by sharing something fun you did over the weekend or talk about an interesting piece of news you came across that morning.

For some inspiration, check back on his/her profile to see what their hobbies are, but don’t start an interrogation, now! Offer your opinions to build on the conversation or add in something about yourself. The ball is in your court once that reply comes in, so it’s up to you to return a hit!

crushed it

Quick tip: when you feel that both of you are ready to bring the conversation offline, initiate a meet up to get to know the other person better*. Invite him/her for a casual cup of coffee or a safe date on I-MeetYou.com!

Just keep these simple tips in mind and you’re ready to reply your inbox messages or start a conversation. Replies are good indicators of interest, but don’t be disheartened if your smiley face is left unanswered – you never know when your inbox will next ping with a reply from another interested match!

*Don’t disregard safety when you’re meeting someone online for the first time! Click here for some safety tips from I-MeetYou.com.

Love Express Event: Christian Connexion Lunch

location-rsz

Events at Love Express cover a wide range of interests, including unique segmented events for singles with a specific criteria in mind. On 11 June, we had our Christian Connexion Lunch at Hotel Boss, with a private space set aside just for the event.

Continue reading

A big year for love

Mega Party

This year, Love Express celebrates 9 years of helping singles connect. It is also the year of the official launch of two new sister companies, Divine Connect and I-MeetYou.com. The three companies are now under one collective, Love Et Al., headed by Love Express’s founder, Deon Chan.

The celebration, held on 1st May, saw Ms Chan talking about her journey with Love Express, and her goals for Love Et Al. in the lives of the local single community.

Continue reading

Online Dating: Icebreaker Tips

blog header

Imagine this scenario: you click on a promising online profile and read through his or her bio. In your head, the boxes check and you hover over the ‘Chat’ button in hopes to find out more about this dream person but then you freeze – what exactly do you say? Continue reading