Growing up, I never really had any issues talking to guys because I was a tomboy; I liked playing video games, watching Dragon Ball Z, and eating cheeseburgers. I was also chubby, so even though I was good at talking to boys, none of it really mattered because my chunky lil’ third grade self wasn’t exactly the hottest thing on the playground.
That said: even though it seemed like a useless skill at the time, it’s become crazy helpful in recent years. Talking to guys on Tinder is now more of a game to me than it is to my friends, who struggle to get a response past, “Not much, how about you?” And it’s not for their lack of trying – it’s just that I’m pretty good at figuring out at least ONE thing I can talk to guys about that we have in common, whereas they focus more on what they want to talk about.
Example: I have a friend who’s really into horses – like, she was probably one of those girls who had a horse backpack and folder and lunchbox when she was younger. She’s not a crazy horse girl anymore, by any stretch of the imagination, but most dudes don’t ride and/or care about horses. So it should come as no surprise that I see most dudes’ eyes glaze over when she starts talking about galloping… or whatever one does with a horse.
With that being said, here are seven topics that are better than horses (when it comes to guys, at least!). These are sure bets to bring up whenever you find yourself struggling to make a connection:
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What do you do that’s cool? Do you maybe play field hockey, row crew, or play in a band? Whatever it is, figure out something he’s into that’s similar and try to connect over it. Maybe he plays ice hockey, likes boats, and beat every level on Guitar Hero – close enough, right? The point is to figure out something you’re interested in that you can banter with him about…but make sure it’s something you think he would be interested in. Remember that story I told about my horse friend in the introduction? Yeah, horses are generally a no-go, because most people probably aren't into them. Other good topics to avoid are anything you know he hates or things that are more controversial, like the Kardashians or something. The point is for him to be able to relate to you, not listen to you talk about a bunch of things he both knows nothing about and does not care for. Source: iStock
There’s a reason there’s a trillion video and memes of food on the Internet, and it’s because food is the bomb. Who doesn’t like food? You literally have to like it to live. Do you like cooking? Maybe try cooking with him one night. Or if the kitchen isn’t your scene, talk about restaurants you both like or compare burgers from different fast food joints. It doesn’t really matter – when it comes to conversation, food is almost always a safe bet. Source: iStock
Let Him Start The Convo and Go From There
This is a little less straightforward, but if you’re a little nervous and don’t want to say the “wrong” thing (which isn’t possible, but we’ve all been there) go ahead and let him lead the conversation. Instead of talking about yourself, listen to what he says and asks questions from there. For example, if he says, “My family just got a new puppy, we named her Nicky.” From there you can ask: • What kind of dog is she? • Where’d you get her from? • Do you have any other pets? It’s really about steering the conversation towards himself so that he always has something to reply back with as long as you keep feeding him questions. Along with the questions, you should always try to throw in little bits about yourself (“I have a dog too! His name is nutters”) so that he has the opportunity to reciprocate. Source: iStock
I don’t really play any games that have come out on newer systems; instead I mostly play my old N64 and GameCube. But you know what? That’s gotten me through thousands of conversations with dudes I’ve just met because they all have that nostalgia when it comes to consoles from their youth. If you’ve ever played Mario Party or Super Smash Brothers and can somehow work that into a conversation I’ll guarantee that every dude’s face in your five-foot radius will light up. It’s truly a game changer, just don’t try to throw it in there disingenuously – you can smell fakeness from a mile away, and so can he. Source: iStock
Are you crushing on someone who is really into sports? You don’t have to watch every single game, but the ability to talk about current players on his fantasy team is always helpful. Personally, I fail at this because I can’t even fake like I’m interested in football or whatever else is on ESPN - and honestly, you don't want to fake it. Yet I have female friends who plop down on the couch for Sunday night football and don’t talk about the game when they meet new dudes. What?!! Girl, you have a GIFT, you can pay attention and actually ENJOY a sports game! Publish that shit in the local newspaper and you’ll have men trying to bust down your door looking for a date. Source: iStock
This seems like a “duh,” but for some reason, a lot of girls skip over talking about one thing you both definitely have in common: school. Have you both had the same teacher before? What about an annoying group project that’s coming up? This is literally the easiest topic to go with because the majority of both your days is spent in class, and there’s undoubtedly at least ONE interesting thing that happened in those couple hours. And if he hates school and is a bit of a burnout – you can do better. Source: iStock
Who doesn’t watch TV? This is another home run if you both have a few shows you both watch. They don’t even have to be recent! On my first date with my now-boyfriend we talked about The O.C. for forty-five minute while drinking margaritas. Fairly safe shows to pick are also Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things – but don’t bring up something you haven't watched just because you know he likes it. That's just... weird. Source: iStock