How to Keep a Phone Date Interested
We’ve all been there, in those cringeworthy moments where major lulls seem to dominate the conversation. Stalling and awkward silences are never fun, especially when you are on a phone date. There’s often a panicked confusion forcing you to figure out how to salvage the chat or where to go next. Dates are often wasted, leaving you feeling hung up, low and lame. Don’t be too hard on yourself, this happens to everyone at one point or another. Those in the chat line community are very familiar with this scenario, but many don’t know how to overcome or preemptively avoid it. What it boils down to is the ability to keep your phone date interested and engaged in what you have to say! By understanding what causes your brain to draw a blank, you are more likely to fix the problem moving forward.
What is mind-blanking?
It’s a dreadful feeling, when you’re in the middle of chatting and suddenly you don’t know what to say. It’s like everything you once knew has flown out of some window in your head, leaving the space in your mind totally empty. Most people call this “drawing a blank” and it’s always pretty awkward. Phone dating, which is founded upon the ability to carry a good conversation, doesn’t allow much room for mind-blanking. Mind-blanking is a reflection of our natural fight-or-flight response. In a scenario that makes us nervous, like dating or public speaking, our brains are trying to process that anxiety at warp speed in an effort to perform or appear casual. Nobody wants to come across as neurotic on a phone date. Being cool, calm, and collected is attractive. In truth, everyone is a little bit nervous on a phone date. The pressure we put on ourselves during dating scenarios, when we want to impress someone, triggers our fight-or-flight response. Mind-blanking falls into the flight and makes it even harder to come back to center.
How can I avoid it?
In trying to avoid mind-blanking, you are actually attempting to avoid being nervous on a phone date and maintain your date’s interest. Having an action plan is one of the best ways for people to combat anxiety. It makes us feel proactive and in control during an otherwise anxiety-inducing situation. There are plenty of actionable things that you can do to combat mind-blanking. Here are some places to start:
- Chill out before the call: You want to get into the right frame of mind before a phone date. It’s sort of similar to how you’d prepare for an in-person date. When meeting a blind date, you’d probably shower, make sure you looked your best, and give yourself a pep talk before meeting that special someone. With a phone date, it’s not so much about appearances as it is about your energy. So, rather than showering and ‘looking your best’ you can do things to make sure you feel like your best, most relaxed, genuine self. We’re not saying to skip the shower. Maybe that’s what you need to feel in your element. Maybe it’s a glass of wine or a short meditation before the call. Whatever you need to do to feel awesome, do it! That vibe will translate through the phone connection and establish a real connection with the person on the other side of the call.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: Everyone. Gets. Nervous. Don’t forget that! You are not alone in drawing a blank. In fact, it’s incredibly common which is why we are even addressing it in the first place. The more pressure you put on yourself, the more anxiety you are going to add to your situation. Stress is not your friend when phone dating. So, give yourself a break!
- Have topics in mind to talk about: Having some things in mind to talk about is really going to help you out in this situation. It’s like having a toolbox of ways to fix awkwardness. If the conversation starts to lull, you can pull out one of those topics and likely mend whatever cringey vibe the silence has set. When thinking of topics to choose, consider things that highlight your best self. Are you well-traveled? Do you love your family? Have you done anything noteworthy in the past? Bringing up things like travel if you are well-traveled is a way to add layers to a conversation and impress your date with your coolest stories.
- Avoid yes/no questions: Yes or no questions are awkward. They don’t create movement in phone chats. They are like Stop Signs on a highway. They don’t make sense for phone dating, so avoid them. Instead, ask open-ended questions that force you and your date to dig deep for answers. Open-ended questions provoke longer, more-detailed responses allowing you to learn more about your date, and tell your date more about you. It establishes something a lot more meaningful than yes/no questions.
- Be honest: Lying or making things up in order to impress a phone date is going to come back to haunt you in several ways. For one, lying means that you have to keep up with the lies. It gives you too much to think about which takes away from living in the present with your date. More than that, it’s going to make you even more nervous. Even if you are a great liar, making things up to sound cool will shake you a bit and it might even cause you to draw larger blanks. To avoid this, just tell the truth. Get real. Be genuine. That vulnerability will be appreciated on the other end, and encourage your date to do the same.