Two single girlfriends and I had just finished dinner and were leaving the restaurant when a good-looking man carrying what looked like a sheaf of sheet music entered. I had been coaching them on how to connect with men — how to make friends and influence people (men, that is) to date them. This seemed a good time for a demonstration.
“Excuse me,” I said, “but I noticed what you’re carrying. Are you a singer?”
“Good guess,” he replied. “Yes, I am. I’m singing tonight at the community center.”
“I wish I’d known,” I said. “I’ve already made other plans. But let me give you my card. Will you call me in advance next time?” He promised that her would.
“Now I get what you were saying at the table,” said Renee as we walked to the car. “You can’t just walk through life with your eyes closed. You have to observe, to notice something special about a man, and then ask a leading question — followed by more questions. Grab his attention and then…
“Grab him,” I finished. “But if you want a first date to lead to a second date, you’ve got to put on your Oprah hat. Nobody does a better interview. She asks questions that people want to answer. We’re all the world’s leading experts on ourselves, and, given the chance, we love to talk about ourselves — not just what we’re thinking about in the present, but in the past as well.” I went on to suggest five probing questions that are guaranteed to get a man talking and into a warm, mellow, nostalgic mood:
1. What are your favorite high school (or college) moments — the ones you most enjoy thinking about?
2. Do you remember your first kiss? How did it happen and how did it feel?
3. Have you ever served in the military? What do you remember most vividly — good and bad?
4. Did you love your parents? Were they a good influence on your life, or were you too much of a rebel growing up?
5. Tell me about some of the firsts in your life: your first car, your first job, your first girlfriend? And I’ll tell you mine.
Talking about the weather is fine if he’s a meteorologist. But nothing shows your interest in him more — and makes dating points quicker — than getting him to talk about himself.