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5 conversation starters to help you break the ice

two women in a denim jacket is talking to each other , drinking coffee and waiting for a tram at the stop lifestyle photo
5 conversation starters to try today Iryna Melnyk

It’s not just us, striking up a conversation with someone can be awkward, right? Whether it’s on a dating app or trying to engineer your own meet cute in Big Tescos, the first step to any whirlwind romance is actually *talking* to that person.

In the age of AI-generated prompts on dating apps, it feels like you’ve got to stand out more than ever when opening a conversation. But here’s a secret: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to spark up a great chat. Keeping it simple, open-ended, and positive is all you need!

With that in mind, we asked Emma Hathorn, in-house dating expert at luxury dating site Seeking.com to share some of her favourite conversation openers, so you’ll never have to resort to AI (you’re welcome).

Conversion starter ideas

"How do you spend your Sunday?"

“Understanding someone’s Sunday rituals can help uncover your potential compatibility, which is important to suss out even in the early stages,” says Hathorn. “If you’re a spontaneous personality who wants to hop on a last-minute flight for the weekend, you won’t enjoy the more mundane Sunday routine of take-out and video games on the couch.”

Whether they spend their Sundays on the grind or relaxing at the beach, someone’s weekend routine can be a good indicator of whether your work/rest ethics align too. Plus, it opens up the possibility of bonding over shared hobbies and passions that you might spend your weekends doing.

"What are your summer/winter plans?"

“Discussing upcoming plans provides insights into a person's lifestyle, interests, and priorities. It reveals what activities or experiences excite them, whether it's travelling to new destinations, attending festivals, running a marathon, or simply relishing downtime,” says Hathorn. Besides, what’s more exciting than discussing holiday or festive plans? It’s a great way to get some insight into what makes them tick.

"What podcasts do you listen to?"

“Asking about someone's podcast preferences is a key to their interests, passions, and intellectual curiosity. It can be an opportunity to bond over a shared topic or episode you’ve listened to recently – or it can introduce you to new and intriguing content that aligns with your interests,” says Hathorn. This one’s probably the best saved for if they mention podcasts in their bio, otherwise it might feel a bit out of the blue.

But, Hathorn warns, the answer to this question might burst your delulu bubble about your crush: “The podcasts we listen to often show how we feel about more sensitive topics – feminism, politics, among other things – it’s good to find out where your date stands in relation to you on the bigger things. It can also show that you have found an intellectual match, and will give you a wonderful set of topics to dissect on your next date.”

couple drinking espressos and eating dessert at cafe
Janina Steinmetz

"I see you’re from [location] – do you have any good restaurant suggestions around there?"

“By asking for restaurant recommendations based on their location, you're showing genuine interest in their preferences and local knowledge,” says Hathron. “It's a subtle way to validate them and engage them in a topic they likely have opinions about.” You can even take this one flirty step further by hinting at the possibility of trying out the restaurant together.

“I like your….”

Who doesn’t like a compliment? “Whether it's their smile, sense of style, or appreciation of an achievement they’ve shared, a thoughtful compliment sets a positive tone for the rest of the conversation,” says Hathorn.

“Choose something that sets you apart from the rest, by focusing on something that sets them apart from the rest. What caught your eye? Why are you sending this message in the first place? Tell them, and don’t be afraid to be witty or controversial." Well, controversial in a good way…

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