Whenever you flirt or chat with a date (either online or in person), it’s always important not to “interview” your match by asking too many consecutive questions. Instead, you should try to lead the conversation in a direction that emotionally connects the two of you. There’s a simple technique for better connecting with a prospective partner on an emotional level: respond to the emotional content of what they say, rather than the factual content.
For example, if your match says: “I went skydiving once.”
An example of a fact-based response would be: “Cool. My friend is a professional skydiver.”
An example of an emotion-based response would be: “That’s great. I like when people are adventurous enough to step outside their everyday comfort zone. How did you feel right after you jumped?”
When your match tells you something about herself, she communicates both factual content (i.e. that she went skydiving) and emotional content (i.e. she is adventurous and loves fun). If you respond with a fact about yourself (especially one that “one-ups” her story), it won’t make her feel like you are connecting. If you acknowledge that she is trying to share an emotion and lead the conversation in that direction, the two of you will build a much deeper connection.
People can often get this wrong. When we speak to each other, competition is natural. It connects people to each other and establishes power relationships. But when couples do it to each other, it feels cold and disconnected.
Take a look at the following statements someone may write to you. What’s the fact-based response you could give? What’s the better, emotion-based response you could give?
Example 1: “I traveled all by myself once to Spain for two weeks.”
Example 2: “The last book I read was a novel about a woman who is torn between two men.”
Example 3: “My mother always tells me that I’m too impatient, and if I’m more patient I will get more of what I want.”
Practice this technique and you’ll find that your conversations leave both of you feeling more connected.