The importance of conversation is easily one of the most overlooked aspects of dating, especially in the gay world (where dating can be super bleak as it is).
But if you want coffee to turn into a future dinner date with TwinkLover45, it might be wise to review the ingredients for good conversation.
Let’s define the problem.
In Gustave Flaubert’s near-perfect novel Madame Bovary, the narrator describes Charles Bovary, the boring-ass husband of the protagonist, Emma Bovary, as the following:
Charles’s conversation was as flat as sidewalk, a place of passage for the ideas of everyman; they wore drab everyday clothes, and they inspired neither laughter nor dreams.
Harsh words, sure. But haven’t we all been there? We all know what flat conversation looks like, what it sounds like, and what it feels like. This is probably 90% of all Grindr dates, right? No wonder so many dates morph into hookups; we can’t stand to hear him bitch about his ex (okay he probably is crazy), or brag about his startup (that’ll probably fail in two months), or go on and on about how Laganja Estranja was an underrated queen (she wasn’t — she was rated just fine, thanks). Or, maybe he says nothing, and so we’re left with no alternative except to fill the silence with, well, sex.
He isn’t always the problem.
Let’s take a lesson from Katya:
The first rule of good conversation is to ensure that you, yourself, are interesting. If you don’t like that his conversation is “as flat as sidewalk” or that it fails to inspire “laughter [or] dreams,” then remember that it takes two to tango, mama, and fix the situation.
How to be interesting (okay, that’s ambitious):
The key to being interesting is to do, see, read, view, and think about interesting things. “Interests” are subjective, of course, but the quality of “being interesting” relates to the degree to which those around you enjoy being around you. This has nothing to do with IQ. We’re human beings who interact with the world, and this will inevitably result in some opinions, perceptions, and/or ideas. You don’t need a degree in English to chat about books, just like you don’t need a PhD in film studies to see that RuPaul’s Drag Race is the most radical form of television available nowadays.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said that “life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.” We all hate both, but pain is more or less out of our hands, whereas boredom can be controlled by cultivating yourself to be interesting and to be interested in others.
So, you need to have an interest or a passion, and preferably lots of them. You’ll be really interesting to someone if you can take your interests and find where they meet the other person’s. They like some band? Where do your music tastes overlap? They like some movie? Well, do you like it too? What about something similar? Educate yourself on things that matter to you. Always be curious.
Conversation, like life, is about connections. People want to feel validated, and you do as well. So, work together. And, hey, if that shared interest is simply (a) dick or (b) shirtless Chris Hemsworth, then you probably aren’t meant to be together. But at least try to make the pillow talk bearable after he cums on your back, darlings.
Any conversation tips? Tweet us @GayBoyBible