3 Ways to Keep the Conversation Flowing On a First Date

You did it! You’ve met someone great on Plenty of Fish, had amazing conversation online and are ready to meet in person, awesome. Unfortunately, sometimes the difficult parts about dating aren’t even in finding a person, but finding how to actually connect with another person. Witty banter, charm, and a relaxed flow of conversation are not things that can be faked IRL. Often times – even when you know you would hit it off with your date – your nerves inhibit you from carrying on a thriving conversation. But, here’s a secret, you can be yourself on a first date despite those inevitable nagging nerves. Down with the awkward silence!


The easiest way to speak freely is to speak about things that you like. Duh, right? I used to keep a self-serving question in my dating arsenal that would help me determine further interest in my date; It was arrogant, but worked. I would either ask “what are reading right now?” or “what are you listening to right now?” Books and music are topics of interest to me, finding out what my date is interested in helped me relate to them. If things are going well and the other person had an answer (probable) it would spawn another conversation and another and another.

Don’t feel shy to give anecdotes about your life. The idea is to get to know each other; you probably aren’t talking about yourself as much as you are stressed about talking about yourself too much. Giving specific details to the plot of a story you’re telling will create imagery that in turn helps the other person engage with you. Extra points if the story happens to be fun. Laughing is a great way to ease up.


Just as it’s easiest for you to speak about your own experience, it’s equally as simple for someone else to do the same, give them a chance to. Listen when your date is talking. No, not that half-listening we all enter into once in awhile where we are preparing the next thing we’re going to say while the other person is still speaking. Really listen. When you genuinely listen to another person speak it provides the opportunity to naturally fall into a more empathetic listening mode. Also, ask questions. Not only will this help in keeping the conversation rolling, you will learn so much about your date. And, isn’t that the point?


Dating should always be fun; make comments about your surroundings, poke fun (with caution) at yourself and your date, laugh, acknowledge that you’re nervous – it’s all ok. Remaining calm, cool and collected is a feat easier said than done, I know. Dating can be intimidating, especially when you feel there might be a spark. A good way to avoid getting caught up in your thoughts, and acting out of character on a first date is to remember: You are interesting! Take a second to give yourself a confidence boost. This person is on a date with you.

Best Vacation Ideas for New Couples

Ah, the start of a new romance. It’s a wondrous stage wherein you feel that you’re the first two people to have found love in the history of the world. You’ve taken all the first steps; stayed up too late talking about your childhood, meeting the parents, sex with the lights on. What a time to be alive! This may be well and good, but you’re ready to level up, dammit. You feel comfortable, secure in your newfound relationship bliss that the inevitable next step is to plan a trip.

Unbeknownst to the newly swooned, a vacation can be the best or worst thing for a new couple, it’s all in how you navigate it. You want to avoid testing the relationship, but it will surely be put to the test. You want to get out of your comfort zone, yet desire the effortlessness you feel with one another at home. From the honeymoon stage to falling in love to getting comfortable these tried vacation ideas are here for you.


Suggested for: The Hungry History Buffs

It’s true, Barcelona is as blissful as rumors suggest. A city that oozes charm, Barcelona is the perfect destination for a new couple. The views and the culture will amaze you! Stroll the streets of the Gothic Quarter, taking frequent tapas breaks. Shop with a gelato in hand on Las Ramblas. Revel in the pivotal, grandeur of the architecture. Go full tourist by jumping on a Hop On- Hop Off bus tour to see the city in its entirety. Be sure to take a night walking tour of the city where you will learn about Barcelona’s history, with a few ghost stories sprinkled in for good measure. And, definitely end off an evening by drinking cheap wine accompanied by fantastic live music at the Harlem Jazz Club. If you needed any more convincing, Barcelona is also a city that believes in the siesta, need I say more?


Suggested for: The Adventurous Couple

Remember those early first dates? The time your SO treated you to the best pho in the city? Now it’s time to try the OG. Starting in the south of Vietnam, procure yourself a sturdy motorbike. Travel through the towns of the Mekong Delta eventually making your way to Ho Chi Minh city to take in the rich culture of Vietnam. Pick up new hobbies, like kiteboarding in Mui Ne, snorkeling or scuba diving in Nha Trang. Using a bicycle as transportation, explore the charming town of Hoi An where you can also drink snake wine by night and have clothes made by day. Let yourself get lost in the overwhelming, bustling streets of Hanoi. Put your motorbike to the test as you ride the ever winding roads that make up the Hai Van Pass. All this before completing your journey in the Northern town of Sa Pa, where you can trek in Lord of the Rings-worthy mountains with the opportunity to stay with a welcoming Hmong Tribe family.


Suggested for: The Relaxation Seekers

Three syllables: treat yo-self. The all-inclusive exists for a reason, take advantage! Beaches – like the people – in Cuba are some of the best around. Enjoy Cuban cocktails with a side of clear water and more sun than you know what to do with. But, don’t hesitate to leave your resort. While iconic towns like Havana are worthy of a lengthy visit, Varadero is also a wonderful place to stop by. You can look forward to unexpected live music, handmade artistry, and the coolest car sightings. Bonus: if you catch wind that the Buena Vista Social Club is playing at a city nearby, take it as a sign that that is what you are meant to do that evening.


Suggested for: The Nature Lovers

The second largest country in the world, but the most beautiful. OK, yes, I’m completely biased. One of the (many) amazing things about Canada is the difference in scenery from province to province. Equally beautiful, the West and East Coasts vary in basic culture. If you are looking to see some of the West, the Canadian Rockies are a must. With an expansive opportunity to hike and see wildlife, explore in awe the jaw-dropping natural beauty of Canada on the Icefields Parkway. Banff is home to some of the most electric blue lakes in Canada. If you get your energy from nature, the Canadian Rockies will definitely excite you. A stunning, romantic vacation for the nature loving couple.

Top 5 Netflix Shows to Bond With Your Partner Over

I think we can all agree that the most difficult part about a relationship isn’t the sacrifices, or anxiety, or cohabitating. It’s deciding what to watch on TV, obviously. Picture it, the idyllic night in, involving all the staples: a cozy blanket, your University hoodie, a glass bottle of wine, a bowl of popcorn with melted butter on top (because YO-freakin’-LO), and your partner in comfy town. The only thing this coveted situation is in need of is something to watch. Familiar classics like Friends or The Office will satiate you for a time but before long one of you will be scrolling through Instagram or asleep before Ross even finds out about Monica and Chandler. This is a slippery slope indeed, a choose your own adventure of sorts.

The most ideal way to navigate your Netflix queue with your partner is to consult The Trifecta of Bingeworthiness (patent pending). Preparing to glue your eyeballs to the TV for an undetermined amount of time is like finding the one. In order to avoid making a frivolous decision, the answer to the following three questions must be a resounding YES:

1 – Can you assume that the characters will hold your attention for more than a few episodes?

2 – Does more than one season of the show in question exist?

3 – Does it have the ability to spark interesting conversation between you and your SO post viewing?

Of all the programs, in all of Netflix, let these walk into your List.

Black Mirror

If non-stop captivation and post viewing discussion revolving around human nature are your thing, Black Mirror is the ticket. This nearly unavoidable anthology centres around science fiction, dystopian futures, and moral ethical dilemmas. With four seasons of no more than 6 episodes per season, each averaging 60 minutes in length, it is an excellent recipe for binge-watching.

This is Us

I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but if you have not yet let the Pearson family into your living room, what are you even doing? This real, emotional, loveable show requires a box of Kleenex, and someone sweet to watch it with. Get ready to fall in love with every character on This is Us, they are all hashtag goals. (Except teenage Kevin – he’s a brat. You’ll understand once you watch). Fair warning, after seeing the kind of man Jack is, the marriage Randall and Beth have, and the sibling relationship between Kevin and Kate, you’ll be holding your nearest and dearest to a whole new standard.

The Good Place

At the off chance that you aren’t following Kristen Bell on Instagram or the more probable chance that you don’t have cable, prior to being added to Netflix you may not have heard about a gem called The Good Place. Come for the scintillating take on the afterlife, stay for the Eleanor (Kristen Bell) flashbacks – they’re “forkin’” great.


Formerly called Scrotal Recall (I’m not joking), Lovesick is the most underrated show on Netflix. It has everything; awkwardness, multiple and intertwining love stories, and a wicked soundtrack (Alt-J, Metronomy, Django Django…). Following the lives of three best friends – specifically one’s sordid sexual past, Lovesick manages to tackle subject matter in the most refreshingly relatable, down to earth way. This British sitcom is impossible not to love.

The Last Man on Earth

Will Forte is basically the newest version of a Michael Scott-esque (The Office) character and it is excellent. He is the right amount of cringey; you hate him, yet find yourself rooting for him. The Last Man on Earth is a comedy full of holes, nothing about it is realistic and that is what works. It dances on the line of dry and slapstick in a way that will make you literally laugh out loud. On paper, it may not seem that appealing, but I dare you to just watch one episode – spoiler alert: you can’t.

Love Lessons Learned From Broad City’s Fourth Season

As we all sit in mourning because the recent season of one of the most brilliant comedic programs – Broad City – has come to an end, it’s imperative to reflect on the lessons learned alongside the protagonists, Abbi and Ilana. The fourth season of Broad City, which aired in September on Comedy Central, took the regular comedic tone of the show and turned it on its head; more character growth, further topical discussion, and of course, life lessons. Each season, viewers garner a deeper insight into Abbi and Ilana’s relationship. This season, within the heavy supply of empowering material, Abbi and Ilana (the creators, not the characters) were sure to throw in some low key lessons of love as well – enthusiastically leading us to explore them.

Ep. 02: Twaining Day

Lesson: Don’t force something that isn’t there.

Man, I feel like Abbi and Trey’s secret turned not-so-secret relationship just started. Though Trey was smitten with Abbi, the two didn’t share the same level of infatuation. Abbi confused lust for romantic longing, inevitably creating an awkward situation between her and the Garden State superfan. Their re-run relationship was bound to fail. You can’t force feelings.

Ep. 03: Just the Tips

Lesson: There is never a need to rush into anything.

After being accused of “not being a relationship person,” Abbi’s insecurities lead her to mentally jump into a relationship that isn’t there. After seeing Mike for a mere 6 days, Abbi convinces herself that she is not only in a long term relationship, but is now a relationship guru. In this episode we learn that you never need to rush into anything romantically. Also, giving relationship advice when you’re fresh into one can sometimes be pretty dang creepy.

Ep. 04: Mushrooms

Lesson: Respect your body’s process.

When Ilana is faced with her ideal situation – being approached by an open minded couple for a threesome, of course – her body doesn’t respond the way she wants it to; she can’t figure out why her body isn’t quite as excited about the experience as her mind is. After some trials (and tribulations), Ilana and the couple come to realize that it’s not going to work. This is just another subtle reminder to trust your body; it knows what’s up, sometimes before your mind does.

Ep. 06: Witches

Lesson: Celebrate your sexuality.

There is something affecting Ilana which is preventing her from performing sexually, the way she is used to. After a visit with a sex therapist it is revealed that the source of her sexual angst lays in the results of the American presidential election. Sexuality shouldn’t be a realm of negativity; never let anything big or small stand in the way of your sexual pleasure!

Ep. 08: House-Sitting

Lesson: If a situation feels hazardous, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Abbi reconnects with one of her high school teachers, making her feel a tinge uneasy. The two agree to spend the evening together on a first date of sorts, but along the way red flags are revealed about the teacher which Abbi questions, and ignores. If you feel uneasy, always trust your gut.

Ep. 08: House-Sitting

Lesson: Check in with your SO; treat the relationship as it grows.

Lincoln + Ilana 4ever! Our favourite TV dentist by day, pasta connoisseur by night,  Lincoln and half of BC’s witchy heroine team, Ilana, have finally solidified the bounds of their enigmatic connection. From what we have gathered in the first three seasons of Broad City, Ilana doesn’t have much experience in the realm of serious relationships (aside from her friendship with Abbi). As such, when she is finally able to call Lincoln her “boyfriend” she takes it on and wears it as a badge of honour, embracing it probably too fully. In one night they manage to go from the relationship highs (dressing up, showing each other off), to the getting comfy stage (a farting contest – more or less), to the lows (fear of being too comfortable, lack of sex). It’s great that Ilana is at the ready to recharge the relationship by being creative – even if it is unwarranted. But, Lincoln’s advice is what we’re here for. He reminds her that it’s important to check in with one another and take things step by step, at your own pace. That Lincoln, so wise.

How to Compliment a Woman (Without Mentioning Her Looks)

Here’s the thing. We all love a good compliment from the right person. Heck, we love a good compliment from any person. I’m sure there are people out there in the world that don’t get a small high from being complimented – I have yet to meet them. But, here’s the other thing. So often women are primarily given compliments centered around the way that they look (mind blowing, right?!) Which, if we’re all being honest, can be great; it’s a good thing to take pride in the way that you look and when that is recognized, it feels good – flaunt your stuff!

However, the way we look is predominantly a result of our genetic makeup, and not something the average individual had too much of a hand into creating. There are so many other interesting facets that contribute to the person a woman is. Certain attributes that she has cultivated in all her years of life that make her unique. These are the things worth highlighting when paying a woman a compliment. The list could go on forever, but these few attributes are a great place to start:

Her Sense of Humor

There is something extra special about a woman with a sharp wit. If a woman can make you laugh, let her know. Being a funny person takes intelligence, it’s not easy to be funny. Or, maybe she isn’t the funniest, rather, the kind of person that can take a joke, or is generally jovial – it’s worth acknowledging.

Her Intelligence

There is probably nothing sexier than when a person can acknowledge your brain! Your intelligence is who you are. It’s what you know, what you remember, how analytical, or inquisitive you are and ultimately how well you represent that. When you recognize a woman’s intelligence above her looks, you are truly recognizing her.

Her Creativity

Not everyone is born with a creative mind. Not every person has the capacity to creatively articulate a message or a feeling. Not all creativity takes the form of art. A woman full of ideas leading her to be creative in whatever realm, should be told. And often – why not?

Her Taste

You know what never gets tiring? Hearing you have great taste in music or movies or food or TV shows. These are areas of passion. Being accredited for having excellent taste in a certain domain where you exude a level fervor  will inevitably make a person feel like an expert. And, who doesn’t like feeling like an expert?

How Friendly or Kind She Is

Whether a woman is the life of the party or quietly conversational to everyone she is around, it is worth noting. In our confusing world, it’s refreshing to be around people willing to be kind first. If you find yourself in the company of a woman who is good natured and friendly, let her know.

Her Life Experience

As humans, we’ve all inevitably lived both similar and wildly contrasting lives – all of which are interesting. When hearing about a woman’s life (positive or negative), rather than try to one-up her or even immediately relate to her experience, commend her for the life she has lived.