Should You Let Her Do All the Talking?

Talk to WomenYou don’t need a college degree to talk to women, but when you’re first getting to know a woman, it can be difficult to determine how much time you should spend talking to her and how much time you should spend listening.  If you are unsure about how much talking you need to do in these situations, the points below will help point you in the right direction.

Aim for 50/50
As a general rule you want to aim for a 50/50 split when you talk with women.  Look to talk about half the time and let her talk the other half.  This is just a rough guide to ensure you are both engaged and given the chance to contribute to in the conversation.  If she is shy or reserved, you may need to talk a bit more, especially at first.  If she is “a talker”, you can sit just sit back and let her go (more details on how to handle these situations below).

Starting the conversation off light
This 50/50 split is especially important when you first talk to a woman – be it on your initial approach or when you first meet her on your date.  Why?  Because in these moments the best thing to do is often to relieve any nervous tension and get things started on a positive note by using playful banter.  And at its best, banter is very much a back-and-forth, where both you and the woman are equally engaged.

A lot of guys mess up here.  They see the beginning of a meeting as their chance to “put on a show” and let the girl see how funny/clever/awesome they are.  But when you talk to women with banter you want to be less like a “stand-up comedian” putting on a show, and more like an “improve” performer who gets those around him engaged and contributing.  When she is a part of the fun, playful conversation – and not just an observer – she will enjoy it and you that much more.

Create a connection
A common mistake guys make when they talk to women is thinking that just because they had a long, non-stop conversation that the woman must be interested.  But more important than length is the level of engagement.  It’s not enough for you both to be talking; you have got to connect on a deeper level.

What can you do to reach that deeper level of connection?  Add emotional content into what you say.  For example don’t just talk to women about what you do for work/fun, tell the woman what you love about the work/activities you do.  Let her know what they mean to you and why you see them as important (Now, if you hate your job and are too busy for anything fun, you can always talk about the work/activities that you would want to do and would enjoy doing.)

Creating emotional connection isn’t just about you opening up emotionally, but having her do the same.  So you want to ask questions that make it easy for her to do so.  For example, rather than just asking “Where are you from?” and then moving on to the next topic, go a bit deeper.  Find out what her life was like growing up, what kind of trouble she got into as a kid, etc.  This kind of conversation will get her more emotionally engaged, and you’ll create a stronger connection than you would by just sharing superficial details of your lives.

If she doesn’t talk…
You might find the women you talk to is hesitant to open up.  If that’s the case here are three things you can do to help get her going:

  1. Switch gears and go back into playful banter.  She may just need a bit more time to feel comfortable with you before she’s willing to share anything emotional with you.
  2. Go first.  Tell her about your own childhood and what you were like as a kid before asking her to do the same.  By going first you show it is safe for her to share this kind of information.  She’ll also feel more compelled to share since it is now “her turn”.
  3. Let her know why you are asking what you are asking.  It can often help her feel more comfortable (it won’t feel like you are “prying”) if you briefly let her know why you are interested in hearing more about her.  (Even if the reason is as simple as you just wanting to learn more about her.)

If she’s talking non-stop
If you are on a date with a “talker” who monopolizes the conversation, often the best thing you can do is simply let her talk.  Let her share as much as she cares to and just be there to listen and validate what she says (you don’t have to agree, just accept her and the feelings/thoughts she has).  Just by keeping your mouth shut and listening she can start to see you as someone who really “gets” her, and she’ll feel that much more connected to you.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help ensure you really are the guy who “gets” her:

  • Don’t interrupt her.  Show you value her and what she has to say by giving her the chance to express herself without interruption.  (Cutting her off to tell a funny story of your own can actually kill the attraction in these situations).
  • Repeat the words she uses back to her.  If she is telling you a story and says how it was a “fulfilling experience”, reflect that back by saying something like “Wow, that does sound like it would be a fulfilling experience”.  Using the same words she uses is a way to understand what she is talking about the same way that she understands it.  It will show that you really do “get” and understand her.

Really listen.  Don’t worry about the awesome thing you will say next or how you will respond.  All that does is pull you out of the moment and kill the connection.  So let all that go and just stay engaged, interested, and curious about what she has to say.

Brian M - author of 191 posts on The Art of Charm

Once he realized attraction was something he could learn, Brian spent way too much of his free time studying and practicing everything he could find on the subject. He stumbled across The Art of Charm podcast and eventually signed up for an AoC bootcamp. Excited by the progress he's made in his own life since the program, he decided to start writing for AoC to help other guys do the same. By writing about interpersonal dynamics, he’s finally able to put that psychology degree to good use.

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in Art of Dating, Building A Connection

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