Laws of Conversation

A casual observation of a tremendously boring date. I think this is the only useful conclusion to come out of that evening.

I went out with a guy I met through a website a few days ago. We didn’t get a great start, because he seemed incredibly nervous, and we just couldn’t get a conversation going. While this might be less noteworthy for other people, for me this is somewhat of an exception. I don’t want to sound conceited, and I’m fully aware that this is a double-edged sword, but I sure talk a lot. I’m naturally bubbly and uninhibited, and under normal circumstances can hold enough conversation for several people. While possibly annoying when in a group of people, it’s a blessing when on a date – I tend to fill all the awkward silences with my babbling.

However, this time even my stream of consciousness completely failed me. Every time I started to veer off into an anecdote, he interrupted me and pointed out the single most boring fact about this story. Case in point my hilarious story about how I cycled into a lamppost when I was younger, resulting in severe concussion and a seriously cool scar. This could have been the start for several possible chats about childhood stupidity, medical horrors, scar comparisons or emergency care provision in different countries.

His take on it? “I used to cycle to work, too.”

After two hours, I left exasperatedly. When my friend asked me how it went, I tried to sum up how boring the evening really was. The best I could come up with was: we talked a lot about how much we used to go out when we were at university. And then I realised that this is an excellent gauge of how much you’re connecting with someone.

If you have to resort to stories about how drunk you were at uni, then the conversation is not going well.

Stories about drunken antics at uni are fine, but I think we all know that they are the lowest common denominator (or more accurately the greatest common divisor). These stories are not sign of a unique connection, but rather an acknowledgement that yes, we’re both human, drink alcohol and have been to uni at one point. They are thus what you can resort to with any middle-class uni graduate between 20 and 35, even if you have nothing else in common.

If this is all the two of you got, you might as well leave the pub now. Except you probably don’t dare to, so better brush up that story of this awesome house party in your second year.



Filed under General, Rules

2 responses to “Laws of Conversation

  1. I love you. I love your stories. I wish I could sit down and hear this first-hand. But then again; you write so well that it’s totally worth while reading it.

    And being as rude as I am I think I would take the first possible opportunity to just leave the scene, in a fairly polite but also non-negotiable way. I mean; life’s to short for everlasting bad dates 😉

  2. Steve

    Sounds pretty dreadful. The flipside to this is the shy guy who takes a bit to come out of his shell, but who is relegated to chipping in on someone else’s reminiscences…

    I can’t help but wonder if he went home and told his friends about the dreadful date with the girl who wouldn’t stop talking. 😉

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