If you have a crush on someone, you can suddenly find yourself filled with an overwhelming urge to talk to them, to say something, anything – and yet you wound up saying nothing instead.
After all, your nagging sense of self-doubt chides, what would you talk about in the first place?
This is an all too common response to not just dating-related stress, but stress in general. Too often we internalize the source of our doubts and frustrations and do what is known as “catastrophizing” – starting from tiny problems and building them up in our minds into insurmountable ones.
In reality, there are many things to talk about with your crush. Many of the items on this list are such clear and obvious choices that you’ve probably thought of them before, but have perhaps discarded them due to that aforementioned catastrophizing sense of fear and self-doubt.
6 Things To Talk About With Your Crush
1. Favorite Movies, Books, and Shows
One of the most obvious routes you could take is to talk about your favorite movies, books, and shows.
The answers could reveal something telling about their personality, or at the very least some greater underlying “likes” of theirs which can help guide social interaction with them going forward.
For example, if they’re the kind of person who’s into E.M. Forster, Jane Austen, Cranford, and Downton Abbey, chances are good that they’ve got a bit of a thing for English period dramas. From there, you can ask what about this niche appeals to them in particular – the romance, themes, history, culture, or perhaps all of the above?
On the other hand, maybe your crush couldn’t tell a Bronte from a Brideshead Revisited adaptation, but they’ve spent years now Keeping Up with the Kardashians, seeing if America’s Got Talent, and dying to enter The Great British Bake Off. That naturally doesn’t mean that your crush can’t complain equally about Kitty Bennet and Khloe Kardashian (in fact, there are probably more Annoying Little Sister parallels there than we’d like to admit). Nevertheless, having a gauge on your crush’s literary, cinematic, and television loves and hates can give you an engaging and often safe starting place for banter.
The risk with questions such as these, of course, is at least twofold.
First, there’s the risk that you’ll come off sounding less like a person and more like a dating profile. In a world where we all use social media and dating apps such as Tinder, listing likes and dislikes alone just isn’t what it used to be. There is also the classic fear that the person in question might not share the same likes as you.
To the latter point, it’s perfectly okay to have different likes and dislikes from your crush. In fact, it’d be boring (and borderline narcissistic) if you had a crush on someone who was exactly like you. That said, you still want to find common ground to try and get a conversation going, so if the first few books, films, or TV choices here fall flat, be open to the idea of trying one of the things they really love. Showing that kind of openness to their passions early on can be a great way to communicate to your crush that you’re looking for more than a cheap fling.
And, if that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always…
2. Hated Movies, Books, and Shows
For as fun as it might be to talk about your favorite movies, books, and shows, indulging in a mutually shared hate fest can be fun and surprisingly cathartic and bonding as well. There’s a reason why Bad Movie Nights are a thing, after all. In fact, if you’re looking to make this Crush Conversation Starter into an “event,” and your crush is game, having a Bad Movie Date Night might not be a bad idea.
Pick a couple of your favorite bad movies, snag some popcorn, dim the lights, and laugh and jeer yourselves silly.
There’s a method to this madness. Part of the reason why comedy is such an important social force is the fact that it demonstrates that we are all “in on the joke.” Being able to show that we share a sense of social understanding is vital for building bonds of trust.
Showing your date that you find the same stupid lines, bad acting, horrible writing, and other signs of cinematic failure as hilarious as they do can be a subtle way of showing that you understand them.
3. Political Leanings
This is a topic which naturally requires a delicate touch. On the one hand, if you and your partner feel the same way about Trump, Brexit, and other hot button topics of our time, congratulations – you have a natural conversation starter and, given how passionately people feel about those topics one way or the other, you can probably milk quite a bit of talking time out of them. On the other hand, if you differ on these matters, you’ll want to pump the brakes and hard for the exact same reason.
As with entertainment and cultural tastes, there’s nothing wrong with having different political views. They weren’t romantically inclined, but it’s still moving in our era of hyper-partisanship to remember that Catholic hardline-conservative patriarch Antonin Scalia and Jewish crusading-liberal feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg were totally opposed ideologically – and two of the warmest and closest colleagues and friends in the history of the Supreme Court.
We should all be so lucky and open-minded as them.
That said, neither of them weaponized their contradictory views towards one another on a personal level. If you’re going to talk politics and come at it from a different side of the aisle from someone, let alone your crush, you can’t take a Democrat versus Republican, Labour versus Tory, Fox and Sky versus MSNBC and BBC, false binary view of False-Good versus False-evil. Instead, you both need to be very respectful and willing to understand, if not accept, one another’s views.
4. Musical Tastes
One thing that brought Scalia and Ginsburg together was music. The two were huge fans of the opera, so much so that they once appeared in cameo performances in a D.C. opera together.
If music can bridge the gap between Liberals and Conservatives, it has to be one of the great uniting things to talk about with your crush, right?
Well, here again we run into that whole “what if they don’t share my interests?” question. While most people can accept the fact that not everyone will like their favorite band or genre of music, you still need to be able to rebound from a disagreement.
A great way to do that? Ask if you can listen to the song or artist in question with them. Even if it doesn’t change your mind, it shows a level of engagement on your part which most people aren’t willing to show when they reject someone else’s musical tastes.
5. Professional Questions
Is your crush a real Type-A personality who’s married to their work? If so, then a clear conversational opportunity is staring you in the face. Not only is your Type-A crush’s work something about which they’re likely to be greatly passionate, and not only is it good that you’re asking questions about them and their interests, but the combination of the two can give you a real glimpse into what type of person your crush is.
What kind of effect does their work obsession have on them? Is it positive, leaving them feeling more invigorated, excited, and with a sense of accomplishment by the end of the day? Or, is it negative, leaving them a stress case, a rage-aholic, and maybe not “The One” after all?
The answer is likely to lie somewhere in between. You wouldn’t want to be judged on your mood after one or two bad days at the office, and the same applies when evaluating your crush.
No matter their mood, you should always position yourself as a warm, calming, pleasant antidote to their latest Hard Day’s Night at the office.
6. Flirty Questions
Last, but not least, let’s take on that perennial favorite for things to talk about with your crush – flirty topics.
This is something of a Catch-22, actually. To effectively flirt, you need to know where the line is and be able to come right up to it, to be daring without being disrespectful. But, isn’t that the whole point of asking questions – to figure out where that line is in the first place?
This is where knowledge of previous sections comes into play, and why these hotter, more intimate questions should typically be saved for later, after you two have warmed up to one another a bit. Try slipping in hints to topics you’d like to discuss by loading them in a “safe” topic.
For example, if they’re into those period dramas, you can always ask which actors and characters they find “hottest,” and why. (And, even nearly 25 years later, once they inevitably mention Colin Firth’s turn as Mr. Darcy in there, you can sit back and take notes – or ask if they’d like to go for a “swim.” Trust us on that one.)
Knowing the right things to talk about with your crush will, of course, depend on your relation to your crush and what they’re like themselves. Nevertheless, this guide can help give you a head start to trying to find that crush-friendly conversation starter yourself.