When you are in the dating scene certain questions can get repetitive. Are you a cat or a dog person? What’s your favorite food? Do you prefer hot or cold weather? …the list goes on.

I like to challenge my date by seeing how well they can hold up a conversation about current affairs, such as the craze for crypto currency or their thoughts on the influence of social media on well being. This is when those repetitive questions and answers fade away and the conversation is replaced by a discussion where you can learn about areas of a topic you might not be familiar with, a perspective you haven’t thought about before or ideally find out that have similar views.

I am not saying avoid the small talk and cut straight to Trump’s latest headline-grabbing statement, the conversation always needs warming up first, but there are a few points of entry during a conversation where you can steer it into deeper waters. When my date starts talking about something they are interested in, maybe a project at work, but are very brief and vague because “they don’t want to bore me”, I always say, “Try me, if you are passionate about it you will make it sounds interesting”. Hearing someone talk about their passion can make them start to look extremely attractive! Or, when you get asked what sort of TV you watch, that is your queue to talk about the latest documentary you have watched, or piece of news that caught your attention. It impresses me when a guy says, “I was reading about that the other day,” or, “…I did see in the news about that, did you see that article about…”. I know the date won’t last if the guy shrugs his shoulders and says, “Don’t know much about that to be honest”. This shows little open mindedness or interest in their date. Complete turn off!

Getting in to a discussion about a topic you both find intriguing can very quickly helps you suss out how your date reacts to being challenged as well as letting them know you are not going to go along with what they say necessarily, but you may actually have a different view. Crucially, it tells you if that person is open minded to other opinions and it can also show them that you have that mentality as well.

Hearing someone’s opinion on current affairs begins the process of scratching beneath the surface, as most people’s opinion will come from experiences they have had, moments of self-reflection or what other people they surround themselves have to say. Little by little it will help you build a more in-depth image of that person as they open up and begin to reveal more detail about themselves, molding in to a personality you can become attracted to through their way of looking at the world, not the number of superficial compliments they tried to woo you with.