Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021


5 Tips to Be a Better Listener – Dating Advice


(Online Dating Newsletter – Dating Advice)

Dear Dating Advice,

I tend to talk a lot and that makes for not very many second dates. Do you have any tips to help me become a better listener?

The good news for you is that there is hope because you know you have a problem and you’re seeking out a solution. On most dates, one person excessively talking more than the other is a turnoff to the one that never gets a chance to talk. For years you’ve spent your time focusing on yourself when out with another person. Now it’s time to learn to change your focus so that it is on other people. Memorize and practice the following five tips. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the more you practice these tips at becoming a better listener, the more natural it will become.

Here are 5 tips to becoming a better listener:

1) Be the one asking questions.People who excessively talk about themselves have one thing in common; they don’t ask questions. And the reason they don’t ask questions is because they are too busy talking about themselves! Before your date, read any communications you’ve had with the person you are going out with and devise a list of questions to ask. Now force yourself to ask those questions during the date.

2) Ask follow-up questions. This tip is key to helping you overcome your problem with talking to much. I used to teach journalism at the high school level and one thing I had to teach was the art of asking followup questions. Followup questions allow you to get to know a person and situation more in-depth. In this case, learning to ask followup questions forces you to focus more on what the person is saying. And when you’re focused on what the person you are listening to is saying then you are less focused on what you’re going to say next. Make it a habit to ask followup questions based on what your date (or the person you are listening to) says.

3) Validate your date’s comments. You don’t have to agree with everything your date says, but validating what he/she does say will make them impressed with your ability to understand them. Validating what they say means that you are acknowledging the worthiness of their comments. This is done both through body language and comments you make on what they say. Sitting cross-armed invalidates your date’s comments. Leaning forward, nodding when appropriate, and looking the person in the eyes helps validate what they are saying. Part of validation also goes to how you handle a disagreement (usually in relationships as opposed to first dates). For example, saying “you’re wrong” invalidates what the person said whereas, “you make a good point. I’ve felt, though that _____” validates what they said while allowing you to make your point too.

4) Lean forward and make eye contact. When your date is talking, lean slightly forward and make eye contact with your date. This will help you focus on what your date is saying.

5) Don’t interrupt. No matter how bad the urge, don’t interrupt what your date is saying. Many people who talk a lot also tend to interrupt a lot. Practice never interrupting and if you catch yourself doing it, apologize and ask your date to continue.

As you practice the above tips you’ll become a much better listener and more desirable person because of your listening skills.

About Dear Dating Advice
Dear Dating Advice is a weekly column. If you have a question for Dear Dating Advice then send it to with “Dear Dating Advice” in the subject header.

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4 Responses to “5 Tips to Be a Better Listener – Dating Advice”
  1. Asti says:

    I think the last advice is the most important one. I really hate to be interrupted when I’m talking, it’s like the other person in not even listening to you and I really hate to talk to my self :(

  2. presli says:

    Asti i totally agree with you – to be interrupted really sucks, especially when the person with who you are talking is doing that a lot, not just one time mistake! Anyway, i kinda feel like i am one of the people who talk a lot and really likes to talk, no matter if the people to who you are talking are interested in what you are saying or not :D Of course i am trying to be entartaining with what i am saying, but sometimes thats not enought. Anyway i realise that i talk too much sometimes, but i am trying to fix this those days … :)

  3. krm25 says:

    The best advise from the list is number 3. WHY ? Because you must sustain your point of view with solid arguments and you don’t have to be agree with what your date says.

  4. Rhonda says:

    Listening is a skill that many people never develop. They hear but they don’t really listen. Having good listening skills is beneficial in all areas of life, not just for dating.

    Great list!

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