Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.
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Anyone have suggestions for getting better at small talk both online and at singles' mixers?
I've learned that the generic icebreakers that you mentioned can be a bit stifling of conversation. On CatholicMatch, you can start by commenting on something that you found interesting on the woman's profile (from their background to their favorite scripture quotes), and then comparing it to those things on your profile. People are always more open to talk about something that they are passionate about, and they'll usually bring that up in their profile. This one might be a bit more hit-or-miss, but you can also try talking about current events too. (It usually helps if she shares your political outlook, though!)
As for the singles' mixers, you can try asking something along the lines of "Did you friends sign you up to this behind your back, too?" or by telling a corny joke or two about singles' mixers. One of my favorites to tell in any situation is "How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice! Hi, my name's..."
Good suggestions Jim. I was going to state the same things and I would add to comment on a particular theme or topic of the night if you are at a social event. It's a good idea when you ask questions to ask those which will require a descriptive answer. Of course questions that will require a yes or no answer are not always avoidable, and you may not even want to avoid those questions, but the other type of questions may most likely lead to a conversation.
I say...yes, comment on anything you can pull out of the girl's profile. Also, then share a piece of your day/life so that she can build off of that when she replies. I think it is fair, too, to humbly admit that you don't feel confident about small talk... Women are often understanding... Happy Thanksgiving all!