DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been in kind of a dating slump. I can't seem to get a call back, and all the dates I go on have lagging and awkward conversations. I dread having to think of things to say, but I don't know how to be inquisitive without seeming nosy. I know I need to up my game because a girl told me she was a "little bored" after a date once. This bummed me out, and I know I need to work on my conversational skills. How do I knock a date out of the park? -- Losing the Game, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR LOSING THE GAME: When you invite someone out on a date, you can ask what she's interested in and select an activity that requires action instead of only talking, like bowling, skating or rock climbing. This way, you have something to talk about that's built into your date.
In terms of actual conversation, people usually like to talk about themselves. Ask questions that get your date to open up. You can ask about what she likes to do for fun, what her favorite anything is -- book, movie, video game, cuisine. Ask her about her family, her work, her friends. When she asks you questions, answer them. If you can tell stories that illustrate your thoughts rather than one-word answers, she will be interested.