Monday, January 18, 2016

Modern Love: The End of Small Talk

I loved this recent Modern Love column by Tim Boomer about dating and small talk. I have friends who meet people through dating apps/mutual friends/random encounters and they all say some variation of the same thing: 
Small talk is tedious. Awkward. It doesn't allow you to get to know somebody well at all.

I wonder how different things would be if we were introduced to someone and jumped right into the  "bigger" topics.

"Why can’t we replace small talk with big talk and ask each other profound questions right from the start? Replace mindless chatter about commuting times with a conversation about our weightiest beliefs and most potent fears? Questions that reveal who we are and where we want to go?"


  1. I think because that would be just as awkward. How many times have you run into someone who started talking about personal issues and beliefs right away and all you wanted to do was slink away?
    Small talk is still a good starting point. After that, then we'll know if we want to share more with that individual.

    1. That's a good point, Alex. I see what you're saying about people revealing too much, too soon. Thanks :)

    2. I'm a private person, so that's just how I think.
      And sent you an email about helping me as a Ninja Minion for the A to Z Challenge - let me know!

  2. It takes time to build up trust so that you can reveal your deeper thoughts. But I love this as a short story idea--someone who decides to dispense with small talk and see what happens!

    I suspect co-conversationists might withdraw, because our unspoken rules of communication dictates one shares certain things with a certain circle of intimates, not just anyone.

  3. I love the idea of skipping over small talk, but it's seemingly one of those "rules" that freak people out when you try to break it.

  4. When I was a single girl, small talk didn't last for long with potential suitors. There was no way I was developing emotions for a guy who wouldn't be able to tolerate my need for physical assistance or stand me after knowing more. It is a terrible thing to hear, "you expect me to do what?" or simply "you're disgusting" from someone you envision a future with.

    Ahhh, the differences disability can make!

    Anthony Doerr: 'I grew up where to call yourself a writer would be pretentious'