Where to begin with this one? With the domination of the Internet, social media, dating apps, online dating sites, along with the dynamic of today’s nosey/exhibitionist culture, it’s hard to determine what works best. The lines of appropriateness, timing and etiquette have all blurred into one giant, messy, confusing grey area of interaction. It’s beautiful under certain lighting.

One constant though is that a first date is about communication. And your words, among things like body language, facial expression and style of dress, are at the forefront of that communication.

Whether it’s the first line of your dating profile, the first text you send after getting that much-anticipated phone number or the first thing to leave your mouth when you see that person at the farmer’s market, they all start with words.

So be sure to pick the right ones.

This is your chance to set the tone for the rest of the relationship. Think of your first date like a job interview, only less rigid and professional (hopefully). You’re both putting on your best face. So complement that with the best words. They make a bigger impact than you’d think.

Here are a few things to keep in mind. And if you fail miserably, at least you’ll have some funny material for your next first date.

Use interesting terminology

If it’s natural to the flow of conversation and the tone you set, add some colour to your lingo. Nothing stands out like atypical words. Peculiar idiosyncrasies work their poignant jiggery in words not found every day. Now, don’t put them all in the same sentence like that last one. That was done to save time and space. But keep this in mind when you want to be remembered by your date.

Don’t err on the side of caution

You may have expected the opposite of this advice. No! This is the time when you have nothing to lose. Push your limits. Test the waters. Take the joke a little too far. As we said, the first date sets the tone for the rest of your time together. Being cautious equals being boring. You’d be just like every other player in the game. It’s easy to dial it back if their reaction isn’t positive. Go for it!\

Think outside the box

Go beyond the typical themes. What do you do for fun? Where did you go to school? Yawn. Ask them whether they believe in souls, how they think it’s been determined that no two snowflakes are alike or how long it takes to perfect the best kiss ever. That last part could be a segue into more than just great words, wink, wink.

Don’t talk just to fill space

As much as we tend to dread silences, they don’t have to be uncomfortable. Don’t feel the need to add words to every moment. That could just make things more awkward. Take a moment. Sip your drink. Catch your breath. Let their last statement sink in while looking into their eyes. Think of it as the equivalent of flipping the page in a book. It won’t hurt you. If anything, it’ll add to the cadence of the conversation.