Midlife Dating Podcast

Episode 13 - Increasing Your Conversational Prowess

June 18, 2022 Paul Nelson Episode 13
Midlife Dating Podcast
Episode 13 - Increasing Your Conversational Prowess
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wonder if you're being played when arranging a date? Our Dating and Relationship Glossary Term for this episode, "Call to Confirm," helps decipher the answer. Next, cheerful and funny dating stories are what the Midlife Dating Podcast is all about. Paul shares one of his personal stories in this episode. It was a mystery to solve when it was happening, but it also reveals how entertaining life can be when you get out there and improvise. Finally, have you ever gone to a meetup date and been short on conversational material? In the Potpourri Segment, Paul explains by example how you can quickly deepen your well of conversational topics while driving, walking, or working out.

We're retaking dating questions now that the podcast production is more dialed in. If you've got one you'd like Paul to answer on the podcast, please submit it to the email address below. We'll keep your identity confidential. The team is also looking to add a woman's point of view to the podcast! If you're a Gen X or Boomer gal interested in contributing, please get in touch with us at the same email address.

Questions and Contributions: questions@50datesat50.com

50 Dates at 50 Website:  https://50datesat50.com/

Episode 13: Increasing Your Conversational Prowess

The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.


Paul Nelson: 50 Daters, welcome to episode 13: Increasing Your Conversational Prowess. 

Have you ever wondered if you're being played when it comes to arranging a date? Our dating relationship glossary term for this episode, Call to Confirm, will help us decipher that exact question. 

Here at the Midlife Dating podcast, we like funny and positive dating stories,

and I've got one to share in this episode that was a mystery to solve while it was happening. And it also shows us how entertaining life can be when you get out there and improvise at the last moment.

Do you ever get out on a meetup date and you're short conversational material? In our potpourri segment, I'm going to show you how to deepen your well of conversational topics. 

By the end of this episode, you're going to learn one of the key giveaways to help you recognize if you're getting played when a date is being arranged. Additionally, the more dates you go out on, the more fun life experiences you'll enjoy and stories you'll have to share with your friends.

You're also going to learn how to deepen your well of conversational knowledge simply while you're out taking a hike, driving a car, or working out. 

If you like what you hear, please take a moment and click on the subscribe or follow button. I don't want you missing out on making your date nights more memorable. 

Glossary Term: Call to Confirm

Paul Nelson: Call to Confirm. Now, this is going to apply equally to both guys and gals, but I'm going to approach this from the man's point of view because the guy is supposed to be taking the lead. Call to Confirm is a term that I learned from a mentor of mine, Doc Love; I'm going to credit him for this. 

This is a call a few hours before the date commences where a man confirms that his date's going to show up. What this inevitably does is displays a man's lack of confidence in his dating skills, and this is definitely very popular with nice guys. A Call to Confirm is the result of being stood up on more than one occasion in the past.

50 Dater men and women don't need a Call to Confirm on the day of the date as they are confident from the outset that their date's going to show. Many women or professional daters find Call to Confirm extremely useful for keeping nice guys hanging around as a backup plan while they wait for the men they are generally interested in to ask them out. 50 Dater or men and women do not accept Call to Confirm requests and will politely withdraw from their date offers.

Remember guys and gals, Call to Confirm is a ploy to use you as a backup plan.

Dating Stories: Sunday Morning Running Late


Paul Nelson: We all have those stories about dates that ended in a laughable situation, or perhaps even disaster. Either way, they make us smile, and I've got a story I want to share with the podcast listeners today. And here at the Midlife Dating podcast, we do like to keep things positive.

And before I get into this story, which I call Sunday Morning Running Late, I'd like to say if you've got a fun dating story that you'd like to share or tell, please contact me at stories@50datesatf50.com, and we'll see about working one of your stories into the podcast, or blog, or both.

This happened several years ago with a gal I've been dating for quite a while, and out of complete respect, her name has been changed in this story. It's important that I preface this story with the fact that I was born and raised a Christian. My father was a Methodist minister.I was brought up with a Christian value set that I continue to use today as my guide through life. Over the years, I evolved into a CEO type. That's a parishioner that attends services basically on Christmas and Easter only.

The woman whom I was dating, Maria, was a devout Christian and asked if we could attend Easter services together. I said, sure. Let's do it, 

Easter Sunday morning arrived. As a guy, I like to take it upon myself to plan out dates. This situation was a little different in that it was her request. I made the mistake of assuming that she was going to pick the house of worship, and she thought I was going to pick the house of worship. 

Once we discovered this a quick run over to the computer was an order for some Google help on improvising. It was late in the morning, and our choices were pretty limited. I quickly found a church, a few miles away, that if we left right then, we'd only be a few minutes late. 

We scrambled to the car and off we went. Making good time, I pulled into the parking lot about five minutes late. I noticed that there were others that were also arriving late. Breathing a sigh of relief, I concluded that the best action was to follow them and blend in. 

We were immediately greeted by an usher as we entered the Narthex. He welcomed us and asked if this is our first time here, and I said, "Yes, it is." He said, "Great. Let's get you seated."

As we followed him into the sanctuary, the first thing that dawned on me was that somebody needs to take a look at the sound system. As an engineer with years of live sound experience, I can quickly identify areas of a room where sound reflections arrive at different times, causing a swamping effect that makes it difficult to understand speech. This continued for a few moments before I realized the usher was taking us to the front.      

Sheer panic set in at this point. We were late and being brought down the aisle, to the front. Stopping at only the second pew from the front, the usher led us down to the very middle.      

It was probably one of the most optimal seating locations in the church. In front of us was seated the children's choir in the front row. It took a few minutes for the shock to wear off. "At least we're not in the very front row," I thought. 

It was then that I realized I could easily hear what was going on now. We settled in. We were not there for more than a few moments when another usher came up and handed us each a listening device, saying, "Here are your translators." Translators? What do we need translators for? I looked around and I didn't immediately see anyone else with one. The guy must have thought we were hard of hearing or something like that.      

The service then moved forward with music and lots of it.     They ended up having a quality sound system, so I began to wonder why it sounded so swampy when we walked in.      

We must've been there for 30 minutes before the children's choir was called up. When they finished, they were let out of the sanctuary, leaving us now as the front row. Yikes. 

The service continued with more music. The youth band was on now. I was marveling at how well the plexiglass drum shield was keeping the acoustic drum set volume in check. This is when I began to realize I could not understand what the youth band was singing about. With a drum set in an isolated plexiglass enclosure, it should've been easy to hear what they were singing. All during this time, Maria kept giving me these funny looks as she was confused also. I estimated the music to go on for an hour. I was thinking the whole church service was going to be music, which was pretty cool.

As I looked around the church, I noticed that we were, indeed, a unique couple. Maria is originally from Mexico. She was the only Hispanic woman in the church, and the sanctuary was at capacity. The service changed pace with prayer, some introductions, and then a sermon. I could not understand a word the pastor was saying, neither could Maria.

I began to study the service guide that we were provided, combined with some of the details projected on the wall for the parishioners to follow. It was then that I realized that parts of the service were being conducted in Romanian. Now things started to begin to make sense. 

We were able to listen to what the pastor was saying through the translators. The service lasted about an hour and 45 minutes. The church had been founded as a Romanian Christian Church, where they maintain traditions like their native language and services. Upon exiting the service, the congregation made us feel very welcome and invited us back. I commend them for giving us one of the best places to sit for the service.

Additionally, it was refreshing to see the level of youth involvement. This is one of the most memorable church services I've ever attended, and I still laugh about Maria and I trying to figure out what was going on half the time.

Retro Segment Short: Library Organization - Coronet Instructional Films 1951

Potpourri Segment: Increasing Your Conversation Prowess

Paul Nelson: So in our Potpourri segment, I wanna talk about the value of having an Audible subscription. One of the most common things I hear from both guys and gals, especially the guys, is when they're out on a date, they don't know what to talk about. And today I'm gonna share with you how I added lots of depth to my conversation prowess on my daily walks and in my car driving to work and running errands.

I've had an Audible subscription for over 10 years now. Audible is owned by Amazon and if you've got an Amazon account, you have an Audible account. Audible is books on audio, similar to books on MP3, or books on streaming, like what books on tape or books on CD used to be 10, 15 years ago. You can listen to books on Audible on your Android, your iPhone, your iPod, your iPad, or your desktop computer, whether it be Mac or Windows. 

Now I have a Silver membership to Audible. This is like about $15 every 60 days or every two months if you will. So I generally get six books a year. If you do go with an Audible account, which I highly recommend you do, I recommend you put it on a separate device so that you don't get interrupted while you're trying to listen to it.

I've been out on dates with several gals who have been listening to books on their phones, but they weren't able to focus on the content due to all the text messages, calls, and emails they were getting while they were trying to listen. So, if you do something like that, where you put it on your regular phone, you're going to have to figure out how to put your phone on silence.

I use an old iPod touch, fourth generation, specifically for Audible content. This model's about 10 years old, and during COVID I had the battery replaced in it, so it's got a new lease on life, and it allows me to listen to books without any interruptions whatsoever because it's basically offline.

Now, one of the great benefits here of having an Audible account, as you start tacking on the books that you're listening to, depending on the dating platform that you're using, you can list the books that you've went through on Audible, on these platforms. Examples of platforms would be the legacy ones, such as eHarmony or Match, would allow you to list these. 

Now I'm at over 75, 76 books right now on Audible. I can just give you some examples of some of the stuff I've learned. One of the ones that's really great is, it's called A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, and it's got… the trivia knowledge in this book is unsurpassed, except for the book at home, which I'll get to in a moment. It's an extremely simplified layman's guide to everything in science, chemistry, biology, the universe, mathematics, geology, dinosaurs, and physics. It basically is a history of all the failures that man went through, through trial and error, trying to understand and learn about all these things.The book is a set of absolutely humorous, just totally humorous, one story after another, on how this stuff was discovered and invented. 

For instance, nitrous oxide. You may not know it, but in the early 1800s, nitrous oxide, the laughing gas at the dentist, that was actually the recreational drug of choice in England, early 1800s. Bryson talks about this theater that, in between acts, you could go inhale nitrous oxide before the next act started. 

One of the other books that he came up with is called, At Home. This is a history of the home and each room of the house. So the book goes from room to room and goes through the history of it. There's trivia information beyond belief in this one, also. They go through everything from architecture in the house, from paint, to when plumbing was added, to when electricity was added, and windows.      

One of the most dangerous jobs to have in the early 1900s was that of an electrician in the United States. They didn't understand electricity that well, and so a lot of the electricians had to work on systems that were hot, or had live electricity in them at all times. They hadn't perfected the fusing systems and a lot of houses were burning down at this period of time when electricity was put into them. 

Edison, as a matter of fact, in 1881, 82, he wired street lights on Wall Street, but they didn't understand grounding safety at this point in time, and the electricity leaked from the lights, into the street, making the horses behave very skittishly due to the electrical shocks they were getting as they walked down Wall Street. 

Some of the other books I read were on rock and roll history. It's like Bruce Springsteen and Ted Nugent are the only two rock and rollers that didn't seem to have a drug problem.I lost respect for many artists and musicians on some of these books, and I also gained respect for many others. I've many musical autobiographies of Van Halen and Sammy Hagar. Eddie Van Halen, great guitar player. I've always been a fan of Eddie Van Halen, but as a person, after reading some of these biographies, I was really disappointed with the guy. Same with Axl Rose of Guns ' Roses. He was notorious for not going on stage for like two hours. Guns ' Roses would start their concerts two hours late, and riots would take place, and people were getting killed as a result of some of this stuff because Axl Rose just wouldn't go on stage. I lost a lot of respect for Axl. I gained a lot of respect for Sammy Hagar, just a great guy. 

The book Unbroken, this one is history. It's the survival of Louis Zamperini in World War II and there's a movie out about it, but the movie doesn't even come close to covering how many times Zamperini cheated death in his bomber in World War II, and then when he was at sea for 47 days surviving shark attacks. 

Shadow Divers is a book on these guys that discovered a World War II German submarine, I think it was like 90 miles off the coast of New Jersey, and the story is how they... It's about 200 feet deep, so it was deep diving, which is a different set of standards. They use things like trimix; I never knew what any of this stuff was, where you're mixing helium, nitrogen, and oxygen so that you can breathe easier at the depths of 200 feet and more. But, it's a fascinating story on how they tried to identify the submarine. 

Several books on mountain climbing, Mount Everest. Climbing Mount Everest is absolutely fascinating along with several of the other peaks, in that part of the world, how dangerous it is and what it's like to survive up there.

There's another survival book which is called 438 Days, and this is a survival by a guy from Central America that was fishing off the coast of Mexico. They lost power in the boat, and they drifted out 9,000 miles across the Pacific, over a 438-day period before finally winding up in the Marshall Islands, and how he survived during this entire time.

Blood and Thunder is another book that was great on the history of the west, and you're gonna learn a lot of things that happened, on how the west was won, that are simply not politically correct today. 

Another fascinating book on survival is Endurance, and this is Ernest Shackleton's voyage to the south pole. This happened around 1915 when World War I was taking place. They went down there to cross the south pole, in an area where nobody had done it before. And when they got there, they were near their destination, and the ship they were in got swallowed up in the ice pack, and then they were stranded on the ice pack for 18 months, and their ship was crushed, and they survived in two lifeboats, taking these across the ice pack. They would be generally a day away from no food and nothing to eat and something miraculous would regularly happen to keep them going. And the hero of this book was the navigator, Frank Worsley, in the survival down there. And they finally made it to a whaling encampment on an island near that area.

There's another book on George Washington's spies during the Revolutionary War. I had no idea that at that period of time, that the British were actually counterfeiting American money to wreak havoc, amongst many other things that were taking place.

River of Doubt about Teddy Roosevelt. After he lost his election in 1912, he decided to, map this uncharted tributary of the Amazon in Brazil. They survived Indian attacks. They had the wrong canoes when they got there. Then they lost their canoes. They suffered through disease, starvation, and generally not being anywhere near well prepared. 

The Steve Jobs autobiography - what a visionary. That's all I can say about this guy. 

I also went through a multitude of relationship and self-help books, which have been really helpful.

If I included dead tree books, the paper ones, over the last 10 years, I've easily consumed over a hundred books.

When you consume books like this, especially the Audible stuff because it's so easy, this is great information for you to fall back on, on a date. The more books you read, the more [1] you can have conversations in a multitude of different areas.

Shadow Divers, for example, was one I've fallen back on, on multiple occasions because I've met gals that do scuba diving, and so I've been able to have some interesting conversations with them, simply from reading this one book.

The great thing here, again, about the Audible account, is you can start building your conversation knowledge base when you're working out, or driving on the road, or exercising. It's not taking you any extra time to do this. In fact, you're gonna want to walk longer and exercise more, especially when you get into a good book on audio.

Bill Bryson's book At Home, and A Short History of Nearly Everything are the two books on which you'll get the best bang for your buck. They are not dull and they are filled with many humorous, true stories.

Just on these two books alone, you'll be surprised on how much you can fall back on, on either one of these books, for tidbits of conversation during dates. 

Lessons Learned

Paul Nelson: What did we learn today, 50 Daters? We learned that calling to confirm appointments is a recognized, proper practice for business relationships. However, in a dating situation, it almost always means the person requesting you call them to confirm usually has something more important, like another date for that day, and you're lower on the priority list. 

On the other hand, if someone generally is interested in meeting you, they'll make the time. All 50 Daters, guys and gals, in my opinion, need to get a backbone and decline dates upfront when the other party requests that you call them to confirm.

Generally speaking, you're almost always going to be asked why when you decline a Call to Confirm date. And when they ask why, tell them in our age group, time is extremely valuable, and because it's so valuable, that you prefer to only share it with someone who can definitely make the date. Be positive and also matter of fact when you say this. It not only shows that you have a backbone and that you won't be walked on, it also separates you from the online dating pretenders. How the person reacts that's requesting that Call to Confirm when you make this statement, will tell you all you need to know. 

We also learned that improvising at the last moment on a date can yield some really good dating stories that you're going to be laughing about for years to come. You see, the more you put yourself out there, you show up and you go on dates, the more life experiences you're going to have to reflect on, and believe me, you will not be sorry. 

Next, we learned how valuable it can be to have an Audible account, and how easy it is to listen to books on Audible or MP3 when you're out on your walks. You can easily consume six books a year, and before you know it, you're going to have a deep well of discussion material for face-to-face meetups, phone calls, heck, even the water cooler at work and family gatherings. Plus, you're going to be a much more informed person! 


Here at the Midlife Dating podcast, we're all about providing as much value as possible for our listeners. If you've got any dating questions, I'd be happy to answer them on the podcast.

And, I'd like to add a woman's point of view. If you're a Boomer or a Gen X woman who is interested in contributing, please get in touch with me. The email address will be in the show notes for both questions, and if you're a gal who's interested in contributing. 

We're going to end this episode with a little bit of dating humor from laughgaf.com. And it goes like this. My wife asked me, "Why don't you treat me like you did when we were first dating?" So I did. I took her to dinner and a movie and then dropped her off at her parents' house. 

As always, these episodes are a lot of fun to create, and I look forward to being with you on the next one, to take your dating experience from a bust to a best. And that's a really good place to be. 

Episode 13 Introduction
Glossary Term : Call to Confirm
Dating Stories: Sunday Morning Running Late
Retro Short Library Organization: 1951 Coronet Instructional Films
Potpourri Segment: How to Increase Your Conversational Prowess
Lessons Learned