Getting caught in the dreaded long, awkward silences, the pregnant pauses and having a total lack of common interests is killer for a burgeoning relationship. A lot of people have a hard time finding the right things to say, and aren't exactly sure how to even start a conversation with someone they're interested in.
On ArabLounge, it's easier to begin than most places, since so many people here share a lot of common heritage, and it's easy to find out what people's interests are. With the right conversation, it's easy to see if there's a real connection there or not, so it's a great asset to be able to strike up a chat with just about anyone.
Making a wry observation, waiting to see if they're receptive, and then introducing yourself is a great ice breaker. If you're standing in line at a coffee shop, commenting on your surroundings is a great way to begin a conversation. Online, you can comment on a portion of their dating profile, or let them know you're interested in a lot of the same things as they are. For example: "I noticed the picture of you surfing. Do you do it often? I just started and love it!" Starting off with a general comment and then proceeding to introduce yourself is a great way to not come on too strong—something that a lot of women and men are wary of.
This one can be tricky, because some people think this gives them license to tell vulgar, mean or lascivious jokes—something that can be really repellant to someone who doesn't know you or appreciates that kind of humor. Never make a joke at someone's expense, since that can be taken as petty and cruel. Keep it general, clean, and genuinely funny. Sometimes a joke at your expense is a great way to break the ice. Mentioning your clumsiness, general lack of know-how in a certain area or any lighthearted poke at yourself also shows you don't take yourself too seriously—a very attractive quality.
The best way to start a conversation is asking a good question and then simply listening. If you find out something that a person has a passion for and ask the right way, you'll find that most people love to go on about the subject. Find out what it is that the person you're interested in loves, and ask them how they got involved with it, what they're doing with it now, etc. Honestly listen to them, ask questions when you don't know something, nod and show them that you're actually interested in them. This is such a rare quality to find that people gravitate towards the few that possess it.
If they've got pictures of them with their parents or friends, ask about them and show that you've been paying attention to their profile. Showing an interest in their lives is a great way to start off on the right foot. Arabs tend to be close to their families and showing that you're close to yours as well, shares a common bond.