11 Things To Talk About With Your Partner When It Feels Like You’ve Talked About Everything
After you've been with your partner for awhile, it can sometimes feel like you've talked about everything, and thus have nothing creative, interesting, or important left to say. You've told your stories, you've shared your dreams, and you've muttered a few words about what you'd like to eat for dinner. So, now what?
This can certainly be a turning point in a long-term relationship, but there is no need to panic — especially since the more you worry about coming up with something new to say, the worse it'll feel. "Stop trying to talk about 'new' things," clinical psychologist and The Web Radio Show host Dr. Josh Klapow tells Bustle. "The mental strain of trying to think of something new can easily take over the vibe of the conversation." It's totally OK to let things come up naturally, to chat about the news, or to simply sit quietly and enjoy each other's company.
And, it's also OK to talk about things more than once. "If you have been with your partner for awhile then you can absolutely revisit old topics," Klapow says. "The topics may not change, but your perspectives, your understanding of them, and how you see them as individuals and as a couple will."
With that in mind, read on for a few fun ways to strike up a conversation, even if it feels like you've already talked about everything.
1. Get Into A Debate
If you feel like your conversations are flagging, or like you've already talked about everything under the sun, it can help to stir up a healthy debate. "Find a provocative quotation and discuss your separate interpretations," suggests author and speaker Dr. Marlene Caroselliis. If you both agree, cool. But if you don't, it can turn into a battle of the wits, and might even teach you something new about each other.
2. Ask About Their Day
This may sound incredibly basic, but it's an important question we often forget to ask our partners. So, get into the habit of catching up with each other after a long day, possibly by asking about your "highs" and "lows." As licensed marriage and family therapist Christie Tcharkhoutian says, "This can help you weather life’s peaks and valleys ... and really be able to celebrate the wins and grieve the losses, deepening your relationship in very meaningful ways."
3. Get Excited About The Future
When was the last time you checked in with each other regarding the future? If it's been a minute, talk about what you'd like to do in the next five years, where you'd like to travel, where you see your career going, etc. "It’s fun to dream and get excited about your ... hopes, wishes, and desires," says Tcharkhoutian. "It also can help bring you outside of the daily routine and rut."
4. Talk About The Past
On the flip side, it can be really fun — and incredibly eye-opening — to tell each other stories from your past. I'm sure you've covered the basics, but it's likely possible to delve deeper by sharing childhood secrets, or telling old family stories. As Tcharkhoutian says, "Sharing of childhood memories and funny family stories can ... help connect you to each other."
5. Play The Question Game
Have you ever played the question game? It's simple, since all it involves is (you guessed it!) asking each other questions. "There's a twist or two, however. First, you must ask deep and dark questions — try to get the real secrets out of someone. Second, you must answer as honestly as possible," says confidence and relationships coach Dan Munro. "It's like truth or dare... without the dare part."
6. Tell Each Other Exactly How You Feel
"If you're bored in your relationship, I bet my life savings you aren't sharing everything you feel," Munro says. So go ahead and get real with each other. How do you feel, right this minute? Being more honest and open, and willing to talk, can keep things fresh.
7. Share Your Most Random Thoughts
In the same vein, you might consider sharing your random thoughts and emotions. "Start talking more about the noise inside your head. It always changes so you'll never run out of things to discuss," Munro says. "Most couples avoid this because they fear it will cause disharmony, when it can actually deepen the connection."
8. Talk About Physical Intimacy
This is a topic you should be chatting about regularly, to make sure you're both happy and on the same page. But it can also be fun to fess up to a few fantasies. Are you both fulfilled? Do you want to try something new? It may feel awkward at first, but questions like these can spark a convo (and a healthy one, at that!) that you've probably never had before.
9. Ask Them What They'd Change
If your partner could change one thing from their past, what would it be? What would they do differently, if they could go back in time? "These questions let you know more about your partner, what they may regret, what inspires them, and what brings them happiness," says NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. And, as a bonus, it can help you make better decisions as a couple going forward.
10. Chat About A New Hobby
If you've run out of things to talk about, it could be a sign you need to try something new, or get out of the house. "Find a new hobby to enjoy together," says relationship expert Stef Safran, in an email to Bustle. "Cooking, working out — something you can do together." Or, strike out on your own for an evening. When you return home, you'll have plenty to discuss.
11. Don't Say Anything At All
Remember, it's totally OK to say nothing at all, and to let that silent void remain a silent void. "Often times we feel we must fill all of our space with entertaining chatter," says Stacey Greene, author of Stronger Than Broken. "Truly, once in a while it feels great to just stare, gaze, smile, cuddle, hold hands, etc."
And, it can feel good to give each other some space. It's OK to simply sit quietly side by side, or in separate rooms, doing your own thing. Don't force it. When the mood strikes to talk, I promise you'll have lots to say.