When you've been dating someone forever, you know them inside and out and you see them pretty much every day. But at what point in the relationship do you run out of things to talk about? It may seem like an odd thing to worry about since, realistically, it’s impossible to have absolutely nothing on your mind to discuss. But if it’s something that concerns you, there are effective ways to
keep the relationship fresh when you do run out of things to say.
Experts say being in a conversation rut may not even be a major relationship issue. In fact, relationship coach
Noelle Cordeaux tells Bustle that people put too much pressure on their partners to entertain them. "Humans are [social] creatures and only in recent years has such a hefty social burden gone to the primary relationship,” Cordeaux says. “It's OK to just live in the moment. Sometimes that means that there just isn't anything to talk about."
Merissa Goolsarran, LCSW, says, running out of things to say to each other could also mean that your relationship is just stuck in a comfort zone. But that only becomes a problem when it stems from boredom, and nothing is being done to turn things around.
“If partners are willing to try new things and stay curious, then that's a good sign,” Goolsarran tells Bustle. “If partners are starting to close off and refuse to try new things, then that might be a red flag.”
If you know you're both still in love and the only thing really lacking is interesting conversation, here are some effective hacks to keep things fresh when you've run out of
things to talk about with your partner, according to experts. 1 Find New Shared Interests To Partake In Together
shared interests and hobbies are a great way to keep things fresh in your relationship, Cordeaux says. Do you both like to hike? Then discover some new trails together. Do you love to cook? Then tackle a difficult recipe together in the middle of a weekend afternoon.
"Experiences that are shared are the building blocks of connection," she says. "Learning and exploring new aspects of life builds capacity for teamwork." Besides that, doing new activities together builds memories, which you can keep talking about.
2 Call Your Mom
As Cordeaux says, you shouldn't rely on your partner to be your only source of entertainment. That's putting a lot of pressure on one person. "If you feel that you don't have enough to talk about with your partner, work on diversifying your activities and interests and see what happens," she says. One way to do that includes something super easy — calling your mom. You’ll get to connect with someone else in your life, and have things to bring up when you talk to your partner.
3 Get Together With A Group Of Friends AleksandarNakic/E+/Getty Images
If you’re struggling to come up with things to say when you’re around your partner, relationship coach
Jenna Ponaman, CPC, tells Bustle to try getting together with a group of friends. "Not only does it take the pressure off of the two of you to start a conversation with each other, but having people around you will give you something to talk about afterwards," she says. 4 Ask Silly & Random Questions You've Always Wanted To Ask
Think about the details you’ve always wanted to know about your partner, but didn’t know how to bring up or were too shy to ask. According to psychologist
Dr. Sanam Hafeez Ph.D., these questions don’t have to be too serious. They can be random, silly, playful, or intimate. “You could try something like, ‘What was your first impression of me when you met me?’ or something along the lines of ‘What is the most embarrassing thing someone has caught you doing?,’” Hafeez says. “I guarantee you do not know everything about your partner, even if it may feel like you do.”
Just be sure to stay away from "conversation-killers"— like asking them all about their past relationships —when you're attempting to bridge a communication gap in your relationship. Awkward conversation topics could have the opposite effect, so keep these questions light and fun.
5 Create Stories About The Kind Of Life You’ll Share In The Future
If you want to keep your relationship from getting stale, talk about your dreams for the future in a fun way. For instance, if you’re watching a movie and you see kids playing a silly game, talk about what kind of games your future kids may play. You can even discuss your dream vacation to take together and figure out how you can make it happen. Just keep talking and let your imagination run wild. "It’s fun to dream and get excited,"
Christie Tcharkhoutian, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist, previously told Bustle. "It also can help bring you outside of the daily routine and rut.” 6 Communicate Through Your Love Languages
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of
each person The 5 Love Languages, processes love and affection in different ways in relationships. "It can be the physical words we say to one another, but it can also simply be quality time, gift giving, acts of service, or physical touch," Ponaman says.
Sometimes just figuring out your partner's love language and knowing how to apply it can turn things around. For Ponaman, getting clear with her partner on their love languages helped them better connect in ways a simple conversation couldn't. "Get intuitive with your partner's language," she says. "You’ll never run out of conversation after that."
7 Talk About The Movies & Shows You’re Watching Hispanolistic/E+/Getty Images
If you and your partner spend a lot of time watching TV shows or movies together in silence, it may feel like you two barely talk to each other. But what you’re watching together can inspire so many different conversations. In fact,
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author, says, “Discuss the characters, plots, and impact of the experience.” You can even share your theories and have a debate on why yours makes more sense than your partner’s. According to Manly, many couples who experience communication low spots just aren’t going deep enough. Ask questions that will help you really dive into a subject. 8 Play Online Trivia Games Or Take Silly Quizzes
Chances are, you’ve taken fun
online personality quizzes at some point — likely when you were bored out of your mind. So why not play some online trivia or take a silly quiz with your partner? “Trivia can have some of the most random questions, and these questions can be used to talk about things you wouldn't normally think to talk about,” Goolsarran says. “Random, pre-generated questions take the stress out of trying to do it all on your own. Being able to enjoy the conversation will also allow you to listen better to your partner.” 9 Get A Card Deck Made for Building Intimacy Apps for couples or conversation-starter card decks are great to use if you’re looking for ways to get to know your partner better. TABLETOPICS Couples, for example, was made for couples to ask each other random questions so they can get to know each other on a deeper level. “Setting aside at least 30-minutes each week to connect with your partner, turn off distractions, and just ask a few questions from card decks can help each partner open up,” Goolsarran says. “Setting aside time like this also takes the pressure off of feeling like you always need to think of something new to say, instead it's more so confined to a certain time frame.” 10 Take A Day Trip Together praetorianphoto/E+/Getty Images
Sometimes a change of scenery can help bring new life into your relationship. Goolsarran suggests taking a drive to a nearby city that neither of you have been to before. When you’re experiencing new things, you’re bound to have interesting conversations “When we fall into comfort zones, then conversations are usually anchored on the same topics,” she says. “When we venture into new territory, then new experiences and perspectives can flourish.”
11 Pick Up A New Solo Hobby
When you feel like you’re running out of things to talk about, it may be time to start doing new things for yourself. “In my work with individuals and couples, the focus is always on each individual as a person first,”
Lindsay Christianson, licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with couples, tells Bustle. Start by asking yourself, “What gets me excited?”, “What do I have to share with my partner?”, and “Am I doing the things I need to do to bring forth new energy and curiosity to this relationship?”
If not, reading a book, researching something you’ve always been curious about, or trying out a new hobby can help you find things to discuss. “Cultivate your own curiosity and excitement so you can bring that to your relationship,” Christianson says.
It's scary to think you and your partner will hit that point in your relationship when you have absolutely nothing to say to each other. But it can simply mean that the relationship has fallen into a routine or you’re stuck in a comfort zone. If both partners are willing to try new things and stay curious, then that's a good sign.
Experts Noelle Cordeaux, relationship coach Jenna Ponaman, CPC, relationship coach Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and LoveFearlessly Merissa Goolsarran, LCSW, therapist Lindsay Christianson, licensed mental health counselor Dr. Sanam Hafeez Ph.D., psychologist Christie Tcharkhoutian, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist
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This article was originally published on
May 15, 2018