I was sitting at a restaurant tonight and noticed a couple sitting across the way from me. They each seemed to be in their own world. He on his i-phone and her staring off into space. It struck me that they might as well have been eating by themselves. They did not appear to have anything to talk about. I have witnessed this before and have had couples tell me before that they don’t seem to have anything to talk about. So I say it may be time to get to know each other again. Remember that sweet time when you were first together as a couple. You could not wait to talk to each other and you could talk for hours on the phone with each other. Some of this of course is that very special beginning time of a new relationship when we are getting to know each other and we want to know and hear all the other has to say. We may not completely re-create that time frame, BUT we can create REAL and deep conversations that we can only have after co-creating some history together. This is not to say that we should not look at doing a re-do as to getting to know each other again in regard to some of the basics as we have grown and changed since the beginning of our relationship. We can do both.
So how do we get to know each other again . . .
- We can pretend we are just meeting each other and see what we find. We may be surprised. What kinds of questions might you ask a new date. “Tell me what you do . . . ” “Do you like it?” “What do you like to do in your spare time?” ” I know I feel really passionate about . . . what about you?”
- Really hearing and listening and reflecting back what you hear, can make you a very inviting person to talk to. Asking questions that show your interest and curiosity can make the other feel like you really want to know. This of course will create more openness and likely sharing.
As a couple with some history, you are ready and able to talk about some things in more depth. Topics such as the following might add to your conversation menu.
- Religion or Spirituality – “What did you think about what Pastor Jim said about . . .?” “I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens when . . . What do you think? ” “Are you happy with our church?”
- Financial - “We seem to have different ideas about chore money for the children. I wonder if we should try to find a compromise?”
- Politics and World Affairs – “What do you think about the . . . situation?”
- Goals – This could be goals you have for yourself or goals that you put together for yourselves as a couple. “What kinds of goals do we want for us for this next year?”
- Feeling Check In – “What was the best part of your day? How about the hardest part of your day?” Of course, there are many variations on this. Choose what feels most appropriate.
- Something You Read or Heard That You Found Interesting and Worth Talking to Your Partner About. “I found out today that Tulsa County has the most meth labs in the US. I wonder why that is?”
- Common Interests Conversation – “Hey, I just heard there is a new art exhibit at . . . ” “I am wondering if we should try a new hiking trail? I heard something about . . . Have you heard anything about . . . ?”
- Work (In or Outside of the Home)- “Tell me about your new project on . . .”
- Your Children – “What do you think we should do about . . . being anxious about making new friends?”
- Flirtation / Playful Talk – “You are looking good sweetheart!”
- Encouragement Conversation – “So I know you have been having a hard time with . . . How can I help you?”
As you know you will have differences of opinions and think differently about certain things. Remember to acknowledge what your partner has to say even if you see it differently. Then you can tell your side of it. This will keep you wanting to continue to talk to each other. Being respectful of differences of opinion can go a long way to create interesting and deep conversations.
There is so much to share and talk about. Being there sharing and listening keeps your relationship alive and growing. And isn’t that what we all want.