Things to Talk AboutThings to Talk About can be hard to do. When Ron and I were dating, I could not wait for a call from him so that we could connect about our day. In fact, one day I was sitting in my apartment on my favorite blue and yellow plaid couch with one foot curled under me when the phone rang. I just knew that it was Ron so I jumped up to run for the phone longing for long conversation in which we learned more about each other. The thing is that instead of sprinting to the phone, I ended up flat on my face and yelling in pain because my foot had gone “asleep” and lost all feeling. I did not realize that I had stepped on the top of my foot instead of the bottom. I heard several loud cracks that came from my toes and ended up with a badly sprained ankle. Ron’s response was that I had to come up with a better story about my injury other than I “just stood up.” You do have things to talk about!
Think back to the early time of your relationship? Were you excited to talk? How often do you talk now? I remember when I first met Ron. It was not immediate attraction, but it was immediate interest. I remember thinking how interesting he was. The more we talked the more interesting I found him. Remember when you first met your partner and you would talk on the phone for hours? Do your remember thinking how interesting this person is/was? What did you talk about? How did you lose that fascination? How do you get it back? Couples often tell our therapists at Lee Counseling Services that they just don’t feel connected anymore. They often report that they don’t feel like a priority to their spouse and that they have basically been reduced to living as roommates coexisting in the same house. They state that they “just don’t feel in love anymore.” Can you relate? What can you do? Our couples have found it helpful to start now as they did then with a conversation. Yes, just start talking. Research science shows that the more you know about someone the more connected you feel. When you talk about something that matters and the other person gets it, chemicals are released, such as oxytocin that bond you together. “But what do we talk about,” you ask? We have gathered 100 topics or questions to discuss. Here is a hint to make this more meaningful: Use lots of detail in discussing and include your thoughts and feelings around the topic or timing of the topic.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? 2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? 3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? 4. Would you like to be famous? How? 5. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why? 6. What would constitute a perfect day for you? 7. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…” 8. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? 9. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose? 10. Do you have a secret feeling about how you will die? 11. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common. 12. What is your most treasured memory? 13. What is your most terrible memory? 14. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? 15. Take four minutes and tell you partner your life story in as much detail as possible. 16. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why? 17. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be? 18. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? 19. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? 20. What do you value most in a friendship? 21. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final rush to save any one item. What would it be? Why? 22. What does friendship mean to you? 23. What role does love play in your life? 24. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of three items. 25. How close and nurturing is your family? 26. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? 27. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “we are both in this room feeling…” 28. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know. 29. Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met. 30. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life. 31. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? How did you pretend as a child? Were you a superhero, a teacher, or something else? 32. Tell your partner something that you like about them already. 33. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? 34. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet? 35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why? 36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen. 37. What’s your biggest fear? 38. If you had to pick any character in a book, movie or TV show that is most similar to you, whom would you choose? Why? 39. If you were to describe yourself as a metaphor (I am like _____ because______), what would it be? 40. What’s your biggest regret? 41. When you were growing up what was your dream job? Is any part of that still true? 42. Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? 43. Best Halloween costume you ever had? 44. Best Halloween costume you’ve ever seen? 45. Do you like haunted houses or scary rides? 46. Best Christmas memory you have ever had? 47. What’s an ideal Christmas for you? 48. How do you want to celebrate your birthday? 49. What was the best birthday you ever had? 50. What was the best birthday gift you ever had? 51. If you could play an instrument, which would it be? 52. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done? 53. Talk about the plot of your favorite movie and why it resonates with you. 54. Who have you learned the most from in your life? What would you like to teach others? 55. What was a typical summer day like in your childhood? 56. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Why? 57. Has there been a piece of art that has really spoken to you? This could be a painting, a poem, a book, a song, etc. 58. If anything were possible, would you choose a different line of work? 59. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? 60. If you could tell your 18-year-old self 1 piece of advice, what would it be? 61. What has surprised you about your life? 62. If you could live in any time period, when would that be? 63. Describe a time when you felt really loved by your partner. 64. What places in your past do you appreciate now from a distance? 65. What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé? 66. What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again? 67. What’s the best birthday cake you ever ate? 68. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? 69. What’s the hardest thing you ever had to write — and why? 70. What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? 80. What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made? 81. What’s the strangest date you’ve ever been on? 82. What’s the title of your future memoir? 83. What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 84. What’s your definition of an ideal houseguest? 85. What’s your guiltiest of guilty pleasures? 86. What’s your most urgent priority for the rest of the year? 87. What’s your personal anthem or theme song? 88. When was the last time you astonished yourself? 89. When was the last time you got stuck in a rut? How did you get out of it? 90. When was the last time you saw an animal in the wild? 91. When you see peers / competitors getting things you want, how do you react? 92. Where & when do you get your best ideas? 93. Would you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? 94. Would you like to write a book? (About what?) 95. Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot? 96. Would you rather have a live-in massage therapist, or a live-in chef? 97. Would you rather have an extra $200 a day, or an extra 2 hours a day? 98. If you could spend an extra $100 a week on yourself, how would you spend it? 99. Are there any social laws or rules that completely baffle you? And of course 100. What are you most grateful for in this moment? Aren’t these great? Do you have any of your own? We would love to hear them in the comments. Also, if you have some of these conversations, comment and tell how those go as well. You do this and you will have things to talk about