8 Happiness-Boosting Conversation Starters for Couples
Sparks may start a relationship and butterflies might sustain it, but after a few years, even true love can hit stale stages. An engaging conversation is often all it takes to reignite the fire, and get you and your partner out of these (perfectly normal!) ruts. But how do you have an engaging conversation when you feel like you’ve already covered it all? Here are some ideas to help breathe new life into your table and pillow talk—and make your relationship a lot more fun.
1. Mutual Hobbies
Talking about mutual hobbies and interests can make you feel closer. Even better than revisiting pastimes you both already enjoy is trying on new activities together, anything from scuba diving to cheese making. In fact, couples report a higher rate of happiness after sharing a new experience together because new adventures trigger the reward center in the brain. Start by making a list of new hobbies each of you would like to try. Then try them together, and you’ll not only give yourselves new things to talk about, but also give your relationship a happiness boost.
2. Your History as a Couple
Reminiscing about your story as a couple is one of the best ways to reconnect. Research has shown that couples who reminisce together feel closer and that nostalgia fights both boredom and depression. When did you first set eyes on your partner? What made you think they were interesting? When did you know you wanted to spend your life with them? The possibilities are endless—just take a stroll down memory lane and see where you end up!
3. Everyday Life
Never underestimate the value of talking about everyday life. Expressing interest in your partner’s life lets them know you care, and can even lead into more conversations. Keep in mind that “check-the-box” questions, like “How was your day?” tend toget “check-the-box” answers. Instead, ask specific questions like, “How did your board meeting go this morning?” Specificity shows real interest and triggers real conversation.
4. Looking Ahead
No one knows exactly what’s down the road, but looking forward together and making plans–about anything from your next vacation to your retirement options—can lead to hopeful conversations and a melding of the minds.
Let’s talk about your last vacation. Has it been a few weeks or a few years? Where do you want to go next? What are your best memories about traveling with your spouse? Discussing what you loved (and hated) about your last vacation can help you plan your next one. And while you’re making those travel plans together, keep in mind this 2012 survey, which found that couples who travel together have better sex lives, better communication, and lower divorce rates.
Few things bring people together like food. Try talking about your culinary interests, especially new restaurants or recipes you want to try. You might even consider starting a shared Pinterest board where you can both pin recipes and ideas, which can spark mouthwatering conversation when you’re spending time together.
In relationship counseling, couples are sometimes advised to create goals for doing, getting, and being. In practice, that might look like doing a marathon, getting a vacation property, and being a more attentive lover. Try having a doing/getting/being conversation with your partner and watch how the conversation blossoms! Your own life goals are sure to evolve over time, so keep talking about them with your spouse or partner. Ask them what they’d like to accomplish in the next five years and how you can help them get there—and share the same info with them.
8. Your Sex Life
Just because you’ve been together awhile doesn’t mean your sex life has to be predictable or pedestrian. Talk about things you’d like to try, ways to spice things up, and how to keep things interesting for both of you. As women’s healthcare providers, we see the vital role sex plays in our patients’ wellness every day, so having these kinds of conversations with your partner is about so much more than finding things to talk about. When you talk to each other about your physical desires, preferences, and fantasies, you build trust and intimacy, which are cornerstones to a healthy sexual relationship.
Engaging conversations can strengthen your bond with your partner, but don’t forget that taking care of yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to each other. Carve out time to recharge, and you’ll likely discover you have more to talk about when you’re together – which can breathe new life into you and your relationship!
Founded in 1995, Beaver Dam Women’s Health (BDWH) is a women’s health clinic dedicated to providing the Dodge County community with personalized and accessible women’s health care that caters to their specific medical needs. Call 920-885-6090 for more information.
Referenced Sources (for client review, not for publication):