Conversation dragging…? I was talking with a young woman about how her relationship was progressing when she mentioned something interesting. She said, “We run out of things to talk about.”
It got me thinking – not all of us are natural conversationalists. Some of us aren’t born with the capability to chat, to natter, to talk about this or that, with ease.
Is starting a conversation difficult?
For some of us, starting a conversation is difficult. Once you get past the, “How are you?”, and the observations about the weather, finding a topic of conversation can be uncomfortable. This issue isn’t gender based, although it might be attached to an introvert/extrovert bias. I don’t know. Doesn’t really matter, I guess – the bottom line is, we need to have a conversation to get to know someone.
The other reason we don’t have satisfying conversations is because we’re just too busy. Life is led at a breakneck speed, with little opportunity to take the time to chat… even if we know how to begin.
How can you really get to know someone? And where would you start?
Ask a question!
Asking creative, open-ended questions is a valuable way to get to know someone. (tweet this)
It’s not just in new relationships that getting to know someone is needed.
What if you’ve been married for years and years? You’ve lived your life together, and you believe you know all there is to know about your spouse…
I’m going to suggest something.
You won’t like it.
I’m going to suggest you don’t really know your spouse. (At least not everything.)
Yes. I’m going to say it, “You don’t really know your spouse.“
As Robert and I travel, we talk with couples about their experiences, ask them how they got to know each other, and what their first impressions were… We ask them what they’d recommend to newly married people, and our chatting will start some reminiscing.
One thing that always happens, at some point in the conversation, is, one spouse will be surprised. They’ll say, “I didn’t know that!”.
It’s not that a spouse is hiding something, or has misled their husband/wife. These revelations are just a circumstance of real life. Real life, unless you’re deliberate, doesn’t allow time for exploratory conversations. Most of us share things on a need-to-know basis. We have a lot going on, and sometimes we don’t know how to start a conversation.
What should you ask?
What could you ask to start a deep and interesting conversation?
To give this young woman a direction on how to find ideas to build a conversation, I thought about the different marriage bloggers who have free resources – I knew that I’d read posts on various blogs listing questions to start a conversation.
I started researching and created a list of links to send her.
Below, is a list of a few options. The website names are clickable and I’ve included my favorite fun question and thoughtful question for each resource. (The questions I chose are most suitable for married couples.)
Focus on the Family “Heart to Heart”
Fun: If you were to open a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?
Thoughtful: What has been the most difficult struggle in your life so far?
Zach Terry – “50 question to ask your spouse on date night”
Fun: What’s your favorite song?
Thoughtful: What do you look forward to the most?
Notes From a Newlywed – “40 Questions to Ask Your Spouse”
Fun: What’s your most favorite quote from a movie?*
Thoughtful: What are the qualities you most admire about others?*
* I’ve paraphrased the questions, as she’s created these 40 questions as a game to play. There’s a downloadable PDF with all the instructions … looks like fun!
Intoxicated on Life – “Heart to Heart Time”
Fun: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Thoughtful: What hopes and dreams do you have for each of our children?
Sissy Print – Road Trip Questions for Couples
Fun: Sweet or Salty?
Thoughtful: What’s your first memory of me?
She’s created a PDF printable for you! Love the idea of using these questions on a road-trip!
Ephesians 5:33 Wife – Friday Date Idea
I especially liked her recommendation to “Be sure to talk about which answers surprised you and which you expected!”
Fun: What would you consider your “guilty pleasure”?
Thoughtful: What has surprised you most about the way your life has turned out?
Stupendous Marriage – 229 Conversation Starters
Fun: Who is your favorite character in a book you’ve read?
Thoughtful: What values do we want to teach our children?
This resource is an ebook, with the questions divided into different sections. It’s most usefully organized resource I’ve seen as I’ve been collecting links.
The Generous Wife – A Year of Questions for your Spouse
(Click on the button that corresponds with this topic when you get to the page.)
Fun: The electricity goes out for 24 hours. How do you spend your time?
Thoughtful: What new couple or family tradition would you like to start?
Yes. 365 questions! Print out the pages, and cut them into strips. Put them into a container, and pull one out every day for a year.
Take a look at the Pinterest board with all the rest.
(follow us on Pinterest!)
Do you know of other resources – questions to ask your spouse to start a conversation? Leave a comment and share!
Robert and Lori, thanks so much for mentioning my free download of a year’s worth of questions for couples. I love questions. They make getting to know someone easier.
Thanks for creating them, Lori!
Nice post! Very useful and many good practical advice. And I learned new things too 🙂 I should take a look at those questions the next time before we go at a restaurant! Will there also come a post about what couples can do together besides from watching TV and…you know.
Thank you for stopping by, Mariane, and for the suggestion for posts about “what” to do… in addition to the other “what-we-do” stuff 😉 I’ll put some research and thought into that and give it a try!