Having small talk with your partner is nice, but it’s also great to sit down and have a lengthy, deep chat with the person you love. Starting conversations like these can feel a little funny at first, but it gets easier the more you practice. Read through these tips to learn how you can have deep conversations with your partner (and what, exactly, you two can talk about).
Method 1 of 3: Setting the Tone
Pick a quiet time to talk. Find a time when your partner isn’t stressed or busy. If you two are rushing around doing errands or chores, it’s probably not a great time for a deep discussion. However, if you two are quietly eating dinner at home or out on date night, you can have a deep conversation without any distractions.
- If you aren’t sure whether the time is right or not, start out by asking, “Is this a good time to talk?”
- Go somewhere private where you won’t be overheard. A park, your home, or even your car are all good spots for a deep talk.
Get rid of distractions. Put your phone away and turn off the TV. Dedicate this time to your partner, not to anyone else. The more you can focus on your significant other and what you two are talking about, the better conversation you two will have.
- Ask your partner to put their phone down, too. You’ll have a more productive conversation if both of you are in the moment and focused.
Start with basic questions, then get deeper. It can be tough to dive into the deep stuff right away. Start out by asking basic questions, like how your partner is doing or what work was like. After that, you can segway into something deeper.
- Start off by saying something like, “How was work today? Did that presentation go well?”
- Or, “How are you doing? I know you had a pretty tough week last week.”
Lead with a positive. Starting with a negative question can cause your partner to clam up instead of open up. If you want to have a nice, deep talk, try to pick a positive topic. Go with something like:
- “Are you excited to see your family next week?”
- “I’m so happy we get to go on vacation next month! Aren’t you?”
Method 2 of 3: Starting a Deep Conversation
Ask about details in your partner’s life. Move beyond small talk into how you’re really feeling. Ask your partner about their emotions or what’s been stressing them out lately. It’s a nice way to gradually enter into a deep conversation without it being stilted. Try questions like:
- “How come work has been so stressful lately?”
- “Could you ever see us living somewhere else?”
- “What’s a good way to comfort you after you’ve had a hard day?”
Ask your partner about their past. It’s a good way to learn more about them. Ask about their childhood, their school years, and their family life. You could also ask them about embarrassing memories or their oldest friend. Try questions like:
- “What’s your earliest memory?”
- “Who were you closest to in your family growing up?”
- “What was your high school experience like?”
- “Which friend have you known the longest?”
Talk about things you disagree about. Debate your partner respectfully. If there’s a topic that you two don’t see eye to eye on, don’t be afraid to bring it up. As long as you two can remain civil and discuss things calmly, you can have a deep conversation and get to know each other more.
- If the topic tends to make you two mad or angry at each other, it might not be a good idea to bring it up.
- Make sure you at least try to see your partner’s point of view on things, even if you don’t agree.
Method 3 of 3: Continuing the Conversation
Ask open-ended questions. Keep your partner talking by asking them to elaborate. If they say something interesting and you’d like to hear more about it, tell them that! Questions like these will foster an interesting conversation that doesn’t stop prematurely. Ask things like:
- “What did you think about that?”
- “How did that make you feel?”
- “Interesting. Could you tell me more about that?”
Share your own stories. A good conversation goes back and forth. As you two chat, feel free to share your own memories or anecdotes as they come up. Make sure your partner is done talking first, and try to keep things relevant to the conversation you were just having.
- For example, if your partner just told you a funny story from high school, you might say, “That reminds me of the time I totally embarrassed myself in front of my entire junior year English class.”
Be vulnerable with your partner. Open up on a personal level to make a deep connection. Share little secrets or embarrassing moments with your partner so they feel comfortable doing the same. The more you two can be vulnerable with each other, the more you’ll get to know each other.
- Even if you’ve been together for a while, you can still open up and share about things you’ve never told your partner before.
Practice active listening by nodding along and making eye contact. Try to lean in toward your partner and angle your body toward them so they know you’re interested. Don’t stare down at your phone, and try not to glance around the room a bunch.
- Keep open body language by uncrossing your arms and sitting up straight. If you slouch or cross your arms, it might look like you aren’t super interested in the conversation.
Rephrase what your partner says. Show that you understand what they’re saying. If your partner says something and you aren’t sure you get it, try saying it in your own words. That way, if you’re not quite there, they can rephrase and you can try again.
- For instance, if your partner is talking about their childhood, you might say, “So what I hear you saying is that it was mostly good, but you struggled to get along with your brother.”