When you’ve been with your boyfriend for a while, it could feel like you’ve covered all possible topics and there’s nothing left to discuss. You’ve shared your dreams, you’ve told him all your embarrassing stories, you’ve opened up to him on really deep and intimate topics.
So what do you talk about next? Coming up with something new to say and a topic for a meaningful conversation can be difficult. Psychologists say that you shouldn’t be trying to always come up with new things to talk about. You should be taking a deep dive into familiar topics, and topics that you know will be important further down the line.
Here are 13 different kinds of (important) conversations to have with your boyfriend – starting with the basics, of course.
1. Being Exclusive
At some point at the start of the relationship, you need to have this important talk. This is basically defining the relationship, recognizing whether you wish to be exclusive, and calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend. This might be the right time to lay down any cards on the table too.
It’s also the time when your boyfriend might run away – so be prepared for that. Not everyone wants an exclusive relationship and an “In a relationship” status on Facebook after a few dates.
2. Boundaries and Personal Space
As you begin to spend a lot more time together, it’s important to set some clear boundaries. You both need time apart and time to spend on your own hobbies and interests, as well as with friends and family.
Just because you’re a couple, doesn’t mean that you have to merge into one. Make sure you are honest about needing personal space. Watch out for warning signs like being too needy, clingy, or co-dependent (which is one of the things all men hate about women!) – and this goes both ways. You don’t want to find out that you’ve been dating a desperate or needy man.
Your friends and family would usually be the best judges of that. If they rarely see you now, it’s because you aren’t making space for them and you’re focused solely on the relationship.
3. Money, Money, Money
We can’t pretend that money isn’t a big part of any romantic relationship. Money can make or break a couple; it is a reason people fight or even get divorced!
If you want to build solid relationship foundations, you need to talk about money – and that includes every part of it:
- Spending habits
- Saving money
The list goes on! Some couples set monthly “budgeting dates” which are opportunities to check in and see how things are going money-wise, what things you should be splitting as a couple, and what your shared saving or spending goals are. If you get real about money, you’ll be a step further in your relationship.
The more open you are about it, the more you secure your relationship – and money can’t come between you.
4. The Past
This conversation might not happen all in one go, but it’s certainly a big steppingstone in any relationship. You can’t truly know someone if you don’t know about their past, which is what made them.
This conversation is also one of the toughest because it may uncover past traumas and bring up the topic of ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. Some couples prefer never to talk about who they dated before, but it’s up to you and your boyfriend to decide what you need as a couple.
It can certainly help you understand each other better and figure out why you do the things you do. This is also the time to talk about regrets, what you wanted to be when you grew up, and any other important memories.
5. Ask About His Day
Although it’s seemingly such a simple conversation, you’d be surprised how many couples don’t make time to even ask each other how their day went.
It’s important to make time to truly listen to your boyfriend and uncover what he goes through at work or school, how he thinks, and how he views things in life.
It will help you get to know him a lot better. You’d be able to support him more, recognize when he’s had a tough day and needs your love and encouragement, or equally when he just needs to be left alone.
6. Random Questions Game
This is a fun conversation that you can have literally whenever you want because it really doesn’t require that much thinking or focus. Asking each other questions can build confidence and intimacy in the relationship.
You can start by asking really basic or even random questions like “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” or “If I was a cocktail, what cocktail would I be?”.
Move on to much deeper questions. This game will build a sense of closeness and trust between the two of you, and you never know what secret you might uncover about him.
7. Arts and Culture
How often is it that you watch a TV show together and then just go your separate ways? You’re missing out on a great opportunity to discuss what you’ve just seen, how it influenced you, and all how you liked or didn’t like it.
Make time for books, movies, arts, science, and culture, share it, and discuss it afterward.
8. Future Plans
Of course, one of the most exciting topics to talk about in a relationship is making plans for the future. It’s really fun to dream and get excited together. It can be as small as planning where to eat next weekend or where to go on holiday in five months, or how to spend Christmas.
When you make plans for the future, you solidify your relationship and signal to your boyfriend that you are serious about him and that he’s a part of your future. When he feels comfortable enough to make plans with you for months ahead, like bringing you as his plus one to a friend’s wedding, for example, you know that he’s taking you seriously.
9. Commitment, engagement and marriage
You probably won’t start talking about marriage in the early days of your relationship, but it’s an important conversation to have with your boyfriend at some point down the line.
You may be surprised to find out that your boyfriend doesn’t even believe in marriage, that he prefers to live with someone but not marry them, or even that he’s been engaged before!
It’s an essential conversation to have once you’ve been together for a while because it will help you see whether you are on the same page about marriage. If you are, that’s great – but if you are polar opposites, you may have a tough choice to make.
Check out 12 Things to Talk About Before Getting Married for some more tips!
Similar to the marriage conversation, you also need to talk about children. This may come a lot later in your relationship, but it’s certainly an important topic to discuss. Talk about whether you want children, how many of them you want, and at what stage in life might you be ready for them.
11. A Healthy Debate
Some would say that the best part of a relationship is when you realize that you and your partner have completely different viewpoints on a topic. It can be extremely fun to have a healthy debate about something you disagree on, as long as you do it calmly and respectfully.
Whether that’s belief in God, obsession with astrology, the belief that we’re not alone in the universe, or even that the earth is flat! If you disagree on a big topic, it’s all the more reason to talk about it.
A healthy debate is about hearing a different opinion and not trying to fix it. It’s about learning to listen and accepting someone else’s viewpoints, not proving to them that they’re wrong. It’s an essential skill to have in any relationship.
The more comfortable you are with your differences, the stronger your relationship will be.
12. Stop, Start, Continue
Not every couple will be brave enough to play the stop, start, continue conversation with each other and it’s okay if you aren’t there yet in your relationship. But if you wanted to really go deeper into your trust and connection, this would be a great way to do it.
Stop, start, continue is a familiar feedback framework that you can use with anyone, including friends, family, and colleagues – but when you do it with your boyfriend chances are you’ll learn a lot about yourself and he will uncover some uncomfortable truths about himself.
The easiest way to do it is to spend some time writing things down about each other against each category:
- Things that you’d like him to stop doing
- Things that you wish he would start doing
- Things that you appreciate him doing and think he should continue doing
Then, sit down and share your lists. Talk through why you chose each thing. Ideally, your “continue list” will be longer than the stop and start – which indicates that you’re in a healthy place in your relationship – but it’s fine if there are quite a few things that you want your partner to start doing.
This constructive criticism will help bring you much closer and understand how your partner sees you and experiences life with you.
13. Be Comfortable with Silence
At the end of the day, you can have as many conversations with your boyfriend as you want – but you also need to learn to be okay with occasional silence. Sometimes it’s better to just sit together and enjoy the silence than try to fill every minute with chit-chat. Don’t feel pressured to talk to your partner all the time.
You can always stare at each other, smile, hug, cuddle, hold hands, read books in each other’s company, or get on with your hobbies and appreciate silence for a bit.
Sometimes you’ll have to have a really tough conversation with your boyfriend, like:
This isn’t working out for me anymore.
Unless you change X, we can’t be together.
I’m in love with someone else.
You shouldn’t be afraid to have those conversations – and whatever you do, make sure that you have closure even if you have to break up with him.