Love is about more than just words.
But if you’re in a relationship where you never have anything to talk about, there’s a big problem.
Here’s what to do if the small talk is getting old.
What to do when you are your partner don’t have anything to talk about
1) Communication is a two-way street
If your partner is keen to talk but you’re not, then it’s not going to happen.
And vice versa.
Long silences in relationships aren’t always mutual.
That’s why the first step if you’re having a problem with nothing to talk about is to figure out if it’s coming more from one of you than the other.
This isn’t about blame, but it is important to identify where the communication gap is occurring in order to start working on how to patch it up.
2) Spice it up a little
It’s easy to fall into a familiar routine in long-term relationships.
Whether you live together or not, you have a familiar rhythm and style of conversation.
You touch on the same topics time and time again.
You ask the same questions.
You give the same answers.
Sometimes the reason for a communication breakdown is that you’re both tapped out of really knowing what more to say.
This is particularly likely if you talked 24/7 in the early days of dating about anything and everything.
There are no more dark secrets or big emotions to open up about. So what now?
Well, this is where you can make your questions a little more specific to give your partner more of an opportunity to say something interesting.
“Try replacing basic ‘throwaway’ questions with more intentional and specific open-ended questions that get your partner thinking and excited to share.
“For example, instead of ‘how was your day?,’ you could try ‘what was the highlight of your day?’ or ‘what are you excited about at work at the moment?’”
3) Diagnose what’s going wrong
My worst experience in a relationship happened as a result of a communication breakdown.
I was in a relationship for around one year. For the first few months, there was always something to talk about, and our shared sense of humor kept things light, flirtatious, and engaging.
But eventually the conversations just sort of … petered out.
My girlfriend would text me a lot and we’d have fun and interesting interactions in that way.
But in person, we rarely talked anymore.
We’d already covered everything by text.
Ultimately we realized that we were both going through some type of depression that wasn’t ultimately about the relationship, and that texting had been an emotional wall for each of us to self-isolate.
The relationship didn’t work out, but tracing back the origin of our lack of wanting to talk was clarifying and a learning experience for us both.
It wasn’t that we were actually bored with each other, it was that we were struggling with our own issues we had to resolve independently.
As the legendary writer F. Scott Fitzgerald writes in his 1922 novel The Beautiful and the Damned:
“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.”
4) Is this the relationship’s ebb and flow or is it the end of the road?
Sometimes, a lapse in anything to talk about is just the natural ebb and flow of the relationship.
It might not really mean anything, in other words, except that you’re tired or going through a down phase.
It’s normal and healthy for relationships to have highs and lows. They’re a part of life, and having a partner doesn’t insulate you from the same kinds of crises that you have when single.
That’s why it’s important to be honest about this:
Is your lack of anything to talk about something new or has it been there in some form since the beginning?
Is it getting bad enough for you to want to end things or is it basically just a phase that you think will get better soon?
“It may be okay for a while if you can’t find something to talk about.
“It may be because you’ve spent a lot more time together recently and have been talking to each other nonstop.”
5) Talk about the boob tube
One of the things which can sometimes get conversations restarted is talking about television shows and films which you enjoy.
If your personal lives and careers aren’t really doing it for you, there’s probably some interesting content on TV that could get the words flowing.
On a side note, you can also expand talking about shows and movies you like into issues and topics you find interesting.
Just use the shows as a jumping off point.
“If you and your partner spend a lot of time watching TV shows or movies together in silence, it may feel like you two barely talk to each other.
“But what you’re watching together can inspire so many different conversations,” advises relationship writer Kristine Fellizar.
6) Take a hike (together)
There’s nothing like a little trip to loosen up the tongue.
This could be everything from a weekend getaway to a ski chalet or a few days at a beachside B&B.
The specifics are up to the two of you.
If the drive there gets too boring, you can always switch on a new audiobook by James Patterson or the latest thriller.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Jack Reacher series and its formulaic, Mickey Spillane-style action prose.
It’s kind of a guilty pleasure, what can I say…
The point is this:
Taking a trip together can be what ends up making you feel freer to talk and converse about anything you want.
Maybe you will see some interesting wildlife, go for a refreshing swim or just listen what happens in the audiobook while you’re huddled in the RV or sitting around the B&B breakfast table.
Either way, you’re going to feel a little bit freer and more enlivened as you spend this special time together.
7) Get creative in the bedroom with roleplaying
One of the best things you can do when you are your partner doesn’t have anything to talk about is get creative in the bedroom.
Sometimes a distance builds up between you that feels verbal but is actually physical.
You’ve forgotten each other’s touch, or your intimate life has become cramped, repetitive, and boring.
This is where roleplaying can come into the mix.
Think about a fantasy you’ve always had, and ask your partner the same.
Then play it out, and talk through every line.
Maybe you’ve been a very bad guy, and she’s a bounty hunter who’s been sent in to straighten you out…but then gets surprisingly seduced while trying to cuff you.
Or maybe he’s a farm hand working on the ranch for the summer who’s shy and has a secret he hasn’t told anyone…unless you can get him to open up in your own special way.
These are pretty much endless scenarios for exciting and funny conversations to develop between the two of you…
It’s hard for a conversation to be boring when it taps into your primal desires and fantasies.
So try it out.
8) Find a shared interest or hobby
One of the best things you can do when you are your partner doesn’t have anything to talk about, is find a new activity or hobby to do together.
Maybe it’s going to salsa lessons at the community center or going to meditation classes at a retreat.
Whatever it is, this can be your bonding time.
If there’s nothing else to talk about, this new activity or hobby of yours can bring you closer and fill the spaces that words won’t fill.
Sooner or later, if you’re still attracted to each other and you’re doing things together, the words are going to start flowing.
If they don’t look for deeper roots under the surface.
Was there a big fight after which you stopped talking much?
Did you have a major misunderstanding which caused one of you to shut off?
Did something in particular about your partner make you very bored with them and what they say or did it slowly happen over time?
Or is there just nothing to say because you feel like everything in your life is nice and wrapped up and there’s not really much more to discuss?
Take a look at what’s going on and then think about how to address it.
9) Decide if it’s time to call it quits
If you’ve discovered that having nothing to talk about points to a deeper hole in your relationship, it may be time to call it quits.
There are times when there’s nothing to talk about because there’s just not that much there in your relationship.
When this is the case, hard decisions have to be made.
There are relationships that run their course and just aren’t right for either partner anymore.
And there are also relationships which were built on shifting sands in the first place and were never going to last the test of time.
If having nothing to talk about is a symptom of a deeper disconnect, it can be the perfect cue to pull the plug.
Because when you sit there with nothing to talk about but feel full of love and togetherness, it’s a world apart from sitting there silent and feeling like you’d love nothing more than to be single again.
If this is happening then it could be a real wake-up call to follow your gut instinct and find a way to amicably end the relationship.
10) Talk about your lack of anything to talk about
One of the things you can do when you and your partner don’t have anything to talk about is to discuss that.
Be brutally honest and just admit that you don’t know what to talk about.
Get in your feelings and talk about them.
If you don’t feel anything, talk about your lack of feeling anything.
Sometimes silence in a relationship can become almost painful, but the more you try to think of something to say the harder it becomes.
This is when you have to get a bit meta sometimes and talk about how there’s nothing to talk about.
On the plus side, it’s something all of us know a lot about.
Satirist and playwright Oscar Wilde put this memorably when he said “I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.”
Finding fresh words
There are times when you just don’t know what to say.
You sit there across from your partner and have nothing to talk about.
That can be a horrible experience, or it can be a liberating one.
It can be a sign that this relationship has run its course, or it can be a sign of a wordless foundation for a new beginning.
It’s really all about what you do next, and how your partner responds.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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