Getting past current events
The most common conversation in marriage probably starts with some variation of the phrase: “So, how was your day?” The second most common conversation tends to focus on tomorrow, starting with questions like “When will you be home from work?” or “What would you like for dinner?” or “Who’s taking Joey to soccer practice?” There’s nothing inherently wrong with these kinds of conversations. In fact, these conversations are necessary and beneficial. If most of your conversations focus on a 48 hour window, however, you have a problem.
In marriage, it’s far too easy to focus only on what’s happening on the calendar and neglect what’s happening inside. True intimacy comes from knowing what our spouse is thinking and feeling, not just what they’re doing. Regularly set aside time to talk about something other than current events. Talk about your dreams, your passions, your disappointments, your fantasies, your fears. Your spouse can’t support your dreams if they don’t know what they are. They can’t comfort your hurts if they’re unaware of them.
[Side note: Guys, don’t buy into the stereotype that only women talk about their feelings. It’s a cultural distortion that damages your marriage.]
Lori and I have been married for almost 27 years now (whoah!) and we are always learning new things about each other. Your spouse is complex and ever-changing. There’s always something new to discover. Curiosity about your spouse is vital to the health of your relationship. Never stop exploring!
If you’re having trouble finding topics to dig deeper, here are some conversation starters:
- What career would you choose, other than the one you have?
- What is the most frightening thing you’ve ever seen or done?
- What new skill or hobby would you like to learn?
- What was your favorite class in school?
- If there were no restrictions, where would you want to live?
- Which class do you wish you had paid more attention in?
- Who is your favorite historical figure?
- If time travel were possible, what time would you visit?
- What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
- What was your favorite vacation?
- If you could have dinner with any two people, who would they be?
- What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
- If someone wrote your biography, what should the title be?
- What is the one place in the world you’d love to visit?
If you have other good discussion starter questions, leave them in the comments!