Communication is the key to any successful relationship. This is especially true in long-distance relationships when you don't have typical day-to-day interactions with your partner. However, if you find that your conversations are getting stilted or boring, don't panic. With a little creativity and planning, you can use your time apart to grow even closer.
An upside to a long-distance relationship is that you always have something to look forward to: the next time you get to see your partner in person. This can be a great conversation starter. Instead of just saying "I can't wait to see you," make specific plans together. Discuss a list of ideal dates, talk about everything you'd like to do, decide what's possible and what needs to wait for another time. These talks will not only help keep you connected, but also increase your excitement and anticipation.
Establish Common Ground
A downside to a long-distance relationship is that you don't have as many actual dates or daily interactions with your partner. This can give you fewer common experiences, but you can use conversation to fill the gap. Share little bits of gossip about people you both know. Pick a television show or movie that you can both watch and talk about together. Read the same book a chapter at a time and try to predict what's going to happen next. Doing some of the same things can give you lots of conversation topics.
Do Some Planning
Telephone and online conversations often get stilted because people can’t think of anything to say at that exact moment. This is where a little planning comes in handy. Write yourself a quick note to remind yourself of funny or strange things that occur during the day. You can even make it into a mini-contest with you and your partner comparing things like “The 5 Funniest Things That Happened This Week.” Or “The 3 Weirdest Comments I Overheard.” Don’t worry that your topics will seem silly or mundane, sharing these day-to-day details will keep the conversation moving and improve the strength of your relationship.
Do Your Research
If you find that you are constantly getting stuck coming up with conversation starters or good topics to discuss, try getting some professional help. This doesn't mean you should go out and see a therapist, it means get some books on interesting topics. "365 Questions for Couples" has a variety of open-ended questions that can not only get you talking but also help you get to know your partner on a deeper level. "Our Q&A a Day: 3 Year Journal for 2 People" offers daily questions with journal space for each person to jot down one- or two-sentence answers.
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