It is Friday night and though you and your boyfriend weren't able to get together, you've decided to chat by instant messenger. You've seen each other at school through the week, but now is the time to focus on each other and have a chance to talk. As you settle in for the chat, you might wonder "What should we chat about?" Try to remember that more meaningful topics will bring you closer together.
Chat About Your Day
A good way to start any conversation is to ask how the other person's day went. For example, in the book "101 Conversation Starters for Couples," authors Gary Chapman and Ramon Presson suggest asking, "What are two things that happened to you today, and how did you feel about them?" You don't even have to be that formal, you can just say "Hi... How did your classes after lunch go?" Starting off with a question about how your boyfriend is doing gives him a chance to share good or bad news and is a nice way to ease into the conversation.
Researchers found that people who talk about deep topics rather than small talk were happier, according to the study, "Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-Being Is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations," published in the Psychological Science journal. While it may be hard to get in-depth on chat, you can ask questions about how he is feeling. For example, if he seems distant, write: "Is something bothering you?" Talking on a more personal level will deepen your bond.
Though you might not expect it -- chatting about popular culture can be meaningful as well. For example, if you and your boyfriend chat about the plot of the latest psychological thriller or discuss the motivations behind the characters in your favorite television drama, that is a way of connecting on a more meaningful level. Take it a step further and discuss a book that you have both read in depth, the intentions of a wayward celebrity or a recent political scandal. Getting at the underlying grit of a situation rather than skimming the surface will bring you closer.
Topics to Avoid
Some topics are not suited for instant messaging. For example, conversations about a problem in the relationship are best handled in person, when you can focus on each other, writes Melissa Orlov in the Psychology Today article "Eight Tips for More Loving Conversation." Difficult topics can also lead to misunderstandings by chat -- because you don't have the added benefit of body language or tone of voice. Save difficult discussions for a time when you can meet in person.
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