Long distance marriages rely heavily on Skype, iChat, and phone conversations since this is most people communicate most of the time when they need to talk to someone. Such chats, therefore, are a crucial element for married couples that are living apart. Fortunately, there are strategies you can draw on to create pleasant conversational moments and avoid those awkward silences that seem to suggest you have nothing more to say to each other. From this article, you will learn seven tips to sustain fun and stimulating two- to three-hour telephone/video chats which flow naturally.
Look for offshoots
Every topic has potential offshoots. The secret here is to listen carefully to what your spouse says and to find ways to skip on to related subjects. For example, talking about a specific movie can lead on to conversations about different film genres, music scores, actors and actresses, movie theaters, trailers, etc. Talking about different foods can lead to talking about grocery stores, restaurants, reality TV shows about cooking and more. By following up on each comment your partner makes with a new associated topic, you will be able to keep up the conservation endlessly. To a certain extent, people already do this naturally. However, when actively pursued, it becomes a powerful tool to expand and enhance phone communication. The key here is to ask questions in a certain way. For example, if your partner tells you about a new food, ask about where he or she tried it. Then, ask for details about the place and so on.
Dissect the topic
This technique involves, once again, listening carefully to your spouse, but this time to ask follow-up questions to dissect his or her activities, one at a time. Let’s say your spouse mentions that yesterday he or she read a book, spent time in the garden and later on had a snack. Start with the book (which one, author, genre, characters, interesting passages), move on to the garden (weather, time of the day, doing what) and round up with the snack (what food and drink, who made it, how healthy). Scrutinize each part thoroughly before going on to the next one. Just be careful not to be too pressing and enquiring. Ask your questions in a casual and natural way, conveying sincere interest and curiosity in your spouse’s affairs.
This might sound unnecessary and unspontaneous, but it will actually help you sound relaxed and avoid the awkwardness and tension of not knowing what to say next. Basically, it involves preparing a list of stimulating and amusing topics and having it at hand during the conversation. You don’t have to necessarily follow it to the letter and talk about every last topic on the list. Rather, use it as a backup whenever the conversation stalls to keep it going with creative ideas.
Probe deeper into the topics you talk about so the conversation does not become too superficial. “Why” and “How” questions are great for this. The talk will then revolve about reasons and motivations for doing things, giving you the opportunity to connect more intimately with your spouse and, who knows, even learn more about him or her.
Refresh your activities
If nothing ever changes in your life, you will never have anything new to talk about. By breaking with habits and routines, both of you can contribute to making your chats more lively and dynamic. Examples include watching an unusual movie, traveling to an unfamiliar place, taking up a new sport or hobby, or attending an art exhibition. A diversified lifestyle, besides being more interesting for you, will generate a host of new topics to talk about with your spouse.
Ask about future plans
This is very resourceful, for various reasons. It’s genuine because it is always interesting to find out what your spouse’s plans are. Then, you can follow up by talking about your own plans for the rest of the day or the days ahead. Both of these can lead to related subjects along the way, by way of commentaries about the plans.
Sometimes you exhaust your conversational possibilities simply because you have been talking to each other too often. In those cases, you need a break to be able to build up new topics to talk about. Don’t feel guilty about taking some time off. You can look forward to the next contact with renewed confidence in your ability to engage your spouse in a meaningful and imaginative conversation.