What to Talk About With Your Boyfriend

Break the Ice and Keep the Conversation Going

Teenage girl talking on cell phone lying on the grass
Jack Wild/Taxi Japan/Getty Images

So you're having trouble knowing what to talk about with your boyfriend. Don't worry: He's probably just as nervous about this whole thing as you are. Follow these pointers, and chances are good that you'll start some great conversations that give rise to still more. It's worth the effort: Communication is a key to a great relationship.

Why Do You Want to Talk With Your Boyfriend, Anyway?

The first question you should ask yourself is, do you even want to talk to him? This might sound like a strange question, but in actuality, people can be physically well-matched but intellectually bad for each other. If you don't feel a mental connection with your boyfriend, then don't force it. Admit to yourself that your relationship will always be less than fulfilling, and either appreciate it for the connections you do have or move on.

It's OK to Let the Conversation Drop

If you don't think that's the case, then you might not even have a problem. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to keep a conversation going all the time. As Mia said to Vincent in Pulp Fiction: "That's when you know you've found somebody really special. When you can just shut the **** up for a minute and comfortably share a silence."

If you're feeling pressure to come up with topics around your boyfriend, try this first: Relax, then take hold of his hand, look into his eyes, and share the silence. Conversation is only one method of communication among many.

Give Each Other a Little Space

Maybe you're overdoing the contact with your boyfriend. You don't have to talk multiple times per day; if you do, you'll run out of things to talk about pretty quickly. Take breaks from each other so that when you meet up again, you're excited to see each other and have lots of things to share. If you're on the phone and the conversation runs dry, don't be afraid to say your goodbyes and pick up the conversation on another day. Allow some space for other aspects of your life; they can be the source of more conversation later and provide some interesting new topics. Remember: To be interesting to someone, you have to be interested in other things that you can share.

Ideas for Kickstarting a Conversation With Your Boyfriend

Maybe the problem is just that you and your boyfriend are just plain shy, and you really do need some conversation prompts. In that case, here are some ideas:

  1. When you talk to each other for the first time in a while, catch up on everything that's happened to you since the last time you talked. Come prepared with a couple of interesting things that have happened to you during your time apart.
  2. Anytime your boyfriend tells you about a future event in his life, make a mental note to ask him about it later. Don't wait for him to tell you how his hockey game, chemistry midterm, or cousin's birthday party went. Ask him about it yourself! That shows you're interested in his life and the things that matter to him.
  3. If he ever says something that sounds interesting, don't let it hang. Ask him some follow-up questions to keep the conversation going.
  4. The same goes for when he says something unclear or confusing. One of the great things about relationships is the chance to learn from each other. Don't walk away confused; ask him questions so you really understand what he's saying.
  5. Buy the Art of Conversation Card Game and pick topics off the cards to talk about.
  6. Go to a museum and compare your reactions to the exhibits.
  7. Chat about your favorite things: cartoons, words, movies, music, animals, Chinese restaurant orders—just about anything is fair game. See what you have in common and what you totally disagree on.
  8. Go to see a movie (or watch one at home) and discuss what you liked and didn't like about it.
  9. Buy a newspaper or magazine and read it together. Find some controversial articles and have a debate.
  10. Go to the park, the mall, or another public place and people-watch. Make up names for and stories about the people you see. You might be surprised at just how fun this is and the conversation it can spark.