In a truly happy relationship, it goes way beyond having intense psychical chemistry. The quality of your conversations will be what defines your relationship..
You know, there are a lot of ways to tell whether a relationship is working or not.
Sure, you could go with the obvious ones, like how often you make love, or how often you see each other, or even how often you smile around each other.
But none of those are really definitive. If you want the answer on what really makes a happy couple happy, you have to look at what they talk about.
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The journal Psychological Science found that couples who talk – and I mean really talk – about the important stuff wind up way happier in the long run than couples who mostly small talk.
Couples who had the most satisfaction in the survey were the ones who only spent 10% of their time with small talk… while the most dissatisfied couples spent nearly 30% of their time on small talk (1).
So what does that mean?
It means that couples in happy relationships have deeper, more meaningful conversations – and they do it more often.
Now, I don’t know if those couples are happier because they’re having deeper conversations, or whether they’re having deeper conversations because they’re happier.
All I know is that the happiest couples don’t hold back from the deep end of the conversation pool. And that’s super important – because that’s how you find out if you’re meant to be together.
If you’re in a relationship – next time try to skip the small talk and talk about some of the more important things in life. Here are the 9 things that the happiest couples find time to talk about:
If you don’t know where someone came from, how can you truly know who they are?
Talking about someone’s upbringing, their family, and their relationship with their siblings and parents is super important for finding out what kind of person they truly are, underneath everything else (2).
Plus, everyone’s got good stories about their family growing up. Even if they’re embarrassing.
2. Past Love Life
ok – so right off the bat, I’m not advocating that you talk to your boyfriend about his exes like, a few weeks into the relationship.
But if things are cruising along with this guy – you really like him, he really likes you, then talking about past relationships with him can be a great way to build trust and intimacy (3).
Obviously, you don’t want to hear that he’s still in love with an ex (and neither does he), but knowing what kind of romantic experiences he had in the past is a great way to get more insight into what makes him tick as a person.
3. What Being A Kid Was Like
no one makes it out of childhood unscathed. Every single person goes through stuff that leaves its mark.
And that’s important to know about someone! What kind of stuff happened to them when they were a kid? What did they do? What were they like?
This is the deep stuff. This is the stuff you don’t talk to someone about unless you really know them.
This is the stuff that makes people who they are.
4. What Really Scares Them
And I’m not just talking about being afraid of spiders.
What keeps each of you awake at night, staring up at the ceiling? What do you worry about? What does he wake up feeling dread over?
It’s hard to share fears – but there’s also no better way to grow closer to someone and understand them.
I know – this one might seem scary to some people.
But when we’re talking about a guy you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with – this is an important one.
Do you match up? Do you at least have some common ground? Can you talk about politics for more than 5 minutes without a screaming match?
Definitely something good to find out sooner rather than later.
6. Embarrassing Memories
ok – come on. If you’re going to share that one memory from high school that to this day you still cringe when you think of it – you should be sharing it with the guy you could really see yourself with.
Because who else are you really going to share that with? Experiences like that are for the person you trust to understand you – and the person you know you can understand.
Plus, he’ll definitely have some hysterical (and terrible) stories of his own.
7. Your Vision Of The Future
So obviously, don’t ask the guy you’ve been seeing for a few weeks about whether he wants kids and where he wants to live and what he wants to spend the rest of his life doing.
He probably would get freaked out.
But what’s more important than the future? What’s more important to agree about in a relationship?
By talking about the future with a committed partner, you can find some common ground – and bond closer to each other than ever.
8. What’s Going On In The World
And I’m talking about at a deeper level than, “Oh, the baseball team won again.”
I mean what’s going on in the world – what’s happening in your town, your city, your state, your country, and beyond.
What interests him? What gets him going about the world today? Does that jive with your opinions?
You can both learn from each other – and get a better perspective on the world through each other.
9. Movies and TV
These things matter!
I mean – obviously not as much as what you think about the future, or what you’re truly afraid of, but they matter!
Having similar tastes – or at least being able to understand why he likes what he likes and him understanding why you like what you like is important!
And finding that shared ground becomes oh so much sweeter.
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The 9 Things Happy Couples Talk About
- Past love life
- What being a kid was like
- What really scares them
- Embarrassing memories
- Your vision of the future
- What’s going on in the world
- Movies and TV
Because fear is such a hard emotion to handle for some, talking about what really scares you is a great way to learn more about a person on a deeper level. I can see how loving couples would talk about that. If the other person knows what you are fearful of, they can help to protect you.
I have never had good success when it comes to talking about past relationships. Why would a happy couple talk about that?
My husband always says, “Happy wife, happy life”. I guess that helps, too :)
My husband and I have been married for 30 years now and every once in a while we talk about our childhood. It is good to think back like that and realize how far you’ve come.
Great for you guys! I have been married for 10 years now and I think about our 30th year together all the time. So far so good :)
I have read the other posts about happy couples (Cuz I am not in a happy relationship) and I think you nailed it right on the head. Thanks!
When I want to know a little more about a person, I always ask about how they were as a child. It usually comes with some great stories :)
The point that you make about small talk didn’t make sense to me at first. Now that I read it again, it does make sense. If you are doing LESS small talk, then the talking must be more meaningful!
Ah, I see how that works. I was a little confused about this one as well. Thanks for the clarification.
Makes sense to me. Small talk is just “as you pass by” type of stuff. If you are having a deeper conversation that you are both interested in very much, that is going to mean more to both of you.
Once in a while my husband and I go to the photo album and pull out some classics just to think about the old days. It is a good reminder to us both how far we have come.
I talked about things like this with my first husband and I will tell you that I do not think we were very happy at all…
This just makes sense to me. Why would a couple that does not talk about everything be happy? There is always something missing and even though they will not admit it, talking is what it is.
I agree. If you are open, honest and attentive to what your partner is saying and things like that, you should be the happiest!
All of these things might make you feel that you are a happy, connected couple, but what if you do not agree with all of the topics? It still takes a certain type of person to realize that you do NOT have to agree all of the time.
Politics is scary to people because they are going to be offended when others do not think or feel the same way that they do.
And that is what makes the situation and conversation so hard to deal with.
That is a very good thought on this topic!
Very good points you make about talking about your family. It is a big piece of your life that you are talking about in that case. If you have someone that you can open up like that to, you are headed in the right direction with a relationship.
Politics only works when you are on the “same side” or you have a logical thinker in your brain. Otherwise, it can be a disaster.
LOL, exactly. We have a ton do family gatherings through out the year and it would only makes sense to keep things like Politics out of any conversation.
I often wonder about this. I mean, each couple has their own “happy” point, but when you see a really happy couple that grabs your attention, what is doing it for them?
It has been a long time since I was in a “happy” relationship. I miss the days when we could just sit around and talk about things like this!
That is too bad. You should always feel happy with any relationship. Even those that are just friendships.
Talking about the future is certainly something that makes me happy. I am not so sure about talking about passed love on the other hand.
Yeah, that is usually a good indicator that someone might be a little interested in you.
Happy couples talk about EVERYTHING, right? Their day, the bug caught in the spider web outside, roadkill they felt bad for and etc!
Well, according to the stats, they do not talk about everything. There is just no time for small talk when you are talking about meaningful things.
I partially agree with this list. Politics is one thing that we prefer not to bring up. Most arguments about it do not go anywhere and are really a waste of our time.
That is because there are so many different viewpoints that they will eventually clash.