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Spice Up Your Conversations

Unless you‘re blessed with the gift of gab, we all have, at some point, had to rack our brains for conversation-starters or figure out how to liven a dull conversation.

By Hanamariya Halim

Even with your partner or spouse, it’s natural for conversations to hit a lull now and ?then. It’s even ​more daunting when you’re out on the first few dates with someone new and find that your tongue and brain somehow just not in sync.

Because communication is vital to a healthy and lasting relationship, here are some ways you can bring the zing back into yours.

Start with social media

Most of us spend more time on our mobile phones than ever these days. While it goes without saying that we shouldn’t text or scroll through our social media feed while you’re with someone –– we can, however, turn it to our advantage.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling through media platforms, take note of the videos, photos or news that capture your attention. Funny or viral videos, memes, captivating news, current affairs, new movies and trending TV series – these all can be good conversation topics.

When conversation starts to trail off, ask your partner or date if they have seen, read or heard what you recently found interesting online. Whether or not they have, it will open up a discussion, which may likely lead to sharing of other news or videos, and perhaps either party relating it to personal experiences.

Try the famous 36 questions

According to author Mandy Len Catron, who penned the wildly popular New York Times Modern Love essay To Fall In Love, Do This, intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated through a series of specific questions you ask each other. While it was social psychologist Dr Arthur Aron who developed these 36 questions, Catron put it to the test and eventually married the person she tested it out with.

Here are some questions we picked, you may choose how deeply you wish to probe in this fun experiment!

  1. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
  2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  3. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

According to Dr Aron, the idea is that these increasingly probing questions give rise to mutual vulnerability, which fosters closeness.

Play “Would you rather…”

Come up with funny, interesting, and mind-boggling situations and ask each other which would they rather be in. For example, “Would you rather live in a quaint but remote European town or a beautiful beachfront villa on a deserted Asian island?”

Once your partner has answered, they have to explain why they chose that option. This should be a game of alternation, and it can go on for a long time. Once both of you have reached a stage where the questions become ludicrous, you can have a hilarious session that instantly dissolves awkwardness.

Everyday questions with a twist

Always keep in mind that fluidity is key in maintaining conversations. Questions like “How was your day?” or “Have you eaten?” shows a lack of interest because you already know what the answer will be – the same as before. Keep an open mind and an earnestness in what you ask by reframing your questions:

  • “How was your day?” could be “Was there something you did today that made you feel good?”
  • “Have you eaten?” could be “What was the best meal you had today?”
  • “What do you like to read?” could be “Do you like books on crime, romance, poetry, or contemporary literature?”

There are many different ways in phrasing questions to be more thoughtful, and if you ask the right ones, you will get the chance to understand and know your date or partner on a deeper and more meaningful level.