When things with your boyfriend are all shiny and new, it’s easy to get nervous around him, to let those butterflies in your stomach take over and leave you tongue-tied. But that’s not how you want to present yourself, right? You want to seem calm, cool, collected, fascinating … all the things that probably drew him to you in the first place.
If you’ve run out of things to talk about with your boyfriend, or just aren’t quite sure what’s safe and what’s not, check out our handy list of ideas below. We’ll not only point you in the right direction topic-wise, we’ll offer some tried-and-true ways to keep discussion lively at any time.
THINGS TO TALK ABOUT
Stuck not knowing what to talk about with your guy? Especially at first, when you might not know each other all that well, it can be hard to figure out what to discuss without stepping on toes or possibly crossing lines, so stick to relatively safe subjects. As you progress in your relationship, you can ask deeper questions and reveal more intimate secrets. Here are a few ideas of a thing to talk about your boyfriend will enjoy.
1. MUTUAL FRIENDS
Discussion of mutual friends can always spark a lively debate, or sometimes just bond the two of you over how annoying she is, OMG! Whatever is going on in your inner circle at the moment, having someone to hash it out with is a delightful treat, male or female. And if your guy pretends not to be interested, wait him out: he’ll come around. Believe it or not, both guys and gals choose to form close friendships with girls over guys for exactly this reason: willingness to gab!
2. SPORTS OR MUTUAL INTERESTS
You can pretty much assume that sports will be a thing to talk about your boyfriend enjoys. If you happen to get one that’s not the sporting type, who cares? Move on to mountain climbing, Burmese python taming, knitting hackie-sacks, or whatever happens to be your mutual hobby of choice. As an added bonus, determining where you share interests will help you stick by each other over the long haul, since couples who play together stay together.
3. MUTUAL MEDIA LOVES AND HATES
Always on the list of things to talk about with your boyfriend are mutual loves and hates. Nothing bonds two people like a shared hatred of raisins or wet towels, sea cucumbers or sushi. Whether it’s the latest movie, television show, app or device, go ahead and let the vitriol spew. If nothing else, your boyfriend will probably find your ire amusing, and he may even jump in. On a more positive note, mutual loves also bond. And, as with sports and hobbies, finding out what you both love can lead to great ideas for dates or future conversations. Win win!
4. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD
The wide world of food and beverages is always guaranteed to be a thing to talk about your boyfriend will like. If he’s a dude under 40, his faves will probably be pizza and beer, but then again, that’s a stereotype he may happily disprove. Dig into his head to find out what he likes, loathes and has never tried. It’s a fun topic, and it will come in useful later. Maybe you could browse Pinterest and make a date of trying new recipes. More date ideas here.
All right, so lots of guys aren’t aching to talk about their deepest, darkest secrets, but dreams are pretty safe territory. If the word “dream” doesn’t sound like a thing to talk about your boyfriend will go for, switch up the wording to “plans for the future.” Especially when you’re first getting to know each other, this is ripe territory for conversation. What’s his major? Does he have a minor? Is he interested in starting a business, moving to New York, living overseas?
Not only does this give you a window into his soul, it can help avoid any big surprises later. Plus, being supportive of your partner’s dreams is necessary for a healthy relationship.
HOW TO KEEP THE BALL ROLLING
Okay, now that you’ve got a few basic ideas for what to discuss over dinner, drinks, on walks or in bed, here are a few more ways to keep things interesting. A true conversation involves point and counterpoint, questions and guesses, surprise and delight, answers and maybe even a little bit of spice. Heat things up with your boyfriend by using the following conversational techniques to keep him interested and make him want more of your gabby goodness.
1. ASK HIM QUESTIONS
Getting your guy to spill may not always be easy, depending on his temperament, but you can always count on one thing to make conversation easier: Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Seriously, pretty much everyone. So if you find that convo sometimes stagnates, kick-start it with a good old-fashioned grandma question such as “What are your plans for after school?” (dreams category) or “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?” (sports and mutual interests category). He’ll appreciate that you care, and will likely open up.
2. CHALLENGE HIM OR DISAGREE
No one wants a yes-man, or, er, yes-woman. Your boyfriend, if he’s worth you, is going to want to know you’ve got a little spunk, so don’t agree with everything he says. Of course, no need to staunchly disagree based on principle. Just think through topics of discussion, consider your answers, and stand by your opinions when necessary. He will respect you for it and maybe even like you more.
3. PLAY DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
Sometimes its fun to make someone squirm, or to encourage their strongest arguments by taking a stand you don’t really believe in. If conversation hits a snag, play devil’s advocate and see what your man has to say. You can either tell him you’re doing so, or hide the truth until after he’s spoken his piece. Either way the results are bound to be interesting.
4. CHANGE THE SUBJECT
Learning to change the subject without throwing the whole conversation off is an art, but if you’ve just thought of a new thing to talk about your boyfriend would enjoy, go ahead and subtly shift the conversation in that new direction. Your guy will appreciate remaining engaged, and will talk longer than he otherwise would if he likes the topic at hand.
5. PLAY TEN FINGERS
Also called “Never Have I Ever” (more here) after the lyrical first line to this game, “Ten Fingers” is normally reserved for parties and large social gatherings. However, the slightly naughty game can also be fun as a private pastime. Hold up ten fingers, and say “Never have I ever … ” followed by something you’ve never done, but you think your boyfriend may have. If you get him, he has to put down a finger. Then he does the same to you.
Once your relationship has reached a point of comfort, this is a fun way to find out more about one another, especially regarding categories you don’t usually ask about. Want to spice things up? Play a strip version, losing clothes instead of fingers.
If you spend some time getting your thoughts together first, conversation with your man will be a breeze. And there’s nothing shameful about doing a little preparation beforehand; words don’t have to be purely spontaneous in order to be important and meaningful. After all, wouldn’t you work hard to prepare for a speech, interview or even (we can all admit it) a cocktail party? So do the same for your main squeeze, because after all, what’s more important to you than him? We’re betting nothing.