Inside: Here are the 150 best conversation starters for couples according to experts who study happy relationships. Bonus: These questions for couples are actually fun.
Every evening, my husband makes dinner while I bounce the baby on my hip and field the older kids’ requests – the 10-year-old needs me to sign a field trip form, the kindergartener wants to know how to spell “donuts,” and the toddler asks for a pre-dinner snack, doesn’t like my answer, and throws an epic tantrum.
In between all that, my husband and I do our best to keep a grown-up conversation going.
He’ll be telling me about something frustrating that happened during his day, but with all the interruptions, I end up saying, “What was that?” approximately 57 times just to understand one story.
Or I’ll be explaining how in the school pickup line, one car looked broken down – then when I drove past it, I looked over and saw the dad in the driver’s seat catching up on some apparently much-needed sleep. But I never get to the punch line because two of the kids decide to have a screaming contest.
So most of the time, we just give up on grown-up conversation until it’s time to sit down to dinner.
But You Know How That Goes…
At dinner, we bring out some special conversation starters so we can reconnect with the kids.
This little set of family conversation starters is our number one favorite trick for getting our whole family talking, thinking, and laughing together.
And all that is awesome, except for one thing.
When dinner is over, my husband and I still haven’t been able to reconnect as a couple and have a grown-up conversation without the kids interrupting.
Then the Parental Marathon Starts
From the moment we all get up from the dinner table and until the kids are in bed, my husband and I are chasing down clean jammies, engaging in power struggles over brushing teeth, nagging the kids to stop splashing water outside the tub, and on and on.
We can’t catch a breath. And that grown-up conversation we first started a couple hours ago? Still a no-go.
But by the time we tuck the kids into bed – and then tuck them in again and again – we collapse on the couch and can’t even remember the conversations we’ve been trying to have all evening.
It’s like after the whole homework-dinner-bedtime routine, our brains don’t work.
The kids used up every last coherent brain cell, and all that’s left of us is two empty shells who are capable of binging Brooklyn Nine Nine on Netflix and not much else.
But Here’s the Big Problem
My husband and I have both been through divorce. We know the consequences of not making time to reconnect as a couple – and we’re fierce in our resolve to keep our relationship strong.
And engaging in daily conversation – real uninterrupted grown-up conversation – is one of the best ways to keep your connection healthy and strong.
That’s because research shows that knowing your partner’s thoughts, life history, and feelings not only deepens your bond but also protects your relationship when stressful events or conflicts come into play. In fact, the number one determining factor in whether couples feel satisfied with their marriage is the quality of the couple’s friendship.
For example, in one study of couples after the birth of their first baby:
- 67 percent of couples experienced a decline in marital satisfaction, while
- The other 33 percent didn’t experience this decline.
But here’s the kicker: half of the couples in the second group experienced an improvement in their marriage – even while coping with the stress of having a newborn to take care of.
The difference? The couples who thrived went into the experience with a deep understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings.
And that’s not something you can get done one day and check off your list for the rest of your lives. You’re both constantly growing and changing, so you need to stay updated on your partner’s world on a regular basis.
Because the research shows that couples who have engaging conversations every day are better able to handle the stress of parenting life and stay connected.
Related: How to Reconnect With Your Spouse Like Magic…Right Now Printable
So…How Can Two Busy Parents Make That Happen?
I knew we couldn’t keep letting our conversations fizzle out. We needed a way to reconnect quickly at the end of the day even when we were both exhausted.
So I went searching for the best conversation starters for couples on Amazon. I ordered two different sets, and when the first one arrived we busted it open that night and asked the first question.
But the first question was about as engaging as watching baby bottles drip-dry. So we skipped to the next question, and the next, and the next.
The questions were either boring, something you might ask in a job interview, or so cheesy I couldn’t bring myself to even read them out loud.
Then the next set from Amazon arrived, and those questions for couples were on par with the first set. I mean, “Describe your pediatrician when you were growing up”? Um, no.
Where were the conversation starters for real couples that would actually bring us closer together and help us reconnect after the daily stress of parenting life?
Which Questions for Couples Actually Work?
Those couple conversation starter duds made me realize I didn’t want just one random person’s idea of what makes for “fun” questions for couples. I wanted a set of conversation starters made up of questions designed specifically to help you reconnect as a couple.
So I set out on a quest to find out which conversation topics for couples will make you feel closer, according to the latest research on happy relationships that stand the test of time.
As I researched, I started keeping a list of questions for couples. Questions proven to strengthen your relationship and bring you closer together, even during busy or stressful times.
And after a few months of research, I had collected the 150 best conversation starters for couples. Not according to me, some random mom. But according to the experts who study successful and happy relationships.
150 Conversation Starters for Couples That Will Make Your Relationship Stronger Than Ever
You can download your set of the best conversation starters for couples right here.
My husband and I have been using these questions for couples throughout the last year, since our youngest was born. Anytime we sense a disconnect, we’ll grab a question and ask it. Instant connection, every time.
The questions force us to slow down, look each other in the eye, and really listen to each other.
Sure, sometimes we have to kick the kids outside or sneak away to the bedroom for a few minutes just to have a chance of being able to hear each other’s answers.
But that’s a small price to pay for keeping our marriage healthy and strong.
What Makes These Conversation Topics for Couples Different?
These questions for couples are inspired by the latest research on how you can make your relationship last. And not just “last” but how you can make your relationship thrive.
Specifically: What can bring you and your partner closer together? What will make your marriage a happy one? And how can you keep the flame burning – or spark it again if it’s gone out?
For example, here are a few tidbits from my research that informed which questions for couples made the final cut:
- Happy couples celebrate the happy moments, no matter how small, even when they’re going through hardships. That’s why you’ll find several questions in this set that will help you reflect on the positive and celebrate that together.
- Happy couples regularly try new things together. And so these questions for couples help you identify opportunities for making that happen, whether that means something big like taking ballroom dancing together or something small like trying a new taco food truck you’ve driven by a hundred times.
- Happy couples are intimately familiar with each other’s worlds, including childhood memories, major life events, and secret hopes and dreams. Because of that, these couple conversation starters include questions to help you discover your partner’s history and what’s most important to them.
These couple conversation starters give you a practical way to put all the best expert advice on happy marriages to work in your daily life – without having to read a teetering stack of books on relationships. (I did that for you!)
Related: 7 Simple Things That Will Keep the Spark Alive When You’re a Tired Parent
How to Use Your Conversation Starters for Couples
To save you some time, these conversation starters are designed so you can print them on pre-perforated business card templates and just pop each one out (see below). But regular ol’ paper and scissors work just fine too.
- Download your cards here. After you order, you’ll get a special link to download your cards.
- Print. I designed them to print on the Avery 8869 business card template. Or you can just print them on regular paper or card stock, then cut the cards out or fold and tear to get a charmingly casual look.
- Pop the cards into an empty bowl or spare mason jar, put it somewhere visible like your nightstand, and you’re DONE. Or to take it one step further, you can hole-punch them in one corner and put the whole set on a book ring like this. That makes the cards super portable so you can throw them in your purse or your car for a long car ride.
8 Easy Ways to Use These Cards to Reconnect Immediately
In the last year, I asked several friends and extended family to help me beta test these conversation starters for couples and report back.
As it turned out, all those love experts really did know what they were talking about because these questions helped our beta test couples feel more connected and in tune with each other in just a few minutes a day.
But what surprised me is how many different ways people came up with to use these conversation starters for couples! Here are a few situations where you can use them for an emergency dose of couple connection:
- Make pillow talk. Keep the cards on your nightstand or on your pillow, then ask a new question every night before bedtime. You can take turns asking the same question, or you can each ask a different question.
- Send a text. Surprise your partner by texting them a question in the middle of the day. One caveat: If you know your partner will be in meetings or unavailable all day, best to skip this approach so you don’t feel like they’re ignoring you!
- Go old school. Get a nice blank journal like this one that comes in tons of colors and several different paper styles like ruled, dotted, squared, or blank. Then pick one question a day and write the question and your answer down. After you write your answer, leave the journal on the pillow of your spouse to let them know it’s their turn. They can respond to your answer if they’d like, or just write their answer to the question.
- Set a date. On your next date night, throw the cards in your purse. (Secure them with a binder clip or a rubber band first!) Then when you have a lull in the conversation, break out a question to make sure you don’t end up talking about how your kids are overdue for a checkup and that you need to pick up milk on the way home.
- Kick the kids out. Once a week, set up a kids’ table outside on your patio or throw a picnic blanket in the yard, then kick them out for dinner so you and your partner can enjoy a quiet(er) dinner inside and ask each other a couple questions from this set.
- Pair with a game. After the kids are in bed, bust out a fun 2-person board game like Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne. Then when it’s not your turn, ask your partner a question. Because you’re not staring at each other while you trade questions and the person answering is also trying to take their turn, the answers tend to be straight from the heart without any overthinking.
- Go for a ride. If you and your spouse share a commute, bring the cards along and ask a couple questions to pass the time. If you don’t commute together, bring them along on your next road trip or during weekend errands.
- Fill a jar. Drop the cards into a mason jar or a bowl, and put it on display in the middle of your kitchen or living room. When you walk by and see the jar, grab a card and ask the question. This one works great for when you’re waiting for the Chromecast or Apple TV to fire up!
Sneak Peek! Here’s a Sample of the Best Conversation Starters for Couples
Here’s a sample of these 150 conversation starters for couples that will bring you closer together and help you reconnect – even when you’re exhausted by the daily grind of parenting life.
Get the full set of questions for couples here.
- What’s your happiest memory of our time together?
- If you could have a do-over for anything that happened today, would you? And how would you do it over?
- What’s one time you felt proud of me? Why?
- What’s something I do that makes you feel completely loved?
- When you’re feeling stressed, what helps you relax?
- What’s your favorite way for us to greet each other at the end of the day?
- If we could take a day off from all obligations to spend the day together, what’s one thing you’d like to do?
- When is the last time I did something that surprised you?
- What’s your favorite thing to do together on a weekend morning?
- What’s one new activity you’d like to try together?
- What’s one thing that would make our next date night exciting?
- When you picture our life in five years, what do you see?
- What’s your favorite memory of us being intimate? (Yes, the cards include a few saucy questions for couples because that’s an essential part of keeping the flame alive!)
- If we could jump in the car right now and take a road trip, where would you want to go?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
- What’s the last thing that made you laugh?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- What was your favorite family tradition growing up?
- When was the last time I made you feel good about yourself?
Full disclosure: I might have gone a little overboard on my research, but I took it seriously because I’ve learned firsthand that you can’t take your marriage for granted and just expect it to survive the stresses of parenting and modern life.
Here are a few of the books I read to ferret out these powerful questions for couples:
Those are the main books I reviewed, plus I scoured a ton of articles, blog posts, and research papers, too.
Do you have any favorite conversation starters for couples? Share in a comment below!
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