Love

9 Things Happy Couples Talk About + 50 Conversation Starters To Take You Deeper

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happy couple talking through cups

Do you and your honey struggle to find things to talk about, chit-chatting about the weather and random details of your workday, or do you make time to really talk?

A study in Psychological Science claims that people are happier when they spend more time discussing meaningful topics than engaging in small talk.

That means that you're not just info-dumping the events of your day and then vegging out on the couch. It means you actually dive into good conversation topics with your partner about things that matter in your life.

Seventy-nine college students had their conversations recorded and analyzed by researchers, who distinguished between chit-chat about the food or the weather from discussions about philosophy, education, or religion.

Subjects who reported the greatest amount of satisfaction spent only 10 percent of their conversation on small talk, while the unhappiest subjects kept 28.3 percent of their talking time in the shallow end.

Granted, the researchers have yet to conclude whether people are happy because they can talk deeply, or whether they talk deeply because they are happy.

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Either way, we started thinking about how important "real conversation" is in relationships.

One of the perks of being in a committed relationship is the ability to discuss subjects you likely avoided during the early stages of dating. So pour yourselves a drink, cozy up on the sofa and have yourselves a good heart-to-heart chat.

9 Things happy couples talk about on a regular basis

1. Embarrassing moments

If you can't share the awkward moments that occurred throughout high school with your partner, who can you tell them to?

Don't be afraid to broach the subject, if you haven't already. We wouldn't be surprised if his stories are more horrifying (and hilarious) than yours.

2. Political viewpoints

How do you really feel about the next election or that new law that passed? You don't have to agree with each other, although it would certainly help.

A good relationship allows both parties to discuss their own philosophies without taking opposing viewpoints personally.

3. Fears and insecurities

By fears, we don't mean your phobia of earthworms. We're talking about things that make you wake up with gray hairs.

What worries you? What do you want to improve about yourself? What are your past skeletons?

In being vulnerable, you risk judgment, but more importantly, you chance finally being understood.

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4. Your childhood

Ask your partner what he or she was like as a kid. Did he make friends easily? What kind of games did he like to play? Did he have trouble in school?

Childhood memories make for fun conversations, but they can also lend insight into how your guy became the person he is today.

5. Past relationships

This is a touchy one because no one wants to hear their true love spouting sonnets about an ex. There is, of course, a difference between longing for (or being bitter over) the past and simply acknowledging what happened.

With enough practice, seasoned, happy couples learn how to address why past relationships ended without inadvertently comparing their current partner to an old flame.

6. Family ties

Knowing a person's upbringing and relationship with his or her parents (or siblings) is paramount to understanding his current attitude toward family.

If you're even slightly contemplating a future with this person, it helps to ask how well he gets along with his family.

Why does he resent his mother? Why is he closer to his sisters than to his brothers? How well can he handle family gatherings?

RELATED: How Your Relationship With Your Parents In The First Two Years Of Your Life Affects You Forever

7. Current events

In the age of information overload, it's nearly impossible to stay up-to-date on everything going on around us.

Here's where teamwork comes into play: Ask your partner about his interests, be they economics or regional politics, and see if you can't learn a thing or two about them. Who knows, maybe you'll help him develop an interest in international affairs or science news.

8. TV and movies

Compared to politics and personal fears, entertainment might seem pretty shallow, but in the Psychological Science study, researcher Dr. Mehl actually classified discussions about movies in the "deep" category, given that people focused on character motivations and plots rather than on, say, the hot Hollywood leading actors.

9. The future

Need we ask what's scarier or more inspiring than the future?

We're not saying you should pressure your partner into talking about his plans for marriage and children, but we do believe that whether he openly talks about them or you ask directly, you should know his dreams, goals, and aspirations.

What is he working towards? What drives him to succeed? Where does he see himself in five years?

Someone who desires growth and is not afraid of the unknown is surely dynamic enough to deserve you.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people." So, further your relationship happiness by talking about the deep stuff with your significant other.

RELATED: 10 Ways The Right Person Will Love You

50 Conversation starters for couples

1. Tell me what your perfect day would look like.

2. How do you want — or not want — to take after your parents?

3. Which three possessions do you own that are most valuable to you, and why?

4. What did you be when you were a child?

5. What do you think really happens to us after we die?

6. Do you believe in God or another higher power?

7. If you could go out for dinner with anyone — alive, dead, or fictional — who would it be?

8. Is there anything in your life you wish you had the chance to do over again?

9. How do you feel about having children?

10. What do you like most about your body?

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11. What was your favorite hobby as a kid?

12. What is your favorite book, and why?

13. Do you have a personal mantra?

14. If money were no object, what would you want to do for the rest of your life?

15. What talents do you have?

16. What does music mean to you, and do you have a favorite type or artist?

17. Where do you see our relationship going?

18. Where do you stand on women's bodies and Roe v. Wade?

19. What social causes do you care about most?

20. If you could change three things about the world, what would they be?

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21. When you think of marriage, how do you view it, and what does it mean to you?

22. Who, among your family, influenced you the most?

23. Would you rather live comfortably and have time for a life and family, or devote yourself to a high-powered career and be wealthy?

24. What do you think is the best use of finances when it comes to investing and 401ks, everyday expenses, splurges, vacations, luxury items, and what kind of home you'll have?

25. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live?

26. What do you see us doing together when we retire?

27. Do you like to receive more than you like to give, or vice versa?

28. What are you most passionate about in life?

29. What drew you to me initially?

30. What sexual fantasies do you want to explore?

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31. What's your hottest memory of us together?

32. What's your favorite movie?

33. Is there a movie that made you cry? What happened in it that made you cry?

34. What is something you've struggled with in previous relationships?

35. Do you keep your guard up because of something someone did to you in your past to hurt you?

36. What do you focus on the most when keeping up with current events?

37. If you could vote for anyone, who would you vote for president in our next election?

38. If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?

39. Are you more of a child at heart or an old soul? If your soul had an age, what would it be?

40. Do you believe in unconditional love?

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41. What are deal-breakers for you in a relationship?

42. What do you think your worst habit is?

43. What is your biggest weakness?

44. What do you think the meaning of life is?

45. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

46. What do you wish people would recognize you for more?

47. Do you think it's ever OK to lie? If so, under what circumstances?

48. Do you think it's better to forgive, or accept and move on?

49. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first thing you'd do?

50. What are you looking for most in a partner?

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Denise Ngo is a YourTango contributor, the Managing Editor of Lovelyish, and writes for PopSci.

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