Six Things To Talk About With Your Boyfriend To Improve Your Relationship

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Communication can be a critical skill, whether you’re experiencing relationship challenges or wanting to improve your already positive connection. Communication problems are among the most common reasons for conflict in romantic relationships. For this reason, having personal conversation starters on hand may help you reconnect with your partner in a relationship and learn more about them than you may have previously known.

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Why use conversation starters in a relationship? 

You may have limited control over how another person behaves or talks in a relationship. Although you may be able to ask them to make changes, it may be healthiest in your relationship to focus on what you can do to make changes in yourself. Knowing you are in control of yourself can mean understanding you are responsible for your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. 

Conversation starters are a way to ask your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner about how they feel and what they want to talk about. You may learn more about each other, connect more profoundly, and find new interests to participate in together. Take control over communication by coming up with unique topics that can interest you both in conversation. 

Six conversation starters to try with your boyfriend

Below are six questions you can ask your partner to improve communication and strengthen your relationship.

What would you like to do together that we haven't done yet?

It may help you start a conversation by asking your boyfriend to think about a fun activity they've always wanted the two of you to do together but you've never tried. Although there can be a tendency to assume this question refers to a sexual fantasy or adventure, it can also be an opportunity to explore new interests and hobbies. Another way to frame this question might be, “If we had one week to do whatever you wanted, what would you want to do together?”

There may be an activity your partner is interested in that you weren't sure about trying before, or perhaps they never mentioned it but have had it on their bucket list for their whole life. For example, they might be interested in traveling to a new country, entering a dance competition, rock climbing, or trying fresh cuisine.

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider asking your boyfriend about exciting or fun activities they’ve done in the past. You could ask about a time they threw caution to the wind, their most memorable vacation, the spiciest food they’ve ever eaten, or the “craziest” activity they’ve done that they enjoyed and want to re-do. 

New experiences can also help create new conversations. For example, if you decide to take a class together or do an activity you've never done, such as paddle boarding, you can create new memories and have new topics to explore together. Be open-minded and try. You may be surprised by how much fun you can have and how you might bond over it.

What is it about us that makes you happy?

It can be expected to want to know what makes another person want to be in a relationship with you. Understanding what about the relationship makes your partner happy can help you be more confident. It can also help you continue to value them in the relationship and show love in ways that make sense to them. 

Knowing what makes someone happy in your relationship may bring up profound questions, so it may help to phrase it like, “If you could sum up your favorite thing about our relationship in one word, what would it be?” or “What’s one aspect of our relationship you wouldn’t change?” You may get a more profound sense of your partner's priorities by understanding the answer to this question, which may also help you in other areas of your relationship.

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How can I show you I love you?

Everyone has different ways in which they express love and feel loved. There are five primary love languages often discussed in psychology, including:

  • Quality time

  • Physical touch

  • Words of affirmation

  • Gift giving and receiving

  • Acts of service

Learning your primary love languages and your partner’s can prove crucial in understanding one another and expressing your love. Although there are many theories about love, being able to express directly how you want to be loved may also open up communication in other areas. 

Note that what is considered normal for one person in this regard might not be the same for another. Perhaps your partner's primary love language is touch, and he values holding hands or kissing occasionally when you're out. Maybe you thought you were showing love well by expressing it via your primary love language of spending quality time together—for example, watching their favorite movie or spending a quiet morning at a coffee shop. It may turn out you've been limiting your displays of affection by only expressing them in ways you understand. Asking your partner how they feel and experience love may deepen your understanding of one another and your bond as a result.

Can I help you with anything at all?

Asking your partner how you can help them may show them you care. They might ask for a favor, like picking up the groceries, helping with laundry, or sitting and talking with them. Asking for one way to support them may help them realize you're thinking of them and show them they are appreciated and seen.

When asking this question, follow through as long as the request is reasonable and doesn’t go against your values or boundaries. Maybe your partner would love to have your company at a mandatory class or sports meet or for you to take over the cooking on a particularly stressful work week. Helping them can be a way to show you are listening and caring. If you can’t help them with their request, ask if there is a way to compromise or another request they’re interested in receiving. 

What is one thing you want me to change in our relationship? 

It may be unhealthy if your partner wants you to change anything about your personality or appearance. It can be unhealthy for someone to ask you to change who you are to make them happy. However, behaviors are not necessarily part of a personality and can be changed. Perhaps there are habits you could partake in to support them more efficiently. Asking this question allows you to discuss potential changes in your relationship in a light-hearted and friendly way. 

Maybe your partner would prefer you put your clothes in the hamper rather than on the floor, listen to music more quietly, keep your books or action figure cluster in a different place, or do more activities with them. Maybe they want more quality time with you when you come home from work. It can be perfectly normal for every person in a relationship to have small actions they wish their partner would do differently. 

If their request doesn’t harm you or does not cross your boundaries, it may be helpful to work on making the change. However, note the difference between making little changes and altering who you are. If someone asks you to be someone you aren’t, they might be acting in an unhealthy or abusive way. 

This question may be intricately linked with question three, depending on your situation and your partner's answers. People receive and give love in different ways. Understanding each other’s love languages can be helpful to know what to do to ensure you are both loved and respected in the relationship. 

If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat

What has been most challenging to cope with in our relationship that we could work on as a team? 

There may be room for improvement in any relationship. If you're unsure about the health of your relationship or your partner's happiness, you might ask what is most challenging for them to cope with in the connection. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re asking them to tell you what they don’t like about you but what you can work on together as a team. 

Take a step back and examine the state of your relationship. Are you fighting often? Is one of you frustrated or stressed, either separately or together? Have an honest discussion about changes you might want to make. For example, you might decide to work together on household chores more, tell them you appreciate them more often, or give them space when they request it.

If your relationship has significant conflict, approach this topic kindly without passive aggression or aggression. Don't ask this question to raise your complaints, dig into past relationships, or get defensive and claim that any issues are someone else’s fault. Instead, actively listen and ask questions to understand your partner more deeply. 

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Support options 

The riskiest part of challenging conversations can be their potential to unearth new emotions and sources of frustration, possibly leading to an awkward moment or argument. If you’re struggling in your relationship or want to grow your relationship with your partner, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist. Couples counseling allows you and your partner to learn strategies to help you improve your communication and connection. 

Online therapy may also be a beneficial resource for couples with busy schedules or those in a long-distance relationship. Through platforms like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples, you can get matched with a therapist with experience in your area of concern. In addition, couples can meet online from two separate locations and choose between phone, video, or chat sessions. 

Research shows that online therapy is an effective tool for strengthening couples. One study found that 94% of users reported feeling satisfied with online relationship services, with 57% making significant progress in overall relationship satisfaction.

Takeaway

If you want to further understand your wants and needs, if you're unhappy in your relationship, or if you and your partner think you would benefit from support in overcoming relationship challenges, the above questions may be a place to start. You can also take steps toward a healthier relationship by contacting a mental health professional online or in your area anytime.
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