Long-Distance Relationships: Things To Talk About On The Phone
Updated December 02, 2019
Reviewer Kristen Hardin
Some people say that long-distance relationships never work out because the distance puts too much strain on the relationship and it is too hard to not be able to see each on a regular basis. Some people might assume that one or both partners will end up cheating or meeting someone else. This is only true for couples who are not able or willing to put the work in to the relationship to nurture and strengthen it. Strong communication is one of the most important pieces of a successful long-term relationship. Technology is extremely helpful not only because it is not expensive to stay in touch as it has been in the past, but also because there are so many ways to stay connected: FaceTime, Skype, texting, video messages, pictures, and the good old-fashioned telephone call. So, what could be the problem? To start off with, what if you find it hard to know what to talk about? What if after a few minutes you have nothing else to say?
According to Lara Rutherford-Morrison's article, "How to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship When You're Terrible on the Phone," there are a few ways to work through this issue.
Things To Talk About On The Phone While In A Long-Distance Relationship
The major upside to today's technology is that you can have video chats instead of just regular phone calls. You are actually able to see their face as you speak with them over the phone. Not only that, you can sometimes see what they are doing, giving you a stronger sense of connection. Let's say your girlfriend has moved temporarily for a job and is living in a new apartment. That could make her seem 1,000 miles away but now she can walk abound while you are on the phone and actually show you her apartment and it will no longer feel like a mystery or that she is leaving you behind. It is also, of course, a big conversation starter and you can both enjoy talking about her apartment from the updated kitchen to the tiny bathroom.
When it comes to thinking up of things to talk about, you really do not need to force it. Sometimes simply just seeing their face will lead you into a natural conversation. You also do not want to get rigid where every night you both must talk at 8:30 p.m. You want to allow room for spontaneity and when you are thinking of each other, call or text at that time. Something short but thoughtful is much more important that trying to make sure your conversations are long. It's important to remember quality over quantity. It is very special to wake-up to a text message that says, "good morning, I love you and I hope you have a great day!" It is also really nice to get a quick call around lunch time for no other reason than to each other's voices. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with having something special that is just for the two of you that keeps you connected. Maybe no matter what, you call on the phone just to say goodnight even if you are really tired. It could also be a good idea to make an effort to use extra words of affection since you cannot be physically affectionate.
It is really important to remember that If you are in a new long-distance relationship, it will take time to establish a routine of what to expect. It may be awkward at first and that is okay. Communication is a skill to learn and one that counselors can really help with. If you are struggling with communicating and holding a conversation, it might be a good idea to reach out to a counselor on BetterHelp. Your counselor can help you assess where you weak and strong points are and how to strengthen your weak points and get the most from your strong points.
It is also important to remember that your relationship may be long-distance, but it is not so different than any other relationship. You just see each other less often but you still are sharing a life with each other. Tell your significant other about your day. If you see something funny, take a picture and send it to her. These are all things you would do even if you were not in a long-distance relationship.
Communication is more than sharing words. It is sharing the right words. No one wants to be on the phone where the conversation is forced. A long-distance relationship can actually be a really good opportunity to talk about feelings, hopes, struggles, dreams- basically letting yourself be vulnerable. This will actually strengthen your relationship. There are also really fun suggestions online that you and your significant other can try. Such as guided question asking, like, "what is your earliest memory". Not only will this make your relationship stronger, but that will add a lot of opportunity for further conversation.
You and your significant other also need to have a conversation about what you each expect. One might think that multiple texts throughout the day and a call in the morning and a video call at night is ideal and the other partner might feel overwhelmed. If this is a situation you are worried about, just talk to your partner and find a compromise.
If a phone conversation turns into a big fight (long distance IS stressful at times as well as all couples fight from time to time) it is perfectly fine to say that you would like to resume the conversation at a later date. This is especially important if it's a phone call and not a video call where you cannot see the other person's body language and facial expressions.
Do not be afraid to try other means of communication when in a long-distance relationship. You can also text, email, and send letters and packages through the mail. With these bursts of communication, you can keep the spark in your relationship alive.
You can also make an effort to ensure your time spent communicating special. For example, on Friday nights you both get a bottle of wine and sit outside and drink a glass "together."
50 Topics to Talk About on the Phone
If you're struggling to find things to talk about on the phone, know you're not alone. Long distance communication can be a challenge in many ways. Consider choosing the topics below to discuss when you're having trouble finding ideas on your own.
- Your ride to work
- What you had for breakfast
- Plans for the next time you see each other
- Your thoughts on the news of the day
- Weather differences between your two locations
- Your dream vacation
- Your current goals
- A funny story from when you first met each other
- A childhood secret
- Your day at work
- What you had for lunch
- Stressors in your life
- Your favorite sports team's latest game
- Your plans for dinner
- How you're feeling about the long-distance part of your relationship
- What you would be doing if you were currently in the same room
- A funny story about your pets
- Your plans for the future as a couple
- One new thing you did this week
- Your favorite song
- Your upcoming plans with friends
- A strange fact about yourself
- The last thing you bought
- A fun game you play on your phone
- The book you're currently reading
- What life will be like when you live together someday
- What you're wearing
- The food you're craving
- Your favorite coffee
- How your family members are doing
- What you miss about each other
- Something you can do together over the phone
- Plan your next date
- Countdown the days until you see each other
- The next thing on your shopping list
- Something interesting you saw on television
- A memory from high school
- Your exercise of the day
- How much you love each other
- Something you're dreading
- Your least favorite household chore
- Your pet peeves
- The view out your window
- Something nice you've done for a stranger
- Something you wish you could change
- A task you've been putting off
- Make a plan to write letters to each other
- How the relationship is going with long distance challenges
- A movie you want to see
- How you slept last night
Even with all these updates in technology and the tips listed above, long-distance relationships require work to sustain. Do not let anyone, such as likely well-meaning family and friends, make you think a long-distance relationship is a bad idea or too hard. You know what is right for you. Listen to your instincts. Long-distance relationships, just like typical relationships are going to have ups and downs and that is normal.
If you ever feel like you are having trouble managing your long-distance relationship, you can ask for advice at the online therapy platform, Better Help. There are thousands of trained professionals ready to help you. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Mark has been extremely attentive to everything that I disclose. He's not only provided me support but insight and encouragement to let me know I'm on a good path to self improvement and discovery. Furthermore, Mark has provided me valuable insight on my romantic relationship, specifically with learning more about the relationship dynamics and how to build a stronger, healthier relationship."
Long-distance relationships are hard. At times, they can even seem unbearable - when you want so badly to be next to the person who makes you the happiest, but you can't. Despite these moments, there are tools out there to truly help you build the strongest relationship possible. Take a deep breath, and move forward. Take the first step today.