Healthy Communication 101: How To Keep Conversations Flowing With Your Boyfriend

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated May 6, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

During a relationship's first weeks and months, your days might be filled with extended conversations and late-night phone calls. As the relationship develops, you may feel excited about talking with your new partner, eagerly looking forward to every opportunity to see them. 

Some people refer to excitement and euphoria as the "honeymoon phase" of love. Your laughter, lust, and attraction may feel at their peak in these early days. While these emotions can last months or years for some, the feelings can simmer to a lower intensity over time. 

Communicating can feel challenging as a relationship moves to a more secure stage. If you're looking for ways to revitalize your connection and improve communication, know you're not alone. Many romantic partners successfully navigate the post-honeymoon phase and may emerge as healthier communicators and more confident conversationalists.

Article Visual

Better communication skills can strengthen your relationship

Common communication challenges in relationships

Before trying conversation-starters, it can be helpful to know that many people in relationships face challenges with communication, whether these relationships are platonic, romantic, or familial. With patience and knowledge of communication, it's often possible to talk your way around these barriers and increase intimacy.

In a romantic partnership, you may have experienced some or all of the following barriers, which can lead to communication difficulties over time:  

  • Control: If you're more concerned about getting your way than compromising with your partner, you may set yourself up for a struggle for power and control.
  • Fear of judgment: It can be challenging to discuss the facts of a situation if you're worried about your partner judging your experiences or decisions.
  • Silence: It can be healthy to request space from your partner. However, some people may use silence to avoid discussing a risky topic or invoke the silent treatment to "punish" a partner. 
  • Loss of trust: If you catch your partner in a lie, it might foster distrust and fear of dishonesty, which could be heightened by external stressors.
  • Lack of time: Healthy communication takes time and intention. In some cases, busy schedules or unexpected events get in the way of communication. If you don't schedule quality time to check in, you may struggle to maintain an open line of communication with your partner.

Note that the above challenges are only a few possible communication roadblocks. Each relationship is unique, and some relationships undergo periods when effective communication may seem more challenging or unattainable. 

How to improve communication in your relationship

Healthy communication with your partner may be attainable with time, patience, and a willingness to listen. Clear dialogue can be beneficial, but paying attention and listening to your partner as they speak is often one of the most effective forms of connection. The goal of communication is to listen to understand rather than listen to respond. While active listening can take practice and effort, consider it a long-term investment in a healthy, mutually rewarding relationship.

Active listening and emotional validation are foundational aspects of a healthy connection. From there, you can use the following tips to keep the conversations flowing with your partner beyond the honeymoon phase. 


Show an active interest in their passions and hobbies

From the beginning, many romantic partners connect over a common hobby, activity, food, or value. Although you may also have your own hobbies and work to focus on, you and your partner may enjoy sharing a few activities together. If there's a hobby you would like to try, ask your partner if you can participate in one of their favorite activities with them. By joining in on the fun, you can show interest in your partner's niche interests and that you're willing to learn and grow alongside them.

If your partner has a passion for plays, but you have limited knowledge of theatre, attend a show with them. Ask your partner if there are particular activities they'd like you to attend with them, and ask for them to check out your hobbies in response. For example, maybe you want your partner to watch one of your soccer games or listen to you practice a solo before a signing performance. By taking an interest in each other as people, not only romantic partners, you may deepen your connection and understanding of each other.

Ask open-ended questions

Consider switching up your question-asking strategy if you're drawn toward questions with "yes" or "no" answers. You can use open-ended questioning with both romantic and platonic partners, and the technique may help the conversation flow toward unexpected but stimulating topics. 

For example, instead of asking, "Do you like going to the beach?" you might instead ask, "What do you like (or dislike) about the beach?" The second question prompts the answerer to reflect on and explain their reasoning rather than limiting them to a one-word response. 

Check in about your communication preferences

If you're unsure how your partner prefers to communicate, consider taking a quiz or asking them about their communication style. Regularly checking in about your communication preferences may make you feel better prepared with responses and strategies for emotionally difficult or stressful conversations. 

To develop a deeper understanding of each other's preferences, consider asking some of the following questions:

  • What makes you feel appreciated and acknowledged (and how can I make you feel more appreciated)?
  • How do you feel we communicate during stressful times, and what would you change about how we communicate?
  • When we disagree or argue, what do you need most from me?
  • Is there anything you'd like me to communicate or do more daily?

Because communication can be verbal and non-verbal, it might not stop – even if you're sitting silently with each other. In these moments, a list of predetermined questions can jumpstart meaningful conversations and prepare you for the future. 

Talk about what you want, need, and feel

While listening to and honing your partner's needs is essential, it's equally important to confer your own. Using ''I' statements, such as "I need," "I want," and "I feel," can remind you to focus on your emotions first, take responsibility for your thoughts and actions, and avoid immediately blaming your partner for a situation. 

If you're concerned about sticking to "I" statements, consider writing them down before conferring with a partner. Adjusting to this "me-first" language can take some time, but it may help your partner feel less defensive. Practice using these statements in daily conversations and emotional discussions or arguments. 

Better communication skills can strengthen your relationship

Seek guidance from a mental health professional

It might sometimes feel like you and your partner are against each other instead of teaming up. However, with the above strategies and a clearly expressed commitment to each other, you may feel better prepared for the expected challenges of a long-term relationship, as well as unexpected bumps—and you don't have to do it alone. 

For many romantic partners, the outside perspective of a therapist is essential for a healthy and sustainable relationship. Many therapists specialize in working with couples, married partners, and families, and a growing number of these professionals offer their services through online therapy platforms like BetterHelp for individuals and Regain for couples. 

Online therapy can be an effective and convenient option for many individuals, whether they want to engage in sessions with their partner or separately. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers have studied digital therapy's effectiveness and rising popularity. One study found that digital mental health services might offer a physical distance that makes it easier for couples to discuss more sensitive topics. In the study, couples were more likely to address emotionally challenging topics via online therapy when compared to couples in an in-person therapeutic setting.

In addition to offering a healthy degree of emotional distance and support, online therapy is often easier to schedule and more affordable. Online platforms feature thousands of counselors who can work with patients individually or with their partners with hundreds of therapeutic modalities available.  

BetterHelp counselor reviews

“Erin really helps me set goals for communication, and it’s really crazy how much it’s improved the communication in my marriage. She also asks me every week what I’d like to work on, so it’s just really great to be able to decide and then to put it into action. Without her, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

“Mark is an amazing therapist. He listens so well and has such valuable insight on male and female perspectives and issues while also not passing judgment. I have only just begun, but he has already given me so many great takeaways to improve my relationships and situations. I am filled with gratitude, and I would highly recommend him to anyone!!”


For many partners, communication is essential. When partners commit to growing, learning, and improving together, healthy communication can become one of the most rewarding aspects of your relationship. A therapist can help you meet individual and relationship goals. With a counselor's guidance, you can continue to enjoy the meaningful and exciting conversations that sparked the initial connection with your partner.
Build healthy relationship habits with a professional
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started