Talk, Talk, Talk

After a month of house guests, appointments, projects, meetings, errands, and working overtime, we finally had a day all to ourselves. An entire day. Just for us. No visitors. No interruptions. No obligations.

Once a month, my sweetie and I set aside a “date day” to spend time together. The only rule is that we can’t delete if off our calendar. It can be moved, if something important comes up, but sometime during each month we take a day for ourselves. Today was the day. I was eager to get reacquainted with this wonderful guy I’d married 33 years ago.

Since the day promised to be way too hot to do much outside, we decided to just stay home and hang out together. One hour into the morning, I began to wonder if we’d made a mistake.

We sat at the breakfast table, dirty dishes pushed to the side, me sipping my usual morning tea, and looked at each other. We couldn’t think of a single thing to say.

Sure, we could go over our calendars and sync our schedules. We could discuss what to do for dinner that night. But those are “housekeeping” conversations. I wanted soul to soul. I have no problem initiating personal conversations with my girlfriends. Why couldn’t I manage the same sort of transparency with the man I loved?

We ended up renting a movie and having a superficial chat about work, the kids, the news. Nice, but not at all what I was hoping for.

How do spouses, especially those who have known one another for years, keep the conversation meaningful?

Guys in particular seem to have trouble with this concept. That may be a stereotype, but it is certainly true in our case. I have asked Pete about his fears, or what dreams he has. He says he doesn’t think about stuff like that. I believe him. He tends to operate in the moment, dealing with the task at hand, and he honestly doesn’t worry about the future. And, he’s perfectly happy with that.

Since I’m the one who wants a closer emotional connection, I started thinking about questions we can ask one another on our next date, which just happens to be our anniversary tomorrow. Maybe one of these will help us dig a bit deeper than, “Gee, I think the car needs washing.”

Here are some of my ideas; what are yours?

  1. What has God been teaching you lately?
  2. If money were no object, what job would you choose?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
  4. In what way are you having trouble trusting God?
  5. What superpower would you choose?
  6. What advice would you give a newlywed couple?
  7. What personal goals do you have for the next week/month/year/5 years?
  8. What do you want people to remember about you a hundred years from now?
  9. If your life had a backspace key, what would you like to do over? How would you do it differently next time?
  10. What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Why?
  11. What are you dreading in the next day/week/month? Why?
  12. Who are your heroes? What do you  admire about them?
  13. What’s your pet peeve?
  14. When were you happiest? Why?
  15. What’s your “life verse”? Why does it speak to you?
  16. Describe a lesson you learned from making a big mistake.
  17. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
  18. Describe a situation you would hate to find yourself in.
  19. What are the top two or three things on your bucket list?
  20. What are you most afraid of?
  21. You have three wishes to spend on yourself; what do you wish for? (Make it personal—no “world peace” answers.)
  22. Name an historical figure you’d like to have lunch with. What would you talk about?
  23. Describe something you admire about your spouse.
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