How to Keep a Phone Conversation Going with Your Girlfriend

Three Methods:Finding Things to Talk AboutListening EmpatheticallyBeing Supportive

Keeping a phone conversation going with your girlfriend can be daunting, especially if you’re not used to talking on the phone for extended periods. It can be hard to know how to respond without visual clues like facial expression and body language, or to think of topics of conversation when you don’t feel like you have much to say. Talking to your girlfriend doesn’t have to be an anxiety-inducing experience, though. In fact, with a little information and a good attitude, you may find yourself looking forward to it.

Method 1
Finding Things to Talk About

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    Ask lots of questions. This is the most important part of keeping a conversation going with anyone, from your girlfriend, to you grandfather, to the kid next door. People like to talk about themselves as a general rule, and if you open that conversational door, most will walk through it.[1] Try to ask more open-ended questions, and avoid ones with yes or no answer. The idea is to ask things that will lead naturally into conversation, not to pepper her with interview questions.
    • Ask about her day. This is an obvious place to start. When asked simply, “How was your day?” many of us automatically respond, “Fine thanks,” without even thinking about it. This probably won’t lead anywhere. Instead, try something a little more pointed, like, “Did you do anything interesting today?” or “Did you make it to work before that storm started this morning?” It may not lead to anything particularly fascinating, but it will ease you both into the conversation.
    • Ask about mutual interests and acquaintances. This is a great way to introduce a subject you can both talk about, while still framing it as a question. Try asking what she thought of latest episode of a TV show you both like, or if she read a recent interview with a mutual favorite author, or if she’s seen so-and-so lately.
    • Ask for support or advice. It is important to offer your girlfriend a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on when she needs it, but if she feels like you never need support from her in return, she may begin to feel like a burden. No one wants to date an emotionless robot who never needs help. Don’t invent problems if none exist, but if you are struggling with something, don’t be afraid to get vulnerable and turn to her for advice or validation.
    • Ask what she wanted to be when she grew up when she was 7. This is a bit of an unusual question. It will show her that you are interested in learning more about her, and give you some new perspective.[2]
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    Share an anecdote from your day. If something particularly funny or interesting happened to you today, tell her about it. It can be easy to rely too heavily on gripes about frustrating situations when you do this, so try to make sure you are not just rattling off complaints.
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    Make or discuss plans. Brainstorm fun things the two of you could do together this week. If you already have plans, talk about how excited you are to go to that concert, or mention a review you read of the play you are going to see. This will help her get excited too, and make her feel like a valued part of your life.
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    Share your goals and aspirations. You don't want to monopolize the conversation, but no one likes to date a person with no ambitions. Tell her about some of your hopes and dreams.
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    Gossip. This should constitute a small portion of your conversation, and you should avoid anything too brutal or personal, but this can be an easy fallback if you are at a loss. There aren't a lot of people who can resist indulging in gossip from time to time.[3]
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    Follow up. Inviting her to tell you more about something she just said will let her know you are interested. It will also extend the mileage you get out of that particular subject, saving you from immediately having to come up with a new topic.

Method 2
Listening Empathetically

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    Try to understand her. Empathetic listening is also known as “active listening” or “reflective listening.” It refers to a way of listening and responding that seeks above all to understand the person who is speaking to you. This is perhaps the most important conversational skill you can cultivate. Not only will this make conversation with your girlfriend flow more easily and naturally, it will make her feel truly seen and heard, increase her trust in you, and bring the two of you closer together.[4]
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    Focus on her. In a healthy relationship, there should be equal conversational space for both of you. That said, sometimes one of you will need more attention or support than the other. An empathetic listener is willing to let the other person dominate the conversation when he or she needs to, without inserting his or her own ego.
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    Pay genuine attention. You can’t fake this, so don’t try. It can be easy to get so lost in trying to think of things to say that you forget to really listen. This spells the death of empathy. Let her say what she needs to, and listen without interrupting.
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    Make open-ended, non-judgmental responses that demonstrate you were listening. Often this can be as simple as telling her, “That sounds really hard. I know how important your dog was to you.” This lets her know that you are listening and that you feel for her, while giving her plenty of space to continue sharing.
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    Reflect her feelings back to her. If she just told you a story about a fight she had with her friends, avoid saying something like, “It sounds like your friends are real jerks. They don’t appreciate how great you are.” This may seem like a supportive way to respond, but the truth is that she loves her friends, and your harsh judgment of them will ultimately come back to haunt you. Try responding with something more like, “It sounds like you felt really disrespected by the way they spoke to you.” This validates the way she’s feeling, without pointing fingers of blame or offering advice she didn’t ask for.
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    Invite her to continue. Use phrases like, “Tell me more about it,” “I’d like to hear more about that,” “How did that feel?” or “What did you do then?” to encourage her to keep sharing.

Method 3
Being Supportive

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    Ask for updates about things she mentioned before. This will show her that you really pay attention to the things she shares with you, and that you care about the things that are important to her. Try asking things like, “So was your boss less of a jerk today?” or “Is your mom feeling better?” or “Did you finish that book you’ve been so into?”[5]
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    Avoid offering solutions unless she asks for them. Many men see telling people about their problems as a practical route toward solving those problems. Many women, on the other hand, want commiseration more than practical suggestions. When your girlfriend tells you about something she is struggling with, your first instinct may be to offer solutions. Avoid this. There is a good chance that what she wants is simply to get something off her chest. If she wants advice, she will probably ask for it. Until then, a good working assumption is that what she really wants is just to feel understood.[6][7]
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    Demonstrate that you relate to what she feels. This will definitely not be appropriate in all situations, but sometimes sharing a story about a time when you experienced something similar can help validate her experiences and make her feel less alone. Don't go on too long though. You don't want to overshadow her or make the conversation all about you.
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    Avoid invalidating her feelings. Never say things like, “You’re overreacting,” “Don’t worry so much,” “You’ll feel better tomorrow,” “It’s not that bad,” or “There’s no reason to get so upset.” Whether or not you feel like her emotional response is appropriate, it doesn’t change what she is feeling. Don’t discount or minimize her emotions. Don’t always expect rationality, either. Emotions are not rational things, and people who are upset are not always reasonable. You should expect to be treated with respect, but don’t tell her she’s being unreasonable, or suggest taking a more rational approach. There will be time for this later. Right now your job is to listen.[8]


  • Expect her to care about your feelings, too. Remember, it is not your sole responsibility to keep the conversation going, or to offer your support to her. She should be putting the same amount of effort into these things as you are. If she is not, find a non-accusatory way to bring this up. Use “I” statements, and focus on how you feel. Try saying, “Sometimes I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to keep our conversations going. Do you ever feel that way?” or “I feel like I’ve been making a big effort lately to be emotionally supportive. Would you mind if I got some things I’ve been worrying about off my chest?” If she is not receptive to having a conversation about your concerns, it may be time to consider whether this is a healthy relationship.
  • Consider other means of communication. Some people feel very anxious on the telephone. If you feel this way, or if you suspect she does, try tactfully suggesting that you try replacing some of your phone time with video chatting, or texting, or IMing, or whatever is more comfortable. Make it clear that you are not trying to avoid talking to her, but that you think you will be able to communicate better with her in another format.
  • Avoid endless conversations. If one of you is upset or having a problem, you may need to talk for a while. In general, though, you should try to end the conversation while it's still flowing smoothly. Don’t wait until you’ve both run out of conversation topics and lapsed into awkward silence to find an excuse to hang up. Remember, you still need to have things to talk about when you hang out in person.
  • End the conversation as smoothly and possible. You don't want to ruin your efforts.

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Categories: Dating