// Conversations: The Evolution of a Relationship


Last night I started to think about something rather interesting... the evolution in a couple's conversations over the course of their relationship. Mike and I have only lived together for a little over 4 years, but it's still sort of hard to remember what we talked about in those early days. That isn't really what matters of course, but I know that we talked to each other non-stop. If I were at school or he were at work, we were texting like crazy. Usually about nothing important at all (Those can make for great conversations though, right?). Over the years we've started talking less... and not in a bad way. Not in the "I feel disconnected and I can't communicate with you" type of way. It's simply the "You know everything I know so let's sit in this comfortable silence." Comfortable silence! Maybe it's just me but I feel like that's such an important part of a relationship. Being able to be in someone's company and be totally okay with not saying anything at all. 

And because I love you all, here's a hilariously adorable (yet dorky) photo of me + Mike in 2006.

Back in the day when Mike and I would take regular road trips, we hardly listened to music at all because we were just filled to the brim with things to discuss with each other. We'd talk, talk, and talk, then have to put a pin in it and come back to it later because we each had more to say. Now we'll spend hours in the car in one direction and we'll maybe break the silence once or twice... and I love that. Don't be confused and think this means we don't have meaningful conversations anymore, because that couldn't be further from the truth. One of my favorite parts about being with Mike is...

We regularly pause our tv or movie to go off on this long tangent/conversation about whatever strikes our fancy. Last night, for instance (which started this whole thought process), Mike and I were watching Grey's Anatomy before bed (always!) and we paused the tv to talk about organ donation and how each of us would handle something like limb-donation, etc. if the other were to pass away. (That sort of donation requires special signatures, and your spouse can make that call.) We talked about our emotional attachments to the other's body (be it arms, legs, eyes, whatever) and who we'd immediately give a kidney/piece of our liver to if we were a guaranteed match. It might sound like a sort of strange conversation to have, but it was so fascinating. Hearing the whys and why nots of the whole thing. It's conversations like this that help me continue to learn things about my husband over the years. 

Our deep conversations aren't always about organ donation or medical mumbo-jumbo, but they're typically very "exposing" (for the lack of a better word). Through these conversations we've learned how the other feels about racial and gender discrimination, space exploration, drug laws, and loads of other topics that you don't typically bring up at the dinner table. One of the most discussed topics is simply our parenting style and how each of us can improve. It makes sense since our lives revolve around Toby and we want to raise him the best way we can. But even those conversations, despite being totally practical and regular, are so incredibly telling of our growth as people, parents, and a couple.

We still talk about petty stuff, that's for sure. But over the past several years I've grown to love that we can talk so open and honestly with each other. We certainly haven't always been the best communicators, and that area can always use some work, but overall I'm grateful for our talks, just like I'm grateful for our silence.

When I think about our relationship and if it's meant to stand the test of time, I always, and immediately, go to "I've never felt so comfortable in silence before." I feel pretty lucky to have that.

How about you? What are some topics you find the most entertaining to discuss with your partner? Or do you think I'm totally full of crap? haha!

28 comments:

  1. I can relate to your feelings about comfortable silence so much. I've been with my guy for 4 years and like you, we used to talk nonstop. Not saying we don't now, but we have such a comfortable silence. We always say the worst part of the day is when we call each other during our work lunch breaks because it feels like such a "fake" conversation -- it's not a comfortable silence, and it's not our normal chatter. Like you guys, we also talk about anything and everything. Just last night we finished watching the show Dexter, then talked for an hour about serial killers, what we'd do if our family ever faced tragedy like that, etc. It sounds nuts, but I love being able to talk about anything. Thanks for sharing this little insight into your relationship... it was heartwarming :)

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  2. When my boyfriend and I started dating, for the first six months, we would fall asleep in mid-text from talking to each other so much. Now, 5 years later, we totally understand the comfortable silence. Sometimes it's nice to just sit beside each other without saying a word while watching TV. And other days, it's nice to talk each other's heads off.

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  3. YES. I was actually just thinking about this last night too. My husband and I got married over the summer and prior to that didn't live together (we actually worked in different towns, so). It has made for an interesting transition. I felt like we did talk nonstop when first going out. Now, sometimes, the evenings are quieter. Not that we don't talk. In fact, I think it is much the same. The breadth of possibly convesation topics expands and can come up at random times (like during shows etc.)

    I also noticed that some evenings, he's downstairs in his office, working on something, and I might be upstairs in the living room with the dogs working. It doesn't feel strange or that we "don't spend time together," but is, naturally, different than how we'd spend time at the house before being married. Interestingly, when visiting, I pointed this out to my mother, who laughed and asked who did that remind me of? As we sat on their couch, my dad called up from his studio to ask what we were laughing at. I guess it is natural to learn marriage habits from your parents! lol.

    Anyway, this is rambling, but the point is, yes- totally agree and also loved this post and topic!

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  4. I totally agree. It feels like the first few years with Justin were more carefree, (like i can only think of a few 'serious' talks we had in those early years and not talks about them made us bicker later) when we talked we didn't fully pay attention to the other we just starred at each other. 'omg this cute thing is talking to me' but then our talks started to get more serious, talks about moving, talks about where we thought we were going as a couple, talks about what we wanted out of life... and let me tell you, the serious things haven't changed for me. I knew early on what i wanted, when, how... i knew what i couldn't have etc. But the things Justin wanted, has changed, like a lot. I think it's cause hes a guy and guys don't think things through all the way sometimes... I didn't change his mind about them. I just knew he would because his career doesn't allow for some things etc... and i'm glad that i stuck with him, saw him figure out that the things he wanted when he was 16 are totally different from now, when hes 25. He's even said that the things he wanted when he was 16 were reallly well, not dumb but unrealistic. haha. We're in such a good place now. We can talk about serious and silly stuff, best of both worlds and it's great. The biggest thing we talk about now is money. do we have enough for this, we need more, we need to save this much, pay off this... that the most serious talk we have now. its really lame too. I wish money wasn't an issue but it does make the world go round.
    wow okay time to stop!

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  5. i love this post. My husband and I have been together for over 6 years, but only married a year. We can sit and comfortable silence and i've grown to appreciate it so much. We tend to pause the tv and just go into these long convos as well.

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  6. This this this all of this! I feel like if you can't learn to "do nothing" together, then it just won't work out. When my boyfriend and I started dating, we were ALWAYS talking. Even being apart for one day felt like an eternity! When he left for Americorps 4 months into our relationship, I missed him so so much and we communicated as much as possible, even though he was almost always unreachable in the mountains.

    Now-a-days we can just sit in silence, doing our own thing or watching Netflix or he can go to a party with his friends and I can comfortably stay home and do my own thing.

    He's leaving for a three month job on the Mississippi soon, and I'm totally not worried. I'll miss him terribly, but I don't worry that being apart will have a negative affect on our relationship or anything. When you've made it this far, you can just stop worrying and let things come as they may.

    Elyse @ Cuddly as a Cactus

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  7. yes, comfortable silence is so important! i always think back to a scene from pulp fiction (haha), in which uma thurman and john travolta are out for dinner:

    “Don't you hate that? Uncomfortable silence. Why do we feel it's necessary to talk about bull in order to feel comfortable? That's when you know you've found somebody really special. When you can just shut the h*ll up for a minute and comfortably share a silence."

    xo, cheyenne

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  8. I totally agree, the comfortable silence is very important in the relationship, in mines anyway. Your relationship with Mike sounds really good and healthy, this is something I want to aim for with my new boyfriend I've been with for the last 11 months. I'd like to think we maintain a healthy relationship too, we are open and honest with each other. We talk about everything everything and already very comfortable with each other. I really hope we will last :)

    Great post, thanks for sharing it is really sweet

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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  9. I absolutely LOVE this sweet post. I love posts straight from your heart, Kaelah. So sweet. xo

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  10. We're exactly the same! We've been together almost 6 years and, at first we would talk ALL the time (we once spent 9 continous hours on MSN- How???) but now we tend to sit in a comfortable silence a lot. I love it too!

    By the way, that photo of you and Mike is SO cute!

    Becky
    xx

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  11. I agree the comfortable silence is profoundly important and wonderful. However, I like nothing better than the nights we put our kids to bed, get out the bourbon and sit on the floor drinking and laughing all night like we did when we first met. <3

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  12. I'm totally with you - I'm a total chatterbug so talking to whoever I'm with is a must. One of my favorite conversations is one that my current boyfriend and I had about a month ago, all about pet names. I regularly call him things that aren't really "pet" names - goober, dork-o, monkeybutt, etc. He was always so confused by this and it took me explaining how my mom did (and, when I'm home, still does) this - it's a sign of affection in a family that isn't huge into personal proclamations of love. Now he actually finds it cute! Hah!

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  13. You are not alone! Dan and I have a lot more silence now than when we first started, but you're right, it's a comfortable one. We also pause the TV to go off on tangents and talk about random things! The other night (this is gonna sound bizarre, I blame the show Dexter) we were talking about our preferred method to die if we were to be murdered. It would sound sick to anyone that isn't us, but it's just an example of the random things we discuss in those TV pauses. ;) Honesty!

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  14. I have SO much to say in response to this post because I feel the same way and LOVE having those totally random and surprisingly deep conversations spurred by the tiniest or most irrelevant things... But all I'm going to say instead is: YES. Just... yes.

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  15. I'm in total agreement. My boyfriend and I have been living together for nearly five years and it's not uncommon to go many hours without speaking. In fact, as I type this he's sitting beside me playing on his laptop and I'm on mine and for us, that's perfectly OK. I was having similar thoughts the other day, but mostly to do with who I want to spend my time with. Especially when we go out for the day, I only ever want to go as a two, we are completely in tune with each other. Everything is easier with someone special like that.

    I think comfortable silence is important in every relationship but also random talks that you can't have with everyday people (except people on the internet probably;) ) Sometimes we have weirdly serious discussions about our insecurities with our jobs but other times we chat about stupid stuff that again, can't be talked about with everyday people (such as about wool being itchy and whether sheep are itchy because of this...)

    ...I think my comment is too long...

    ~K

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  16. I totally can relate to this with me and my hubby!! We've been married almost 3 years and together for 7. Sometimes when we're in the car, we have endless conversations. Other times, it's totally quiet. Same with sitting on the couch next to each other or laying in bed together. It's amazing that we can do this. I've only once panicked about not having anything to say to my hubby, but then I realized how crazy that was and put the thought away. One of the most popular topics between is religion and science, which is funny since we aren't religious. But we find it fascinating. I think I need to do a scrapbook page about this now....

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  17. I swear your relationship and my relationship with my boyfriend is the same! When we first started dating we would constantly talk and it would be about anything. If we weren't together we would be constantly texting and calling each other. We even did the whole pass each other notes thing in high school! Then after awhile we grew as a couple and became really comfortable with each other. What was mine was his and vise versa. Were able to just sit comfortably together in silence and not feel obligated to talk. We both still have our conversations and debates about stuff, but it's nice to just together in silence whether it's a car ride or watching a movie!

    www.mariedarling.com

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  18. I have this same type of communication with my boyfriend of 6 years. I could've written something similar! I love the comfortable silences. I also love the random long conversations. It never gets old.

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  19. That picture of you two is so cute! And this is exactly how I feel about my boyfriend (of four years) as well! I love our long talks and just in general updates about each others day but I'm so happy that we're past the awkward silence phase. It's so nice to just - be - with him. <3

    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

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  20. When Cody and I were dating the first time (we date a couple years when I was in high school then went our separate ways for 3-4 years before dating a few months and getting hitched) we totally racked up a cell phone bill well over $1,000 but now we totally do the comfortable silence thing. I like it, and we still talk a lot and text when he's on lunch and stuff like this but I love that we can just be together chilling as we watch TV or whatever. So no, you're totally not full of it. Lol.

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  21. Totally relate - me and my boyfriend have been together for 6 years and silence is awesome.
    Our conversations are totally awesome as well, but sometimes it's just nice to be quiet with each other.
    I think as you know each other the amount of 'stuff you didn't know about each other' conversations grows less and the amount of 'planning, growing, living, and loving' conversations grows more.

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  22. This post hits home for me currently as I live in Florida and my honey lives in Michigan. We talk all day every day via the randomest stuff, but, of course when we are together, we dont talk nearly as much and thats okay. LIke you said, a comfortable silence is the best!!! Being able to have such open and honest communication is such a blessing.

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  23. I can totally relate to this post! My partner and I have been together for a little over 2 1/2 years now, and we have definitely settled into "comfortable silence" by now. Jake actually brought this up with me yesterday when I was complaining that my best friend's boyfriend had texted her pretty much every 5 seconds the whole day that we spent together. I said it had annoyed me because I don't get to see her much and wanted to spend quality time with her, and what else could they possibly have to talk about? But that's when Jake reminded me that their relationship is still new and that we were exactly the same when we first got together. We still like to talk to each other every day, calling each other before we go to bed to ask about each other's day and say goodnight, but when we are together there is a lot more comfortable silence these days and there is certainly a lot less texting when we are apart. We are moving in together in a couple of weeks, and I'm interested to see how it will change the dynamics of our relationship too. xx

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  24. My husband and I are similar to you guys about going off on deep and long discussions on things such as what you guys did with pausing Grey's Anatomy. We love to discuss theology matters most. We've been friends for 14 years and together for 13 and married for 9.5 years and know a lot of couples who seem to think they have run out of things to talk about, but we continue to talk MORE to each other each year and grow much closer in our bond. Also, because my husband is an introvert, I know some nights he just wants time to himself, so I give him that and we just love being bored with one another present, but man he can talk and talk and talk to me when he starts. haha. Looking back we always have been this way though of understanding one another and how we function. He is encouraging and a great listener and has always been much more helpful than female friends I've had even! He leads our family of four very well and considers us all so much.
    +Victoria+

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  25. You and your blog are so cute. Such good style! I love your cheek piercings and am so glad you posted about how tough a piercing they are to have because I ultimately decided not to get them, haha.. bummer things like that can't heal super fast and just be easy to maintain!

    -Sarah @ HairwaytoVegan

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  26. “Our deep conversations aren't always about organ donation or medical mumbo-jumbo, but they're typically very "exposing" (for the lack of a better word). Through these conversations we've learned how the other feels about racial and gender discrimination, space exploration, drug laws, and loads of other topics that you don't typically bring up at the dinner table. One of the most discussed topics is simply our parenting style and how each of us can improve.”

    Oh wow, I am glad that I waited to read a lot of blogs until today because I feel I could relate better than I did the other day. Yesterday we went to go get our licenses renewed so we can do more things than with expired ones (get a truck to move from this shit-hole house into something that isn't constantly falling apart for more money than its worth, to trying to have it in general, for me having so I can find a corporate job on top of what I am trying to start up at home, etc etc etc) and we talked about organ donation, how we feel that those are selfish who don't (I mean come on, you're going to be dead one day, might as well give up what you can never have again), and how we both have it on our licenses (we never knew until yesterday about this little fact).

    In other words, we talk about anything and everything...conversations that REALLY shouldn't be brought up anywhere or even the dinner table unless its in our own home. For instance, and I know you will think I am crazy, but we talk about taxidermy, discriminatory remarks that may make certain individuals feel really uncomfortable (how a portion of black people are in jail more than other races or their large vocabulary of ebonics, or how we hate the upper class because most of them care about money and their ego (even some try to ask poor people for money when they themselves can use it to better the world instead of those living paycheck to paycheck), etc etc), how we'd love to examine dead bodies, some people who just need to get hacked off, and a bunch more off the wall topics that can make anyone think we are crazy. But that is just who we are as a couple and we love that about one another, that we can talk about really morbid or messed up things while still feeling mutual about one another. As long as we know we can understand and trust the other, that we don't care about how the rest of the world feels about our opinions.

    The same can be said for our parenting. We want to revolve our lives, our friendship, our relationship, and every other aspect of us around learning and growing so we can make sure our kids (Zak, 4 and Issac, 6 weeks) can become loving and deep-felt individuals who know that they can count on us for anything and to have an example to grow on personally, professionally and within their relationships. Sure we have had our moments and we have shown indifference about the other, but we grow more of a couple each day that we spend together and within our family. I'm always grateful to have him around because David is definitely my rock and I know he can say the same for me.

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  27. By the way, I voted for you. Rather would see you enjoy the experience than any other blogger!

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB