9 Things Happy Couples Talk About

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
By Denise Ngo

Do you and your honey chit-chat about the weather and random details of your work day...or do you make time to really talk? A study in Psychological Science claims that people are happier when they spend more time discussing meaningful topics than engaging in small talk.

Researchers recorded and analyzed the conversations of 79 college students. Subjects who reported the greatest amount of satisfaction spent only 10% of their conversation on chitchat, while the unhappiest subjects kept 28.3% of their talking time in the shallow end.

Granted, the researchers have yet to conclude whether people are happy because they can talk deeply, or whether they talk deeply because they are happy. Either way, we started thinking about how important "real conversation" is in relationships.

One of the perks of being in a committed relationship is the ability to discuss subjects you likely avoided during the early stages of dating. So pour yourselves some drinks, cozy up on the sofa, and have yourselves a good heart-to-heart chat. Here are 10 topics super-happy couples regularly talk about.

Related: 8 Relationship Tricks Happy Couples Use
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
If you can't share the awkward moments that occurred throughout high school with your partner, with whom can you share them? Don't be afraid to broach the subject if you haven't already. We wouldn't be surprised if your S.O.'s stories are even more horrifying (and hilarious) than yours.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
How do you really feel about the next election or that new law that passed? You don't have to agree with each other (although it might make for a more peaceful household). A good relationship allows both parties to discuss their own philosophies without taking the opposing viewpoints personally.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
By fears, we don't mean your phobia of earthworms. We're talking about things that keep you up at night — your deepest insecurities. What worries you? What do you want to improve in yourself? What are the skeletons in your closet? In being vulnerable, you risk judgment, but more importantly, you could be finally understood.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Ask your partner what he or she was like as a kid. Did he make friends easily? What kind of games did she like to play? Childhood memories make for fun conversations, but they can also lend insight into how that kid became your partner.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
This is a touchy one, because no one wants to hear their true love spouting sonnets about an ex. There is, of course, a difference between longing for (or being bitter over) the past and simply acknowledging what happened. With enough practice, seasoned, happy couples learn how to address why past relationships ended without inadvertently comparing their current partner to an old flame.

Related: 13 Old-School Dating Practices We Should Bring Back
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Knowing about your partner's upbringing and family relationships is paramount to understanding his or her current attitudes toward family. If you're even slightly contemplating a future with this person, it helps to ask how well he or she gets along with those crazy siblings. Does your partner resent her mother? Why is he closer to his sisters than his brothers? How well can she handle family gatherings?
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
In the age of information overload, it's nearly impossible to stay up-to-date on everything going on around us. Here's where teamwork comes into play: Ask your partner about his or her interests, be they economics or regional politics, and see if you can't learn a thing or two about them. Who knows — maybe you'll help your S.O. develop an interest in international affairs or science news.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Compared to politics and personal fears, entertainment might seem pretty shallow, but Dr. Mehl actually classified discussions about movies in the "deep" category, provided that people focus on character motivations and plots rather than on, say, hot Hollywood stars.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Need we ask: What's scarier or more inspiring than the future? We're not saying you should pressure your partner into talking about plans for marriage and children, but we do believe that you should know his or her dreams, goals, and aspirations. What is she working toward? What drives him to succeed? Where does she see herself in five years? Someone who desires growth and is not afraid of the unknown is surely dynamic enough to deserve you.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people." So, up your relationship happiness by talking about the deep stuff with your significant other.

Next: I Got Catfished While Online Dating — And It Helped Me Fall In Love
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