Submitted by Sydney Rosenthal
I’m in a long distance relationship (LDR), and we’re going on a couple months. Whenever we talk, she always wants to hear about my day and how I’m doing and I want to hear about her. Thing is, I’ve been going first for a while now, and she’s a really good listener, to the point that I just end up going on long tangents and then one of us needs to go before we get to talking about her. It’s not a bad problem to have, but I want to hear about her more! How do I get her to talk more about herself without resorting to “no u?”
I originally wrote my response to this query last semester, before I started a long distance relationship. For me, the most frustrating thing about being in a LDR is not being able to live life with my partner. I want to be able to have coffee in the morning with him while telling him about my dreams and playing with my cat. In my past LDRs, I would skype my partner every chance I could, even while I was doing homework. Now my partner and I try to talk nightly, but with our schedules and time differences, that isn’t always possible.
I personally think it’s daunting to recount my whole day to my partner and we usually only tell each other highlights: things that made us laugh, people who made us angry, things we’re stressed about. These anecdotes are usually over within ten minutes. I care if my boyfriend went to the bar with his friends or had a good day at work but just recounting events makes me feel excluded and it doesn’t help me to learn about him. My partner and I also usually text and send each other memes throughout the day so I usually know what he’s been up to.
We both care a lot about the news and what’s happening in the world so sometimes we’ll talk about that. Or if one of us has just read a new book or has seen a movie we’ll talk about our perspective on it. I advise you to try to find a common interest you both can discuss, instead of just focusing on the daily monotony. Do you know your partner’s family? You can also always ask how they’re doing.
Personally, I have been trying to use the distance as a way to get to know my partner deeply. In-person it’s easy to avoid difficult conversations. There are always distractions and physical touch can also get in the way. If you plan on a future with your partner it’s important to know their life goals and passions. Sadly, most of us, myself included, aren’t currently living our dreams and are instead just working towards them.