While long-distance relationships can work, they do come with their own unique set of problems. For example, without your partner around to share in your daily experiences, you might hit a wall when it comes to conversation topics. However, there are several strategies you can use to overcome the awkward silence the next time you call your long-distance lover.
Talk About Goals
Relationships can benefit from both partners having a shared road map for the future, says relationship therapist Terri Orbuch in "The Huffington Post" article "Going Long-Distance? Eight Essentials to Help Your Relationship Thrive." Discuss a long-term vision for the relationship. Question where the two of you want to be in five years. Perhaps you want to own a home together or leave the country and explore Europe together. Maybe even marriage is on your minds.
Chat About Daily Life
Aim to keep your partner informed about changes in your environment, suggests psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne in the "Psychology Today" article "Love from Afar: Staying Close While You Live Apart." Describe your friends and daily misadventures to your partner. For example, if you went to a football game, describe the pace of the game, the sights and sounds of the stadium and any amusing events that happened to the people around you. Gossip a little, if necessary. You might touch on a subject that will interest your partner. Go into detail when prompted or when you're trying to fill an awkward silence during the call.
Share Some Interests
You and your partner don't need to share an interest in every music band or movie genre, but you should at least have a few similar interests, says Elliot D. Cohen, president of the Institute of Critical Thinking, in the "Psychology Today" article "How Compatible Are You With Your Significant Other?" During conversations you can talk about the latest happenings in sports, politics or even a television show you are both following. Share your opinions and reactions with each other.
Focus on Your Partner
Sometimes the key to good conversation is simply to focus on the other person, suggests Fredric Neuman, director of the Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center, in the "Psychology Today" article “How to Make Clever Conversation." Ask your partner questions about his life, and then use reflective statements, such as repeating what he said or asking him to elaborate, to keep the conversation rolling. Remember to listen carefully and try to relate whenever possible.