As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

What to say, whaaaat to say?

AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
When I'm away at college during the week, my boyfriend always calls at 9 every night(different plans, and my parents end up getting pissed when I use minutes through out the day considering we're on a family shared plan..etc etc), however, sometimes we'll start a conversation with a bang, and everyone's laughing and having a grand ol' time, but sometimes, like tonight, we're both straining to think of something to talk about, and there ends up being many silences on the phone. We want to stay on the phone with eachother, but there is just *nothing to say*. I notice this happening more and more, and I was wondering if there was any way to sort of...come up with something to say so the silences don't persist.

We're absolutely fantastic in person, and get along wonderfully, and there are never any pauses then. However, since it's the phone there are many limitations.

Any ideas?

AlyceInWonderland on

Posts

  • Options
    Cowboy-BebopCowboy-Bebop Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Have you thought of getting a webcam and using that? It works great for me and my long distance relationship. Being able to see each other allows you to talk and when there are lulls you don't sit on the phone awkwardly, you can use other functions of the computer. You can talk but don't have to be actively engaged ALL of the time.

    Cowboy-Bebop on
  • Options
    BronzeDuckBronzeDuck Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you truly have nothing to say, and don't have any current events to discuss, nothing to find out about eachother (dunno how your conversation topics go) just get off the phone. I used to do this with my ex and it was just painful (that might be because she was a bitch though). But forced conversation got boring and irritating very very quickly. From there it just snowballs, irritation begets short answers to discussion topics, which begets more frustration, repeat ad nauseum. Sometimes you're just not in the mood to discuss, and it can be even more difficult over the phone because there's no instant common experiences or body language to pick up on.

    BronzeDuck on
  • Options
    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Uhhh... stop talking every night? You're boyfriend and girlfriend, not conjoined twins. If you can't go a day or two without talking to each other... well, that's really not healthy.

    Thanatos on
  • Options
    RecklessReckless Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Thinatos wrote: »
    Uhhh... stop talking every night? You're boyfriend and girlfriend, not conjoined twins. If you can't go a day or two without talking to each other... well, that's really not healthy.

    Agreed. Get a few days worth of events built up to talk about, and you'll be set.

    Reckless on
  • Options
    Dulcius_ex_asperisDulcius_ex_asperis Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I agree. When my bf and I are away from each other, we talk a couple of times a week. Otherwise there's just silence or not-very-interesting conversation about nothing. You should be able to go a couple of days without talking. You can always text him or email him to just say hi...in case you're wanting him to know you are thinking of him and that kinda thing.

    Dulcius_ex_asperis on
  • Options
    imperial6imperial6 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ok I'm going to slow down the /agree train here. One call a day is really about the norm for a serious long-distance relationship. Not everyone is built the same, and depending on how serious your relationship is, "going a few days without talking" might not actually be healthy. All I'm saying is talking less often might be a good idea, but it might not, and it depends on your personalities and your involvement with each other.

    Have you talked to him about this directly? That might help, it made me feel less awkward during "awkward silences."

    imperial6 on
  • Options
    dvshermandvsherman Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I think one call per day is fine. But if you have nothing to talk about, it's ok to get off the phone. I'm assuming you both use some sort of IM program, and have each other on your lists? if the conversation just isn't happening over the phone, then ask if he would like to continue the conversation in chat. Long pauses in the conversation don't loom near so bad via IM.

    Hope mine's a helpful suggestion.

    dvsherman on
  • Options
    SoggychickenSoggychicken Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I like to use skype with my girlfriend. We just leave the connection on and do different things on our PCs. It almost feels like we're next to each other.

    Soggychicken on
  • Options
    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    "So... what are you wearing right now?"

    Seriously though, I agree with Than. If you run out of stuff to talk about, talk less often.

    ege02 on
  • Options
    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    After working a long distance relationship for 3 1/2 years (last year of college, woo!), my gf and I worked out a sort of multi-tiered system. We use Skype's chat function (just like IM) during the evening for just back and forth chatter, email during the day when we're both busy (usually links or incidental stuff). The phone/actual skyping doesn't really get used unless we've got a story that would be too long to type, or if something serious comes up, or on the weekend when we've got more free time. The IM/email system works better to keep in casual touch since we can both be working at the same time, unlike when we're on the phone.

    KalTorak on
  • Options
    BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'll echo the skype/teamspeak/vent suggestions. It should be relatively painless for one of you to set up a TS server on his/her machine, I haven't really used skype but that might be easier. Like Soggychicken said, it's a lot more like hanging out in the room with someone since you aren't really holding a handset to your head and can do other things when the conversation lulls. Plus, if you really need to talk about something, you can browse news sites, wikipedia, etc. for interesting subjects and share links if necessary.

    Bama on
  • Options
    GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Gafoto on
    sierracrest.jpg
  • Options
    EddEdd Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Out of curiosity, you say you're great in person. Is it simply because you literally talk more, or is it possible that it's just that you're free to be silly, playful and cuddly in person?

    Edd on
  • Options
    CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Just talk about it with him, he's probably thinking the same thing. What you want to do is come up with a way of finishing the phonecall before the silences hit. Something like "Hey, thats all my news today!" so you know you've both covered all your updates. Then take your usual goodbye time saying sweet things to each other and end the call. You've both said what you wanted to say, nobody feels awkward, everyone is happy!

    Some days you'll still have marathon conversations, but yeah you cant expect that to happen every night, puts too much pressure on each other to say things, and you end up saying nonsense, or stuff you werent ready to say :)

    If you REALLY want to prolong the conversation and need a means to do it, what about having one of you read to the other? My gf loves me reading to her. Even books she's read a million times are different when i put my own interpretation and acting into the characters :)

    Cryogen on
  • Options
    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Isn't there something like 'phone cuddling' or something where two people are on the line together but saying nothing? If your racking up a bill saying nothing, its probably not a good idea, but if its eve hours or free or whatever, then you may not even have anything to worry about, silences are only awkward if they're well, awkward. Sometimes its just nice to have the other person there.

    Second on the skype/webcam though if you can swing it. You're not burning a hole in your wallet, and you can still just hang out without constant chatter taking place.

    Sarcastro on
  • Options
    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Just tell him you have to go or something or whatnot. That way you don't have to be on the phone thinking up things to say and you can both go do things that will result in conversation next time.

    Xaquin on
  • Options
    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    don't talk for a week, but during that week, do something different. Get out a pen, a piece of paper and... WRITE A LETTER.

    I know it seems quaint in this day and age of instant messaging... but seriously, getting a letter from a loved one never gets old. It also allows you to write down your thoughts, rather then just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • Options
    CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    don't talk for a week, but during that week, do something different. Get out a pen, a piece of paper and... WRITE A LETTER.

    I know it seems quaint in this day and age of instant messaging... but seriously, getting a letter from a loved one never gets old. It also allows you to write down your thoughts, rather then just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

    Plus, a well-written love letter is almost a free pass to gettin' laid...

    CoJoeTheLawyer on

    CoJoe.png
  • Options
    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    My fiance and I had this issue before, and it still comes up. I used to worry about it, but not anymore. I talked to her about not having anything to talk about (which voids the thing about not having anything to talk about, but shut your mouth). And she said it was weird too, but it's nice to know that I'm here at least. The more I thought about it, it's true. Even if I'm not saying anything, and neither is she... At least I know she's there.

    *shrugs* Whatever helps me sleep at night, right? Haha.

    urahonky on
  • Options
    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm in a long-distance relationship myself, and my boyfriend and I probably spend a couple of hours on Skype most days. If we don't have anything specific to say to each other, we'll talk about our plans for the near or distant future, or I'll wander off into a story from my childhood while he listens with what I can only imagine is an endearingly bemused expression on his face (we come from very different backgrounds), or he'll share a tale of his own about something utterly ridiculous he did with his friends ("Goo for you!"). Or, if one or both of us is tired, we'll just exchange slow murmured endearments until one (or both) of us falls asleep.

    There's nothing wrong with comfortable silence, per se, but it's a lot harder for that silence to be comfortable on a phone if you're not sure how the other person is feeling about it. If you *know* that your boyfriend is lying warm and drowsy in bed just listening to the sound of your breathing and perfectly content with that, then yeah, it's pretty neat. But if you're worrying about him being bored, sitting there tapping his fingers on his desk looking around the room for conversational material, then yeah, silences are awkward.

    How do *you* feel about the gaps in conversation?

    If you find them to be uncomfortable, then cut them short. Don't have anything else you want to say to him just then? Sign onto AIM, as others have suggested, and chat while you do other things. Or say goodnight altogether, if you'd rather go watch TV or something. Don't try to force a conversation - anyone who tries to read Wikipedia entries to their significant other in lieu of actually communicating should be shot. (Unless it's the entry on mudkips).

    If, on the other hand, you enjoy the contemplative moments, find out if he feels the same way. Ask him, straight-up, whether it bothers him when you run out of things to talk about. If it does, well, see option A. If it doesn't, then just reassuring each other that neither of you is bored should help.

    As far as webcams go, they can be great for some people, but it really depends on what sort of people you are, and how far apart from each other you are physically. There's a thousand miles of interstate between me and my boyfriend at the moment, and while we've been able to see each other for at least a few days once a month, on average, that's still a whole lot of distance to be made aware of. We both have webcams, and we used them a bit at first, but we've found that they make things worse, not better: they just show us exactly what we're missing. It's easier not to think about some things, because you know they'll drive you half-mad with longing, but when they're right in front of your eyes on the monitor you don't have a choice. And it's the smallest things, too: a strand of hair hanging down over his face that your fingers just ache to be able to brush away, a glimpse of the shirt you accidentally left behind the last time you drove down to surprise him with a visit.

    Anyway. Webcams can be a real mixed blessing, but you won't know until you try them.

    For now, figure out how you feel about the silences, then deal with them accordingly. Letters can be pretty fuckawesome too, but they're more of an additional thing, they won't really deal with the problem of not having anything to say.

    One last suggestion, though, for what to say on the phone:
    "So... what are you wearing?"
    Seriously.

    Kate of Lokys on
  • Options
    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    don't talk for a week, but during that week, do something different. Get out a pen, a piece of paper and... WRITE A LETTER.

    I know it seems quaint in this day and age of instant messaging... but seriously, getting a letter from a loved one never gets old. It also allows you to write down your thoughts, rather then just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

    Plus, a well-written love letter is almost a free pass to gettin' laid...

    That only works if you're going to see each other like within the week. Kinda wears off after a while...

    "Hey remember that letter I wrote you 3 months ago? Blowjob, please!"

    KalTorak on
  • Options
    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Edd wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, you say you're great in person. Is it simply because you literally talk more, or is it possible that it's just that you're free to be silly, playful and cuddly in person?


    It's both, actually. There's never a boring moment, and when there is just a bit of a lul, I'm able to just sit there, watch him do whatever, or do my own thing while still enjoying his company.

    It's just on the phone where it's like "Alright...uhm, that's pretty much all that happened. Yeah. So uhhh..."


    Also, I don't think talking on the phone once a day is really all that bad. The silences don't bother ME, I just like knowing that he's there, I'm just worried that he's getting bored. I'll end up talking to him about it tonight.

    AlyceInWonderland on
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    It's unlikely that he's bored, but you would probably find your conversations more rewarding if you didn't treat these like a marathon. You don't have to talk for x hours each night, and if you don't have anything to say after 20 minutes, hang up. Feel free to call him later or wish each other goodnight, but generally if you go something like 15 or 20 seconds without either of you saying anything, hang up. Call again later.

    Edited to add: It's far better to split up a long conversation into 2 or 3 phone calls if you've got an evening of nothing to say, is my point. If you hit a "so yeah..." and you don't say anything, say "I love you, I'll talk to you in a little bit."

    The other reason is that it's more healthy for conversations to be that way -- to flow naturally. You're long distance now so of COURSE things go well when you're together. But most people's plan for the future involves living with and spending a great amount of time with their partner, so you'll have MANY moments in person, in the future, where you'll be sitting there and those "so yeah..." moments will come up. Knowing when to break off a conversation and get to doing other things is key to keeping a relationship fresh and preventing stagnation, or that feeling that you just can't do something because of the other person.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    When my girlfriend (now fiancee) started our relationship, it was 1,000 miles of long distant. We saw each other occassionaly, maybe once a month until the last one, and this went on for four months. We usually talked once a day on the phone, and had "silences", except they didnt really bother us. It was kind of nice just laying there knowing she was on the other end. Anyways, I'll second webcams/IM. It allows you to talk, and more importantly see, the other person, and it doesnt force constant conversation. Plus a basic webcam is cheap nowadays.

    Also the whole letter thing is great. While we wouldnt wait for a weeks worth of events, a few times we would just sit down, write what we were thinking about, how we felt for each other, etc., and sent it away. It was extra awesome because we werent expecting one, but every now and then there would be a letter waiting. Plus she sprayed it with perfume once. "Corny, I know" is what she wrote in the letter, but I loved it.

    Guffrey on
  • Options
    Nitsuj82Nitsuj82 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah, I had a girlfriend like that in college that insisted we talk every night. It was awkward, and we would almost always get into fights. My girlfriend now calls me on her way home from work, and usually I have nothing to say then either, but she's okay with it.

    I would just say either cut the conversations short or make it every other day or every couple of days. Plus, it'll give you a chance to miss each other.

    Nitsuj82 on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    Nitsuj82.png
  • Options
    chuck steakchuck steak Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm in hotels all week for work, and often don't have much to talk about at night due to mostly boring days. We found watching America's Got Talent together over the phone to be pretty fun. We would watch each contestant then make fun of and talk about them in between. Also, just browsing digg.com and finding interesting/odd stories and subjects to talk about is usually a good way to keep the conversation going. But most nights we just talk for about 5 to 10 minutes when i'm done work and then before bed, which is fine too.

    chuck steak on
Sign In or Register to comment.