Relationships

Um, Literally What Do You Talk About With the Person You Live With?

The other day, I was chatting with a school mom, who told me that her husband had started heading into work at an empty office. At first, she said, she was bummed because she wanted his help with the kids at home, but she realized it was worth it for one important reason…

“We now have something to talk about in the evenings,” she told me, the thrill of excitement in her voice. “Like, if he goes on the subway or, maybe, sees a bird…”

It made me laugh so much because the same is true in our apartment. Since we’re not seeing people or doing much outside of the house, we don’t have much to report at the end of each day. We still talk all the time, but our conversation topics have become increasingly (and hilariously) random.

For example, Alex and I have started describing our dreams to each other (“So, it was our house but not like our house…”), and last night I showed him how if I pull my right hand with my left hand, my right wrist will crack. Then I made him wait until I did it enough times for it to work.

So, I’m curious: Are you the same? What are you talking about these days with your roommates or significant others or parents or whomever you are living with? Are you heading into random territory? If you are craving conversation starters, here’s a post we did (pre-pandemic!) about 12 questions to ask your significant other at dinner. Or are you living alone? Or do you leave the house for work or other reasons? I’d love to hear…

P.S. Conversation starters in the winter, and 8 things I’ve learned about marriage.

  1. Beth says...

    For this same reason, my husband and I decided that every year we would take up a new hobby or interest together. One year we both learn to fly fish. Another year was music- we ended up going to 20 concerts, our first symphony, and we got Spotify premium. Last year we learned how to Stand Up Paddleboard. It’s a great way to keep the friendship (& conversations) alive. :)

  2. Shelly says...

    My husband started a new job in the pandemic and I’m still out of work and home with the kids. He comes home and relates all of the difficulties and politics related to starting a new job. I’m enjoying my advisory capacity. Although, I miss working outside of the house, I know this won’t last forever. I agree with a previous writer, that we’re at the “anything goes” stage of the pandemic and just trying to give each other grace.
    I would also add that during the pandemic, I have been reminded of how hilarious we are together. (at least to ourselves) Once or twice we’ve texted or sent a friend a video message and then asked ourselves: Are we as funny/clever as we think we are? Maybe not, but who cares?!

    Recently, I’ve taken to watching the show Finding your Roots on PBS and I sometimes relate whole episodes to my husband and we always joke that he doesn’t need to watch it now.

  3. I just want to confirm that other people immediately tried to crack their wrists too…

    • Laurie says...

      Exactly what I did!

    • Ashley says...

      Oh this made me laugh so hard.

    • Dana says...

      Yep. How did you know?

  4. Emily says...

    These are cracking me up!! I realllllly miss our cat who passed away nearly two weeks ago. I work from home and my husband does not, so I always gave him a rundown of what she did all day. We could always tell when she had annoyed one of us when the conversation began “Guess what YOUR CAT did today?? Now that she’s gone, we talk about her stories from the past 13 years. Like the time we were moving to Vermont and she and I were in the car together and my husband was driving the moving van when suddenly I pulled off the road and he freaked out that something was wrong. He ran up to my window and I yelled “Your cat just took the BIGGEST SHIT EVER!” and he doubled over laughing. I made him clean it up before we got back on the road.

    • Jules says...

      I’m so sorry Emily. Hugs <3

    • Mel says...

      Oh my god, this made me cry and laugh at the same time. It sounds like you had a wonderful kitty, full of personality <3

  5. Tyler says...

    My husband and I mostly talk about how cute the dog is, what we ate, what we’re going to eat, and always, always quoting movie lines to each other. Sometimes when I’m sick of him and just want to be left alone to listen to a podcast or something, he’ll come up to me and quote some movie line I’ve heard a million times and I want to scream. And then I always think of that famous marriage study that found that in the most successful marriages people would consistently respond to each others “bids” for attention. It’s not about finding your partner fascinating all the time, but it’s about being kind enough to realize when they are trying to make a bid for your attention and responding. Really fascinating stuff. So I remember that study and I laugh and I quote the next line back to him.

    • Rebecca says...

      Tyler, I so relate to this. We just talk about food and our dogs most of the time. With me it’s when he starts singing the same nonsense song for the hundredth time that I want to scream! But I have also never forgotten that marriage study and I think of all the times I say things like ‘look at that bird’ or ‘that rock looks like a frog’ and how we both continue to appreciate each other’s bids for attention.

  6. Dana says...

    This morning my husband talked to me for a no less than four minutes about his new log splitter, and how it’s really “upping his Solo Stove game.” Towards the end of this encounter he said, and I quote: “You really need to come down and check out this splitter. I think it’ll really excite you.” In that moment, I had an acute realization that over the course of the last eleven months, we’ve entirely lost sight of what is “exciting.” (But I still love the shit out of him.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

    • Ceridwen says...

      That is hilarious!! I am cracking up.

    • Judy says...

      Your husband sounds a lot like my husband (who also LOVES his solo stove!)

    • Emily says...

      OMG- my husband got a log splitter this week too and he won’t stop talking about it! I had no idea such a (perfect, apparently) tool existed!

  7. JM says...

    My husband and I (mid 40s w/ two teenage kids) talk about the future a lot, which feels so hopeful – basically just putting a loose plan in place for the next 20 years. After parenting through the baby/toddler/preschool/elementary years and pretty much just focusing on what’s in front of you each day, it feels exciting to look forward into What Could Be again!

  8. Violeta says...

    I’m finding we really like to talk about work, as well as our 2 sons. I just desperately miss talking to people at work, every min is scheduled and so serious, if I ramble off topic even slightly people get snippy. I’m so grateful my husband is willing to listen to me. I also adore getting to know his colleagues whom I’ve never met.
    The other day he was explaining how he fixed the printer after working on it all morning and he used the expression “sacrificial magenta” so casually, it just cracked me up and I leaped onto him with enormous affection. These are the bright sparks amid the dulling marriage of late.

  9. Emma says...

    I’m insanely lucky that my husband and I have pretty much all of the same interests and hobbies, so we are really never short on conversation topics. We got into an MMO over the summer and made a lot of new friends, and that truly got us through 2020. It’s been such a joy to have a fun activity to share with him every evening. I do read a lot while he does not, so it’s nice being able to describe some of my favorite novels to him. And now we just got a rescue puppy, so our life revolves around her now, haha.

  10. Monica says...

    It’s a mash up honestly, my husband is a therapist so he listens to people talk all day. He doesn’t have much capacity to listen, but he wants to talk – it’s been a years-long struggle for us. Usually our evening conversations are reporting on the day, plans for the next day, sometimes something a little bit deeper.

    The past year has brought up issues for us communication-wise. He’s actually seeing a therapist for himself now so I can be released from that unhealthy dynamic and just enjoy companion conversation.

    We have kids too, so we talk about them. Seriously typing this out and thinking about what to share has reminded me that we have a lot of communication problems. Hmmm…

    • Loesie says...

      Just wanted to let you know these past few months have brought me to the same conclusion. Hang in there ♥️
      Wishing you so much love.

  11. Caitlin says...

    my husband and i are obsessed with watching Grand Designs. on good days, we talk about what our dream house would look like. on bad days, we judge the people on their design choices (“can you believe they didn’t hire an architect?” “eight months?? you’re living in a DREAM WORLD.”) This is a huge bonus too, since we get to channel our general frustration into random lovely British people on TV instead of at each other! A common enemy!

    • Laura says...

      OMG we recently found this show and I am so fascinated because the host is so… mean? to the designers lol. He’s also so judgmental about people taking out loans, which is so normal in the US. I cannot imagine an American show host being like “wow you are borrowing a lot from the bank”

    • Emma says...

      Haha he’s SO RUDE! “Don’t you think you’re crazy for wanting to live in a hole? Do you hate sunlight? You want to spend millions of dollars on a basement? Wouldn’t you rather have a real house?”

    • Rebecca says...

      My husband and I are also really into grand designs lately. It’s great escapism. I’m British and I don’t think Kevin is all that mean… but maybe I am just used to it as I’ve watched the show for years. Although it’s true he always likes to know where the money comes from and is not into big loans. It is quite funny when he is not into people’s design choices. He doesn’t really hide it.

  12. We’ve definitely hit dream conversation territory! And we talk about the cats. Or what song I’m repeatedly singing the first line to (it changes every day). Or why he’s draped wet washing over the bannister. We tend to take seperate walks so we get some alone time and have something new to talk about an hour later and I make him laugh when I do bad accents for the conversations I imagine people have on the other side of the street.
    I really love the randomness of our conversations now we’re not trying to break through the tiredness that comes with commuting. It’s been a blessing really.

  13. Rachel says...

    Mostly we talk *at* each other as a way of processing what happened at work during the day. I’m in healthcare and my partner is a data scientist for an environmental organization. So I’ll discuss “the nuances of different treatment options for specific populations and their implications for long term outcomes” while he nods his head, and then I’ll nod my head and say “hmm” while listening to “the complications of using different software tools for systematic analysis of the environmental effects of air pollution on trees.” We actually have no clue what the other person is talking about, but it’s certainly nice to have someone just listen to whatever issue the other is dealing with that day. It’s also a good exercise in being an empathetic listener “that sounds really frustrating” vs. jumping into problem solving since we don’t have a clue how to solve the other person’s problem.

    • Elspeth says...

      I love this explanation! I totally understand about not understanding your partner’s day/work context but still being loving in listening to them patiently and emphatically .

    • June says...

      We do the same!

  14. Sarah says...

    We have definitely been struggling with conversation topics! For awhile, my husband and I would pick a year of the Oscars and debate who should have won. That lasted us most of the summer (we took it very seriously). Now my five year old daughter is into playing 20 questions, which occupies most of our mealtime conversations. Actually 20 questions is very fun, we all laugh, and sometimes my husband and I keep playing even when she’s lost interest (Billie Jean King was a particular stumper.)

  15. Kim says...

    So apt! Last week my husband came back from a walk after dropping our oldest at her outdoor school. He said, “there were six cars in the parking lot at the nature trail.” I said, “Hmm.” He didn’t think my reply was sufficient, so being the hilarious jerk I am, I said, “Six cars! That is incredible! Wow. Usually there is one. Two tops! Six?!?! What was happening? …. Do you think it was, like, a drug deal?”

    It highlighted the paucity of engaging topics. When we can interact with more people we become more interesting as people. I’m looking forward to that.

  16. Syl says...

    Hahaha all me and my boyfriend talk about is stuff we saw on the internet that day

  17. Andrea Surette says...

    My husband left the house for an appointment and texted me an image of a “strange bird he found.” it was literally a HAWK eating a pigeon in downtown Washington D.C. next to his doctor’s office. We talked about it for a long time and even shared the photo with family and friends! Because….why not? It was something exciting and weird and new to discuss.

  18. Iza says...

    I do not talk much to people I live with. My husband cares for me to not talk, my kids son 16 is not interested in talking to me at all, daughter 13 is all the time mad at me and not interested in talking to me. I feel alone, I have a family and it feels like I don’t. I had so much to tell, but years passed and I feel so hollow. I am now not even interested in anything. And envy all you guys that you have someone smiling while you talk. Smiling to you.

    • cherry says...

      I’m so sorry. that sounds like a tough time. I am not quite in the same boat, no kids yet, but I also have a partner that cares for me to not talk right now. Try to remember that it is probably more a reflection on where they are in their journey rather than a reflection on you. I’m sure you have so much to tell and there are so many people who would love to hear it. That doesn’t mean much, I know, because you WANT to tell it to your family. I hope things get better for you. I can’t say anything that will help, but know that someone out there is thinking of you.

    • Erin says...

      Oh, Iza, my heart is breaking for you. Sending a big your way…smiling to you. :) I hope that you can find a small something that makes you smile today, whether a hot cup of tea, a singing bird, or a good book. I am very fortunate to have someone to smile at me, but during their three weeks of quarantine with covid, I found myself having imaginary conversations with houseplants, my sewing machine, and the authors of my favorite books… and, as ridiculous as that was, it helped me feel more seen and connected.

    • Allie says...

      I’m really sorry that you feel so alone, Iza. I’m thinking about you.

    • Adel says...

      That’s rough! Sending love ❤️❤️❤️ When this is all over 🙏🙏🙏 try to find some girlfriends to hang with.

    • b says...

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Iza. If you ever want to talk, feel free to email me at thisismynewmoon@gmail.com.

    • Yulia says...

      I bet you have a lot to say, Iza. And I like the way you write. Have you ever written in a journal? I write in one and really like it. It’s like having a conversation with yourself.

    • Julie says...

      Oh Iza, that sucks! I just spent a few minutes envisioning you giving the finger to your family by delving head first into your thing/finding your thing and telling them all to stuff it. It was like a movie montage of you trying all of these things out to awaken yourself. Your son comes up to you and says, “Mom, can you make me food?” and you say, “Get lost, I’m busy painting.” Then your husband asks you about the bills and you say, “Whatever, I’m going for a hike.” Then your daughter growls at you in true 13 year old fashion, and you just growl back and show her your claws, which is a manicure you just gave yourself in cheetah print. Then, of course, after weeks or months of this (that happens in seconds in the movie version), you’re bright eyed and smiling and laughing at your own jokes and either your family starts to show some interest in you OR they are still lumps on a log and you are unperturbed by their lack of interest in you because you’ve found out you really love yourself.
      We all just want to be heard. We hear you, Iza!

    • AB says...

      I’m so sorry Iza. Know that there are people who care ❤️

    • Monica says...

      We’re here sometimes. Thank you for sharing your experience and I’m so sorry.

      These fun and funny reflections are important but so are the serious reflections about how not all of us are in positive places during this time of extra isolation and outside restriction. Relationships and people legitimately struggling are feeling sidelined in many ways.

      Therapists are super busy right now, which is good but complex and is definitely a cultural comment on access to quality mental health and relationship care.

      I am encouraged to see the outpouring of love from readers here.

    • Elspeth says...

      I’m so sorry to hear that 💜 If you ever need someone to talk to (and who will smile at you, promise) then feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram @lilythebarefootbarista. You’re not alone!

  19. MK says...

    I feel like my husband and I laugh together more (and more heartily when we do) and I have seriously NO IDEA why that is. Maybe it’s a shared bond over how ridiculous all of this is, maybe se are synced up and on the same wavelength due to spending so much time together, maybe we have to laugh or we’ll cry (since we are both WFH and caring for two tiny people.)
    It’s usually things that no one else would remotely find funny. Like how when he takes an Aleve for a headache, he feels AMAZING for a day afterword- like literally Aleve makes him high. Why is that funny??!

    • Susan says...

      I miss hearty laughter!! I’m married with 3 small kids and WFH but I think I’m too high strung to laugh about the ridiculousness of this.
      I’m just going to lean into it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Becca says...

    We honestly communicate more than we should through clicks and kiss sounds… I wish I could say this started during quarantine, but we’ve always been weird. The clicks/kisses have specific rhythms based on what we’re saying to each other. We never call each other by our names and our nicknames this past year have morphed in very strange ways. We both call each other puffer fish? Or puff head? I don’t know, man. This newlywed/COVID year has been a rollercoaster.

    • Kate says...

      Becca, hello from one newlywed in Covid to another! We are a similarly weird boat and also with sound effects. We do so many boop boop booops to convey… pretty much everything. So many boops.

  21. Joanna says...

    My boyfriend broke up with me before this winter began, so I’ve been living alone for the first time in over 12 years. I have been lucky to be able to work from home throughout this pandemic but I am also a true extrovert, so it’s become increasingly hard on me. I try to text a few people a day, but most of my friends are busy with their kids, so responses are short and come in at random. I miss being around people, but with New England winter being so cold and snowy, it’s tricky to find ways to chat with people in real life these days. I hope anyone out there in a similar predicament is hanging in there. It’s definitely a trying time for all.

    • Sophie says...

      Hi Joanna, I broke up with my husband a few months ago and living by myself while WFH through Covid January in New York City has been so isolating, it has really taken a toll on me as I too am an extrovert who thrives on connection. At some point I just said fuck it, I need to do something for my mental health and escaped to San Francisco and honestly it’s been a game changer, even though I don’t really know anyone here: There are people out and about, outdoor dining is open again and there are leaves on trees and flowers blooming! I’m aware it’s a privilege that I’m able to do this, but if you have the opportunity to do something in that vein, I highly recommend. I gave myself permission to splurge a little bit for the sake of my mental health – after all, what moment if not one like this is deserving of spending some emergency money, I told myself. I hope you can find some form of respite from the isolation of covid winter – you deserve it. Sending a big hug

  22. Rachel says...

    We are deep in National Parks vacation planning! Maybe it is folly, but it is so exhiliarating. We did a google form with rank-choiced voting with our kids (8&9). Thinking about something outside of this house is so life-giving.

    • Susan says...

      I planned a huge trip to Denmark! When will we take it? No idea.

  23. Olivia Jane says...

    We recently picked up a split grocery delivery from our friends’ porch, and they were so excited to share their latest discovery:
    “See, HER glasses are easy to balance on my thumb, like this, but MINE aren’t. See? Watch this. Isn’t that crazy?!”
    It made me feel better to know that this was the level of scintillating conversation even my smartest, most entertaining friends were now having.

  24. Tina says...

    We think we are having a very deep conversation, until we look at each other and realize it’s on “repeat” for the hundredth time, and not deep at all. We’ve been married for 31 years, and at this point, I’m wondering if this is normal for “an old married couple” or a product of spending 24 hours a day together, for almost a year. Happy/sad face!

  25. Taylor says...

    I live alone and work from home since the pandemic started. When I talk to family and friends they say that I have become very detailed about the littlest of things and I talk about things that no one cares about. Haha They totally get it though with me living alone and going nowhere and seeing no one.

  26. Sarah says...

    A bit of a tangent, but this reminds me of a women’s leadership discussion I attended recently (virtually, natch) when a point was raised that men are increasingly returning to the office while women are more likely to continue working from home as the pandemic continues (if working at all). As a busy mom of three, working from home has saved my career, but I worry about the long-term implications of yet another growing gender gap during Covid times. Would love to hear more from COJ on this topic.

    • Julie says...

      You are totally right, that’s what’s happening at my office. SO INTERESTING!

    • Andrea Bearce says...

      Yep. And now I know lots of women who’ve left their jobs to facilitate at home learning. Def some backward steps in workplace equality happening.

  27. Mikayla says...

    My husband and I have started a bedtime routine where he snuggles up to me and says, “Tell me about things.” And I recite whatever random stuff has popped into my brain – like how fish have the weirdest organs that let them detect the tiniest movement in the water along with any electrostatic activity. Inevitably I forget details and have to Google some stuff. After reading your post, I went through my Google search history from last night and cracked up. Results: “lateral line fish”, “other weird fish organs”, “swim bladder?”, and “why are syllables.”

    • Chiara says...

      This made me crack up! Can you report back on “why are syllables”? I need to know.

    • Julie says...

      “Why are syllables” made me laugh SO HARD. My recent ones are “the hair 30 Rock”, “Lidia Bastianich lamb ragu”, and “shoebill stork.”

  28. Janey says...

    Our elderly dog has recently decided he wants us to go to bed at 9pm – he’s perfectly calm until 9 then he starts pacing about, panting, pawing at us, standing in front of the tv. And he WILL NOT STOP until we go to bed (has to be both me and my husband, one of us won’t do) at which point he lies down on the floor at the foot of our bed and falls asleep.
    It’s so weird, we’re horrified/fascinated by the fact our dog has imposed a strict 9pm bedtime and discuss it at length. Maybe he’s just doing it to give us something to talk about after almost a year of lockdown!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

    • Kristen Solecki says...

      Janey, I Heard a story on NPR how lock down is wearing on dogs because they may feel they have to be working ie protective all day… interesting! Wonder if your dog is asking you to go to bed so they can stop working haha:)

    • Tiffani says...

      That’s so cute and funny!

  29. We talk a lot about the future… because the present sucks! We talk about trips we want to take and renovations we want to do on our house when our business bounces back from the pandemic. We watch Escape to the Chateau and look at French real estate and pretend like we’re going to buy something and move away. It’s fun, really. Sometimes it feels like we’re living in a fantasy world, but it’s getting us through.

  30. CFM says...

    We have devolved (evolved?) to communicating via animal noises.

    Need help or a minute of attention? Loud bird call.
    Mad other person ate all the leftover chips? Wolf howl.
    Coming in for a hug? Rhino noise (still being workshopped).

    • Abbey says...

      😂😂😂 Excellent.

    • Alex says...

      Love this :)

    • Dee says...

      Too funny!!!

    • Merritt W. says...

      This is hilarious. We have two young children, so when my husband and I are upset but don’t wanna argue in front of them, we hiss at each other instead. Half the time it makes us laugh so hard that we’re no longer pissy, and of course it makes the kids laugh, too. It’s very weird, but we figure our babies are going through enough with the pandemic that we wanna avoid any additional discord. Definitely gonna have to implement your damnit-all-the-chips-are-gone wolf howl, too.

  31. Rachel says...

    What do my husband and I talk about? The kids. Always the kids.

  32. Twyla says...

    Simpsons quotes about in our house, and whenever my husband and I run out of things to talk about, we say to each other “So… you like…stuff?”

  33. J says...

    Logistics: Who’s taking care of which kid when and where? Who gets priority in which room at what time for which work call? What the F should we do this weekend when it’s cold and rainy and our kids are climbing the walls? Whose turn is it to get a break? Do you want to be in charge of bathtime or cleaning the kitchen?

    And also: food. Who has already eaten and what did they eat? What should we have for dinner? What should we have for lunch? What did the kids refuse to eat? Will they ever eat again? What leftovers are available? When should I go to the grocery store? Were they missing any ingredients? Can we please for the love of god order some takeout? But where should we get it from?

    Yes, I know I’m lucky to be bored. I am still screaming inside all day. This is not a marriage or a partnership; it’s an LLC.

    • joy says...

      yes, this is my “marriage” as well. As a friend of mine put it, I do not know anyone whose marriage is really thriving. At best, surviving.

    • Betsy says...

      Yes, yes, 100 times yes…(also glad to see this and know we aren’t alone…)

    • Drew says...

      Same and same.
      Yep. Just long lists, it’s exhausting a monotonous and I long for the day when it shifts into something more.

    • kat says...

      You captured it perfectly. Hubs often laments that we have a business partnership.

    • Julie says...

      Hahahahaha my husband asks me everyday if he can eat the leftovers. I have given him a blanket yes one million times, but everyday he asks.

      Since you already feel like you’re running an LLC, might I recommend Fairplay by Eve Rodsky. It’s a great book and system to deal with all of this.

    • Michelle says...

      I legit told my spouse last night we need to stop being business partners and remember we’re married. I said “I don’t need another coworker!” Then I stormed off to bed and watched Tik Toks and felt much better this morning…

    • Johanna says...

      YES. Even pre-pandemic my husband was not the person I went to for good conversation (he has lots of other strengths) and now that we barely have lives outside of our house it’s all logistics, covid stats, and weather updates. I’d give anything to sit on my couch with a close friend with some tea and really connect through conversation.

  34. Jules says...

    We have both WFH together for almost a year and dont have kids yet (though we just found out we’re expecting after trying for a year… shhh!) So we mainly talk about the cat, what shes doing it thinking, and how much we wish it would stop snowing. We also talk about what the next meal will be ALL day long…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, congratulations, Jules! :):):)

    • Jay Bogdan says...

      we have two kids and still only talk about the cat

    • Alex says...

      Jay Bogdan :D :D :D

  35. Lizzie says...

    Sending you a big hug, Emily. This sounds hard and completely relatable for so many. Thanks for sharing. Xx

  36. As a British person I can tell you this is 100% true. I could talk about the weather for a LONG time. And then I could probably talk about ‘why British people talk about the weather’ for just as long.

  37. Alli Horst says...

    We start stories with “I’m only telling you this because we’re living in a pandemic.” It makes it clear the teller knows just how boring the upcoming by story is – ha!

    • Heather says...

      Haha, we do the same! We’ll preface with, “This is the kind of story you only tell someone that you’re married to,” because it’s too boring for anyone else. Usually mine are along the lines of “I’ve been looking at this sweater forever and I finally decided to buy it last week, but then it was sold out and I was so sad! BUT THEN TODAY I randomly checked the website and it was back and I got it. Can you believe that?!”

      I can’t make my friends listen to this drivel, but my husband and I took vows.

    • Alex says...

      To Heather: hahaha, just yesterday I was telling my husband an extended and very detailed story about me buying this hair onditioner and how the parcel got delayed and eventually lost so the store wanted to send me a substitute but then the conditioner was sold out so they returned my payment and in the meantime I ordered a different one from a differnt shop and just after the second one arrived, the shipping company notified me that the original parcel was processed and I contacted the store and asked them if I should return the money but the lovely lady said no I can keep it as an apologise for the unusual delay so now I have two fancy conditioners for the price of one :D (sorry ladies, this was the shortened version of story)

    • June says...

      LOL at “I’m only telling you this because we’re living in a pandemic.” and “This is the kind of story you only tell someone that you’re married to.”

      Oh, yes! So relatable.

    • Keeley says...

      I have a co-worker who called himself an “Amish buffoon” in an email to me because of tech problems he was having. I thought it was the funniest thing ever – and chuckled through the morning remembering it. I texted a group of friends later to share the hilarity. . . . Crickets . . . I guess you had to be there. LOL

  38. Julia says...

    The title of this post cracked me up!! I’ve been experiencing the exact same emotions – in fact, just this week I decided I’m going to start going into my (also empty) office once a week to get a break from sitting next to my husband 8 hours every day working in our shared office. If the NHL hadn’t just started back, we would literally have nothing to say to each other – now we can at least talk about our team and players!

  39. celeste says...

    I give my husband little updates about politics and celebrity gossip, he gives me what happened at his IT job that day and sports facts. We both work outside of the home and our kids are in person private school, a rarity, I know. No one wants to see a political rant on FB but he will listen so he’s my safe zone ;)

  40. Lindsey says...

    Ugh, we talk WAY too much about the dog’s bathroom functions. My boyfriend’s even gone crazy enough to give the dog a Poop of the Week award. Help.

    • HH says...

      oh.my.god. the award is GENIUS! We have the same “problem” here–if one walks the dog the other always asks “oh did she (the dog) poop?” and if the answer is no, the next time the dog goes out the phrase then becomes “she really needs to go poop this time!”. The Poop of the Week would really take it up a notch, thank you for that suggestion hahah!

    • Amy G. says...

      HAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAAAA! also, my bf and i talk way too much about this too!

    • E says...

      OMG yes, we did this with our cat, who was having some “issues” and were constantly talking about it. We joked it was preparing us for parenthood.

    • Amanda says...

      Oh my gosh, not only have we been talking about the cat’s poop constantly, we also know way too much about one another’s bowel movements… we weirdly aren’t grossed out by it… well, not grossed out about it MOST of the time haha

  41. Lindsay says...

    My husband and I are now talking about what other people talk about and how we’re glad to have something new to talk about!

    • Dana says...

      Lindsay, is it weird that I thought “OOOH, what other people talk about! GREAT new conversation topic!”?

  42. Kate says...

    I haven’t been out out of doors in over a week. There is a major cold snap in our region of Canada (-35 degrees Celsius right now!) So I’m pretending I live in a bunker and seeing how long I can stay inside…I think I should just bundle up and go for a walk.

    The favourite topic for my three housemates and I involves the preferences and personality of the cat. We try to figure out his routine, whose office he is napping in and in what order throughout the day. His likes and dislikes. His taste in art, and food. The plants he most likes to nibble. He is an endless irritation and fascination for us 💖

    • Ally says...

      Kate – I’ve always wondered how houses can stay warm in weather this cold. Are the built specially? Are they just cold inside? My furnace is struggling to keep up with the 20’s (F) we are having now. Would love to hear your explanation, because then I can talk to my husband about it this evening. Lol!

    • Amelia says...

      Oh my goodness negative 35 degrees Celcius!!! I am oddly fascinated and wish I could experience that. Which part of Canada are you in?

    • Eliza says...

      Kate, you must be in Edmonton area? I loved living in Edmonton EXCEPT for the cold. Every week there seems to be a new “record breaking low” in YEG. We had 1 cm of snow on the island yesterday (whopping -3) and I saw FOUR cars in ditches over a 50km stretch (all the things I just said are what I talked to my husband about last night. Maybe tonight we’ll talk about dry cold vs. wet cold and which is worse.)

    • Kate says...

      Ally, this is such an amusing question!! I live in a small city in Ontario and this morning I was actually thinking the same thing – how do buildings survive this cold? I live in a big old brick house built in the early 1900s so it has seen many a winter! I don’t know that they are specially built, but I have seen pictures of homes in some US states and wonder if they even have insulation because the walls look so thin. Our heat in this house is radiators so it’s nice and cozy. I think we could use to plastic over some of the windows to reduce the draft and add insulation but my housemates are not too concerned about this (I grew up with plastic over the windows in winter). Other than that, I can’t think of anything different!

  43. Alison D. says...

    When we finish work for the day, my boyfriend and I always ask the same question – what did you look at on the Internet today. I’ve been way more anxious and reading Covid news. And this is a small outlet for me to talk about it. And him to show me funny memes and articles. Otherwise, we talk a lot about food and what we are going to cook/want to cook. And recently a few bigger conversations about our future … which are the scariest ones of all. But I’m glad we have the space for them.

  44. Toni says...

    I related so hard to that SNL Zillow skit. My husband and I plan out our our lives in places we will 100% never move. We’ll find a few house options and even look at the downtown scene and schools in the area. We’ll map out the public transit options for our “commute” to jobs we definitely don’t and will never have. It’s made us really appreciative of what we have and also has given us a fun fantasy land to escape to when we need to think outside the small walls of our little NYC apartment with our baby.

  45. Sara says...

    This all reminds me of the commercial on TV now where one half of the couple says “I repotted the ficus….looks good.” while is partner keeps reading the paper and says nothing. Sometimes when we truly have nothing new to say to each other, my husband says “I repotted the ficus,” and it makes us both laugh.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

    • KL says...

      My husband really did repot our ficus recently. And he’s battling a white fly (?) pest problem on the ficus. I get a lot of updates on the ficus, so this made me laugh! :)

    • Sara says...

      @KL – I love that you’re experiencing this in real life! That gives me great joy for some reason. I hope his pest problem clears up soon!

  46. My wife and I have been trying make one another laugh as much as possible. That’s it, that’s the whole goal. We’ve been together for 7 years and the source material JUST KEEPS COMING! We are also in a tall(ish) apartment building overlooking the yards of a lot of single family houses and we have become very invested in the lives of the neighborhood dogs while they hang out in their yards (yes, we are a little jealous of them). A few days ago my wife shouted from the kitchen “OMG your friend got a winter coat!” referring to… a dog 6 houses down on another street. And I knew exactly what she meant.

    • Kate says...

      This is hilarious and reminds me of my ex-boyfriend and I early in the pandemic. We lived in a condo across from an identical building. All the big windows were like TV screens giving us glimpses into other people’s lives. The older couple across from us he had named Pat and Ron and we would give each other updates, “Pat was baking a cake…at midnight!” or “They just got home! I wonder where they went”

    • Jackie says...

      Laughing out loud at this! Various neighbors comings and goings (and snow shoveling routine) is a frequent topic around here so I get it.

    • Amy says...

      Hahahaha we also live in a city and have a Rear Window situation with our neighbors. We used to love that movie but we keep joking that the pandemic has turned us into Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly and we are going to end up witnessing a murder or something lol!

  47. We have been inside of a 40′ sailboat at a dock in Mexico for a couple weeks shy of a year now. We both love to learn, thank goodness, and are both working part time via the Internet. So we talk about work, and the sky and the animals, and the boat. I have been learning banjulele and I-and-we sing in the evenings. We don’t watch much on screens, but when we do, we discuss it deeply. We often flag books for each other to read and then we’ll talk about that. We talk about music and the news and whether we should sail on or keep lingering at dock and where we might sail when we do. We practice Spanish on each other.

    But really, for us, a big key has been learning now to give each other the illusion of solitude when we are rarely more than a few feet apart. We’ve leaned into our natural sleep-shifted state; I wake early and enjoy a few hours alone; he stays up late and enjoys a few hours alone; we enjoy the middle of the day together. We got earbuds in November and HALLELUJAH; it’s like wearing headphones in an office but less bulky, and we can give or take the illusion of solitude by creating a private headspace. Knowing how to ask for space/quiet when you need it, or how to give it when you can tell the other would benefit but doesn’t realize it themselves, is so good. We’ve been together 23 years and grown 5 years’ worth this last year!

    Looks like we are unlikely to be vaccinated until fall, being healthy and 51 and 45 years old
    . Sounds like a lifetime! We ride it as adventure as best we can.

  48. heather says...

    Oh my…we talk about plumbing, our plumbing has turned on us this year. Hot water heater, dishwasher, garden hose spigots, leaky pipes, you name it. We talk about my family who is not respecting Covid protocol and we wonder if they will ever forgive us for not seeing them and sticking to our Covid safe lifestyle. We talk about my husband’s sister who is placing his mother in assisted living against our wishes. We talk about our friend who has a son that will be going to prison soon. We talk about our kids who have lost a friend to suicide. We try not to talk too much about politics and the state of race relations in our nation which just makes us angry and sad. We are not successful at avoiding that conversation. We talk about all of the unexpected twists that this beautiful life has placed in our path. In the face of all of this though, there are moments of joy that find their way in and we talk about how lucky we are to share that with each other. The sun shining off of the snow, the birds singing in the tree outside our kitchen window. Cold winter walks outside at night with all of the stars.

    • Lisa says...

      Re. the plumbing problem: i feel you… Last year, after our first local lockdown started, the vacuum cleaner, the oven, the TV and the washer/dryer stopped working, oven was kinda connected to the fridge, so we replaced that, too, and the day before new years eve, my husband’s cell phone broke. Exactly one week before, we had a scare with our car….
      Not a good talking topic for us, though. I cope by laughing helplessly, he gets frustrated (by the broken stuff – but me laughing certainly doesn’t help).
      Yes, yes, yes to walks, though 😊

  49. Lynea says...

    It was always random, but increasingly so with my husband still working from home. This morning he told me about a strange leggy light he spotted while walking the dog that was ~definitely~ aliens. Then he read me the NYT headlines and pitched moving to the Bahamas to start a “boat and breakfast” (B&B on a catamaran, obviously). All before coffee.

    • GW says...

      Ok our elderly dog has started doing the same thing recently!! And the time just inches earlier and earlier.

  50. Danielle Manson says...

    My husband, being British, can speak about various iterations of the weather endlessly. The atypical (for London) snow on and off the past week has been endless conversation fodder and arguably the highlight of 2021 thus far ;-)

    • J says...

      love this Danielle

    • Kathryn says...

      Haha I live in London and the snow has definitely been the highlight of 2021.

      I’m actually from NZ and it has been HARD seeing all the updates from people at home enjoying a warm and carefree summer so the snow was a delightful distraction.

  51. Erin B says...

    I’ve lived with my fiance for 4 years now, and sometimes the panic of “do we have nothing to say to each other” can bubble up. In the wake of this past year, I’ve found myself trying to reframe it as something to be grateful for. I am thankful when there is a day without harrowing news to discuss and thankful that I am spending my life with someone I can be at ease around.

    That said, we did spend all of dinner last night focused on which shisito pepper might be the spicy one. Luckily it was his, and the aftermath gave us a good laugh that reminded me of our early days of dating.

    • Hannah says...

      Oh I love this perspective, Erin!

  52. Emily says...

    I’m grateful that my husband still goes into work (he’s part of the IT team for the local school district – keeping everything running!) so we can talk about our days when he gets home. We are expecting our first child in May so there’s a lot to talk about with planning for him! Our cat recently passed away, and she was (and still is) a major topic of conversation. We also discuss what’s been going on in our group chat with friends, random articles and videos we see and read, what’s going on in the news, family happenings. I guess I’ve never really stopped to think about it! Sometimes I think he’d prefer I talk LESS, since he has to be around people during the day and I’m home alone.

  53. Emily says...

    I am still working in person and I often call my husband on my way home from work even though I’m just going home to talk to him more :)

  54. Kate says...

    We are currently house-hunting, so the conversational topics are endless. The amount of time we have discussed the inner-workings of a septic tank alone is…. mind-boggling. Every house we go to see we then FULLY renovate it in our minds and discuss what our life would be in that house! Still haven’t found a house, so I guess …. the convos go on!

  55. Alice says...

    We talk about… everything!? I generally report on the internet nonsense. My boyfriend gives me the rundown on politics (local, national, global, ALL OF IT). Lots of chat about colleagues and work stuff and what we’re eating and what we’re watching, our families, our friends, just…. everything? We literally have not run out of things to talk about, and it’s brilliant. As a few people have mentioned above, we have a very similar, very silly sense of humour, and I think that helps.

    That said, last year he listened to a podcast episode about the suit (as in, the clothing) and that was conversation fodder for quite literally four months. Even now, any conversation that starts “So I was listening to this podcast…” is interrupted with “WAS IT ABOUT A SUIT?!”

  56. Theresa says...

    So funny that my partner and I were just talking last night about how random and specific our conversations have gotten. I had just finished telling him that I always the thought the expression was “quote ON quote” until a few days ago I heard it on a podcast and realized it was “quote UNquote”. Riveting stuff!

  57. Emily says...

    My partner of 10+ years and I started seeing a (new) couples therapist 6 months before lockdown, and we were just beginning to feel like we might be making progress when our therapist had to drop us due to her own family needs. We’ve not had sex regularly in 8+ years; I gave up trying to initiate 5-6 years ago after being rejected so frequently. Otherwise, our relationship is loving and kind but clearly there are some underlying issues. Every day of quarantine I feel a little more distant and wonder a little bit more if we should split. We both WFH and take quarantine v seriously so don’t leave other than for groceries or dog hikes. When we’ve exhausted conversations about the dogs, and we’re sitting in silence listening to each other eat our scrambled eggs or staring blankly at the millionth Parks and Rec episode/our phones, I waffle between thinking it’s a comfortable, loving silence that you can only share with someone who you feel truly comfortable with, or thinking it’s a sad silence and we don’t have any spark – no shared poems to memorize, no NYT crossword, no kitchen dance parties. Just 2 people on the far side of middle age with a lot of love, who may or may not be right for each other, after almost 11 years of trying.

    • mb says...

      Emily, that sounds so hard. I had a similar experience. My partner of 8 years and I broke up in September and lived together until December. I loved and love him but we were both unhappy in small ways that built up. And although I think his company was immensely helpful throughout the months of the pandemic, I am also feeling a sense of peace now that we broke up. I don’t know if you’ll break up or stay together or reconfigure the relationship entirely. But it is really hard and my heart goes out to you. One thing a friend told me that really resonated with me was “every day you make a choice of how you live your life”–and for many months my choice was to continue with my partner in whom I had invested so much time/love/energy. And then I couldn’t. And he couldn’t either.

    • Kari says...

      Sending you love and good vibes, Emily. Sounds like a tough thing to deal with in the midst of global craziness. I so relate to what you said about waffling on what kind of silence it is… I think this myself all the time? “Is this a comfortable, cozy silence as we each sit on our phones or watching TV? Or is this a sad, ‘we don’t want to talk to each other’ sort of silence…” I think we go back and forth and at least for us, that’s ok. x

    • A. says...

      Whoa – it’s like Emily took the words right out of my mouth. Sometimes I wonder if there are more relationships like this than we think, but then I wonder if i’m just rationalizing the status quo.
      I’m a relatively chill, calm person, so why am i always thinking a “happy” relationship should be invigorating, exciting, talking all the time about their deepest thoughts and fears and many other things that I am not (or don’t really seek in my life)…
      Just know you’re not alone. We all stay in a couple for different reasons.

    • Flic says...

      How would you feel if he split with you, kindly and with love? What’s your initial gut reaction to that scenario? I think that will tell you… or maybe you know deep down. I’d also try framing life outside of the pandemic – I know I personally have to remind myself daily that I love life, just not pandemic life. Sending you hugs, you sound like you need ’em. Keep your chin up, soldier.

    • Yulia says...

      Oh Emily. I hope you will eventually find clarity.

      If both people still feel like trying, that’s how you know you still have it in you to keep trying. So–do you both want to keep trying? And what does trying look like for you? (A new therapist?)

  58. Ryan says...

    With both of us working from home and sometimes also caring full-time for our 16-month-old son, we found that conversations got soooo boring. Think … “did the baby poop today? We should make sure to feed him less cheese tomorrow” or “did you put the dish cloths in the wash? They get so smelly if not.”

    In the evenings we are exhausted and just want to collapse, or go into our separate rooms and have some time to ourselves. One easy thing that we’ve started doing is watching am interesting movie or TV show together a couple of times a week. Sometimes we also try to coordinate reading the same book.

    It sounds so basic, but it’s actually given us a lot more to talk about, and we’ve notice we feel happier and more connected on the nights we do this. We end up spending a lot of time discussing interesting themes and ideas that come up in the movie/show/book. Most recently we watched “Framing Britney Spears” which has been a conversation goldmine for us! LOL

    • My husband and I started doing this too! We try to work in separate rooms (so grateful we don’t live in a studio anymore!) so we can tell each other about our work at the end of the day. We’ve also started rewatching movies we haven’t seen in years. Right now it’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which is fun both for the running commentary we both end up making and because we end up talking about when we first saw the movies/read the books as kids.

  59. Kelly says...

    I live alone, but find that my phone conversations are becoming more and more random and mundane, whether it is about what I had for lunch or a silly work event that has no importance. Yesterday I was on the phone with my sister and I asked her what temperature she has been putting her heat to, and if she leaves it at the same temperature all day and her response was “you aske me this every time we talk!”

    Definitely running out of things to talk about.

  60. Kayla says...

    Yesterday we laughed for 15 minutes because I found a piece of actual lint in his belly button. I think we are losing it.

    • Jules says...

      Hahaha my husband always has lint in his!! It cracks me up every time

    • K says...

      lol my husband puts it in my unaware hand at the end of the day when he has some and i say ew and he says i’ve been making it all day for you!

    • June says...

      We call my husband’s daily collection “the belly button monster.” Our kids think this is very weird.

      His belly button is some sort of lint bermuda triangle. I have no explanation.

  61. Ashley says...

    We’re prepping for a new baby and just bought a new house so we have a lot of discussion points – but we also have had long conversations about what our puppy is doing or whether or not she really needs rubber booties for walks.

    We also have had a long debate about what happened in the last Godfather.

  62. RS says...

    We don’t run out of things to talk about, necessarily, but we were finding that we started to re-tread the same ground too often. We decided to institute book hour on weeknights. Rather than meeting up right after work (i.e. after we stand up from our desks and walk to a different part of the house), we instead sit together on the couch and read for an hour. He’s been working on becoming fully literate in Spanish, I try to actually make it through the New Yorker every week or read a novel, and after an hour we move to a new spot, light a candle, and tell each other a few things about what we read. It’s a nice transition into the evening and a good way to make sure that the conversation goes in a different direction every day.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love that!!!

  63. MC says...

    My husband is the president of our small condo association, and we have REALLY talked through all the decisions- snow removal, fences, gutters. It’s the only somewhat dramatic outside news these days! Haha. I told him a long story about trouble I had with an automated parking garage yesterday, so there’s that…

  64. J says...

    We still work but from home now so we will still talk about work stuff. My husband reads a lot so he always tells me a little bit about the book he’s currently reading. We also take daily walks but separately and listen to podcasts but different ones so we update each other on what we’ve been listening to. And then we talk a lot about logistical stuff, like who’s taking which kid where and who’s cooking tonight and daily household stuff like that. Honestly not much has changed with our daily conversations. One thing that has changed is that we haven’t been able to go on a date in over a year so I’d say our romance has definitely taken a back seat.

  65. Joyce says...

    We started playing chess! My husband is much, much better than me…. BUT…. after losing, oh I don’t know twenty times in a row? I have now won 2 games (!) against him. It’ll probably just be something we do for a few months, but it’s fun to feel like I’m “learning” something while, you know, sitting down and not trying too hard.

    We had a few months of nightly Sopranos (all 7 seasons! Highly recommend!) and now we’re having a few months of chess.

    We have a young son so we talk about him post bedtime but it’s nice to have these “shared interests” at night. Honestly the gap between Sopranos and chess felt off….what do we do now after baby’s in bed?? Such a weird time. If anyone has any other chess or Sopranos (haha) adjacent activities, let me know!

    • Natalie says...

      Hahaha, us too: Sopranos and chess! Before Sopranos it was The Wire (also highly recommended), and now we’ve switched from chess to Go (which is fun because we have even less of a clue how to play Go well than we did with chess).

    • Joyce says...

      haha, Natalie! Glad we aren’t alone. ;) I watched season 1 of The Wire years ago and feel like I’m still recovering (so intense!). Maybe it’s harder for me to watch than The Sopranos because it seems like more kids are involved/hurt? But yes, still a very well done show. Maybe I should face season 2! Thanks for the Go recommendation, will definitely check it out!! Was intrigued when I saw it played in “Knives Out” and definitely don’t have a clue how to play! :)

  66. B says...

    We were only home for a short period of time together, both of us are essential workers so we have so much to talk about, no time to do it and we are so exhausted that we collapse into a big pile after the kids are in bed. The “outside” world is still so surreal, the things we are seeing every time we venture to work is eye opening, just yesterday I sat in traffic bc of a military base closure and people watched for TWO hours relaying what I was seeing to my husband via text who was relaying what he was experiencing at his post to me via text. I am not sure if people think masks disguise them or what but it is really mind blowing. It is stress relieving as well as I work in the trenches and what I see there is unspeakable and I try to bless and release it as soon as we are moving onto the next patient.

  67. Jax says...

    Have never encountered a time where we ran out of things to talk about (and we’re not even super talkative people), but I’ve never talked with anyone so much and so consistently as I do with him. Being cooped up at home during pandemic times is no exception — if anything, we’ve had even more to talk about. We talk about the never-ending shit storm of politics, crazy conspiracy theories, the funny things we’ve heard on our different podcasts, what we’ve seen on Instagram and Twitter, raising our kid, new developments in online learning, new music, new movies, how many steps we did today, cooking, food, health stuff, interesting stuff from books (his nonfiction books — The Great Influenza, etc., my books of humor like Calvin Trillin and David Sedaris), potential home improvements, funny stuff the kid said or did or wore or drew, climate change, our future, weird stuff our friends did, said or are going through. I mean, how do you run out of stuff to talk about??

    • Jax says...

      If anything, a silent time by myself would feel more refreshing at this stage.

  68. Kaitlyn says...

    Love this post! My husband and I have been working from home since March last year and the UK has had strict rules/ full lockdown a lot of that time. So topics have been running low.

    We’ve recently gotten into 6-7pm quiz shows on BBC 2 and it’s so fun! We guess our way through, laugh lots at the silly answers we say and it’s so sexy to me how much he knows about random things I never knew he knew!

    We keep referring to the different phases of lockdown this past year, we’re in the quiz show phase now…. but the first baby phase is just a few weeks away :)

  69. Juliet says...

    My fiancé and I got an adorable cat during quarantine and have been giving her an increasingly elaborate personality. She’s a climate change denier (our house is always between 68 and 72 degrees), a flat-earther (she’s seen this whole house and confirms the floor is totally flat) and believes we are in cahoots with the kibbles lobby to not feed her enough. It’s mostly funny because it’s so in contrast to her truly sweet personality. We’ll probably need to remind ourselves how to talk to other people when this is all over, but at least we are thoroughly entertaining ourselves.

    • LeighTX says...

      This is hilarious. Our dogs have personalities also, and we talk as them in their own “voices,” but I never considered they might want to discuss politics. Very entertaining!

    • Mouse says...

      Yes, our cats have a lot to say too. They’re brothers and have v different personalities. One always talks about food and the other complains a lot about everything. I’ll have to ask them how they feel about climate change though I suspect they’ll be all for it if it increases their intake of chow. :)

    • Rusty says...

      Juliet! That’s soooo worthy of a THANK YOU comment! Hahaha 😹

    • Emily says...

      Ha! I love the personality you’ve developed for her!

    • Gina says...

      I love this and laughed out loud from my WFH desk. And I would think it’s a good reminder that we can still love people who believe crazy conspiracies! (But I hope she believes in science soon!)

    • Rezia says...

      Hahaha Juliet that made my day. We also tell each other about what the cats did during the day, since we WFH in separate rooms and our cats come visit us and sit on our laps/hang out on our zoom calls/try to chew on our head phone wires, etc. Often I start dinner with “Guess WHO was a total BUTT today??” The cat reports brighten our days!

    • Steffi says...

      So funny! My husband and I have done something similar… we have two cats, and the female can be pretty sassy and moody at times. We attribute it to her deeply Republican ideology that is exacerbated by living in a house with two Democrats. Whenever something particularly pro-liberal/democrat is reported in the news and we’re discussing it with each other, we always check in with her to see how mad she is. Yes, we are crazy.

  70. Catharine says...

    My husband works from home, I teach virtually as an adjunct, and both my husband and I are homeschooling our two young children this year. In other words, the four of us and our dog spend a lot of time together. Our favorite dinner time activity has become asking my husband to impersonate a chicken in different scenarios—and it gets weird. For instance, my six year old: “Dad! Do a chicken running away from a wolf.” My husband (frantically looking around while he “bawk bawk bawks”) BAWK! BAWK! BAWK!” Then my four year old, “Dad! Do a chicken falling in love and then getting chased by a tiger!” My husband (making doe eyes and sweetly bawking followed by the previous scenario of bawks). Aaaaand repeat with the next scenario. Yup, we have slipped.

    • Gara says...

      This is the best and I totally feel you with a 5 and 7 year old at home.

    • Tully says...

      Hahahahaha!

    • Heather says...

      I am dying!!! This is great!

  71. Meg says...

    I’ve been feeling pretty annoyed with and bored by my husband, and wishing we had more time apart from eachother. But a few times a month he goes into the office all day and then I find myself wanting to text him constantly throughout the day! Brain, why are you like this?

  72. Hannah says...

    My husband and I recently did the “36 Questions That Lead To Love” that was featured in NYT’s Modern Love. I honestly thought he would balk when I proposed it one night after the kids were in bed, but he was game and we actually had a great time! It is meant for couples that are newly dating, but I honestly loved that I could predict solidly half of his answers. It just reaffirmed my feeling that my man fits me like a favorite tshirt. And I learned a few new things too! Overall it was a really nice way to spend an evening instead of cruising Netflix yet again ;)

    • June says...

      Fun! We’ll give this a try. Thanks for the rec!

      We both took the 5 love languages quiz, which I thought would lead into an interesting discussion. But we got the exact same results, so it was quite brief actually. hahaha!

  73. Daniela says...

    This is too funny. Honestly, today my husband and I somehow moved into “why do we even need to talk” territory. We literally spent most of the day communicating via eye contact and gestures WITHOUT MEANING TO.

    Not sure if I’m thrilled we can communicate so well wordlessly or if I should be slightly concerned.

  74. Eliza says...

    The baby. Endlessly, every boring and mundane and cute and ridiculous and gross detail about the baby. (She is 14 months old – so we have been doing this, in our apartment, together, seeing almost nobody else, for almost her entire life.) Even though I am incredibly drained from trying to juggle caring for her with also working as a court advocate over Zoom, not to mention all of the stressors and challenges of pandemic life, I know that when I look back I will be so grateful that my husband and I got to spend the first year of her life caring for her together in such a genuinely shared and equal way. There is no part of it we have not done as a team, and that is a gift.

  75. K says...

    “So, it was our house but not like our house…” LOL that IS how I start a lot of my dream descriptions to my husband…it’s probably boring to everyone else, but we do interpret each other’s dreams…

    For my husband, there’s always something peculiar that a coworker is doing during a zoom call. I’m often running errands for my stuff and run into incidents like a girl calling out from a car window to me on the sidewalk, “hey is that your boyfriend?!” and me turning around and realizing she’s pointing to a statue. There’s always a funny incident at the post office. We unpack our friends’ dating woes. We send Tiktoks. We talk about how our poops are going. He tells me about stocks and podcasts, I tell him about the book I’m reading, we compare it all to the “psychology of humanity”…and our parents.

    And then there’s hours in between where we don’t talk at all.

    • Rusty says...

      *You talk about how your “POOPS” are going?!?😳

    • A says...

      Rusty, I don’t know what K intended to write there, but my partner and I absolutely talk about that. I’ve seen so many comments and articles about how taboo it is to fart in front of your partner (the horror!) or talk about your poop, but I’d like to offer a different perspective. My partner and I both have family history of colon/colorectal cancer at a young age (30s). We’ve both supported our siblings through the scary diagnosis, colorectal cancer surgeries, chemo, ileostomy bags (where their poop collected in a bag outside their body, that they had to dump and clean, sometimes with the help of their partners, while their colons healed from surgery), we’ve talked at length about the symptoms that led them to diagnosis (which includes everything about their bowel movements). We’ve had them get up and run to the bathroom multiple times during conversations, while in remission, because their bowel movements have never been the same as before. And my partner and I now both (in our 30s) get regular colonoscopies (which includes a lot of pooping!) because of the family history. When you’ve experienced all of that, poop talk becomes so much less weird and gross and personal and taboo, and is just part of life. And talking about it can save lives, too! If my sibling hadn’t openly talked about their bowel movements, my partner’s sibling wouldn’t have gotten checked out when they had similar symptoms. (All that being said, no, we don’t poop with the door open or with the other person in the bathroom).

    • K says...

      @Rusty @A hahaha absolutely! Poop (or rather, digestive health) is very important. Honestly, we talk about it with our close friends too. We’re enthusiastic about bidets and squatty potties and chia seeds and probiotics, etc.

  76. C says...

    Honestly it mostly revolves around getting our kids (1.5 and almost 3) to eat their dinners without food flying everywhere. And then he plays with the kids while I disappear to sit in silence with nobody touching me. 😬

    • Shelley says...

      If you figure out how to get the food from flying everywhere let me know haha. My kids are three and almost two.

  77. Rachel says...

    It all started one magical night when we lost power. The refrigerator, wifi, and television were dead and so we did what any sensible adults would do. My roommate and I took a bottle of wine to our apartment balcony, lit candles, shared our deepest fears, and cried. Existential Tuesday was born.

    This year has been challenging and exciting for both of us. We both have had professional turning points, she started grad school and I started a new job. And as with all great adventures, it can be really hard to see just how strong, smart and capable you are when everything around you is brand new. We both are in our late 20s and our peers seem to have collectively decided they are getting married, adopting puppies, getting promoted or buying houses, because that’s just where they are. And as happy as I am for my friends, it’s hard not to think of their adulthood achievements as a set of expectations that I am not meeting. (Regardless of whether or not they are things I want for myself.)

    That Tuesday, I had no idea how desperately I needed to verbalize that to someone else. And I wasn’t sure I could say all this to the one person who I lived with, someone who I depend on for almost 100% of my human interaction. I didn’t know it that first night, but it has become obvious to me that I had to create talking space for my fear. My irrational fear, my jealous fears, and my meta fear of talking about fear. And the more we celebrated our Existential Tuesdays? The less I had to say.

    I love you Danielle, I am sure you’ll find this comment on here.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh, this is beautiful.

    • Susannah says...

      “it can be really hard to see just how strong, smart and capable you are when everything around you is brand new”. Needed to hear this at this point in my life. Thank you <3

    • Louisa says...

      As someone with husband, kid and puppy, I am so so jealous. I’d love an existential Tuesday with my 20’s roommate.

    • Al says...

      Moved to a new country and started a new job in this last month so I also needed to hear this today, thanks <3

  78. MB says...

    I try to be a bit more thoughtful when he’s telling me about his day “at work” and actually respond with ideas and try to figure out problems with him. It’s helpful to me too to use a different part of my brain.
    Even when he’s annoying me, I say to myself – I’m so glad I like you.
    Oh and a lot of talk about the logistics of having a baby in a pandemic!

  79. Jojo says...

    Our 12 year old has a autoimmune condition called PANS that has turned our life upsidedown. We talk about it obsessively. It feels like we are in prison, especially with Covid. I like this article. I miss people. I miss normal life.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Sending you the hugest hug. That sounds really hard. You sound like a really great parent. Xo

    • Rusty says...

      Jojo, you know when you’re climbing a mountain and your focus is constantly on how far you have yet to go?
      Every now and then, glance over your shoulder and see how far you’ve already come.

      Sending you hugz from Australia!
      Rusty xx

    • Kristin says...

      Jojo, last year when my son was 6 years old he developed tics and and regular outbursts of extreme rage after having a bout of strep throat and the flu at the same time. It was then that I did research into PANDAS, a condition that I had heard about on one of my Mom groups, and feared that he might have it. It has been 11 months and we have had many ups and downs, but our son seems to be nearly back to his old self. I know this isn’t the case for many kids with PANS/PANDAS, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone, and there is hope for a normal life for your child in the future. It is so hard not go down rabbit holes and feel like life will never be the same again though. Stay strong, it’s a lot to deal with!

  80. Riley says...

    We never seem to run out of things to talk about, but were starting to feel like we would benefit from some alone time. We’ve started taking two nights a week (scheduled) to do our own thing, and when we do finally meet up in bed at the end of the night it’s all “what did you do??” “how WAS IT???” 😂 It feels like we both went on trips across the galaxy. Last night I regaled him with the progress of my seed starts in the basement and he told me all about a conversation he had with his step-dad about cognac. Positively thrilling!

  81. Lynn-Holly says...

    What a marvelous question to ask. I loved reading all of the comments!

    My husband just went back to work for the first time since… October, 2019. He had a long paternity leave when our son was born, then we went skiing, then the world shut down because of Covid, and then he just worked from home.

    I’m at home with our 15 month old and I’m doing grad school online. I find myself with SO many conflicting emotions! Curiosity about his day, jealousy that he gets to interact with adults, thankful that I get to hang with our son (who’s a delightful kid, really, but he’s 15 months old so caretaking of him is tiring) and desperate for my husband to get home. The hours between the end of nap time and him getting home from work are the hardest. I have Kate Baer’s poem “Deleted Sentences” replaying in my head all of the time. “What time will you be home??”

    At the end of the day we’re both tired, but we share our High, Low, and Laugh of the day. It’s a nice window into each other’s worlds. And then we talk about what tv show we’re going to watch. We’re currently watching Money Heist. It’s SO GOOD.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “High, Low, and Laugh” = I love that!

  82. Lauren says...

    Well, Monday evening, my husband and I memorized Mary Oliver’s “I Worried” poem, and then practiced/recited it again last night.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg, goals!!

  83. Christine says...

    I am still leaving the house to work at the hospital (L&D nurse) and my husband is working from home, and we have a 1 year old. So there’s the catching up on how our work days went. And, depending on who was off and home with the baby, there are the updates on all the new/funny things he said or did. We also have a baby on the way, and most nights before bed we talk about her, and what we are going to name her (naming humans is hard!). Still, it often feels like we mostly talk about logistics – What’s on the meal plan for tomorrow night? Did you pack a lunch a daycare? is the white tub still in the washer?. I miss when we used to have long, deep conversations, but by the end of most days, I am too physically and emotionally spent to do much more than fall into bed. One day we will have the time and energy for deep conversation again!

  84. Kate says...

    When we capped our family at 2 kids in 2011, we created a travel agenda (uh…not two first-born Type A’s partnered up, no, not at all…) of the places we wanted to travel as a family before (a) our kids went to college and (b) with bonus trips during college when they would still be interested in parents fronting world travel costs. Now that we’ve lost a year (and probably more), we spend many a cocktail hour (mandatory 5:30-6:30pm connect time) evaluating how we need to modify the plan. The kid who is now 13 isn’t as obsessed with mythology so can we punt Greece? One grandmother wants to go see the town outside Torino where her grandparents were married, so maybe we do a multigeneration trip? Wanderlust is not lost. keeping us from despair.

    • Renee says...

      Kate – don’t punt Greece!! I think it would also be a great bonus trip.

  85. Emma says...

    So I was in our house but not like our house is making me lol so much. Every single one of my dream retellings starts like that and then I think of David Sedaris and his loathing of people who tell their dreams. Haha
    My husband and I have been getting a ton of satisfaction over clearing out our wooded backyard and we’re always like “so what’s the plan” and then we say the same plan like we did ever other millionth time we talked about it and our four year old is like stop talking about the yard!!!!! Haha

    • Meghan says...

      Hahaha Emma this really made me laugh. My partner and I also go over “the plan” a bajillion times every time. So cute :)

  86. Ann says...

    I call my husband at work (from home with our kids) to ask “How do you know that other people still exist?” and he tells me about the cars on the road and the people at work and the grocery store.

    • Scarlett says...

      “How do you know that other people exist??!” is such a mood when you’re home with the kids hahaha

  87. J says...

    My husband will return from the dump and I’ll want to know

    Was it crowded? Or was it empty enough to bring recycling AND trash?
    How many people were wearing masks?
    Has the parking pattern changed to be more efficient?
    When will the swap be open again?

    Help! ;)

  88. kate says...

    The COVID impact on our kids, esp our elementary-schooler, is taking over conversation. With a toddler, too, after bedtime is really our only time to review the day and talk about discipline/coping/anxiety strategies for the kids. I’m more able to talk it out than my hubs – he is mentally over it some nights. I get it, but also, when else can we do it? Glad to see other couples doing well but here for the voice of couples that are barely connecting these days.

    • Lana says...

      I feel you! We’ve had some tough times and the other night we actually got into an argument which elective our 10 year old should take (if? when?) she ever goes back to in person learning. It feels like every decision since March had been HUGE and we all have decision fatigue, which makes us grumpy. I’m just here to say you aren’t alone.

  89. Ann says...

    We narrate our elder golden retriever in its own voice. It’s stupid, but makes us laugh. My partner is particularly good at it.

    • Samantha says...

      Ha, same! Only ours is an elderly lab.

    • Nicki says...

      Same! Young lab (which my husband was skeptical about adding to the family, but he has now most definitely come around too). The dog is basking in the constant attention (with everyone he loves being home all the time), and it’s a guaranteed source of an easy, carefree laugh. It’s a win-win.

  90. Lorraine says...

    Oftentimes my husband I savor quiet, because the daytime hours are filled with our very loud children. We retreat into our phones way too much, so recently we instituted a no-phone time of day and have been enjoying just chatting on the couch (if we can hear each other over the kids shouting in stuffed animal voices), listening to music (again, if audible), and even talking about the music as we listen to it, which is so nice and a throwback to a slower time.

    I also find we watch way too much CNN, and we bicker with the anchors as if they’re our friends. “Chin up, Tapper” and “Ease up there Katlan!” and this one that our son also likes to say “Wolf, THIS ISN’T BREAKING NEWS”

  91. Lana says...

    We talk a lot about my mom, who has fallen down the Qanon hole, our family that isn’t social distancing, “Homeland” (we were late to the game and just finished watching. It was AMAZING and in the morning as soon as we poured our coffee, my husband would say, “Is it time to put the kids to bed so we can watch our show?” Lol!), how rabbits stay warm in sub zero temps as we watch them hop around the yard at night, our kids, podcasts, our run times, what we want to eat for dinner, what’s happening on social media. It’s all so mundane! I listened to a great podcast the other day about missing the random bits of gossip people pick up while out and about and I felt that so deeply. Also! One day I was like, “Do you want to go have sex?” and my husband literally jumped off the couch with eagerness, which made me laugh SO SO HARD and I made fun of him for days for it.

  92. A says...

    We talk about future travel plans. Ideals. We talk in circles about selling our home and end up deciding where we are is best. He often talks about hating his tech job and regretting having kids. I’ve started listening to Ediyasmr on youtube just to hear someone talking to me gently (and ok I also listened to “husband comforts you back to sleep asmr” one night and really enjoyed.) I highly recommend Ediyasmr on YouTube.

    • Rae says...

      I just want to acknowledge you. It sounds hard.

    • A says...

      Thank you Rae. Your comment ment alot to me this morning.

  93. Kate says...

    I’m lucky to live in a country that locked down hard last year so since November we are fortunate to have returned to a semblance of normalcy. But last year during our 7 month lockdown my partner and I got a dog which was all we really talked about. “is that normal?” “Has the dog pooed?” “how long has he slept for?” “when should we walk today?”. As a result our obsession with said dog is now borderline over the top but oh well!

  94. alison says...

    When I started dating my now husband, I was always petrified of running out of things to talk about with him. He’s way quieter than most people I had dated previously, and my family is *very* intense and loud. I would avoid his dinner invitations and opt for just hanging out after a meal instead, because god forbid we run out of things to talk about at the table!

    He’s a musician, and ended up writing a song about the comfort you find in just being with someone in silence, without the pressure to find something to talk about. It was a completely knew idea to me, to *not* talk!

    We’ve now been stuck in the same house just the two of us and the dog (who, unfortunately, doesn’t talk back) since March. We got mini-married in our backyard in September, and I tell you, just knowing that the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with does not expect me to fill every gap with noise is definitely the most comforting thing.

  95. Megan Lec says...

    My husband went back into the office in November and to be honest, being home alone with our newborn during the week is just the break I needed after 8 months at home together. This week I’ve been probably rather insufferable with my intense journalistic research on #FreeBritney. If only he had known the pop culture education he was in for. I mean what’s a girl to do during the long hours breastfeeding?

    • K says...

      Um also #FreeBritney for real.

  96. Rhonda says...

    Cows. We talk about cows. Luckily, we have cows. Otherwise, this would be really weird.

    • Agathe says...

      That really made me laugh. Thank you. Also, my husband had cows when he was a kid, so we sometimes talk about cows as well. I see the attraction.

    • June says...

      hahahahahahaha

      Oh, man, Rhonda. We could be friends.

  97. Jocy says...

    My husband gave me “Truth or Dare for Couples” for Christmas and it has been a life-saver when we run out of conversation topics or need to spice up our at-home date nights a little ;).

  98. AndreaJane says...

    We just had a scintillating conversation about breaker switches. “Is it off?” “No.” “How about now?” “No.” “How about now?” “No.” How about now?” “No.”

    You get the idea. And in a particularly pandemic sort of way, this is all happening while I’m trying to touch up my own roots.

  99. Katie says...

    We’ve started doing mini TED talks on subjects one person knows a lot about and the other knows basically nothing. Recent topics:
    – Breastfeeding
    – Stocks (that was v helpful 2 weeks ago)
    – High school drill team
    – How to make the perfect smoothie (he used to work at Jamba Juice). Summary: fresh stuff at the bottom, cold stuff on top, lots of liquid.

    It’s really dorky but interesting to think about allll the things we each know that the other doesn’t, even though he’s the person I know best!

    • Alyssa says...

      I love this, Katie!

  100. Caitlin says...

    My husband is a pilot and our joke us that we’ve been married 11 years together for 5 since he’s gone so regularly. But he’s been home at lot more this last year and it turns out that we still like each other and talking about how we organize the recycling and how much zoom school sucks 😊

    • S says...

      how to organize the recycling is a big topic in my house…especially with the influx of online orders! how to we organize all the boxes until recycling day???

  101. Erin says...

    I repeat the same stories all the time now! Also, the tiniest human interactions that occur in a day (at the grocery store or when driving the car) become so magnified!

  102. Robin says...

    Topics covered today: Husbands sex dream about Joan Callemezzo, the Pawnee Today anchor from Parks and Recreation. My dream of being a fine woodworker and starting by making him a banana holder (he likes bananas). The merits of adding butter to a peanut butter sandwich, forming a butter-peanut-butter sandwich. Celebrating that I likely bought the last 5lb dumbbells on the planet after searching an entire city to find them. Debating what “beef balls” are on the menu at a Vietnamese restaurant.

    • Scarlett says...

      Joan Callamezzo would be SO flattered to hear that your husband had a sex dream about her lmao.

    • Antonia says...

      I kind of want to know more about the banana holder!

    • Robin says...

      Haha true! I can picture her reaction. The whole dream scene was hilarious, Kyle was a new reporter with a cute clipboard and everything, and Joan totally took advantage of him, much to his delight.

  103. This summer was great because we would sit out on our front porch most nights with drinks and listen to music and talk, even just getting out to the porch after the kid’s were in bed felt like a date! We then started making our way through some Esther Perel podcasts, and it was truly like therapy for us too! It opened up a lot of topics and was great. Something about listening to other people be so candid about their relationship struggles gave us the courage to tackle difficult discussions. Now with winter here in Chicago we are missing our porch hangs. We’re currently rewatching The Office and it’s a nice comfort and much needed laugh at the end of the day. I started listening to The Office Ladies Podcast so while we watch I fill him in on interesting tidbits from behind the scenes.

    • Robin says...

      We also had an epic summer of porch drinks. Can’t wait for spring…

  104. Becca says...

    We either talk about each other’s work, or what the kids are doing in school. That’s about it. And, it is mostly talking about the kids’ school. Having them in school is literally the only thing we do out of the house right now, so it seems really exotic to talk about our daughter’s Valentine’s Day party, or what my son ate for lunch, or their friends. Even when our kids aren’t around, haha!

  105. Susan says...

    This is so funny. My husband and I are ministers and I’ve been encouraging newly weds to find hobbies to take them away because if they’re always cooped up with their spouse they have nothing to say and get more and more critical (I do this too). I’m a runner and go for a lot more runs than usual. So at least I can talk about that with my husband! And I love to bake and try new recipes so we have things to talk about. My husband is getting his masters so he wants to share what he’s learning … and then we have 3 young kids so things stay interesting!

  106. Kiana says...

    I can always think of things to talk to my husband about but during the pandemic, I can see how starved my mother in law is for conversation and gossip. She lives far away from her sons and is mostly stuck at home with her husband who she has never really conversed with (its not that they don’t love each other. It’s just that they’re not really friends… Different times). It’s tough for her. She calls every day and my husband and I try to come up with interesting tidbits for her. On boring days, we mostly just talk about what we ate for dinner. On more interesting days, we’ll have some gossip for her but it’s normally pretty tame like, “remember how I told you about the neighbor’s new dog? Well it started barking randomly at night and scared the crap out of us” lol we’re doing our best. :)

    • V says...

      Kiana, just want to acknowledge how lovely this effort is. What a beautiful way to show not only care for her but love for your husband.

    • June says...

      So true and so sweet!

  107. Since we are parents to young kids, a lot of our conversations revolve around poop! :) Has the 3yo pooped today? When he poop, was it a big poop? The baby has been straining to poop. Etc etc. Who knew poop would become a source of daily conversation! Also, my husband goes into the office 2-4 days/week so when he comes home I am like, ‘tell me the news of the world! Where did you get lunch?’ I’m on maternity leave so am especially isolated and don’t have much to add besides what the baby did or what happened on the season of great British baking show I watched that day. ;)

  108. Daisy says...

    Hahaha. We talk about the kids… A LOT. They are terrors and so so adorable. Many of the conversations between my husband and I start with “I heard on the radio” or “I read online”. OH! I started going to our Y right away at 5am and I love reporting back about my drive, how busy it was, and whether or not I had a good workout. Lol

  109. Allison says...

    We both deep dive into our hobbies so we tell each other the new stuff we are excited about or have learned. It can end up kinda random. Currently for that’s me: gardening and for him: lock picking.

  110. Summer says...

    My wife and I are dealing with a lot of logistical stress over life next steps/plans. So that’s all we talk about. I’d like to talk about something fun, please!!!

  111. Stephanie says...

    Hahaha yeah I feel like our conversations have changed a lot… one noteworthy thing is that my boyfriend and I talk about/listen to topics that we know the other person isn’t that interested in. Like, my boyfriend is really in to computer programming and i don’t understand anything about it. Before, I used to just let him do his thing, but now I ask questions about what he’s working on and listen to long-winded explanations about coding. I don’t fully understand and I’m still not really interested! But it’s something to talk about. And he does the same thing for me with baking… he doesn’t know or care about leavening agents or how a different mixing method changes the outcome of a cake, but he’ll let me prattle on about it.

  112. Kristen says...

    Hahaha! This rings so true. This weekend a family stopped by unexpectedly to wave hello because they were passing through our neighborhood and that’s the only thing we’ve had to talk about for four days…until the video of the lawyer with the cat filter went around the internet and now we only break the silence every once and awhile to say “I assure you, I am not a cat.” I think we can get at least two weeks out of it….
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/style/cat-lawyer-zoom.html

    • Eloise says...

      I’ve been laughing about that video for 24+ hours…..

    • K says...

      This is actually all we did last night. We watched it a million times, and then I made videos of my husband watching it, crying, laughing. Then we watched his reaction videos… Covid and marriage make for some interesting times. :)

    • June says...

      My coworkers and I randomly tell each other “I am not a cat”. I agree, we can get a solid two weeks from that one.

      PS – I really love what the judge tweeted out after. It was classy.

  113. Brooke says...

    I live alone and have recently taken up feeding squirrels outside my front window. During my morning coffee I root for them out loud to GET THAT NUT or YOU CAN DO IT! This has escalated since I’ve included a few large walnuts (with the other assorted nuts) in the feeder that take some super squirrel effort to get loose. I need to rethink this since I’m feeling guilty making them work so hard. So, basically I’m talking to squirrels and of course, the TV.

    • Fgb says...

      Brooke, this made me laugh!

    • Sarz says...

      I absolutely think that squirrels benefit from the encouragement. It ain’t easy, but luckily, they’ve got a cheerleader. 😊

    • Kristen says...

      Brooke! We’ve also developed a relationship with a neighborhood squirrel and I think it’s been the single best (only?) good thing about being stuck at home. (We’re also making trips to Trader Joe’s just for walnuts for squirrels!) If you haven’t already seen it, you have to watch Mark Rober’s amazing squirrel obstacle course video.

  114. Sage says...

    Our 2 year old, politics, the book I’m reading, the game he’s playing, random kvetching about coworkers/life-as-we-know-it. And of course lots of silence, haha! It’s quite companionable and nice; v glad I married that guy. :)

  115. Sarah says...

    Every evening my flatmate and I discuss what our plans are for tomorrow… bearing in mind we’ve been furloughed FOREVER and sometimes can’t remember what day tomorrow actually is. We always have an answer though: do some painting by numbers; go for a walk; read; zoom the family.

  116. Ramona says...

    We’ve been together 40+ years. Mostly we talk about how grateful, thankful and blessed we are that we have our health and our jobs. And each other. We talk about everything and nothing. Oh sure we do have some much-loved alone time. But then I text him….”What’s your ETA?” I know, I know, sappy but true. But this has always been our life….

  117. Rachel O’Grady says...

    We gutted our basement— I joke— so we had something new to talk about.

  118. SarahN says...

    I’m essential, not had a work from home day this whole pandemic. But my more recent role is way more ‘office/quiet’ than previously. In either case, some evenings, my boyf gets it all – a constant but erratic stream of things that happened – people who texted, things that happened, things I considered. He loves it (he says..!?)

    Meanwhile, him: his phone tings. I ask ‘what’s going on’ (his kids are with his ex, so it’s often a text about logistics etc which I like to know about. Ok, maybe a touch insecure). He goes ‘oh it’s Clare’ (not the ex wife). Then he tells me he/we’d not seen or heard from this kid parent since his daughter’s b’day in Sept, so he reached out to say hi! Colour me surprised – in all my chatter, he’d told me so little about his day. This is the sort of thing I pepper my erratic chatter with lol! Ah well, we’re all different.

    I swear, after a weekend together, esp with the kids, I’m like… I’m done. We’re done with things to say, I need a night alone to recharge!!!

  119. meg says...

    anyone else picking random bizarre fights just for fun

    • Christina says...

      Yep.

    • Jody says...

      This made me laugh, Meg. Also, yes.

    • Cills says...

      Hahaha! Kind of agree. Tonight my husband and I decided to have a wrestling match. Highly recommend!

    • Gwen says...

      There was quite the row over laundry here the other day

    • M says...

      Ohhh yes. The kind where you float up out of your body and think “what am I even saying??” but then it’s like, well I’m here, may as well see this one through, haha

  120. Megan says...

    Honestly-and this is not good lol-we are so exhausted at the end of the day we don’t do much more than grunt at each other!
    I am teaching full on site/in person, my husband is lawyering at home, my daughter is in hybrid 1st grade and by 8 o’clock, when she is asleep, I just read my kindle until it hits the floor (aka 8:20).
    Props to anyone who can hold any conversation, however mundane it may be! :)

  121. Alyson says...

    Love this! My husband started a business in March 2020 (hello, timing …) and I was able to join him this January. He does a lot of the community stuff, chamber of commerce Zoom calls, and client calls. Did I mention we share the 9×7-foot “office”, too? We talk about everything that happened client-wise then close the door and dive into deep discussion about TV series (season 13 of Criminal Minds and counting!) plus family issues, cool things I’m researching, and who is the real dark horse when it comes to Backgammon (tied) or Canasta (absolutely me). I’m also embarrassingly guilty about misheard lyrics — many nights are passed by him correcting me then us taking turns making it so much worse.

    One curious thing about being together alldaylong is that we no longer have to store our frustrations up ’til we get home. Our evenings used to be a vent sesh for 2 hours; now we get to laugh and have a great time. Very grateful for that mindset & mood shift.

    • E says...

      What kind of business is it? That’s great you can work together. My husband has 2 businesses out of our house, one is a small investment firm. I’ve tried to work with him a few times and it was a nightmare. I wonder if it was a different type of business if it would be better.

  122. Julie says...

    We talk A LOT about how cute our cats are. A LOT.

    • ceciel says...

      yup Julie! we got Covid cats and chickens and that’s the main topic of conversation. I mean the kids, some work stuff, maybe something about tv, but rn really it’s a constant loop of “poor chickens, it’s so cold” and sweet observations about the cats.

  123. Laura says...

    I relate to all of these. We mostly talk about about our kids, but also about politics/social issues, COVID, finance, technology (my husband works at a startup) our post-COVID fantasies (where we’ll travel, who we’ll see), the random things we heard about on various podcasts, the books we’re reading, how aging feels, the bird I saw in the yard (a red tailed hawk today!), but we also LOVE not talking to each other. We have three very loud young boys who are now home all day and the idea of a silent house has become a fantasy in and of itself these days…

    • Kylee says...

      I’m with my 6 and 4 year old during the day and my husband has been working from a dining room chair next to the bed in our bedroom (the quietest place in our house) the whole pandemic . I’ve found it really comforting to have him home because I can just walk in and sit on the edge of the bed and chat with him if I need a break from the kids. We talk about what to eat for lunch, how my son is doing on his zoom calls, or he’ll vent to me about work stuff. After 21 years together and this pandemic our communication has never been better!

  124. C says...

    I laughed out loud when I saw the title of this post! We talk about our new dog, things we saw her and the cat doing while the other person was in another room, and describe her walks to each other in too much detail. We’re also watching old tv shows to having something new to watch and discuss. We’re almost done with Frasier.

  125. LK says...

    My husband doesn’t go on Instagram or Facebook so I get to tell him about my fascinating internet life.

    • shane says...

      Same. So many memes.

  126. Annie says...

    I’m desperate for a conversation that is NOT about the dream my partner had. In this pandemic, we’ve discovered that he finds comfort in small talk and the mundane and that I crave novelty and big ideas, so its been a challenge. Luckily we are good about talking about our feelings so we are both trying. We still love each other, but even after 16 years we are finding that either we’ve never had that much in common or we have grown apart, and apparently our busier lives hid that fact. I wonder what will happen post pandemic, will we decide to stay or go? Is there a window where we need to decide that, before the busy comes in again?

    • michelle says...

      I feel very seen right now by your comment and am in the same boat. I kinda think/hope that when the busy comes again we will have more to talk about and more space to be our own selves, but also who knows.

    • M says...

      This reminds me of something I heard Dan Savage say… Something about the pandemic making couples break up simply because they are spending too much time together, and not necessarily because there is something wrong with the relationship. I think often about this. I personally am craving a bit of distance nowadays.

    • Katy says...

      I feel you on this comment – my hubby doesn’t really get my desire to talk about “big ideas”. Was it really only the fact that we are compatible travel partners and adventurous eaters that kept us together?
      Fortunately… we do still have the same taste in TV.

    • Charlotte says...

      THIS. Appreciate your honesty, Annie – in very much the same boat.

    • Mimi says...

      I’ve had these thoughts too over the last few months. When I had my first baby, I told myself that I wouldn’t consider divorcing my husband until the baby was at least a year old. I knew the sleeplessness, hormones and identity crisis would make it hard to truly judge our relationship. And it helped! In stressful exhausted moments, if those thoughts crept in, I just told myself, nope! not for a few more months. And things did get better and now I’m glad we’re together. I’m sorta taking that same approach for the pandemic…

    • Sage says...

      This all reminds me of the post on CoJ not too long ago – about when your spouse is *not* your best friend. It’s OK if your partner doesn’t fulfill every social/spiritual/intellectual need you have. :) Obviously within limits (you should enjoy & respect the other person), but I would have left my dude long ago if I thought we had to be on the same level in everything. I’m in grad school, he’s a high school dropout. I’m an introvert, he’s an extrovert. I’m clumsy, he’s poised. We’re both dedicated parents, each other’s cheerleaders, kind, imbued with the same sense of humour, and in love with each other.

      But also, what M said. The pandemic is making us spend lots and lots more time together than is “normal.” You’re gonna grate on each other a little. We don’t have many FUN experiences to share right now – you can’t easily/safely travel or go to a concert together or watch a play, etc.

      tl;dr: Table minor worries about relational troubles until next year, haha.

  127. Erin says...

    Literally every day, I will run across the house and whisper to my boyfriend, “Today is the best day ever!” and then proceed to drag him to the window to see whatever dog, bird, squirrel or new neighbor may be passing by. We’re both at home and these small sightings feel like the greatest event in the history. Quarantine has brought out our true weirdness, but after eight years together, I absolutely love the novelty of it!

    • Cami says...

      We have also become obsessed with everything outside our window. We look out into a parking lot and there is always something going on. Our favorite group is photo shoot couple. She dresses up in outfits and he takes pictures of her in different poses. Usually when it just snowed…. seriously.

    • ceciel says...

      totally!! commenting on the neighbors walking by has gone to a new level! we live in a small town in a little nook with trees and curving streets–a great place to see neighbors walking there dogs, college students coming back to campus and strolling by, older folks on their daily walks all bundled up, runners who are our regulars. I really love how when you see something beautiful you whisper share “today is the best day ever”. I felt like that when I saw a beautiful striped feather sitting in the snow on our porch. All by itself, perfectly flat, laid down as if something or someone left it as a present for us.

    • Rosemary says...

      That is just the sweetest…your comment literally made me smile!

  128. Katie says...

    I have this problem solved by living alone! Instead of having this issue, I’m starved for human connection and have elevated conversation with my grocery store cashier to the next level. I go every week on the same day, so she is the person I have seen most during the pandemic. We are now on a first name basis, and I get worried about her if she misses a shift. She gets worried about me if I’m late (“was there a line at the post office?”). She asks me how my book is going, I ask her how her kids are doing at school. I gave her a Christmas card!

    • Julie says...

      I love this. I no longer live alone, but I used to live alone in a city with very few friends. I would go to the grocery store sometimes on a random night just to see people. There was a gal I always wanted to befriend at Whole Foods and a guy at Trader Joe’s who would show me photos of his dog. Hang in there friend. <3

    • Laura says...

      That is so sweet, Katie! A silver lining during this time:)

  129. JGP says...

    My husband went skiing last weekend without me, our first day apart in… 6+ months?! He was gone for not even 12 hours, and it was literally the biggest adventure ever (for both of us!). I packed him a lunch and snacks and water and we kept joking it felt like the first day of school for him. He laid everything out the night before, got the car packed, timed out his route, etc. It was the cutest thing ever. And when he got home — What was it like? What podcasts did you listen to on the 2 hour drive? Did you stop for coffee? What was the chairlift like? How did the mountain air feel on your skin? It was hilarious but really made me appreciate the seemingly ‘normal’ adventures we use to have, and how they are such a big deal these days!

    • Katie says...

      I love this!

  130. bennet says...

    I live alone and, I too, am talking to myself about my dreams, haha. Last night’s was excellent; an old boyfriend that I have not had contact with, or thought about for over a decade, paid me a visit and indicated that it is really time to pick up doing artwork again.

  131. jw says...

    lol. I relate to this so much! We talk a lot about what we should have for dinner, and what the weather forecast looks like for this week …

  132. Vera says...

    My husband and I got the “relationship” expansion pack of “We Are Not Really Strangers” question prompt cards and they have been AMAZING for connecting and opening up deeper conversations. Highly highly recommend.

    https://www.werenotreallystrangers.com

  133. JD says...

    We started doing the NYTimes Spelling Bee puzzle together, and it’s delightful.

    • torinog says...

      Yes! Been playing Spelling Bee for months now with my Mom – we check in via phone every evening to compare words. We got hooked when they had it for free for a month or so at the beginning of the pandemic!

    • Lorraine says...

      I love the spelling bee puzzle! I look forward to it every morning, esp to see which words I missed…

  134. Caitlin says...

    My husband is a nurse in the covid icu and we will THOROUGHLY digest his day after work. I love this question because lately we’ve been having the most in depth, research filled discussions about moving abroad after the pandemic. Will it be France? Scotland? Combing through real estate in normandy has become a joyful shared past time. Turns out you can spend a lot of time by doing this! Are we daydreaming? Serious? Neither of us knows! But looks like the next rabbit hole to go down is researching visas🤷
    Also, definitely long drawn out convos about dinner. Even if it’s just like, soup.

    • JoyL says...

      Check out the Design Mom website for info on moving abroad including acquiring visas, etc. It’s my dream as well!

  135. liz says...

    “what do you want to eat for dinner tonight”…. every day for the past three hundred days :( haha

    • Margot says...

      My seven year old says I spend way too much time talking about what I’m going to make for dinner.

  136. Jessica O'Malley says...

    My husband has an incredibly stressful and time-consuming job, but we’re both so thankful to be working from home. But I like to bitch about my job. I don’t need a reply or advice, I just want someone to listen to me, so I can get it out and then move on. So I wait for the moment he wraps up a call and takes off his headphones, vent, and then we both just move on to our next thing without ado. It’s our absolutely WFH ritual and although I miss my work friends, it’s kind of nice to get out to someone with no stakes at work and just move on. At the end of the day, it’s never anything worth dwelling over.

  137. Megan Powell says...

    OMG YES!!!! My husband works from home and the office 50/50. We have a 9-month-old son though, so a lot of our conversations revolve around him, or staring at him while we eat dinner together. We’re in desperate need of some good conversation. Thank you for this post!

  138. Laura Scott says...

    My husband and I joked about this the other day. I said there must have been a number of Trump divorces (divorces of couples that consisted of a Trump supporter and a Trump loather). Now there will be a new wave of divorces: couples that no longer have anything to talk about now that Trump is no longer in office !!

  139. Kirstin says...

    My husband and I have never really talked about work, except for whenever I had a job that was doing my head in. We talk about our thoughts, observations, art, philosophy, how we’d solve the world (yeah we’re sure we have ALL the answers), how we’d have been better town planners than the ones who seem to have the job (seriously, we do spend a lot of time talking about how we’d improve our suburb – our answer for everything is ‘more park space’), and if we’re stuck we fall back on the lollies we loved when we were kids (this was the conversation that made up fall in love 25 years ago, then chatting about The Great Gatsby). We are two introverts who since we met just love being together and time apart is time wasted in a way. I tell him about the plot for my very weird YA novel, and he talks about paint and texture.

    • Amber says...

      Kirstin this sounds a lot like me and my husband. We’ve been working in the same room together since last March, every week day. And then we have dinner together, and then we watch tv together, and then we go to bed. And on weekends we go on a walk together or go pick up takeout together or watch a movie…together. Somehow, we’re not even tired of eachother! I tell him the plot of every book I read, he tells me about things he reads online. We do talk about work, but only because we’re at the same company(!). Similar to lollies you loved as a kid, we often do our power rankings of…anything. Fruit power rankings, candy power rankings, tv drama series power rankings. The other night I went down a weird internet rabbit hole about the dust bowl, and couldn’t wait to share with him everything I learned! (I do wonder now though, how exciting it would be to spend time apart and have so much more recent events to share).

  140. Kate says...

    My husband had to travel for work last week (bizarre concept, I know) and when he got home I was so excited to show him the big changes I’d made around the house!
    Such as:
    – switching my pillow out for a different pillow that I found in the closet
    – flipping my apple watch upside down so I can press the button with my thumb instead of trying to do it with the inside of my index finger
    – the new spot the dog decided to nap in, adorably
    and actually that was about it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha yes!

    • Julia says...

      Our cat started napping in the gap between the radiator and the toilet on Monday, and we really haven’t talked about anything else since

    • Kate says...

      @Julia that is ADORABLE. If I were you I’d be tiptoeing in there every 10 minutes to see if the cat was still there and squealing quietly every time.

    • Jen says...

      @julia Yes, the new cat nap spots! A few weeks ago my husband and I had lots of good chats and texts (withpictures!) about our cat when it was in a phase of pulling my towel down from its hook in the bathroom and then sleeping on it.

  141. JQ says...

    At the start of the year, my partner and I started making lists … what are your top 10 favorite movies? top 5 favorite foods? top 5 favorite vacation spots? top 5 pet peeves? Etc. We then got REALLY specific … what were your top 5 halloween candies as a kid? It was so fun to debate, rank, and learn new stuff. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love these!

    • Lily says...

      Haha! We did the rank your top five Halloween candies last week during dinner. That took up about an hour, no joke! (BTW: Butterfinger is my #1, but I was very much in the minority.)

  142. This is the same reason why on vacation it’s nice to split up for a bit… so you have something to talk about/news to report at dinner time!

    My Swedish brother-in-law always asks if we can all “just talk” instead of watching tv or sitting on our phones. He’ll ask things like “do you find yourself living in the past, present or future?”
    We’ve also gone around and listed every depressing thing that happened in each month of 2020 and that was surprisingly fun.

    • Laura says...

      Every depressing thing, month by month, in 2020…amazing! Now I’m curious, was it depressing things on a personal level, or more globally?

  143. Breamons says...

    My partner isn’t working at the moment so he listens to podcasts and gets really into different topics- like electric cars, or transmission types, or national movements in south America- then, when I’m off work, we go on a walk around our neighborhood and get to discuss all the things! Usually there are some interesting and unexpected nuggets of either wisdom or oddity in the rabbit holes he goes down. It’s been a great way to talk about not only topics, but how we see the world and how different events are reported by different sources (as I’m usually following the news and reading The Atlantic throughout the day as well). It reminds me of when we were first dating and figuring out who the other person was and how we fit together as a couple.

  144. Charlotte says...

    Good gracious. Even before COVID, my partner and I spent more time together than any other couple I know. It’s a combination of a few things: a cross country move to a new place in which we knew no one, lots of career shifting that has left both of us alternately with a lot of time on our hands, and a black hole home renovation that we undertook completely on our own. So we talk– a lot. We talk about big existential issues, family issues and memories, friend gossip, random things we’ve read… all of it. And it’s never gotten old! Now spending literally all of our time in such close proximity, we’ll still sit and chat for an hour or two over coffee. I don’t know many couples who do that regularly.

    I think it’s because we have the same sense of humor. You can make conversation about anything for a long time if you have fun doing it. We’ve been together seven years and still make each other laugh.

    • Kristiana says...

      I’m 25 and single, still young but this is EXACTLY what I’m looking for in a relationship turned marriage someday! So good to know it’s possible 😉

    • Erin says...

      I agree 100% with being able tolerate someone in large doses thanks to a sense of humor. I’ve been with my partner for eight years and we’ve always had a ridiculous shared sense of humor, but have laughed so much throughout quarantine, and spend at least an hour or two each day chatting about our days, thoughts, and the most random things. It’s so wonderful, and I am truly grateful.

    • K says...

      “We talk about big existential issues, family issues and memories, friend gossip, random things we’ve read… all of it.”

      “I think it’s because we have the same sense of humor. ”

      yes! i watched a tiktok that summed it up pretty well, being married gives you existential freedom…you think they are the world and vice versa, even if there’s all this evidence to the contrary (meaningless evidence, stinky smelly messy hair evidence). when it’s your person, you don’t feel contempt for their quirks but rather endearment.

    • June says...

      This is us, too! Together 15 years and we’re still each other’s favorite person.

      I agree that having the same sense of humor is a main ingredient. It opens up a world of non-conversation conversations. We recently had an entire exchange using only sports analogies (neither of us are even sports fans).

  145. Allie says...

    I’ve been waiting for this exact post from you! 100000% the same over here, but not complaining! (I’ve taken to crawling up the stairs and then flopping on my belly outside the bathroom and grinning at my spouse while he pees until he finally notices. ha!)

  146. Andrea says...

    Oh same here! Nothing to talk about after 13 years together and I year in quarantine other than the cute things our kids do. I love my kids but that conversation is getting boring.

    But! We have big plans for Valentine’s Day. We’re going to order takeout, open a bottle of wine, and go through the 36 Questions that Lead to Love in the NYT. I’m so excited!

    • bennet says...

      That questionaire is one of my all-time favorite things! It’s a major contribution to humanity, far as I’m concerned!

  147. Midge says...

    I will preface this by saying our marriage is in good shape! Mostly we talk about our teenagers who are unraveling in the Covid times. We both work in higher ed, so we also talk about how everything is a total disaster at work. And what’s for dinner. Lots of f-bombs sprinkled throughout.

  148. Ann-Marie says...

    In the before-times, we spent a lot of time apart, and were worried about not having new stories to tell each other. But we’ve adjusted, mostly. We like to take on projects. Right now it’s big house stuff, but sometimes it’s been learning a new game or planning for a future event. We’re also very political, and the past year has delivered some much to research and talk through. We went through a phase of reading poems to each other before bed, which we enjoyed more than we would have expected. There are pieces of this I hope we keep in the after-times.

  149. S says...

    Yup. This resonates. Whenever one of us goes anywhere and returns home the other is hungry for tales of the outside world. “What was the scene? Who did you see? What is it like out there?” Bird sightings are major, so are grocery shopping trips, and most times the person returning home must bring chocolate.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahah yes! What news of the outside world???

  150. Veronica says...

    We pretty much talk about our son and not much else. He’s two, so after he goes to bed, we either celebrate or commiserate, depending on how the day went. Honestly, my husband and I spend a lot more time these days reading and ignoring each other in the evenings. It sounds bad, but as introverts, it’s what we need these days. We discussed that we are now in the stage of the pandemic where anything goes and it will mean nothing when this is all over, so for now silent, boring evenings are where we’re at.

    • Kirstin says...

      Veronica, I have this observation/ theory about couples… when I was young and saw middle aged couples in restaurants I used to declare I’d never be like them – you know, two people sitting in silence! I thought that their love had died. However fast forward and I realise that for parents, silence is a love language! They’re sitting together, holding space in silence. No-one is asking the other to do anything. It’s beautiful.

    • J says...

      Yep, I feel this. Our marriage is still tender, still fun— but we are emotionally wiped at the end of the day once our 2- and 4-year-old are in bed. Usually we chat a bit about the funny things our kids did that day, then he watches a show/documentary while I read next to him in bed. One of us will occasionally reach out for a hand squeeze or shoulder rub, as we recharge in blissful silence.