Ask Emma: I talk way more than my significant other

Learning love languages will help you love your partner well; become comfortable with silence

Getting+comfortable+with+silence+is+important+for+relationships+when+it+comes+to+compromise.+

LAUREN PETTIT

Getting comfortable with silence is important for relationships when it comes to compromise.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen deputy news editor

Dear Emma,

I recently made it “official” with this person I’ve been dating. Things have been going really well, and I really like them. However, when we spend time together, there are a lot of awkward silences. I know my significant other is pretty quiet and shy, so maybe it is not uncomfortable for them.

I’m really chatty when I’m around people I like, so I don’t know what to do when they aren’t talking. It makes me uncomfortable to sit in silence. I try to ask them questions, but that doesn’t always lead to conversation.

What should I talk to my significant other about to fill the dead space?

Awkward Silence


Dear Awkward Silence,

I’m a bit chatty myself, so I can understand why this may be uncomfortable for you. However, I think this is a great learning opportunity. Whether this is your “person” or not, you’ll always benefit from knowing how to converse with different types of people — especially those who aren’t the conversationalist you are.

First of all, I recommend having a conversation with your significant other … about conversations. If you haven’t done so already, share your feelings and ask theirs. Make sure excessive conversation isn’t tiring for them (it can be for some people) and that they feel comfortable opening up to you.

Next, I encourage you to get comfortable with silence. Relationships are about compromise, so if your significant other engages in conversations with you, you should practice engaging in silence with them. It might be uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to it after a while. You might even find it is a nice break for your vocal cords.

This also means you should not force conversation. If you’ve run out of things to talk about, don’t try so hard to fill the dead space. Be mindful of where you are and who you’re with, and try your best to enjoy the moment.

It could be helpful for you and your significant other to learn your love languages. I suspect, based on how you describe yourself, that your love language is words of affirmation. If that’s the case, you feel loved when people compliment you, praise you or engage in meaningful conversation.

Your partner likely does not have the same love language. Maybe theirs is quality time or acts of service, in which case they don’t need a lot of talking to feel loved. Be sure you’re considering their preferences to ensure you’re loving them well.

Finally, the more time you spend with your partner, the more comfortable you will get having conversations. Give it some time, and you’ll naturally come up with things to talk about. You don’t need to rush to get to know this person all in one long conversation — you have plenty of time for that.

All in all, I encourage you to focus on how your partner makes you feel when you’re together and not worry about what you’ll talk about next. If you’re happy being with them, it shouldn’t matter what you do or don’t talk about.

I hope this helps!

Emma