Inside: Staring at the vacant chairs at the dinner table can make any empty nester sad. Don’t despair! Here are some simple suggestions to break out of that funk and make couple conversation at dinner more exciting.
In the span of a few months, dinner time has undergone a seismic change.
The two humans I find most fascinating are both now college students. No more nightly tales about their favorite teacher’s antics. No more good-natured chuckles and eye rolls when Mom asks too many questions.
These familiar sounds have been replaced by the sound of the ticking clock and the scrape of a knife against a plate.
But…it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s hard to remember life before children. Long dinners spent talking over a bottle of wine. Evenings of sharing time and dreams and dessert.
You got this!
It is possible to have refreshingly kid-talk-free, adult conversation about food, music, books, travel, politics, and current events.
It does take a bit more effort, but it’s so worth it. With a thankful heart, an open mind and a little dusting off of that conversation muscle, you’ll be chatting it up in no time!
Couple Conversation Helpers
In no particular order, here are things you can do to make your dinner conversation shine:
- Eat in a different place. If you always ate in the dining room, try the kitchen counter or spread a blanket on the floor for an indoor picnic. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need to get out of that funk.
- Dine out once a week. If your budget allows, check out a new restaurant each week. I always see tons of coupons for local restaurants. Try a different cuisine every week, a different part of town or a different style of cooking.
- Cook together. Try a new recipe, cook together and then critique it. What did you like? What would you change? Would you cook it again? Take turns searching for and choosing recipes.
- Talk about your weekend plans. If you don’t have any, make some. Try out the farmer’s market, walk your dog on a new trail. Bike to the library. Volunteer. Do something unexpected.
- Subscribe to The Skimm. It’s a free, super short, usually humorous M-F email about what’s going on in the news. Lots to talk about these days.
More Couple Conversation Ideas
- Plan a home improvement project. What would you like to do to that old bathroom? How about rearranging the bedroom furniture. Maybe a trip to Home Depot is in order.
- Read a book together. Read the same book and discuss. Discuss the characters, the plot, the author. Take turns choosing the book.
- Tune into a great podcast each day and talk about current events. Listen during your daily commute. It will make the time speed by and you’ll have lots of things to discuss.
- Trade ideas about your next vacation. Where would you go if you could travel anywhere? Why? What would you do on a staycation in your own town?
Do it tonight
There’s no better time than now to begin warming up that couple conversation muscle. It gets easier every night. With a little effort, an open mind and a thankful heart – you’ve got this!
Where is your favorite place to eat dinner?