My girlfriend is quiet
June 26, 2011 10:57 PM Subscribe
I'm chatty. She is quiet. What do I do?
posted by pauldonato to Human Relations (47 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've been dating a girl for a couple months now. We're exclusive and intimate, and things are generally going well. But she is a quiet type. Flowing conversations are important to me, and it's to the point where I don't really look forward to dinners or car rides with her, because there's a lot of dead air. We have fun doing activities together, but when the activity is done, and it's just us, the conversation is dry.
I've tried a bunch of different things. I've tried letting the pauses last longer, as she may be more comfortable with longer lengths of silence than I am, and that did get her to talk a little bit more. I also tried asking her questions like, "What do you think?" and she pipes up a little bit more. But I don't feel like it's enough.
I think she's as smart if not smarter than me, so I don't think I'm talking over her head. And she seems interested in what I have to say, and listens well, but I think she is modest, and doesn't feel the need to chime in unless she knows the subject really well. I tend to enjoy being an armchair philosopher about all sorts of subjects, and love moving from topic to topic, whether or not I'm an expert.
I'm not sure what else I can do.
Should I break-up? Good conversation is really important in my friendships, and I have trouble seeing this lasting a long time if we don't have a solid conversational rapport. On the other hand, we've been together for a while now, so I figure it's not the kind of thing I just throw my hands up and eject over, but rather something I just watch and let play out for a while.
Should I talk to her about it? I feel like I'd be putting a lot of pressure on her if I did. I wouldn't even know how to frame it. Would I say, "I sometimes feel like there's a lot of dead air when we're just hanging out," or would I say, "I feel like our conversations are lacking," or "Are you kind of a quiet person?" Or "I want you to talk more." I really don't know if there's a way that I can say it without coming off like a master who is upset at his subject's performance. If I said, "sometimes I feel like you're not interested in what I have to say," it seems like I'm slapping her in the face.
Should I try more tricks? I've tried a handful of them, like not moving around topically as much. But maybe there's some magic ones I don't know about.
Should I just wait? Maybe after a couple months, we'll click conversationally? Or is that just wishful thinking. I could see her possibly getting more and more comfortable around me?
The first couple weeks we were dating, I didn't notice her quietness as much, I think maybe because we were just so excited to know each other, and compare our interests to see what we have in common.