The workday may have been long and exhausting, so check out these 10 things to talk about over dinner after a long day at work for fun and intriguing conversation with your loved ones!
After a long day at work, it can be difficult conjuring up conversation starters or ideas when your brain is already struggling to compute through the exhaustion of the workday’s stressors. We’ve put together this list of 10 things to talk about over dinner after a long day at work!
Get rid of distractions like phones, television, and computers, allot designated time to spend with your romantic partner or family members. Show that you care enough to focus on them during the conversation without unneeded distractions like work and electronics. There is quality in setting time to clearly communicate through the busyness of life, work, responsibilities, errands, and the like. From the importance of scheduled dinner time with romantic partners, the benefits of such, and the opportunity to grow one’s relationship, it’s no wonder finding topics to discuss at dinner can seem so imposing!
Please continue reading for further information on the benefits of dinnertime on communication, its importance, and 10 topic ideas to talk about over dinner for fun, reflective, and intriguing conversation starters that will encourage in-depth conversation.
The Importance Of Dinners With Family And Romantic Partners
There is exquisite importance in setting a scheduled time each week to have dinner with one’s family or romantic partners despite the standard time consumers and stressors of one’s workweek. Dinner time each week or night allows for essential benefits like communication and quality time.
Communication requires a give-and-take. One listens while the other speaks and vice versa. There is bonding in quality communication, which aids in relationship growth and depth. Setting time aside to spend that time with one’s partner or family specifically promotes communication and growth in the relationship by showing they matter (the same as you matter to them).
This allotted time of having dinner with another also allows for a time of communication. Often enough, people spend almost all of their day at work, then drive home to follow through with other tasks like going to the gym, taking care of the kids, cleaning up the house, doing laundry, finishing up leftover work, preparing dinner, and the list goes on. This constant busyness can drastically affect relationships as it removes the opportunity for quality and thorough communication opportunities.
It’s hard to express to one’s partner how upsetting their tone was earlier that morning. You’ve already forgotten to bring it up because of a missed opportunity or your brain running at hyperspeed. You’re trying to catch up with other tasks in a short amount of time while your energy levels are quickly depleting. Having scheduled dinner time prompts an opportunity for effective communication that allows for soft and hard topics to be addressed–which can be challenging to do but is 100% necessary to progress in a growing relationship truly.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Distractions affect quality time and communication. There’s nothing more disappointing and hurtful than telling your romantic partner something vulnerable only to see their eyes glued to the television screen or phone.
Set your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and place it where you can’t continually glance at it when you think you receive a notification or text. Turn the television off. Get away from the computer. That designated dinner time with your romantic partner does not need any distractors that will dissolve the conversation or quality time spent with one another.
Set A Designated Time
For 30 minutes to one hour, set a designated time to spend with your romantic partner or family. It allows for a reasonable time to spend with others to keep the conversation positive, polite, and fruitful, without extensive and unrealistic expectations of one’s free time after a long workday.
Though dinner can be quite enjoyable, many also need to relax and recuperate from an exhausting day at work. They may want to go to the gym, watch their favorite television show, or read a book in only a 4-5 hour allotted time after getting off work and driving home. It increases the importance of an allotted time for dinner so as not to eliminate each person’s other passions or activities that rejuvenate and reenergize them.
Not that the time spent with you, or you with them, doesn’t equate to one or the other being utterly miserable the whole scheduled dinner time because you, or they, would rather be doing bicep curls at the gym or watching Euphoria on Netflix. Instead, it simply means that each person’s time is precious and though they may be spending dinner time focused on you. They listen to how your day went and where you both plan on going on vacation together. Outside of that time, they and you should be allowed to focus on other tasks and passions.
And often, this can still include them or you in the picture. Many romantic partners go to the gym together or sit in the same room while the guy plays video games and the gal binges on her new favorite book series.
10 Things To Talk About Over Dinner After A Long Day At Work
You can discuss many things or topics over dinner. Some things should not be addressed or minimized in length. These are some of the top recommended topics that can improve the quality of dinner-time conversation, with some additional recommendations on what not to do or discuss at dinnertime.
1. Don’t Talk About Work
Out of all the things to talk about, do not talk about work. For most people, work can be incredibly stressful, exhausting, and negative. Bringing that home to your space and rerun that topic onto your partner or family can bring negativity that sneaks in and grasps ahold, growing stronger over time—which is what negativity does. It grows and festers.
Of course, not speaking about work is impossible, especially when you’re spending most of your life there (isn’t that a sickening thought?). Occasionally talking about work is acceptable. If your partner or family member brings it up, that’s fine too. Speak on it, update them on how work is going, how you like it, any projects you’re working on, etc.
But! Do not continuously bring drama to your household and relationships by venting, complaining, gossiping, and so forth, with or without bringing up the topic of work. It can be so incredibly toxic to you and your relationships. If work is that stressful, get a new job. It is possible to be happy at work and have a healthy work environment!
2. Don’t Have A One-Way Conversation
I know this seems more like advice on what to not talk about or what not to do in a dinner conversation after work, but sometimes that’s how you improve the quality of conversation. Get rid of all the things that you should not be doing.
Next would be to not lord over the conversation, and this is how you find out. Is it more like a one-way conversation, whether you or the other person? If so, you should address it. Try to turn the conversation around. Ask the other person, “What is your opinion on ____?” or “What do you think about the food?”.
It can significantly improve dinner conversation, especially after a long day. It gives each other a chance to share their perspective and opinion on a matter or problem or share how their day went. Allowing for equal give-and-take in the conversation increases the opportunity for quality time spent with one another.
3. Ask A Follow-Up Question
To keep a conversation progressing and allow for more depth or opportunity for it, in a conversation, ask follow-up questions. Before you start to bullet out questions to your romantic partner at the dinner table over lasagna, remember this isn’t an interrogation. It’s a conversation.
If you watch interviews, podcasts, or late-night shows, you’ll be able to notice that the interviewer or host will ask follow-up questions to get a deeper understanding of the other person’s answer or story. It allows for a greater response, or depth, of one’s answer or explanation. It can impose an impression on one another, working in each other’s favor to increase intimacy or grow a relational bond.
4. The High-Point And Low-Point Of The Day
For some, waking up at 4 AM and going to work can be their low point of the day, while others will state the opposite (morning people are on a whole other level!). Spending time to talk about each other’s high-point and low-point of the day can improve upon what a person values in their day. For some, that’s making money, and for others, that’s being grateful for their loved ones. What can utterly ruin their day for some is a flat tire or Starbucks not having soymilk for their iced latte. A steady positive aspect of their everyday life could be that they have a steady income or a loving wife or husband. What is a steady negative aspect of their life could be some guy keeps taking their parking spot at work or a health concern has been popping up).
Asking this question at dinner can be a great conversation starter, but introverts may keep their answers prim and short. At the same time, the extroverts may be easier to go into detail for an ongoing conversation.
5. Vacation Plans Or Ideas
There’s nothing quite like talking about and planning a vacation to get away from common day responsibilities and stressors. Vacation or travel plans can be from month-long backpacking trips to a weekend getaway at a relaxing resort. Plan a trip and fun excursions at the desired destination to get the most out of the vacation. And excursions or activities on the trip aren’t required. Many enjoy simply relaxing at a resort, soaking in the sun’s rays at the beach or by the pool, or spending time with each other at a fancy restaurant all dressed up—and that’s perfectly okay, too!
6. Bucket List
Everyone has one, though some may not even realize it’s a “bucket list.” At dinner, bring up the topic of a bucket list and discuss the items on the list. It increases the depth and founding desires and can be stunning fun facts that you might not know about each other!
Consider crossing off items on each other’s bucket lists together! From sky diving to swimming with dolphins, consider the possibility of improved quality time and bonding opportunities by taking up the task of crossing items on each other’s bucket lists!
7. If You Had One Wish, What Would It Be?
And before you even attempt to ask or deviate from the question, no, you can’t wish for more wishes! Have you guys seen Aladdin? That’s the one wish you can’t wish for!
This question can be an interesting conversation topic. Short and sweet, or deep and heavy, that highly depends on the person in question, but this can be a very reflective question that will aid in the opportunity to hear what truly is near and dear to a person’s heart. You will listen to what they value, focus on, what they believe should be changed, etc.
8. If You Could Insert Yourself Into Any Movie, What Would It Be? And What Character Would You Be?
An intriguing question, this question can exemplify what movies a person has been watching, what kind of world they would wish to live in, what time period a person would want to be in, along with other conflicts often seen in movies like politics, corrupt governments, monsters, environmental decay, relationships, enemies, adventure, evil forces, and the like. Though movies like the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Pride & Prejudice, Lord Of The Rings, and so forth are incredibly popular to watch and enjoy, living in the movie’s setting, time period, conflict, and environment can be a whole new ball game to consider when having to pick a character to play.
It can help each other learn what a person is willing to deal with (like a harsh external environment), what they are inspired by (like magic and adventure), or what they find invigorating (like going on time-sensitive missions and adventures).
9. What Are You Grateful For?
When we get sucked into the stressors and responsibilities of life, it is common to note a more negative or toxic cycle of thinking and perspective on things.
Asking the question, “What are you grateful for?” presents an opportunity to align with a more positive line of thinking and perspective. It can also show what impacts a person, small or large. When they answer the question, ask follow-up questions like, “Why should you be grateful for ___?” or “What are some small and large things that you are grateful for?” It can lead to a deeper line of conversation that can improve each other’s relationship.
10. If You Could Have One Superpower, What Would It Be, And What Would You Do With It?
It’s a common question, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” but many don’t ask the second question— ”What would you do with it?”
From shapeshifting to flying and turning invisible, there’s a load of superpowers that one could want. Many people get creative with answers like being able to control dimension storage (think Hermione’s endless bag from Harry Potter), omnifabrication (think Tony Stark’s intellect and inventing abilities), or the ability to time travel (with or without affecting time).
But then, what would one do with those superpowers? With the superpower of omnifabrication, would they invent a tool to prevent world hunger or be the ultimate AI sidekick for miscellaneous tasks? The possibilities are endless and can be interesting to address when having time to sit and think about the endless opportunities and usages for their newfound, hypothetical superpower!
There is significant depth in sharing one’s time and thoughts, from setting aside for designated dinner and quality time with loved ones to promoting communication. It can deepen a bond, encourage introspective thoughts, and designate an opportunity to address concerns or gratitude. Use these 10 topic or discussion ideas and what not to do in a conversation or during allotted dinner time to improve conversation quality and strengthen your relationships!