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12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

There comes a point in everyone’s relationship where things just get weird. The level of weird is completely normal to the two of you but to onlookers and friends, it’s almost unacceptable behavior. Here are some things couples in long-term relationships do that are a tad bit weird to the outside world.

1. Your bodily smells are no longer a gray area

After a certain period of time, farts and burps just become amusing. On second thought, the ones that don’t smell like a decaying body or a fresh pile of crap, are amusing. Throughout the course of your relationship, the importance of hiding your farts and excusing your burps have slowly dwindled down because you both are more comfortable with each other. It is just another step deeper into a long-term relationship and this step is inevitable, so don’t try to stop it.

2. You both think it is necessary to narrate your pets life

There is something particularly amusing to the two of you for your animal to have a voice. On more than one occasion, either you or your other half has put words to their actions because it’s funny. They can’t talk, so we must talk for them.

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3. You have seen each other wear the opposite sex’s clothing

This one is something that everyone won’t admit to, especially the men, but everyone has seen and done it. Women across the world have a sweater or two stretched out because someone thought it was funny to prance around in it along with their bra on. Guys have seen many sweaters move from their side of the closet to their other half’s. It is a normal thing in a long term relationship. A stretched out sweater is worth being stretched for the memory of a guy wearing it in combination with a bra and grabbing his imaginary boobs.

4. Morning breath doesn’t bother you as much

When the relationship was new, you creeped your way out of bed to brush your teeth and crawled back in before the other woke up. Now, morning breath is just another natural thing you need to get over because everyone has it and you both have accepted it. Mornings just consist of “Morning babe” with a huge smooch on the lips or cheek, maybe more if it’s a good morning.

5. Binge eating and watching Netflix all day is acceptable in your household

You both have had Saturday mornings where you rolled out of bed, made food, taken your dog out to pee as you narrated him finding his perfect pee spot, cooked breakfast and stayed in your PJ’s watching Netflix. This goes on all day and both of your stomachs are bottomless pits of hunger. This is perfectly acceptable because there is two of you doing it.

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6. You use each other as an excuse to skip out on plans

You both just want to have a night in to watch TV and drink where it’s cheaper than $8 a beer. This is usually when one of you pretends to be the bad guy and has to act like you don’t want to go so the other person looks like they are legitimately trying to make the plans. In another occasion if both of you want to look like the good guy, one of you plays sick. In reality though, you are both terrible people and have accepted this because you rather watch Netflix in your sweats than pretend to be a good person anyways.

7. You can communicate telepathically

There are weird things that you do with your eyes when you are both at social gatherings, getting stopped by sales people or in a crowded place somewhere. There are expressions that mean stay away, I’m having a bad day, I”m hungry. If one of you suddenly lost the ability to either talk or hear, both of you will be fine off of facial expressions.

8. You both laugh when the other falls…and then stop when they don’t get up

There have been times at the beginning of your relationship where the other one falls and you rush to their side. Now, if one of them is…knocked down sideways because the dog ran right into them, for example, you now immediately die of laughter. You both laugh at each other falling down, tripping, or slipping. It is all good fun unless you don’t see them get up.

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9. You both aren’t embarrassed to relive your childhood

The two of you on countless occasions have built forts, played with light sabers through the house, played with Legos, even if you don’t have a child, and have scared each other by hiding around the corners of the house. It’s normal, and it’s fun. Anyone who doesn’t accept this from the two of you are basically put on the list of “let’s make an excuse to get out of plans with them”.

10. You send each other text message when you are in the same area

There have been times where the both of you are sitting on the couch, or sitting at dinner and have sent a text message instead of physically talking. You have also use texting instead of getting out of the current room you are in to get your significant other’s attention.

11. Your bathroom is no longer a sacred domain

There was a point in your relationship where the bathroom was a place of solitude. Now, opening the door and doing what you need to do while your other half is in there is perfectly normal. Unless you’re the type of couple that likes a little mystery in their relationship…and mystery meaning that you don’t want to know what the other’s fresh poop smells like.

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12. You people watch and make up stories

When you go out to eat or go to the mall, small talk is no longer needed because you know a lot, too much actually, about that person. The two of you now focus on people watching and making up stories of their lives to match what they look like. Sometimes it gets to a deeper level of weird and you narrate their conversations.

Featured photo credit: Couple having crazy fun on the beach- Iztok Alf Kurnik via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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