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In fact, studies show that the more we talk substantively and the less we small talk, the happier we are in general.

If you always get stuck in a rut of discussing schedules, work, and the weather, try to change the direction of the conversation with thought-provoking questions such as, “If money and time were no obstacle, what would you be doing right now?

You might discover that you are fulfilled and inspired after discussing a topic with your significant other, or you might feel frustrated because that connection just isn’t there, and maybe it’s best to part ways.

To this day, we regularly sit down to watch a documentary and spend hours, sometimes days, talking and sharing ideas about it afterward.After a long and tiring day at work, these conversations are a great (and needed) reminder of why I fell in love with my husband in the first place. If it’s reading, find a new series that you will read together.Whether it’s reading together or something grander, such as saving to travel to a new place each year, research says that it takes at least sixty-six days for something to become a habit.That means you have to give your new intellectual habit at least two months in order to have it really take root in your relationship.If it’s politics, make time to read the news every morning, and then share your opinions with each other later.

Exploring an uncharted new world together will help you offer each other the self-expansion that we know brings satisfaction to your relationship.

You don’t want to end up unhappy because you realize that you can’t connect with your future spouse.

Getting stuck in small talk is a huge barrier to discovering and developing an intellectual relationship with the man you are dating.

Does your conversation leave you inspired and eager to dig deeper, or do you find that you have to simplify your thoughts in order to feel understood?

When you’re out by yourself and discover something interesting, do you have the intense urge to share it with your significant other or not so much?

One study conducted in 2012 in Hong Kong looked at the marital and sexual satisfaction of more than a thousand married men and women and found that a woman is 40 percent less likely to be satisfied with her marriage if she is better educated than her husband, compared to when they are equally educated.