Romantic advice from Kelly Conaboy.

Kelly Conaboy
Feb 13, 2017 · 3 min read

I can’t think of anything better than this: lying down, closing your eyes, and listening to someone talk without there being any expectation of a response from you.

“That’s a podcast,” you’re thinking. OK, fine. Yes. Though I’ve asked many people for this gift — friends, lovers, people in just casual scenarios — I have never once received it and have had to resort to listening to podcasts for a similar effect. When I ask them, people will say, “No, you do that for me.” Excuse me? I know it’s a good idea, but I shouldn’t be punished for being the one who had it. Or the person I’m with would just rather have a dialogue. OK. But maybe you are different from all of the terrible assholes with whom I’ve populated my miserable life, just kidding, they’re fine, I love them. Maybe you would like to talk out loud while your loved one gets to just listen?

To get back to podcasts for one second. Podcasts are very impersonal, I don’t think I need to tell you this. Jad Abumrad is fine, I’m sure, but who is he? I don’t know him, or “her,” to quote Mariah Carey. It would be nicer if you would be the one to talk out loud while your loved one just got to listen.

But what will you say? Good question. People don’t really have anything good to say most of the time, which is why this is a gift for your loved one. She, or he, gets to sit out of the conversation. And I have good news. In my opinion the less interesting the things you say are during this exercise, the better. (But not so boring that it’s crazy.) (Also no dreams.) Don’t give any good gossip, don’t say anything upsetting about the state of the world. Don’t share a bad opinion. Maybe tell a story from work. Or, here, I’ll do a list.

  • Maybe tell a story from work.
  • Talk about something mildly interesting that happened to a friend.
  • Read her an article she has open in a tab, but be careful that it is not an article she saved to make herself angry later.
  • Talk about a thing you know a lot about.
  • What you thought about a restaurant.
  • Something you’re thinking about buying, and why.

I think there may be people out there thinking, “a lot of these are exactly the conversations I never want to have.” That’s just the thing — it isn’t a conversation. You’re just listening. You can listen or not listen, and then maybe fall asleep.

In conclusion, it’s nice to hear someone you love talk to you when you don’t have to talk back to them or even acknowledge that they are talking at all. Give your loved one this gift on Valentine’s Day, if she wants it.

I love you.

The Hairpin

Ladies first.

    Kelly Conaboy

    Written by

    The Hairpin

    Ladies first.

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