Conversation Types in Healthy Relationships

Updated on February 27, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

With politeness on the socially-endangered list, chances are you have met someone who forced himself (or herself) into a conversation. From the greeting to the question asked or observation made, you were disgusted. The person made an unwelcome intrusion into the type of conversation you did not expect to have with him or her. Conversation types must match the types of relationship.

The type of conversation must match

the type of relationship.

Photo by Ernst Vikne from Skien, Norway
Photo by Ernst Vikne from Skien, Norway | Source

Healthy relationships do not just happen. They follow a path paved with respect and courtesy. Selfishness is at the heart of unhealthy relationships and often there is more desire for gratification than for wholesome talk. The appropriate type of conversation can help the relationship grow positively and smoothly.

Following are five conversation types which are to be recognized, even if conversation in the relationship does not follow the order outlined below. They may combine or overlap, but a healthy friendship is more easily maintained if both parties are aware of the conversation types and their purposes.

Types of Conversation

(1) Casual
(2) Convenient
(3) Curious
(4) Connecting
(5) Cuddly

(1) Casual Conversation

  • Purpose: Also known as small talk, this conversation type has no definite purpose or serious intent. It happens by chance.

You engage in casual conversation with someone on the bus, at the checkout line in the grocery store, or seated next to you at a party. There is a greeting, followed by general remarks about the weather, the crowd or any other public feature. Usually, there is no desire to bond or to avoid bonding.

Casual conversations can turn into other conversation types if either party so desires. The interested party asks permission with a bridge question like, “May I ask you something?” or a statement like, “I hope you don’t think I’m overstepping my bound.” In a healthy exchange, there is no rudeness, and the other party has permission to end the conversation at the bridge.

(2) Convenient Conversation

  • Purpose: Also called functional conversation, this type intends to fill a specific need for information (not necessarily personal).

If the two people had a casual conversation before, this conversation may have some underlying motive—like listening to a likeable voice or evaluating the scope of knowledge on a certain subject. However, no personal information is solicited unless introduced by a bridge of courtesy, as in the casual information.

It is possible to address someone for the first time in a convenient conversation: for example, to ask for direction or to solicit how-to instructions on a new cell phone. There may not be time for a casual conversation, but after a quick bridge, personal phone numbers may be exchanged with prospect for another type of conversation.

(3) Curious Conversation

  • Purpose: This conversation type intends to declare interest and learn personal information

Here is a view which may considered old-fashioned, but modern and popular are not necessarily better.

Someone who introduces this type of conversation with a stranger is totally disrespectful. Someone who tolerates this type of conversation from a stranger is probably too desperate for friendship. It is unreasonable to expect courtesy in a relationship which begins without it. Why not consider whether someone is interested before probing for personal information?

If this type of conversation occurs with permission, then it promotes excitement in the process of getting to know each other. It is a time to exhibit real interest, learn likes and dislikes and talk about the future of the friendship.


(4) Connecting Conversation

  • Purpose:This conversation type intends to establish and to maintain friendship.

As the name suggests, a connection is being made, and two people begin to refer to each other as friends. There is a certain amount of familiarity which accommodates discussion about personal affairs, feelings and plans, but the friendship is not necessarily exclusive. One person may accommodate several friends at this level of conversation.

There are people who wish to begin an acquaintance with this type of conversation. They do not have time for civility or curiosity. It may be possible for the conversation to progress quickly, but is not possible to build a solid relationship without investing in a foundation.

Connectedness is a gift to be treasured, whether or not the relationship progresses beyond this point. This type of conversation can offer motivation, spiritual and emotional support, and genuine love. It is the type of conversation which prevents one from needing a psychologist or psychiatrist when the challenges of daily living create a desire to vent feelings.

(5) Cuddly Conversation

  • Purpose: Also called love talk, this type conversation fills companionship needs on an intimate level.

Couples, married or in love, talk at the deepest level of intimacy about their inner feelings. Their expressions about their longings are soul deep and their responses are soul fulfilling. They nurture their sense of belonging to each other, fostering a closeness which makes it easy to be honest.

It is as satisfying as foreplay, helping to create sexual bonding even before the sexual act. When they are apart, it triggers the feeling of physical connection over time and space. It is not the kind of talk which either party would engage in with anyone else.

This is not to be confused with mushy, baby-talk or the expressions of love sickness. It is a conversation produced by mature love and connectedness between two honest hearts.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Dora Weithers


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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thank you for being part of my HubCircle. I appreciate your kind comment.

      • Janellegems profile image


        5 years ago from United States

        I believe I have experienced these different type of conversations with people sometime in my life. Great information. Enjoyed reading your hub and the way you outlined these types of conversations. Thanks.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Ignugent, you've set yourself a worthy goal, and I pray that you realize it. Thank you for your comment.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        Great ideas MsDora! This is really very helpful to build a good relationships. I would want to master the cuddly conversation with my husband. :-)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Reynold, glad you find the article helpful. Please make some time to talk with friends. Cheers!

      • Reynold Jay profile image

        Reynold Jay 

        6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

        I can use this information. I spend so much time writing and teaching that casual conversation is a big effort. Well thought and expressed article that should help a lot of us.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Deborah. Most times we just take conversation for granted; it can be so impactful.

      • DeborahNeyens profile image

        Deborah Neyens 

        6 years ago from Iowa

        Interesting ideas. I never thought about conversation in this way before but you make some great points.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Faith, you are very kind. Thank you for your encouragement.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        6 years ago from southern USA

        Excellent topic and very insightful as to the types of conversations. Yes, thanks for this reminder, especially since all are now using the Internet to converse and it is important to be mindful to keep boundaries in check. As I always state, you always come up with the best, interesting and most useful topics for a hub.

        Voted up +++ and sharing

        God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Denise. Happy conversations with your new friends!

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        6 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        It is helpful to differentiate these types of conversation. As of late, I have been getting to know others outside of my family circle in different ways, and this hub gave me some clues as to what is appropriate and what is not. Thanks!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Paislee Gal, you make a very valid and interesting observation about the scarcity eye to eye conversations. Thank you for your input.

      • PaisleeGal profile image

        Pat Materna 

        6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

        Interesting hub topic. Should be taught in school. Especially important at a time in our culture when one on one, eye to eye conversations are often replaced with emails or text.

        Well done and to the point. Voted up !

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        DDE, thanks for reading. Always appreciative of your support.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        So interesting on Conversation Types In Healthy Relationships, conversations that can develop into great friendships or be without one you explained each to the point.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        LoveDoctor, thank you for affirming that conversation types should match levels of relationships. I appreciate your input.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        This is very good information. Strangers can be intrusive at times. They ask the most indiscreet questions, but then again, just because a question is asked doesn't mean that you have to answer it. I just change the subject or excuse myself to the little girls room even if I don't have to go to the restroom. Some people have no clue when they are overstepping other people's boundaries. True, a connecting conversation is best when you start off as friends. up and awesome!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Frank, such a kind thing to say. Thanks for your encouragement.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        you make clear the art of conversation here with this Hub Msdora only as you could bless you :)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        EP, thanks for your comment and your kind wishes. The best to you also for the coming week!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Michael, thank you for your input on the importance on words. Good advice!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Sheila, so glad the article is timely for you. All the best in that new relationship. Enjoy the conversations!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Cynth, glad you found the article useful. Crossing boundaries without permission can ruin a conversation and a relationship. Thanks for the vote.

      • epbooks profile image

        Elizabeth Parker 

        6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

        Interesting information. I think we've all encountered each of these conversations at one point or another. Thanks for posting and have a great day!!

      • Michael-Milec profile image


        6 years ago

        Hello MsDora.

        Valuable politely living lesson. What a courtoius world we would be living in " if " only everyone would want to choose to carry on healthy conversation .

        Words are one of those things can't be taken back once released.

        Up and useful.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        I'm glad you wrote this because it's just what I need right now. I just started talking to guy I want to get to know more about. I have one big question to ask him, but wasn't sure when would be the right time. Now I know. It would be a opener for the curious conversation. After reading your hub, I realize that since we started talking a couple of days ago it's still a little early to bring up the question I want to ask. Thanks.

      • cynthtggt profile image

        Cynthia Taggart 

        6 years ago from New York, NY

        This is a very useful hub that I am going to share. Sometimes people forget boundaries or feel slighted unnecessarily in conversation and this hub explains why. I voted up and useful. Thanks, MsDora.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thank you Bill. The weekend has been wonderful so far; I hope for you too. I appreciate your comment.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        6 years ago from Olympia, WA

        "Conversation types must match the types of relationship." True words, Dora, and I have seen some pretty strange conversations that did not match.

        I hope you are having a wonderful weekend my friend.



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