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I (19 M) met my girlfriend (18 F) about two weeks ago, we quickly declared a relationship and it's the first time for both of us to have a romantic relationship.

She is into hobbies which I am not familiar with and she sometimes talks about them enthusiastically. I have no issues responding when texting, but I am struggling to respond when we are voice-chatting - which requires a faster response and often my response is short which seems uncaring.

One time, when she noticed me struggling to respond she asked if I was not interested in the topic. I was not but I wanted to know more about her and didn't know how to keep her going on her topic without responding perfunctorily and making me seem uncaring.

I'd like to prevent awkward moments like this from occurring again in the future, but don't know how I can react in situations like this. My goal is to show enough interest and keep her going about the topic without sounding weird, how can I achieve this?

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    Your question could be improved by editing in how you usually respond. For example, you have one answer now that says 'ask questions', but without knowing if you already do so, I can't know if that answer deserves an upvote for 'solving' your problem. What would you text her, and what where you trying to say/respond with when she noticed you were struggling?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Oct 16 at 8:32
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    Also, what are your opinions on the topics? The response will be different depending on whether it's something you know nothing about, something you have no strong feelings for, or something you dislike.
    – Sarov
    Oct 18 at 13:32
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    How interested are you in knowing more about her hobbies even on a surface level? In my experience, people LOVE to talk about their hobbies to complete beginners Oct 22 at 8:16
  • Hi Durian. I've given your post a pretty big edit, in order to remove the off-topic and opinion based parts. Hope I didn't betray the main idea and goal. Please tell us, and you can also roll back the edit.
    – OldPadawan
    Oct 26 at 19:17
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Ask questions.

The best conversationalists - the ones people most enjoy talking with - don't have all that much to say. What they do have is questions.

You're genuinely interested in this person and the topic they're speaking about, but you don't know much about that topic. So ask to know more about it! Listen to what she has to say, and ask follow up questions. You don't share these hobbies, but do you have similar hobbies from which to draw parallels? Did she mention she was going to do something while you were talking last time? If so, ask her how that went.

I don't think it's an issue in this case, but for posterity I have to point out that this only works if you are genuinely interested in the answers to your questions. Listening to and thinking about the answers is every bit as critical as asking the questions.

The beauty of this "technique" is that it's not a trick. Everyone involved enjoys it, even if they recognize that it's happening. As an anecdote, my aunt-in-law did this to me and we had a very nice conversation that I still remember 5 years later. We don't have a lot in common, but she wanted to get to know me better so she asked me a bunch of really good, thoughtful questions about a field I know a lot about. She was very intentional about using this technique, but that's fine... because she genuinely wanted to talk to me, and was genuinely interested in the answers to her questions.

P.S. if you realize someone is engaging you in this way, try to answer in a way that expands enough to give them some room to find more questions, but without rambling for too long. And when you feel you've had enough spotlight, shift it to someone else with a question of your own.

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