In a story with an awful lot of chatting, nothing much actually gets said in "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." Sure, we've got the stock and standard kissing, holding hands, saying "I love you." All of these are ways in which our characters use the language of love to communicate their affections. But somehow, this language all seems inadequate as the darkness falls on the two couples and the gin slowly disappears. At the end of the day, words fall short of defining love, and our characters struggle to say just what they mean, if they even know what they mean in the first place.
Just as the couples are learning about love, they are learning to communicate. The story argues that success in love comes from learning to communicate love in a healthy way, which is a whole lot harder than it looks.
Mel and Terri communicate in an unhealthy way in this story, which means that there are rough waters ahead in their marriage.