Well, remember those early days of a new relationship, when you’re both staring star struck at each other across the restaurant table and dreamily fantasizing and talking together about your similarities, goals, and visions for your life?
Remember how easy and intuitive it was to ask deep, probing, intimate questions of one another?
Remember how close and connected you felt to your honey?
You two were getting to know each other’s internal worlds deeply and that hungry and loving exploration, discovery, and curiosity likely created a strong sense of emotional intimacy between you two, didn’t it?
And yet, if you’re like most long-term couples, over time once the honeymoon phase of your relationship wanes, that same level of newness, curiosity and provocative question-asking of one another can often give way.
Instead, many of us slip into end-of-day chats and gripes about work, exchanges about to-do’s and chores, and “what should we do about dinner tonight?” and “what do you want to watch on Netflix” type-dialogue.
Now please understand, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this.
But often, at least for many couples that we see here at Evergreen Counseling, this lack of engaging dialogue with one another can sometimes lead to a decline in emotional intimacy and feelings of connection with one another – the very lifeblood and juice of a relationship.
The reality is, getting to know your partner’s internal world is important, not only for the sake of better understanding the person you’re sharing your life with but also because it can lead to a significant increase in your emotional intimacy with one another and a strengthening of your relationship overall.
Today we have shared a list of a few questions you could ask your long-term partner and why it may be helpful to do so.
1. When did you first know you were in love with me?
This question – far from being self-centered – can be a rich question to help your partner connect back to those early feelings he/she had for you and also give you a chance to do the same, all of which can be very connecting and nourishing if you haven’t felt those honeymoon feelings in some time.
2. How do I make you feel especially loved in our relationship?
This question can be really helpful as it supports you in learning about the unique ways in which your partner feels loved (their love language, so to speak) which can be great information for you to act on if you want to nurture and strengthen your connection.
3. What are the biggest stresses that you’re currently facing in your life today?
What keeps you up at night that I may not know about?
This question can be helpful to ask your partner because while, on the surface, you may know what is stressing them out, there may be things that you don’t know about (or that they may not even know about or have thought to articulate) before you asked this question.
By sharing the hard as well as the good, you have a chance to connect more richly.
We hope you enjoyed these questions! What would you add to this list to increase the intimacy between you and your long-term partner? Leave a message in the comments below and we’ll be sure to get back to you.