What was the last time you and your partner had a particularly nice long-distance chat–you know, the kind of conversation that left you feeling stronger and more intimate than ever?
What was the point of it?
Did you realize that communicating about major issues, rather than just small talk and regular chit-chat, is important for keeping a deep connection? In one study of this dynamic, social scientist Arthur Aron discovered that pairs who spoke about “huge issues” were far more likely to sustain a close bond than those who just spoke about small talk.
Knowing how important our partnerships are to our wellbeing and satisfaction, Team Lemonade recently agreed to delve deep into several psychological experiments to determine which discussion topics and questions for couples encourage closeness. They developed a collection of 52 questions for couples that can scientifically build intimacy between you and your wife or spouse – one for each week of the year!
We recommend making these queries a weekly routine – try it on a Friday night to summarize the week. Of course, you might veer off onto other subjects, but the point is to initiate a genuine dialogue that will enable you to cover new ground and learn more about your spouse.
52 Couples Discussion Questions That Can Get You Together
- What do you long for as a child?
- If you were given enough capital to start a company with no strings attached, what kind of business will you start and why?
- Tell them about a friendship problem you’re experiencing and ask for guidance about how to resolve it.
- If you could go back in time, what advice would you offer to your younger self?
- What is something you want to do for the first time in the coming year?
- Name three items that occurred in the last week for which you are grateful.
- What is your favorite recollection of our time together? Please have as many specifics as possible.
- What brings you joy?
- Who or what has had the most impact on your life?
- How can you communicate with someone the most effectively?
- In the give/take complexities of your partnerships, are you a giver, a taker, or a matcher? Is there a part of your life where you behave like one kind and part of your life where you act like another? [Click here for a connection to a Giver/Taker Test]
- What are the top five items on the bucket list? (Here’s a connection to a nice blog post on creating your bucket list.)
- What is most important to you?
- What has been any of the greatest guidance you’ve ever received?
- Describe your dream weekend.
- What would you do if you could take a compensated sabbatical for a year?
- In whom do you have faith?
- Describe five items you’re grateful for right now.
- What three wishes will you make if a genie gave you three wishes right now?
- What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever achieved, and will you do it again?
- What is your favorite family custom?
- If you could travel through time, where will you go?
- What is your favorite quote?
- What is the most important aspect of a relationship to you?
- Tell me your life story in four minutes or less, with as many details as you can.
- Is there anything I’ve provided for you for which you’re grateful?
- How do you intend your name to be remembered?
- Let’s take turns expressing three good qualities for each other.
- What are the main objectives for this year? How would you go about doing them?
- Where was your favorite spot to visit as a kid, and why did you enjoy it so much?
- Tell me about a problem you’ve been getting at work or school and ask for guidance on how to solve it.
- What was the first item you purchased with your own money?
- What piques your interest?
- What are the main three skills? What qualities do you want in a friend or partner? [A connection to the Through Strengths Test can be found here]
- List four items that we share in common.
- What are your three favorite subjects to discuss?
- What is your earliest recollection?
- How can you show your thanks to others? Please include an example.
- What are the main three approaches to show affection in partnerships and romantic relationships? (A comparison to the Love Languages Quiz can be found here.)
- In what circumstances do you feel more at ease expressing your point of view?
- Is there someone you particularly admire?
- How do you prefer to be consoled while you are upset?
- How can you spend your “perfect” day?
- How would you like to sum up your life in ten years?
- If you had $100,000 to donate to some cause, what would it be and why?
- What are the top three destinations you’d want to see sometime, and why?
- What work would you take if you could get whatever job you wanted?
- Tell me about a memorable day in your life.
- If you had an extra 26 hours in the day, what would you do more of?
- Is there something you’ve wanted to do for a long time? Why haven’t you finished so already?
- Whose childhood experiences or incidents influenced who you are today?
- What do you ponder the most?
And here’s a bonus question: what are your favorite long-distance partnership quotes?
The Methodology Behind These Couples Questions
These questions can assist you and your spouse in delving into discussion subjects that have been shown to increase intimacy. But which subjects have been statistically shown to get people together?
Here are six key concepts behind the 52 questions for partners, as well as why these issues get us together.
Gratitude, according to counselor Robert Emmons, is beneficial to our bodies, brains, and partnerships. If you talk about what you’re grateful for or show thanks for your partner’s good works, gratitude strengthens our bonds with others.
Why is this so? Gratitude accomplishes many things: it fosters confidence and affection, increases partnership fulfillment, and motivates you and your loved one to offer much more. When you do something for which your partner is thankful, you create a tradition of reciprocity and encourage your partner to reciprocate. In this kind of emotional chain reaction, you and your precious one can be even more grateful to each other, strengthening your friendship.
Reminiscing on previous incidents, when it comes to gratitude, is a sure way to instill emotions of gratitude.
According to one research conducted by psychologist Clay Routledge, recounting mutual experiences with a loved one raises feelings of social connectedness and also allows you more compassionate and considerate of each other.
We recommend learning about your childhood memories to delve ever further into nostalgia. “Discussing each other’s childhoods will help couples form an emotional relationship. “Expressing how you feel like a kid and experiences that hurt you as a child offers your spouse real insight about what affected you as an adult,” according to love expert Rob Alex. “Knowing how you felt as a child in good and difficult periods helps your mate to see your flaws and may elicit profound emotions and bonds for each other.”
Giving (And Receiving) Recommendations
According to Professor Julia Glazer, when advice is sought, providing advice is one of the most important ways of interaction between two individuals.
When you offer advice to a loved one about a problem they’re having, it shows that you’re able, to be frank with them and that you worry about them. As these two cues are combined, they convey an incredibly high degree of confidence, resulting in a deeper level of closeness.
On the other hand, seeking guidance and sharing weakness promotes intimacy. In his research An Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness, Psychologist Arthur Aaron wrote, “One central trend correlated with the formation of a near friendship is sustained, escalating, mutual, personal self-disclosure.”
Anything strange occurs in your brain when you discuss something with your mate, whether it’s a deep secret, a fantasy, or a desire. Your pleasure centers light up like a Christmas tree, and oxytocin, a hormone, is produced.
There is another word for oxytocin? The ‘love hormone,’ because plays a significant role in the formation of bonds between two individuals.
Several recent findings indicate that oxytocin release allows us more compassionate, caring, and accessible about our emotions. In reality, the study performed by couple therapist Beate Ditzen discovered that oxytocin release helps loved ones handle tension more effectively; when it is released, women display a drop in a social stress hormone, while men improve their coping skills, allow more eye contact, and become more responsive regarding their emotions – all of which are essential for settling conflict peacefully.
Understanding Each Other’s Interests
We will truly appreciate how to be a decent partner for our loved ones if we realize what they want and hate. This may sound simple, but several of us fail to inquire into our partners’ interests.
Understanding their experience will make us become stronger allies to them, from asking which things they love the most to what they admire about their partnerships with others.
Similarly, knowing how your loved one prefers to be comforted through difficult periods is an important conversation to have. “The one dialogue spouses should have to create intimacy is to question each other: How can I comfort you when you’re suffering? “Or, how do you want me to respond when you’re in pain?” asks clinical hypnotherapist Rachel Astarte.
It’s no coincidence that dating sites connect people based on what they have in common – science shows that shared interests hold relationships strong.
According to psychologist Donn Byrne, we feel more related to others who share our beliefs. In reality, a meta-analysis of 313 research involving over 35,000 people discovered that resemblance is a very good predictor of attraction and interaction in relationships. Why is this so? That when two individuals have a common gravitational force, there is less division and less judgment between them.
Discovering what you and your precious one have in common – whether it’s an opinion, a behavior, or a favorite meal – can put you together and serve as a reminder of your relationship. Furthermore, dwelling on your shared moments can evoke appreciation (bringin’ it back!) for the friendship and memories you share.