You think you know your partner well? Are you definitely on the same wavelength as your best friend? Psychotherapist Rachel Finzi believes that we often confuse sketchy knowledge of a person with true intimacy. She explains how to create the conditions for a loved one to open up to you.
Even if you often and closely communicate with your partner, this does not mean that you understand their true desires. Perhaps you know where the husband likes to rest, or which group the girlfriend adores. But you may not suspect what makes a loved one happy, scary, angry or motivating. But you probably want to know the answers to these questions, right?
As a rule, one interlocutor speaks about themselves more than the second one. If you ask each other the following questions, it will help balance the relationship and strengthen intimacy. In addition, you will be able to show a loved one that you are eager to get to know more about them.
Start with simple and secure questions:
1. What do you do to recover when there is no strength for anything?
2. What was your most prominent day?
3. If you had three free days and some money, what would you do?
4. Who was your favourite school teacher and why?
5. What is the most unusual place you have been?
6. What do you like more: plan or improvise?
7. What would you like to learn?
8. Who helped you become who you are now, who influenced you the most?
9. If all jobs had the same schedule and salary, what would be your profession?
10. Was it like this: something started very badly, and ended well?
11. What is the strangest tradition in your family?
12. What would you choose: a large comfortable house in a residential area or a tiny house, where you can enjoy a beautiful view?
13. What was your greatest loss?
14. If you knew you were going to die in a week, what would you do?
15. What superpower would you like to get for one day?
16. What would you give your life for?
17. If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be?
18. What makes you really happy?
19. If one crime was allowed, what would you have committed?
20. If you had to live the rest of your life as a character from a book or a movie, what would it be?
You can create your own questionnaire as it is easy to identify that all these questions somehow connect with:
- past (every person has memories and some things that he/she would like to change; after a talk about unpleasant events, people feel more freely);
- future (people have dreams, wishes and aims; if you are going to be careful to your partner’s goals and, moreover, find ways to assist with getting what they want, they will be more trustful and closer to you as you will make your common plans within his/her future);
- personality, preferences (we are all egotistical; we are glad when somebody is interested in our features of characters, a favourite book and cuisine).
The questions could be created based on problems you already have with your partner (sex, assignment of duties, work, leisure, etc.) Maybe, you are ready to drop a hint of your future plans (baby, wedding, moving a house). The core is not the questions themselves; the idea is to speak, to be interested. In addition, it is important to listen to each other attentively and without critique.
Watch for the verbal and non-verbal reaction of the interlocutor. If he/she hesitates to answer, do not push. You can share your answers to some questions. Speak in turns without interrupting each other. The technique is used in family psychotherapy when it seems to one partner that the other does not hear them.
The main thing is to let your loved one feel that you are attentive to them, you accept their thoughts. You should not start arguing with them. To show sincere interest in a partner, to unconditionally accept them is one of the most valuable gifts you can make. Try it.
By the way, it is essential to answer these questions on your own in order to find the right life direction, state your values and find out who you are. The fast pace of the contemporary life often makes us do the same things without even a thought why I am doing it. Living without a dream is a robotic living. Sometimes we forget about our greatest regret in the past and repeat mistakes. On the other hand, we do not think over means and sacrifices needed in order to get our wishes. All in all, we must clearly state our plans and feelings for, first of all, ourselves.