My husband and I have been married for a little over 10 years. And have been together since the end of 2003.
I was just 21 when we met, which just feels so young now. And I know I have changed a huge amount since then. I’m really not still the same person that I was back then, fresh out of uni and just so young in so many ways.
Luckily we’ve sort of grown and changed and adapted together as a couple and I know that Steve knows me incredibly well. Still, there are bound to be things that we don’t really know about each other.
So I really love this idea of taking some time to sit down together and really chat and get to know each other all over again. To reconnect. To fall in love all over again, as the people we have become.
A group of psychologists (Aron et al.) carried out a study back in 1997 that asked couples to spend 45 minutes together, working their way through 3 sets of questions, 36 questions all together. By the end of the 45 minutes they found that many of subjects had become as close as their average established relationship which had taken years to form and develop.
These questions can be an amazing way for new couples to get to know each other, and quickly form a really close bond. But I think they can be just as effective for couples like me and my husband, to re-establish that closeness and most likely learn something new about each other.
So, if you fancy giving this a go, just grab a drink, get comfy and work your way through the questions, with both of you in turn answering before you move on to the next question.
Here are the questions:
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
4. What do you value most in a friendship?
5. What is your most treasured memory?
6. What is your most terrible memory?
7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
8. What does friendship mean to you?
9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling …”
2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”
3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
I absolutely love this idea of taking some time out and using these questions to get talking about various things that most likely won’t come up in daily conversation.
Reading through them I’m quite confident I know what Steve would say in answer to quite a few of the questions, but there are also quite a few where I’m just not sure what he would say. And now I really want to know his answers!
When was the last time you sat and really talked to your partner like this? Do you think that doing this exercise would make you feel closer to each other?