It’s no secret that communication tops the list for any successful relationship to stand the test of time. And over the years, this communication may ebb and flow given the circumstances of family, career, life. But staying connected through talking (and listening!) to each other is a constant. And a must.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, may we suggest a little one-on-one time to discuss life with your partner? Because maybe it's been quite some time since you were intentional about creating a space just for the two of you to talk about, well, the two of you. No career, kids, family, financial woes invited.
Perhaps you can give each other the gift of conversation, of authentic curiosity in your partner. And while we’re not suggesting all life-altering deep questions, we do recommend a variety of light, witty yet poignant and heartfelt jumping off points to chat together and discover more about each other—all with the opportunity to express yourself and to really listen to your other half.
So here are a few questions we’d suggest to get the conversation moving:
“What is your favorite part of your day?” (This is not a trick question.) With many of us removed from our partners for the majority of the working day, this may provide a glimpse into what excites him or her about the nuances he or she encounters daily.
“If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?” Dreaming about destination locations is always fun, and if you both said “Aruba” maybe it could be time to actually start planning a (smaller scale—or maybe not!) beach vacation.
“What was your favorite grade in school?” Regardless of how long you’ve known your partner, there are bound to be childhood stories you haven’t heard. Let this be the pathway.
“What is your favorite ritual or tradition we do as a family?” This speaks to the unique nature of your relationship and what you value, together. Drawing a blank? Perfect time to brainstorm a few to start in 2016.
“What can I do to help you?” Broad but oh-so-necessary. If we don’t communicate the times when our load is too heavy, we may resent our partner for not “knowing” we need them to help lighten the load. Now is the time.
“When are you not happy?” We’re not all happy all the time. And that’s OK. And, sure, we squabble over dishes with the best of them, but hopefully this question will really help you dig deep and decipher when exactly you’re feeling less than—and how your partner either helps or hurts.
“What scares you?” This can range from individual nuanced fears to what scares you or your partner about life together. Hopefully this will lead to a problem solving session, shedding light on how you can help your partner work through fears.
“What excites you?” And on the converse, open the conversation to what is exciting about life together. What are you looking forward to? What is fun on a day-to-day basis? What can we do to make life more exciting, if need be?
“What do you love about me?” Sometimes, years into a relationship will leave romance and pillow talk on the backburner. We may forget to vocalize to our partners what makes them special to us on an intimate level. Remind each other why you choose him or her to conquer life with.
“What do you want our future to be?” Taking stock together of long-term goals, plans and ideas will help ensure you are on the same page. When you understand your partner’s life goals, the smaller steps along the way may make more sense. And dreaming big dreams together, well, isn’t that what it’s all about?
p.s. Now that you have a way to stop and connect, set the mood with your favorite essential oils!