This week I had a couple seeing me as a therapist state a very common problem for those in long term relationships: “We’ve been together for so long, we don’t know what to talk about. We already know everything about each other, or at least don’t know what new things we can discuss.” I’m a therapist, someone trained to ask questions and spur on conversation, and I’ve had moments where I’ve thought this, and I’m married to the perfect wife… yes, perfect… always perfect because that’s possible. Fortunately, there are options to help with this like conversation starter books and websites, or my book, Emotional Sex: Making Good Relationships Great has lots of great questions in it that can help even the most connected couples connect further. For new things to talk about you can also do new things, which can be as simple as learning something new (e.g. my weekly blog, talk radio, audio books, etc.). It’s also helpful to have common interests (e.g. hobbies, pets, kids, etc.), to have a project to dream or do together, and to have something/someone we can hate like a sports team (God gave us hate, so we don’t need to be scared of it; we just have to be careful with it). A few months ago I wrote a blog, “Questions to ask when dating” and there are some good questions in there even for married people to ask each other like:
- How do you want to be similar to your mom? Different to her? And your dad?
- What are 3 words your friends would use to describe you?
- What are 3 words people who don’t really like you use to describe you?
To take this one step further, the couples claim about not knowing what to talk about became a challenge for me to make questions designed to help you connect with both your partner and your past to create self awareness. You can even write your own list. I found it fun… although I’m a geek that way, so that might just be me. Regardless, here are the questions:
- What was your favourite toy(s) as a child? Most hated toy?
- What was your dream car as a child? Now?
- What was your dream job as a child? Teen? Now?
- If TV characters were real, which one would you want to be your good friend? If movie characters were real who would you choose? Bonus: What famous person would you like to meet and/or have as a friend?
- If you could own any store right now what would it be?
- If money wasn’t an issue, what’s the one thing you’d want to do this year? At some point in your life?
- If you could break one law this year what would it be? If you could break a law everyday what would it be?
- If a magic genie offered you one wish for yourself, your partner, your family, and the world what things would you wish for?
- When you’re really old, what is the one ailment you’d choose over others and the ailment you’d do anything to not have? (e.g. wearing diapers, hearing aids, bad back, etc.)
- What would you do if you found out you and your partner are expecting?
- What is your proudest moment as a child? As a teen? As an adult?
- What lesson(s) do you wish you could go back and tell yourself as a young person and at what age? Why?
- What is the best lesson a teacher or coach, directly or indirectly, taught you? Your mom? Your dad?
- If your house was on fire, what 3 things would you want to save besides family and pets?
- What are your top three favourite moments together?
- What are your top three favourite moments outside of your relationship (e.g. achievements, successes)?
- What is the one word you want people to think of when they think of you?
- If you could relive any moment in your life and not change it, what would it be? If you could relive and change it, what would it be?
- If you had a month to live, what three things would you want to do?
- What is your favourite sexual moment together? (This doesn’t have to be “sex” but sexual, which means it can be your first kiss)
May this exercise lead to a closer connection with your partner.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people