It doesn't matter if you've been with your SO for five months or five years — it's always possible to get to know your partner better. Yes, I'm talking about the little things, like how they really like their eggs or which side of the bed they truly prefer. But I'm mostly talking about the bigger things, like what they went through as a kid, what stresses them out, or what their family means to them.
Of course, you don't have to know everything about your partner. (That would be kinda weird, and maybe even a little invasive.) But it's true that knowing more can bring you guys closer. "The more we know our partner, the more connected and emotionally intimate we are," says Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. "The more interest and caring that we show our partner let's them know that we never stop wanting to know more, and to make our relationship deeper and deeper."
And, like I said, this is true even for couples who seemingly know everything. "The fact is, no matter how close we are to any person, there are always things we will not know about them," Martinez says. Figuring out those little "secrets" will help you feel more connected. Read on for ways to make that happen, so you two can be extra close, and extra in love.
1. Go On A Vacation Together
If you want to know your SO's true inner workings, then go on vacation together — even if it's just for the weekend. "You may think you know them, but you don't know anything until you've seen how they react to a seven-hour flight delay and major jet lag," said relationship expert Maggie Parker on Women's Health. Plus, experiencing new things together will reveal interests you didn't even know your partner had. For good or for bad, you'll know them way better by the time you get back home.
2. Hang Out With His Or Her Oldest Friends
Hanging out with your partner's current friends is one thing. But there's nothing quite like meeting friends from his or her past. "Friends that have known us through different phases of our lives always bring out a different side of us," licensed marriage counselor Ruby Bash told Jillian Kramer on Brides.com. "And often you will see your [partner] acting a little different with their old friends." It'll be a cute little glimpse at their younger self.
3. Take A Trip To Their Hometown
If you guys didn't grow up near each other, then take a trip on home. Strolling around your SO's old haunts will help you see what shaped them into the person they are today. And, when they start reminiscing about the old days, you'll have the visuals to feel more a part of it all.
4. Get To Know The 'Rents
Nothing will teach you more about your SO than seeing the people who made 'em. Not only will they whip out the baby pictures, but they'll likely tell story after embarrassing story. Grab yourself some proverbial popcorn, and start learning.
5. Get Better At Listening
While all this is going down, make sure you truly listen to your partner. "Many times our partner offers up information that we did not know in casual conversation, but we need to have mastered the art of true active listening to catch it all," Martinez says.
6. Try Out Each Other's Hobbies
Sure, you know your partner goes to a book club on Thursday evenings. But do you know what she's reading, or why she likes the group so much? If not, see if you can tag along and see what it's all about. "Friendship relies on commonalities," said relationship expert Tristan Coopersmith on SheKnows.com. "And while it is certainly healthy to have independent pursuits, it is important to be interested in each other's passions."
7. Then Create Some Shared Hobbies
Cool, so you went to your partner's reading group. Now it's time to start some couple-y hobbies of your very own. "This could be something you engage in together, such as an intramural sports team, a book club or a cooking class, or something you try out on your own, such as amateur photography or furniture refinishing," said Coopersmith. Just like traveling together, it'll help you see different sides of each other.
8. Check In With Them
Make it a point to check in with your SO, every single day. "While you might simply talk about how your day is going, or what you have coming up, it also provides you an amazing opportunity to ask them how they think and feel about things that come up," Martinez says. "Many times the answer may surprise you, and this is getting to know something new and deeper about them."
9. Spend More Quality Time Together
Sometimes, getting to know your partner better can be as simple as spending more quality time together. "Getting enough couple time builds intimacy, opens communication and strengthens your bond, which in turn strengthens your [relationship]," noted an article on Real Simple. Stay in, hang out, and talk to each other. This uninterrupted alone time will allow you to learn so much.
10. Make A Couple's Trivia Game
How's this for a cute idea? A couple's trivia game. "On index cards, each of you creates 25 trivia questions about yourselves," Coopersmith suggested. "Topics might include favorite song, least favorite relative, biggest pet peeve, biggest turn on, blood type, etc." Then get to playing, and see what you find out.
11. Be Honest With Each Other
You can't expect to know your SO if they don't feel comfortable being themselves. So create the type of relationship where honesty is an OK thing. "You may share with your partner the things he or she doesn’t want to hear," said Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP on PsychCentral.com. But at least it'll be the truth.
If you guys can do this, then it won't be long before you know them better than anyone else on earth.
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