15 Fascinating Things You Probably Have Never Asked Your Long-Term Partner, But Should
Even though it may feel like you've asked all the questions you should ask your partner, I highly doubt that's the case. There are likely a few stories you could delve into more deeply, as well as topics you can (and should) revisit now that you've been together awhile. But I bet there are also quite a few things you haven't dove into yet, and now may be the time.
By asking each other certain questions, you can become closer, and even learn new things about each other. (Yes, even after all these years.) There's also the added bonus of keeping your relationship from feeling stale or boring — which, even though you've been together for forever, does not need to be the case.
That's why, apart from your usual day-to-day dialogue, you should make a point of throwing in a few get-to-know-you questions. "Wanting to learn about your partner keeps you engaged in them and the relationship. It keeps the relationship ever-changing and ever-evolving," clinical psychologist and The Web Radio Show host Dr. Josh Klapow, tells Bustle. "You and your partner are living, breathing, changing beings. Neither of you is static." And that's why you can never really know everything and why you should never stop asking.
Below, are a few fun questions you should ask each other — all in the name of reaching a better, deeper understanding.
1. "Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?"
Even if you have a pretty good idea where you and your partner will be in five years, it's not a good idea to make assumptions. "Being in love does not mean that you both know the direction in which you are going," professional relationship coach Dr. Ty Belknap tells Bustle. "This is an opportunity for the two of you to help each other with your goals, and it could make your relationship stronger than it was."
2. "Who Did You Look Up To When You Were Younger?"
Who your partner looked up to as a kid can tell you a lot about their character. So go ahead and ask them about their role models from back in the day. "This can help you understand your partner intimately, and bodes well when there were several positive influences on the future of the relationship," says psychologist Dr. Sam Von Reiche.
3. "How Did Your Parents React To Anger?"
"One of my favorite questions is 'how did your parents show anger?'" says Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist. "How did your parents resolve conflict? How did your parents show love?" Since these traits are often learned, your partner's answer can be pretty darn eye-opening. And it may even help explain why they've acted the way they've acted, thus far in the relationship.
4. "What's Your Biggest Regret In Life?"
Do you know which losses or failures your partner most regrets? "It can be insightful to understand that regrets plague your partner," says relationship expert Rhonda Milrad. "It helps you understand what disappointments they are carrying and their unresolved feelings around their losses. It is often peoples' unresolved losses that result in crises later on their in life." So the more you can find out now, the better.
5. "What Makes You Feel The Most Loved?"
I bet you have a pretty good idea what makes your partner feel loved. But it never hurts to brush up your knowledge by asking. "This question can be really helpful as it supports you in learning about the unique ways in which your partner feels loved (their love language, so to speak), which can be great information for you to act on if you want to nurture and strengthen your connection," says licensed psychotherapist Annie Wright, LMFT.
6. "Which Thoughts And Worries Keep You Up At Night?"
If your partner is currently going through a stressful time, you can show your support by lending your ear, and giving them space to vent. "This question can be helpful to ask your partner because while, on the surface, you may know what is stressing them out, there may be things that you don't know about (or that they may not even know about or have thought to articulate) before you asked this question," Wright says. "By sharing the hard as well as the good, you have a chance to connect more richly."
7. "What Made You Fall In Love With Me?"
Sit down together and reminisce about the early days, and what made you fall in love. "This question ... can be a rich question to help your partner connect back to those early feelings he/she had for you and also give you a chance to do the same, all of which can be very connecting and nourishing if you haven't felt those honeymoon feelings in some time," Wright says.
8. "What Are Your Fantasies?"
If you two don't talk about sex very often, asking each other about your sexual fantasies can feel kind of awkward at first. But once you get past the initial embarrassment, I promise it will start a fun — and healthy — conversation.
"Knowing your partner’s sexual desires, fantasies, and boundaries is critical to your intimate relationship," says Klapow. If you can find out what they're into, as well as why they haven't tried it yet, the two of you will start to be feel more comfortable exploring new and sexy horizons.
9. "What's Something That Happened During Your Childhood That I Don't Know About?"
You probably know a fair amount about what happened in your significant other's. childhood. But it's always possible to delve deeper, and thus understand each other better. "Our experiences in childhood, our early relationship with our parents and siblings, and our early fears and traumas all chart the course for who we become as adults," Klapow says. "Want to know who you are with today? Then get to know the best and worst of what it was like for them when they were young."
10. "Which Of Your Accomplishments Are You Most Proud Of?"
If it's tough for your partner to talk about themselves, it might be super sweet of you to open the floor, and allow your partner to brag a little. "It is important to create a relationship where you can witness your partner being vulnerable and sharing their positive feelings about themselves," Milrad says. "This sets the stage for the sharing of other 'nice' moments and creating a relationship where the joys become connecting moments between the two of you."
11. "What's Your Favorite Thing That I Do For You?
Appreciation can wane as a relationship stretches on, so always take the time to share what you love about each other — especially since it can help you both keep up the good work. As Milrad says, "This gives you some insight into what is valued by your partner (which might not be the same things that you think they value) and also encourages you to do keep doing more of it."
12. "What's Your Stance On Marriage?"
Asking big questions about the future — kids? marriage? — can kick off an important conversation, and one that's so easy to put on the back burner. "Ask these questions to learn what the potential is for your relationship," life coach Nina Rubin, MA, tells Bustle. If you two don't agree, you can definitely work on it. But the sooner you know, the better.
13. "What Does Your Ideal Life Look Like?"
Taking the time to dream about your future can be fun, but it can also be one (semi-sneaky) way of making sure you're on the same page. "This one is getting at whether someone feels empowered to create their life, and whether that life fits into your our vision for your ideal life," Von Reiche says. "The two shouldn't look identical of course, but should fit together pretty well."
14. "How Should We Organize Our Lives?"
Couples sure do have a way of fighting over household chores, clutter, what's garbage, what isn't, etc. And if you don't agree, it can and will lead to problems. According to psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell, and a recent survey from SpareFoot.com, how couples deal with household clutter can even make or break a relationship. One in three Americans polled would consider breaking up with their significant other if they got rid of something that had sentimental value. So is your SO's book collection a pile of dusty junk, or is it their most treasured worldly possession? Find out now, so you won't fight about it later.
15. "What Should We Do To Stay Healthy?"
Now that you've been together long-term, it's important to look to the future, especially regarding how you'll handle inevitable health issues down the road. As Von Reiche tells me, this question becomes more important as you age, but it never hurts to start young. How will you stay healthy? What happens if one of you gets sick? Their answer can be incredibly eye-opening.
All of these questions just goes to show, you never really know your partner. There will always be more questions to ask as you both grow and change, and get further into your relationship. So ask away! I promise you'll feel closer as a result.