Remember those early days of a new relationship, when you’re both staring star-struck at each other across the restaurant table and dreamily fantasizing and talking together about your similarities, goals, and visions for your life? Remember how easy and intuitive it was to ask deep, probing, intimate questions of one another? Remember how close and connected you felt to your honey? Remember what this level of emotional intimacy felt like?
And yet, if you’re like most long-term couples, over time once the honeymoon phase of your relationship wanes, that same level of newness, curiosity and provocative question-asking of one another can often give way. Instead, many of us slip into end-of-day chats and gripes about work, exchanges about to-do’s and chores, and “what should we do about dinner tonight?” and “what do you want to watch on Netflix” type-dialogue.
Now please understand, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this. But often, at least for many couples I see in my couples counseling practice, this lack of engaging dialogue with one another can sometimes lead to a decline in emotional intimacy and feelings of connection with one another – the very lifeblood and juice of a relationship.
Indeed, in his extensive research, preeminent couples researcher Dr. John Gottman has found that emotionally intelligent and successful couples are intimately familiar with each other’s worlds. But for most of us in our relationships, over time, this discovery and cultivation of one another’s internal worlds stop being such a high priority.
That’s why I wanted to create a list of 99 questions and conversation starters – in part inspired by my understanding of Dr. Gottman’s concept of Love Maps and also partly inspired by this post, “Save Your Relationships: Ask the Right Questions” of Glennon Melton Doyle of Momastery – to help you and your beloved begin to have some more dynamic, probing conversations to help strengthen and support the emotional intimacy between you.
So read on for a list of 99 questions and conversation starters you can explore with your honey to help strengthen the emotional intimacy of your relationship. Also, if you would like support in setting healthy boundaries and navigating tough conversations, please be sure to explore my signature online course, Hard Families, Good Boundaries.
99 Questions to Help Strengthen the Emotional Intimacy of Your Relationship.
Okay, caveat, in no way am I saying, sit your honey down and plow through this list together. That might be exhausting and likely have the opposite effect of bringing you closer.
What I’m instead inviting you to do is peruse this list, see what strikes your fancy, and then perhaps the next time you and your honey are stuck in traffic or out for a restaurant meal together, call on one of these questions to invite some new, potentially enriching conversation into your relationship.
And please, use this list purely as a starting point for generating and brainstorming your own rich and dynamic questions. There are a million things you could ask your honey, and this list of 99 is only meant to be a jumping-off point. Sound good? Great. Enjoy the 99 emotional intimacy questions.
- What do you remember thinking to yourself the first time you saw me?
- When did you know you were in love with me?
- What are three qualities about me that you were first attracted to?
- What are three of your happiest memories of our early days together?
- Is there a smell or a sound that you remember from those early days that still makes you smile?
- If our love story was a movie, what movie does it most closely resemble?
- What was your favorite date that we ever had? What made it so special for you?
- Do you have a favorite adventure that we took together? What made it your favorite?
- How and when did you know we’d make it as a couple?
- What are three strengths you see between us that we possess as a team?
- What’s your very favorite memory of me?
- How did you know you wanted to be with me? Did it happen in a moment or over time?
- How do I make you feel especially loved in our relationship?
- What are some of the little things I do that kind of drive you nuts but also that you secretly like about me?
- What’s your favorite sexual memory of us? Or top three memories?