How Well Do We Know Our Partners?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on How Well Do We Know Our Partners?

Knowing about each other’s inner world is a big part of what sustains couples during difficulties in their relationship. What we know about our partner serves as the foundation for our relationships. Liking and knowing one another helps us stay aware of our partners changing needs and helps us stay emotionally connected to them.

If you don’t feel like you know someone, or that you like them, the motivation to stick it out during hard times will be low.

Getting to know your partner isn’t an activity reserved for couples who haven’t been together very long, but is also important for partners in long-term relationships. After all, no one ever knows everything about anyone, there’s always more to learn.

People grow and change, there are always new things to discover about each other.

The idea is to make knowing your partner’s past, present, and future a priority over the lifetime of your relationship. You want to know about your partner’s likes, dislikes, fears, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Talk together about your stressors and worries as much as possible too.

The best way to know your partner is to talk to your partner. More specifically, ask open ended questions. These questions should serve to encourage the sharing of information or the telling of the story. Essentially, you want to stay away from questions with yes or no answers.

A great way to get started is to sit down with with your partner and a list of things you’d like to know. Remember, the point of the exercise is not to ask every question on your list, but to see how well you know one another and deepen your knowledge.

Keep in mind that it is important to be gentle with each other, your goal is to learn more about each other… not berate each other for not knowing enough!

It’s also a good idea to remember that you and your partner are different and may communicate differently. Try not to get too bent out of shape or offended if one of you shares more or less than the other. You needn’t take it personally or try to control the situation. It’s okay if your partner isn’t offering as much detail or engaging as much as you would prefer. Instead, concentrate positively on the fact that he or she is a willing participant.

As it pertains to what to discuss with your partner, there are any number of questions you might come up with to learn about his or her inner world. Consider the following list:

Your partner’s favorites:

  1. What are your partner’s hobbies?
  2. What is your partner’s favorite musical group? Book? Movie?
  3. What are some of your partner’s favorite foods?
  4. What is your partner’s favorite way to spend an evening?
  5. What turns your partner on sexually?

Your partner’s relationships:

  1. Which relatives does your partner like the most?
  2. Who was your partner’s closest friend during childhood?
  3. Who is your partner’s least favorite person you both know? 

Your partner’s experiences:

  1. What did your partner do yesterday or today? Be specific.
  2. What are three important events that are coming up in your partner’s life and how do they feel about them?
  3. What was one of the best experiences your partner had as a child?

Your partner’s feelings:

  1. What are your partner’s current major worries?
  2. What was your partner’s most embarrassing moment?
  3. What makes your partner feel sad?
  4. What is one of your partner’s favorite ways of being soothed?

Your partner’s aspirations:

  1. What is your partner’s fondest dream, as yet unachieved?
  2. What would your partner want to do if he/she won the lottery?
  3. What personal improvements would your partner like to make?
  4. What would be an ideal job for your partner?

Make it your job to be a relationship detective. Learn what matters most to your partner and learn as much about it as you can. You’ll find it goes a long way to connect you. Additionally, this activity can help shore up the foundation of your relationship if it is struggling, as it’s hard to do other types of healing relationship work if you feel you don’t even know each other well.

 

Online Therapy Available NowRead More