How often do you think about your relationship? Whether the answer is “never” or “all the time”, we put together a round-up of Paired questions to guide you and make you and your partner feel more in love than ever.
From sex and playfulness to money habits and arguments, each day Paired sends you a new question scientifically proven to improve your relationship and build intimacy and connection. Once both you and your partner have answered the question, you’ll be able to see each other’s answers!
Without further ado, here are 20 research-backed Paired question examples vetted by leading academics and relationship therapists.
Try answering these with your partner and take turns sharing your answers — you can even do this exercise while sharing a bottle of wine and making a date out of it.
How do you feel about your relationship at the moment?
A landmark study published in 2020 found that your perception of your relationship — how satisfied you think your partner is or how much appreciation you have for your partner — says more about the quality of your relationship than either of your personalities. In other words, a good relationship is less about whether your partner ticks the right boxes and more about the bond you’ve created together.
Who do you think should pay for date nights?
This is often one of the most contentious topics in relationships, especially heterosexual ones. And yet, being able to navigate sensitive subjects is key. Therapist and academic Dr. Terri Orbuch — aka The Love Doctor — found that couples are less happy over time when they avoid difficult discussions about money, religion, children, and in-laws.
Which sexual experience with your partner has been the most memorable?
How you view your relationship’s past can affect its future, according to clinician Kim Buehlman. In her research, she interviewed couples about the history of their relationships and found that having positive stories was a significant predictor of future marital satisfaction.
Which item of clothing do you love seeing your partner wear?
Regularly expressing appreciation for one another in the form of compliments is a key factor in relationship satisfaction and quality, research shows. And sometimes the simple things — like telling your partner they look good in that dress — do the trick.
What's your go-to way to try and get your partner's attention?
American psychologist and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman's found that the ability to turn toward your partner’s verbal and non-verbal “bids” for connection is one of the biggest predictors of marital satisfaction. Essentially, your ability to make your partner feel seen and heard says a lot about how happy you’ll be.
Describe your partner's job in four words…
Getting details about your partner and their life — and using these insights to build what Dr. Gottman calls "Love Maps" — can enhance intimacy in a relationship. It’s also a great way to test how well you know your partner and their everyday life — regardless of how boring you might find their job.
What small sacrifice has your partner made for you this month?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s the little things that count. A 2013 study by Casey J. Totenhagen and colleagues analyzed whether sacrifices improve relationship quality. They found that even small sacrifices — such as giving up watching your favorite show and doing something you both enjoy together instead — can help with trust and connection for couples
What have past arguments taught you about your partner?
It’s normal for couples to argue — conflict can even be good for a relationship when done right. Researchers Paula Pietromonaco, Dara Greenwood, and Lisa Feldman Barrett share that disagreements between partners offer them the opportunity to learn how to adjust to one another's needs. Every fight is an opportunity to grow closer!
Which of your partner's "odd" habits do you love the most?
Researchers at The Open University found that loving a partner “warts and all”, and their quirks as part of what makes them who they are is the basis of lasting, enduring love. “Leaning into your partner’s odd habits, embracing their quirky personality traits, and humoring their differences (as opposed to rolling your eyes or turning away) is one of the greatest acts of love in a relationship,” says Dr. Jacqui Gabb, Professor of sociology and intimacy at Open University and Chief Relationship Officer at Paired.
Which type of physical intimacy is your partner really good at?
Physical affection is strongly associated with partner satisfaction, and research suggests that being touched by your partner not only brings you closer but can also make you feel more validated.
When was the last time your partner made you belly laugh?
Laughter truly is the best medicine. Research on long-term relationships has shown that being silly is used by couples to provide opportunities for fun and frivolity — as well as sensual intimacy. Couples who are playful with one another are more likely to feel connected, satisfied, and navigate conflict better.
How do you know when your partner is frustrated?
A Florida State study found that partners who found themselves able to openly express anger or frustration from the outset of their relationship had a healthier and happier relationships over the long haul. Being able to recognize when your partner’s mood also helps you be there for them emotionally.
What's your partner done recently to make you feel appreciated?
Research shows that appreciation is a key factor in making people feel truly satisfied in a relationship. Couples who feel and express gratitude for one another are more likely to stay together, feel closer, show more commitment to their relationship, and have better skills in discussing difficulties.
Which of your relationship inside jokes do you find funniest?
Humor is a great way to connect — and research finds couples who make silliness part of their day-to-day can focus less on external stressors (and more on shared togetherness). Inside jokes are particularly important because, according to researcher Jeffery Hall, they affirm your relationship through laughter.
Which recurring argument are you most proud of resolving?
Dr. John Gottman's research finds that 69% of couple problems are perpetual (or recur throughout the relationship). What counts is your ability to move past these “blockers” as a couple, instead of getting caught in a repetitive loop of the same argument.
How does your partner make you feel listened to?
Being heard by our partners is a key component of good communication in a relationship. Research shows that being a good listener nurtures social connections, after all, no one likes being ignored by their significant other.
Which of your relationship rituals makes you feel the most loved?
A 2019 study found that couples who have established rituals together feel more satisfied in, and committed to, their relationship. Even mundane rituals — like making your partner a cup of coffee when they wake up every morning — can help establish a sense of who you are as a couple.
Which of your upcoming couple plans are you most looking forward to?
According to research by Dr. Arthur Aron, doing exciting, new activities as a couple, helps you grow together and as individuals — which results in a more satisfying relationship.
Which of your partner's personal qualities do you most admire?
Couples with a greater appreciation for each other's strengths reported more satisfying relationships and sex lives. The more positive these perceptions are, the more satisfied and supported the couples felt.
Which personal goal could you not have achieved without your partner’s support?
Couples who help each other pursue their goals are not only more likely to achieve them, but they’re also more satisfied in their relationship according to research published in the journal Personal Relationships. It’s a win-win, basically.
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