When you’re in a relationship and life takes over — bills, children, and managing diaries — it’s hard to make time for each other and build on your intimacy. But making time for each other and getting to know each other better will help to build a happier future in which you grow together, rather than apart. So, we put together some intimate questions to ask your partner.
But the level of intimacy you feel in a relationship ebbs and flows over time. It’s normal to occasionally grow distant from your partner, that’s why it’s crucial to prioritize your relationship to stay connected and curious.
Not sure what intimate questions to ask your partner? Finding the best relationship questions for couples can be tough, especially when you feel like you know them already. Below are 17 relationship questions scientifically proven to build intimacy and the research behind why they’re worth asking.
We’re all different, but choices over physical intimacy can shape how we feel in relationships.
A study by Brigham Young University found that men and women usually prefer different forms of physical touch. According to the research findings, men prefer kisses or backrubs, while women like to be hugged.
Instead of focusing on habits that annoy one another, this question looks at the positive habits we bring to a relationship. Appreciating each other's strengths, one study found, meant more satisfying relationships and sex lives.
Being vulnerable in front of your partner or sharing a vulnerable moment is a great way to bond with your partner. Try to think back to the last moment you cried (beyond the last movie you blubbed in) and explore where that sadness came from.
Bucket list goals like completing a marathon or climbing a mountain sometimes feel completely out of reach, but by sharing the most important things you’d like to achieve with a partner it becomes a shared goal.
Studies have shown that shared goals give you both something to work towards and make both of you feel like you’ve achieved it. Working towards shared goals as a couple — as well as perceived partner support for individual goals — were both related to increased happiness in relationships.
Humor is important in relationships, so the ability to share your hilarious or embarrassing moments (and be able to laugh about them) is paramount.
Setting your own boundaries and respecting your partner’s boundaries, whether they’re emotional or physical, is an essential aspect of any healthy relationship.
In her book Set Boundaries, Find Peace, therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab writes that boundaries are “expectations and needs that help you feel safe and comfortable in your relationships”. Everyone has different boundaries, so it’s vital to openly communicate each other’s needs in a relationship in order to safeguard them.
Sometimes it’s not wise to talk about past relationships, as it could make your partner feel jealous or inferior.
However, researchers Michele Berk and Susan Andersen found that participants who felt positively about a previous partner would view others with similar qualities more favorably, than those who spoke about negative aspects.
Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall when your partner has a night out with friends? Dr. John Gottman believes that a strong predictor of relationship stability is how much partners know about each other's "inner worlds". This knowledge helps them to remain connected in stressful times, rather than becoming strangers to each other.
If you’ve ever imagined donning matching golfing attire, then now is the time. Psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron found that starting a new hobby or activity as a couple, allows your relationship to grow and become more satisfying. Especially when you win at a couple's game!
Do you plan a day with all your favorite things and then wonder why your partner looks miserable? Research from the University of Virginia shows that couples who devote time to one another at least once a week are likely to enjoy higher-quality relationships and lower divorce rates.
Finding out more about your partner's past can connect you in ways that just looking at your present-day life can’t. Sharing good and bad memories of your childhood will help you see why your partner has become the person they are today, and better understand each other’s approach to romantic relationships.
Unfortunately, real-life love isn’t like fairy tales or romcoms (much to most of our disappointments). But once we start to align our expectations of love, we can move forward. Dr. Terri Orbuch found that partners who can identify each other’s personal expectations experience greater happiness and less frustration in their relationship.
Do they work all hours to live out their dream? Do they make you want to be a better parent? Researchers at George Mason University found that the more we idealize our partners, the more satisfied we are — and in return, our partners will often work to meet that ideal too.
This question gives you the chance to open up and talk about your hopes and dreams for the future, which has been shown to help couples bond. In fact, Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that a lot of conflict and resentment in relationships come back to unfulfilled dreams.
It’s not easy to be open about areas of your relationship you may want to improve, but communicating how you can grow together is a positive move.
In Kaplan and Maddux’s research on married couples, they found that couples who pursued goals together had more marital satisfaction.
Money issues are one of the biggest things that couples argue about, so knowing you and your partner are on the same page can bring some relief.
Try and discuss this question with your partner without judgment — we all have daily stresses that get in the way of sexual desire.
According to researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, one way to concentrate during sex is “sensate focusing”. This is a technique where people focus on touching and being touched, taking information in through the senses while avoiding judgmental thinking. The goal is to be present and to experience sex in the moment.
You don’t have to ask your partner all these questions (you can pick and choose the ones that resonate with you the most) and the answers aren’t what matters. The point is to spark a conversation, get to know one another on a deeper level, and focus on actively listening to your partner.
If you’re looking for more questions to bond with your partner, Paired offers daily questions rooted in research to strengthen your relationship and improve communication.