Relationship check-in questions are exactly what they sound like. They’re a chance for you and your partner to sync with each other and talk about the health of your relationship.
Even though they might not sound sexy, having regular relationship check-ins allow you and your partner to see where you’re both at, iron out any unresolved relationship problems, and shows each other a bit of appreciation. When we say that relationships take work, this is what we mean!
As we get caught up in everyday routines, it can be easy to let our relationships fall by the wayside and become like ships that pass in the night or make assumptions about how the relationship is going.
Fundamentally, a relationship check-in creates opportunities for a deeper understanding of each other by carving out a safe space for open and honest communication, preventing you from growing apart.
First and foremost, float the idea by your partner — don’t ambush them with a check-in! Then, put some time in the calendar when you’re both free and in a good frame of mind. This could be on your next date night, in the evening after work, or whatever works best for you. If you can, try to keep your phones on ‘do not disturb’ without distractions.
Take turns asking each other relationship check-in questions and be sure to actively listen to one another, without interrupting. Try not to bring up all your issues at once (or expect miracles), and if the conversation gets heated make sure to take a break and regroup your emotions.
“Think of this check-in as a time you open the lid to a container and it feels safe to share some of the worries you have been carrying around solo,” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and Paired’s In-House Relationship Expert.
“Now you’re putting them both in one place, and it can immediately feel less lonely. It also gives each other more opportunity to respond and comfort the other person,” she adds.
It’s ok for relationship check-in to get deep, but overall remember that this is a time to connect and also celebrate one another, so don’t be afraid to make it fun.
“If it feels overwhelming moving through different topics or if you notice one person gets a little flooded during the check-in, picking the topic in advance can help you mentally prep for the conversation,” adds Seeger DeGeare.
“Dividing it up by money, intimacy, and parenting can help make it safe to deep dive into talking about something knowing you don't have to feel like this is your only opportunity to bring everything up.”
Below, we put together 10 relationship check-in questions to help you get started. Think of them as a way to guide the conversation, but feel free to introduce your own.
It’s no secret that healthy communication is essential for a relationship to thrive, but communication is a skill that requires constant practice. Especially in times of high stress, communication is often the first thing to suffer.
Furthermore, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves so it’s important to pay attention to our partner’s way of doing so. Asking this question can remind each of you to keep working on your communication skills.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, and things won’t always be rosy — that’s perfectly natural. The key to a successful relationship isn’t whether or not you argue, but how good you are at conflict resolution and compromise.
When handled constructively, conflict can be a way to improve a relationship, offering a chance to gain a better understanding of your partner.
Don’t forget to celebrate each other during your relationship check-in! Acknowledging your strengths as a couple has been proven to increase relationship satisfaction, as it fosters feelings of support and appreciation.
One study revealed that couples who focused on the good in their partners felt more committed to them, were more hopeful about the future, and experienced a greater sense of intimacy. Plus, their partner’s felt more confident and motivated to use these strengths in return.
No relationship, or couple, is perfect — and it’s absolutely ok to admit that. Knowing what areas of your relationship need a bit more work will only make it stronger. This is a chance for you and your partner to work on your relationship together. Just remember not to judge or criticize each other when asking this question.
Conflict resolution is rarely a one-and-done thing. It’s a good idea to check in with each other to discuss any relationship problems still lingering.
“Try to focus on being vulnerable as possible, not just sharing what you need them to change,” says Seeger DeGeare. “Vulnerability is also in how open you are to hearing what your partner has to say, not just what you are willing to share.”
Research has found that when partners reported receiving emotional support from their partner, this was linked to a more positive mood and less anxiety and depression. Further research found that even small sacrifices can help with trust and connection for couples.
Sometimes it’s difficult to ask for support, but none of us are mind readers. This question is an open invitation to offer your partner a helping hand.
Gratitude is a critical component in a successful long-term relationship, and couples who regularly reflect on and express gratitude for their partner are more likely to stay together, feel closer, show more commitment to their relationship, and have better skills in resolving conflict.
When life gets overwhelming and life admin and responsibilities take over your day, it’s easy to start taking your partner for granted. Asking this question allows you to show your appreciation and say “thank you.”
As awkward or uncomfortable as it can be to express frustration or upset with your partner — especially at the start of a new relationship — bottling something up can lead to further disconnection and feeling lonely.
Avoiding difficult conversations or brushing issues under the carpet doesn’t give either of you the space to communicate your feeling or make amends.
Intimacy, whether physical or emotional, is vital to romantic relationships. And while it’s normal for levels of intimacy to ebb and flow in a relationship, it shouldn’t be left unaddressed.
We also all have different preferences when it comes to intimacy. For some, closeness in a relationship comes from sex or physical touch, while others prefer to feel emotionally attracted to their partner.
“Starting a conversation about intimacy can feel intimidating at times and often can be a topic that is avoided,” explains Seeger DeGeare.
“One way to ease in is to not just focus on one particular act and whether happening enough, but rather to share with your partner all the little moments you feel closer to them throughout the day. That way if you have something specific you crave more of it can be shared as you talk about a delightful moment together rather than it feeling like it is nagging that it’s not enough.”
Ending your relationship check-in with an open-ended question allows you and your partner to share any feelings, thoughts, or anxieties you may not have addressed with the above questions.
Download the Paired app for more monthly relationship check-in questions and additional resources to feel more connected and grow closer as a couple.