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17 Intimacy Questions to Ask Your Partner

Research finds that having these conversations guarantees a deeper connection

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 most importantly 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.

One way of doing this is finding the time to sit down together and ask each other intimate questions. Studies show that self-disclosure and open communication help build emotional intimacy in romantic relationships, which is especially important for relationship satisfaction

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. So here are 17 relationship questions scientifically proven to build intimacy and the research behind why they’re worth asking. 

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. 

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Questions to build intimacy

Which do you prefer, kissing or hugging? Why?

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.

What's my best habit?

Instead of focussing 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.

When did you last cry, and what was it about?

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.

What are the most important things on your bucket list?

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.

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you?

Humor is important in relationships, so the ability to share your hilarious or embarrassing moments (and be able to laugh about them) is paramount. 

In fact, research shows that those in longer relationships tend to share a similar sense of humor, and couples who can laugh together reported high relationship satisfaction.

Is there anything you don’t feel comfortable joking about?

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 Peacetherapist 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. 

What have you learned from past relationships that has helped you in your current relationship?

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.

What's one thing your best friend has taught you about relationships? 

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.

What hobbies or activities do you wish you had more time for together?

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!

What would the perfect day look like for you?

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. 

Is there a memory of your childhood that you love the most?

Finding out more about your partner's past can connect you in ways that just looking at your present-day lives 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. 

What's the hardest truth about love you've had to accept?

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.

How does your partner inspire you?

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.

If you only had a month left to live, what would you do?

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.

What area of our relationship would you like to improve?

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.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?

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.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that’s saving or indulging.

Do you ever feel distracted during sex? What by?

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. 

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. 

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