How well do you still know your partner?
Many of you will say, 'Yes, of course, we live together, so we know what is going on in each other's lives'.
But, when last have you actually sat down and explored each other's inner worlds? How up to date are your maps of the intricacies of each other's likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, and philosophies on life? Is what made your partner 'tick' years ago still the same thing?
Many couples find that as time drifts on they can lose touch with each other. This is really common in long term relationships, but can mean that your working assumptions of each other are way out of touch with reality. For some couples this can lead to conflict. Others start living parallel lives.
Research has shown that happy couples continue to build their friendship and admiration for each other over time, and that this is one of the aspects which separates them from unhappy couples.
As human beings we all continue to grow and change over time, sometimes in small and discrete ways, and at times in major ways. I'm sure you would agree that the person you are now, is not the same person you were 10 or 20 years ago. But, somehow we expect that our partner remains the same.
So here is a challenge for you: Make a pledge to get to know each other (again). You don't have to do a deep dive, but rather you can explore each other's inner worlds on a regular basis and keep updating your internal maps. This might include a weekend catch-up over brunch, or a monthly dinner date. Regular check-ins are the key to success here. I include some questions to get your conversations started below.
It is amazing to find out things about each other that you did not know.
(Re)discovering each other can be a lot of fun!
Suggested questions* to ask each other and expand your partner knowledge:
What is one of your partner's favourite desserts?
What is one of your partner's aspirations or wishes?
What is your partner's favourite animal?
What turns your partner on sexually?
What is you partner's favourite song?
What is one of you partner's current fears or worries?
Who is your partner's least favourite family relation?
What are your partner's favourite ways of relaxing?
What was your partner's favourite vacation?
What makes your partner feel most competent?
*Take turns asking each other questions. Remember to be gentle with each other. The goal is meaningful connection.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as counselling/therapy advice or used as a substitute for such. You should always speak to your own counsellor.