- In life, what are you most fearful of? It could be certain people, interactions, feelings, creatures…? Does your fear hold you back, or can you break through?
This question really lets you into the mind of the person you’re with, without poking and prodding too much. Knowing their fears lets you know their weaknesses, and their strengths, and the fact that they trust you enough to share this with you is important.
Sometimes it’s hard for a person to answer this sort of question. They might be a little nervous to let themselves become vulnerable to you, but they’ll answer when they trust you enough. Fear is a big thing, and you have to understand and appreciate their fear to understand them.
Don’t ever make fun of their fear, either – be it spiders or being broke. It’s something they are truly afraid of, and you need to respect that… even if you think it is stupid.
- What would you need to have in your life to consider yourself truly ‘rich’?
The first answer that probably comes to mind is money, but that’s a cop out answer, and you both know it. Understanding what your partner considers a rich and full life is really important, because you can compare life goals and see if they are going to head in a direction that you want to go in.
Really consider your own answer as well before you ask it – you know that they are going to ask you the question in return. Try to think of what you value in life… maybe a ‘rich’ life would be a nice home, a husband or wife, financial and job security. Or it might be a life full of traveling and visiting new and exciting places, with or without someone by your side.
Think about it before you answer, and let them see inside of you too. It’s important to answer these questions so you can trust one another. Sound stupid? Maybe – but it’s the truth.
- Are there any old feelings or grievances about your parents that you haven’t told me, good or bad?
Understanding your partner’s relationship with their parents is important, not only because you get an insight into his or her past, but you can see issues that might crop up in the future too.
For a lady – was her father verbally or physically abusive? She might have a harder time trusting men because of that, so you’ll need to be respectful of that.
For a guy – was his mother the type to cook and clean, and never let her husband lift a finger when it comes to chores, or did her father do most of the cleaning? He’ll more than likely expect your relationship to be the same as between his parents, so if the father didn’t clean a lot, then he’ll expect not to have to pitch in around the house.
Try to pick apart their relationship with their parents, and really understand what it was like. Then you’ll know why they are the way they are, and how you can help them through any problems that might arise between them and their parents in the future.
- In our relationship, have you ever said anything to me that you wish you could take back? Do you have anything that you wanted to say to me, but couldn’t?
This is an important one. We all get angry, and most of us can say certain things that we wish we could take back, sure it won’t make our feelings go away, or the hurt, but knowing what they are is important.
Don’t forget to forgive them for what he or she’s said in the past, as their answers are their way of seeking your approval and forgiveness, and be patient as they tell you something they’ve always wanted to say. It’s hard for a lot of people to share their feelings, so go easy on them.
Always be honest when it comes to your turn to answer too, and really think about the question before you dismiss it. Was there a time when you yelled, and didn’t mean to? Or something you said that still haunts you? Getting it out in the open in a calm setting can strengthen your bond, relieve pent up guilt and frustration, and really bring you to that next level of a relationship.
- Have you ever heard of things happening in some else’s relationship that you want to make sure don’t happen in ours? What are they?
Always know what your partner expects, and doesn’t expect, from your relationship together. You have to realize that they, like you, have probably been through some bad relationships, and heard about a lot more.
Make sure you know what your partner needs in your relationship, and what they want to avoid. Take steps to prevent anything that they are afraid of – moving away, losing contact, or simply getting tired of each other – from happening. Don’t make fun of any worries either. They are worrying about them because they are valid fears in their eyes.
Think about your answer too. What sort of things do you want to avoid? Remember to be honest, and don’t be afraid of expressing yourself.
- What do you need from me materially, physically, emotionally and spiritually for you to feel completely and totally fulfilled?
Knowing what your partner needs from you is important, because if you fumble around in your relationship without a care or clue of what they need, they’re either going to leave you (trust me on this one) or resent you. Understand exactly what they need from you to feel complete and whole.
Men and women have needs that the opposite sex do not understand, and would never guess on their own. Most of the needs may feel stupid to you, and you might feel silly trying to fill them all, but they’ll really appreciate the effort, and your relationship will be stronger than you can imagine.
When they bounce the question to you, really think about it. What can they do to help you feel good in the relationship. Whether it’s watching TV on the weekends every now and then, letting you go out with the girls/guys once or twice a month, or just spending more time doing things you enjoy instead of always doing things they like, let them know.
This is all part of building a strong foundation – if you can’t, or don’t want to, meet their needs then there’s something wrong.
- Do you have anything in your life that you have never forgiven yourself for? Or has anyone ever said or done anything to you that you have never forgiven? In both cases why have you not been able to forgive?
Learning your partners mistakes in life, and the mistakes they consider unforgivable, is important. Not only can you avoid certain things they detest, but you can learn more about their character.
Don’t be worried if they are unsure if they want to tell you. Most of the time, digging up our own mistakes is worse than talking about the mistakes of others. We feel stupid, silly, and embarrassed discussing what we did wrong, so give them time to come to terms with it again before sharing it.
Try your hardest not to ‘blow off’ this question too. Just as you want to learn what they hate, they want to learn what you hate. Take time to consider your mistakes, and choose something that really bothers you, something you’ve never been able to completely forgive yourself for, to share. They will appreciate your honesty, and feel closer to you just knowing that you’re willing to share.
- In what situations do you feel completely at peace, or comfortable?
Think of when you feel comfortable with everything – yourself, your life, everything. Is it when you’re sitting on the couch, soda in hand, watching your favorite TV show? How about skiing down a mountainside, or just laying in bed, in that place between wakefulness and sleep, with your partner by your side?
These are moments we share with each other because we care. It sounds soppy and stupid, but sharing with them when you feel most peaceful is important, so they can do the same. If you can understand why your partner is comfortable in a certain environment, you can make sure to cater to that, and help them feel at peace more of the time.
Never laugh at their answer, and remember to be honest with them about yours. After you ask, take small moments to help make them feel at peace – whether it is giving them alone time to read, or write, or maybe taking them out for long walks at a beach. Even just letting him/her take over a corner of the spare bedroom to turn into a meditation/exercise area can make them feel special, remembered, and loved.
- Over the past 5-10 years, how do you think your life has changed? How have you changed as a person? Do you think these changes have been for the better, or the worse?
This question is best started by discussing how you’ve changed in the last few years – it makes them feel more comfortable and open, and gives them time to think of their answers. Knowing how your partner has changed is important, as it lets you know how they are going to change in the future, too.
Don’t condemn their answers if they’ve changed for the negative either, because you can’t say that you’ve become a completely better person in the last few years – some changes, even small may have been for the worst, so don’t ever judge them. They’ll appreciate an open, free environment, and they’ll be much more willing to share themselves emotionally with you in the future.
Trust them to be honest with you, and be honest with them too. Really study and look back at your life… and consider how it’s going to change in the next few years. Discuss this too, and compare goals.
- What type of things do you worry about? Is there something you constantly worry about?
The first step to soothing any fears is knowing what they are. Is your partner worried about money, life, death, family, friends, even your relationship? Understand and respect these worries, because they matter to them.
Talk about your worries, too, even if you’re not used to doing so. It might even be a bit difficult to put your worries into words, and that’s okay, because they are there to listen and help you through that. If you can both understand each other you’ve taken another step to living more worry free.
After you’ve realized their worries, try to help them through them, and set them to rest. If they are worried about money, do small things to help generate – or save – a bit more, like working an hour or two overtime, or cutting back on spending a bit. If they are worried about their family, take them to see them more.
…and yes this is different to number 1 about fears! Fears and worries are two different animals you need to understand and conquer!
It Might Seem Hard…
…trying to strengthen and build a deeper bond. But asking the right questions, and knowing those answers, is something that will really help you both. And you’ll look like a wonderful partner for asking them – they’ll understand that you care about them, and they’ll appreciate that care more than anything else.