Emotional Fitness

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7 Questions That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Don't know what your partner wants from you? Maybe it's time you found out.

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One of the biggest mistakes we can make in a relationship is not asking enough of the right questions. By asking the right questions, you can discover what your partner needs and wants from you and your time together.

Here are a few to try:

  1. “What can I help you with right now?”
    If you find yourself with some time on your hands, why not offer those minutes to your mate as a loving gesture. Most of us have too much on our plates, and an extra pair of hands can make a big difference in getting things done. Plus, doing things together can be bonding.

  2. “How can I show you I love you?”
    Most couples are good at saying those three little words, but actions speak even louder. Perhaps your loved one will want a kiss or some help in the garden. Whatever his or her request, your offer to display your love will make your partner feel cherished.

  3. “Is there one ‘little’ thing about me that you would like me to change?”
    Yes, this can spark a serious (and tricky) conversation, but by emphasizing the word little, you can lighten it up significantly. Sometimes we unconsciously do things that make our partner uncomfortable, but it’s not quite annoying enough for them to tell us. By asking this question, you can stop a little annoyance from becoming a big issue.

  4. “Is there someplace special that you would like to go?”
    You may not be in a position to fly to Paris, but it’s nice to give the one you love the gift of picking somewhere, even relatively nearby, that he or she would like to go with you. You can also make plans for a grander vacation if the mood (and budget) strikes you. It’s a great way to have something to look forward to, which fosters happiness.

  5. “What is it about our life together that makes you happy?”
    This question will cause your lover to think about all the things he or she enjoys about your relationship. Just talking about the joys will make the two of you feel closer and add more depth to your connection.

  6. “Is there anything I can do to make you feel more loved?”
    This tender question may render your partner speechless, at least for a moment. But even if you have a great relationship, your mate can surely think of something that can make your love even stronger.

  7. “What’s something you’d like to do together that we have never done before?
    This can open up some ideas to excite both of you. You can play around with different ideas until you come up with a couple that really captivate you. Remember, doing new things with your partner will make you feel closer.

When we get caught up in daily activities, even couples with excellent communication skills can forget to ask a partner what he or she needs or wants. If you can get better at asking the right questions, your relationship will be better for it.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

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