Do you feel yourself slipping away from your partner? Or, do you feel like he/she is slipping away from you? Do you feel as if you no longer have much in common — when you used to have many of the same interests and passions? And, do you feel like you rarely spend time with your partner anymore? Lastly, do you still feel like you don’t know much about your partner? If you answered, “yes,” to any of the questions above, it may be time for some relationship TLC (tender, loving, care).

How can you mend a relationship teetering on the edge of a cliff? Well, with better communication, of course. Intimacy (emotional, physical, and spiritual) is also key to becoming closer to your partner. Communication and intimacy is not only good when conflicts arise, these two elements are extremely important on a daily basis because they help strengthen your bond. Learning more about your partner (and vice versa) is key to a happy, long-term relationship. And, guess what? Listed below are 17 questions that can help you and your partner become closer.

  1. What in your life are you most grateful for?
  2. If a crystal ball could reveal something about yourself, life, relationship, friendships, and/or future, what would it tell you?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. What are five things that you and your partner have in common? What are five things that make you different?
  5. How important is love, affection, and physical intimacy (sex) in a relationship?
  6. What are your pet peeves?
  7. What makes you happy in the relationship? Sad?
  8. What are your most treasured memories in the relationship?
  9. What are some mistakes you made in previous relationships, and how do you plan to prevent them from occurring again?
  10. What is your relationship like with your mother, father, and/or siblings? Are you close?
  11. Where do you see yourself and this relationship in 1, 5, 10, 15 & 20 years?
  12. Do you want to get married and have children one day? If so, when would you like this to occur (general timeframe)?
  13. Do you have a lot of friends? If not, why not? And, how much value do you place on friendship?
  14. What are your political beliefs? Why?
  15. Are you religious? If so, what appeals to you about religion? If not, what turns you off towards religion?
  16. Do you like your job? Co-workers? If yes, why? If no, why not?
  17. What is your communication style and how do you handle conflicts (thought-processes & steps)?

Why are these questions effective?

These questions are effective because they provide you with a well-rounded view of your partner. More specifically, they help you get an in-depth look at the person you may spend the rest of your life with. The questions also make your partner vulnerable, which helps you get closer to him/her — emotionally. In addition, they present a broader picture of the decisions, experiences, and attitudes that have shaped your partner’s life. Ultimately, these questions help you truly know your partner — deeply — on another level. What makes him/her tick? What irritates him/her? The answers to the questions (stories) help you better understand who your partner is at his/her core (i.e. purpose & journey in life).

Truth-be-told, it’s common to ask your partner, “How are you?” But, how often do ask him/her, “Who are you?” It’s important to know who your partner is, not just in the relationship, but in life — in friendships, with family and friends, with co-workers, and even with strangers. That’s when you really learn more about your partner and vice versa. It’s when you move past the “honeymoon stage” of the relationship that the real closeness occurs. Why? Well, because that is when the real you emerges, creating feelings of trust, love, respect, and commitment.

When could you use these questions?

Well, a good time to use these questions is if you just started dating and don’t really know a whole lot about your partner — his/her past experiences, his/her beliefs, future plans, etc. Another good time to use these questions is if you have been together for a long time and feel that you are “losing touch” with one another. If you feel you are drifting away from your partner or vice versa, these questions can help you reconnect. In other words, these questions will draw you closer to one another.

Moreover, these questions can help you decide if your partner is really the right person for you, based on his/her beliefs, attitude, etc. For instance, if you ask your partner if he/she wants to have children one day and he/she says, “No!” then he/she may not be the right person for you — at this time in your life. On the other hand, if you learn that your partner loves UFC fights just as much as you, it can reinforce just how right you are for one another, thus bringing you closer together because now you can watch the fights together. Learning more about your partner can definitely bring you closer together and remind you why you love him/her so much.

What kinds of discussions follow these questions, and how can they bring you closer together?

These questions lead to discussion on marriage/long-term commitment, beliefs towards other (i.e. family, friends, strangers, co-workers, politics, etc.), having a family, wants and needs in a relationship, future goals, etc. This will bring you closer because it will re-affirm that you are both on the same page. It will also help you learn things about each other that you never knew before. In addition, it will help you learn your partner’s communication and conflict-resolution styles, so you can communicate and resolve issues with him/her better. Lastly, it will make you feel as if you share “secrets” that only you two know. Ultimately, these questions will help you “know” your partner on a deeper, more personal level, which is the key to long-lasting, happy relationships.

In summary, it is common for couples to focus on everything that is not working; instead of what is working or what needs to happen for it to work. By asking your partner questions, you not only show him/her that you are invested in the relationship, but you’re also interested in what makes him/her “tick.” And, by encouraging your partner to ask you questions, you allow him/her to learn more about what makes you — YOU! In other words, asking questions helps you get better insight into who you have included into your life, which can only bring you closer together, as a couple. Another great thing about this form of communication is that it can alter your partner’s mood, so he/she is actually excited about the future of your relationship.