Relationships column: Answer these questions together to create closer connection
Let’s say you were interested in deepening the closeness in your relationship. How would you go about doing that?
It’s a good bet that whatever you did would involve firstly talking about personal feelings, dreams, fears, concerns and emotions and secondly being more affectionate.
Here is an exercise in creating or deepening the connection with each other. Take turns asking and answering each of these questions, regarding:
The way you offer love. What you do that expresses love.
The way you would prefer to be loved, or expressed love.
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The way you communicate as a couple. Is there something you have a particularly hard time communicating about? What would help make such communication easier, safer or less volatile?
When we are in a major disagreement, what could we do that would assist us in resolving the issue while also preventing us from escalating and getting angry or ill-tempered with each other?
What hurts, angers or upsets you that you would like me to modify or correct?
How affectionate am I? How affectionate would you like for me to be?
Do you think I am overindulging in substances or activities that are unwise or unhealthy?
I would like you to apologize for …
Are there any money habits you would like for me to change? How would you like financial disagreements to be settled between us?
What could I do that would strengthen the trust between us?
If one of us feels that the relationship is taking a back seat to work, children, family, hobbies, activities or entertainment, then how would you like for us to address and resolve that issue?
What could I do that would make this a more satisfying sexual relationship for you?
Realistically speaking, what goals would you like for us to shoot for during the next five years?
What are you fearful or anxious about? What would you like me to do that would help?
What activities would you like us to do more of together?
Are there any subjects or issues you think we have been avoiding?
Of what priority are travel and taking vacations? Where do you want us to travel to?
What are some of the things you’re most proud of? How about the things you’re most proud of this year?
What’s fun to you? How often would you like us to be doing fun things together?
Is there anything I could do (or quit doing) that would assist you in feeling closer and more connected?
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. He is the author of the bestselling book, “Love, Sex, and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship.” Contact him at 303-758-8777 or visit neilrosenthal.com.