Relationship Questions To Ask For Intimacy

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“Men and women belong to different species and communication between them is still in its infancy.” ~ Bill Cosby

All problems in relationships boil down to one thing: lack of communication.

Whether our concerns relate to money, sex, kids, affection, career or any of the various reasons we fight or get angry, when we don’t communicate our needs and discuss our differences, things will inevitably break down. You’ve been there. So have I.

We are turf-oriented creatures, even with our most intimate relationships. We want to protect what’s ours  — emotionally, psychologically, and physically — often at the expense of those we love most. Good and close relationships require letting go of some of that turf, compromising, and accepting that the other person’s needs and feelings are as valid as our own.

Simply living in the same space with another person provides plenty of fodder for arguments. When you are first in love, the boxers left on the floor are just adorable. The heat turned up to 80 is a darling idea. But eventually, familiarity breeds, if not contempt, plenty of irritation. Add to that the stresses of children, finances, and career — along with the real differences in the way men and women perceive the world, and it’s a wonder any of us make it through the first few years of a relationship.


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We have to talk about what’s bugging us, what we want from the other, our dreams and disappointments. And we have to listen, really listen to what the other is saying.

To do that, you must divorce yourself from your personal needs long enough to put the relationship first. That means communication can’t devolve into protecting your turf or being right. You must exercise some self-control, even when strong feelings make you want to say unspeakable things.

The most successful, intimate relationships involve proactive communication before a fight ever breaks out. As stilted as it may seem, meeting with your spouse or partner on a regular basis to ask questions and learn about each other will protect your relationship from altercations and even better, it will create a new level of intimacy between you.

Here are 40 relationship questions to ask to for intimacy:

1.  What should I never say to you, even in anger or frustration?

2.  How much time and space do we need apart from each other?

3.  What activities and interests can we develop that will bring us closer?

4.  What is going to really set you off?

5.  What happens if we can’t agree on something important that involves both of us?

6.  What kind of physical touch best says “I love you” to you?

7.  What could I do that would cause you to pull away from me?

8.  How many days between sex will be too long?

9.  When you get home from work, what would you like me to do or say in the first few minutes?

10. Who do we know that has the kind of intimacy that we want?

11. What changes will I need to make in order for you to be really happy?

12. Where will we be in this relationship five years from now?

13. What’s the biggest lesson I can learn from you?

14. What do you do when you feel hurt by me?

15. What will ruin our relationship?

16. What habits do I have that are upsetting to you?

17. How can we both get our needs met when we want different things on a particular day?

18. What happens if one of us needs more space that the other?

19. What do we do if both of us are having a bad day?

20. How affectionate would you like to be with me?

21. What can we do to avoid fighting or arguing entirely?

22. What about our financial situation might become a recurring problem?

23. What about our work might become a recurring problem?

24. How will we let each other know what we want sexually?

25. What will I have to say to get your attention when I’ve not been able to?

26. What need of yours have I not been able to satisfy?

27. What kind of memories do we want to create together?

28. What will keep us happily together for years to come?

29. What will be the early warning signs that our relationship is in trouble?

30. How will you be able to forgive me if I’ve done something that really hurts you?

31. What will you do if you feel tempted by another person?

32. What personality differences do we have that might cause a problem?

33. When we argue, how will you take responsibility for your part of the problem?

34. How can we make our sex life even better?

35. What are your deepest wounds and how can I support you there?

36. Where are you unwilling to compromise?

37. What about my voice or communication style makes you want to spend less time around me?

38. What do you expect from me that you should really be expecting of yourself?

39. What are you willing to do with or for me that you haven’t been able to do in previous relationships?

40. What are your deepest dreams and desires for yourself and for us?


Comments

  1. Christopher Lovejoy says:

    Wonderful questions, Barrie. I’d like to try them out with my sweetheart.

    To communicate in a healthy, healing way, I’ve learned to be wholly present with my partner’s feelings, to the point where I can make it okay for her to release any past hurts or upsets.

    Here’s a question for your list:

    If the circumstances of life pull us apart through no fault of our own, what might we do to keep our relationship going?

    Thanks again for a great list.

    Christopher
    .-= Christopher Lovejoy´s last blog ..Personal Ascendance =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s a great question Christopher. I guess that does happen — careers or other obligations force an unintended separation. It takes even more work for a relationship to flourish with that scenario. Lots of calls, emails and weekend reunions!

      • Hi, I have reviewed all questions and responses to the questions. All of the questions are on point with what I am going thru with my spouse. He has no reverence what so ever for my feelings. I has completely detached. As a result we do not love each other anymore, and will be seperating in a couple of months and divorcing in 2014. However, I do have a friendship with a gentleman that has a strong possibility of becoming serious. Would it be safe for me to ask him some of the above questions. I do not want to ruin the relationship that we now have, I do not want to come off as being overly aggressive or too forward. He has expressed that he has strong feelings for me and visa verse. What advise can you give to me regarding my friend and I. There is no hope for my marraige because my spouse and I do not love each other anymore.

        • Harriet, when you get married it is before God, vowing to go through the ups and the downs until death parts. I urge you to pray and dig deep and work through the tough moments. Urge your husband to pray as well and work hard on the relationship. Tell him how you truly feel without holding back anything so that he can see you transparently. All the best.

  2. I agree with Christopher – a great list. Here’s one more question (similar to #26) that works in my marriage: “What do you need from me that I’m not giving you?” This is a very direct, but healthy way, Mary Beth and I are able to discuss unmet needs.

    Thanks again Barrie for putting this list together.

    Alex

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s a great question Alex. A very loving question. We should ask each other that every week. Sometimes we don’t even know what we aren’t getting, but we feel mild irritation. When your partner asks you that, it gives you permission to be authentic.

  3. Kapil Apshankar says:

    What a wonderful post, Barrie – and an awesome set of questions!

    The first thought that came to my mind on reading the questions was – hey, I should be doing this with my sweetheart. She read the questions too – and we’re going to spend time this evening using these as a backdrop of our conversation.

    I think it’s really important for everyone who is in a relationship – or even starting out with one – to base the relationship on a strong foundation. Some of these questions can help build that foundation.

    It’s more that just setting expectations, or getting to know the other person better – it’s fundamentally connecting at a much deeper level and building the trust that helps nurture and grow a great relationship.

    Thanks for putting this together, Barrie – you just made my (rather, our) day :)
    .-= Kapil Apshankar´s last blog ..Guesting Over At Danny Brown – And The Personal Big Pictures =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      I am so glad you can put the list to good use Kapil! You are doing a great thing for your relationship by taking the time to do this. You may have to revisit the list many times during the course of your relationship, because people grow and change. And because we forget to be present for our loved ones sometimes!

  4. Barrie,

    Communication is such powerful tool for any relationship. People seem to forget that solving problems and managing emotions takes assertive communication and mutual understanding, not anger, bitterness, neglect, or disregard. This makes me think of the different love languages people have. By asking questions of each other, partners can discover what is really meaningful and important to the other person, and balance their life accordingly. When someone isn’t getting their needs met, there is going to be difficulty and the only way to resolve this is communicating and understanding where each other is coming from. Thanks!
    .-= Joe Wilner´s last blog ..What’s your Gratitude Cycle- Here’s how to be more grateful =-.

  5. My compliments!

  6. Tess The Bold Life says:

    Barrie,
    These are wonderful questions. I’m forwarding them to my daughter who just marked her 1st anniversary with her S.O. One I would add is “How can I help you today?”
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Feeling Jealous Shine Your Light On It… =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s great Tess. If a couple can use this kind of communication early in their relationship, it is so much easier to deal with the stresses and problems that inevitably arise later on.

  7. I think of communication a little differently. I think our words are guided by our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. When we focus more on what we think, and our actions/words will follow.

    If I can answer these questions about myself and share them with my S.O., then I am sharing a part of myself, making a connection in that moment. I’ve seen so many couples rely on their S.O. to tell them what they need to do better. I think people can learn to recognize the part they play in the problem (and the solution).
    .-= Marci´s last blog ..Overcoming Walls that Build Between Married Couples =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Yes Marci — that’s a wonderful way to approach communication. You can’t be authentic in a relationship unless you are authentic with yourself.

  8. Great post. And love the questions. Saving them for when I find MyGuy. Just found your blog and am completely inspired. Count me in as a regular. Look forward to reading more from you.
    Cheers, Leisa
    .-= Leisa LaDell´s last blog ..52 things I know about words and you should too- 2 Words Create Experience =-.

  9. Hi Barrie,

    Great photo and topic. I love the questions and will utilize them.

    I feel we all want more love in our lives and it’s hard to see people struggle not knowing how to move beyond the walls we build. Sometimes not even recognizing we’re building them.

    I’ve found what helps me most is to notice early on when I’m feeling triggered and take the space to sit with what I’m feeling/experiencing and asking myself some questions.

    Owning it in myself rather than just blaming the person I feel triggered by is best. I then return to the person a bit more centered and let them know I felt upset and that I’m making an effort to get in touch with what about the situation triggered me.

    Next, I ask for what I want from the situation and hear their thoughts and feelings about it.

    All this requires a degree of trust with the person. I’ve found owning my feelings out loud and assuring the person I’m looking at myself in the process too has really helped with a good outcome.

    For me it relates to gaining self-awareness, finding my voice, and as you mention, communicating.

    Last, I try to keep in mind that it’s a “dangerous” belief to think that the other person is responsible for my happiness. And balance that with the fact that I do have certain expectations in relationship.

    Thanks,
    Lauren

  10. Charles Onyeneke says:

    Hello Barrie,

    Thanks a bunch for this invaluable post. I read this post and had a chat with my other half. The result was quite astonishing. We got to bond the more.

    Then the next morning, a colleague saw a printed copy of this post on my table and wanted to go through it. I willingly gave it to him. Then, … something happened. In less than five minutes, the whole office was at my table asking for a copy of the article. Everybody was quite excited and wanted to take a copy home and share it with his/her spouse. Want to know what I did? I simply sent an email with a link to this post to everybody.

    Quite an excellent and thought provoking post. This exercise has taught me that sometimes we actually unconsciously take a lot of things for granted when we are in a relationship. This post caused a rave in my office, and now it’s raved up our lives.

    Thanks again Barrie. More of this please.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      OK Charles, you have made my day totally! Thank you so much for sharing that. You don’t know how rewarding it is to hear that I have helped someone in that way. I would love to hear back from you and your office friends on how the questions impacted their relationships. If you aren’t a subscriber, I hope you will join my community and download my free ebook. Thank you again Charles for your lovely comments. All the best to you!

      • Charles Onyeneke says:

        Thanks Barrie,

        Good to hear I made your day “totally!”. I’m now a subscriber and I’ve read your lovely ebook. I only hope my friends will follow suit. I’ll sure ask them to revert here with their comments. Enjoy!
        .-= Charles Onyeneke´s last blog ..Break your Writer’s Block and Be an Exceptional Writer =-.

  11. What a great list! I wish I had seen this years ago. I can’t imagine doing this with my husband now – it might start a war! But there are a couple that are on the “benign” side – #3 and #9, for instance – that we could start with.
    Thank you so much. I know many people who would really benefit from this.

  12. Kristina says:

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been searching the internet for ways to spark meaningful conversations between myself and my SO. We have only been together for 6 months but we both feel that this relationship deserves a chance. But I think, between the two of us, I am more methodical in my approach to achieving goals. :-) I will definitely share this post with him. I look forward to the hours of conversation and foundation building this will spark.

  13. Some lovely questions here, which I’d like to share with some of the couples I see in practice, if that’s ok with you. Thank you for sharing it, Barrie.

  14. Want An Amazing, Intimate Relationship? Ask These Questions | Bloom, seemed to
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  15. Hi
    My problem is strange. My boyfriend didn’t call me for one month despite of me asking me to talk. He said he is busy at work. But he used to send me messages all day. He didn’t even meet me since two months. He always lies to me. Fifteen days back I told him clearly that I don’t want to live in this virtual world of messages and I want to actually talk and meet him. But still he didn’t call me. I told him I’m breaking up with you. He still kept on messaging but didn’t talk me once. I didn’t reply his messages. Yesterday he came to my house to see me because I was ill. And since then I had to reply his messages. I’m stuck. He is not apologizing. He is acting as if nothing has happened. We were together for 2 years, but now he has changed.
    Please help.

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  17. This is brilliant. I think the questions themselves are wonderful, but really the most important thing is just to ask questions.

    Too many relationships have disintegrated from lack of communication. When we don’t ask, we just project ourselves onto our partners, which is incredibly dangerous because each of us is all neurotic and insecure in our own special way.

    Sometimes I still have to remind myself to ask instead of assuming the worst. And then, I ask. And I so often laugh at what I discover.

  18. “…, you must divorce yourself from your personal needs long enough to put the relationship first.” That statement really says it all. Every question stems from a desire to consider the needs of our partner and meet them. Unselfishness is key to happiness in a relationship. Thanks for the list!
    Vickie at http://www.hushhushheart.com

  19. Hello there…

    I found my girlfrinds selfies on her old phone that I’m using. She was only wearing a bra with her hair wet and poting lips. I found two of these pics on her old mobile that I’m using as mine has been stolen. I have never seen this pic before as it was never sent or shown to me.

    We have been dating for a little over three years and there have been times when I have given her reason not to trust me but I until now have never found anything of this sort of nature ever. We generally get along quite well and have the few misunderstandings but have in a way been suspicious mostly from my own insecurities i must admit.

    I confronted her about it and she said that she took them because she wanted to feel sexy as she had picked weight when they were taken. I want to believe this but don’t know if i should.

    My question is this: Did she send them to someone as they were quite provocative or is my mind just playing games with me?

  20. Prodigal Son says:

    These questions are wonderful and my fiancee and I have based them upon our foundation in our relationship. We are constantly open with one another and are so in love with each other. At first, it was very hard for her to open up but through patience & humility, she has overcome her struggles and accepted my encouragement and me for who I am. We are getting married next July.

Trackbacks

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