Deepening the connection in a new relationship

Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Click here for part two

Most people find the meeting, dating, getting-to-know-you stage of a relationship awkward and uncomfortable. Even though there is the potential for romance, sex, love and “happily ever after” – or maybe because there is that potential – people ranging in age from teens to senior citizens find themselves nervously tripping over their words attempting to assist a new relationship in getting closer.

If you’re in that situation, worry no more. If done with a co-participant who is willing to be open and honest, the following questions/topics can help you deepen the connection between the two of you.

Ask each other the following questions. Be as thorough as possible with each question, because short and superficial responses will not help you learn about each other, and then the relationship will be less-likely to grow more intimate. Expect multiple answers to every question.

  • Do you fall in love readily and quickly, or do you tend to hold back?
  • Do you see yourself as more easy to get to know, or harder to get to know?
  • Do you see yourself as defensive? Are you uncomfortable with negative feedback, constructive criticism or requests for a change of behavior? If so, how am I going to have a voice around you and speak up when I’m unhappy?
  • How would you like us to handle it when we have a major disagreement? What behaviors are unacceptable in a fight?
  • Are you happy in your work? Thinking about a career change? When do you see yourself retiring, and what do you envision you’ll do in retirement?
  • What dreams or goals would you like to accomplish or experience before you die?
  • In one sentence, describe yourself. Describe me.
  • Are you quick to anger? Do you have a short fuse? How is it best to respond to you when you’re upset, irritable or angry? What should I not do? How do I disarm you when you’re angry?
  • How have you contributed to the difficulties in your previous relationships? What was your role in assisting those relationships to fail? (Talk about your contribution to the relationship souring, not your ex-partner’s role.)
  • What helps you stay connected? What lessens the connection for you? When the connection is lower, what will you do to help us repair wounded feelings so we can reconnect?
  • How trusting of people are you? What generates mistrust? What behaviors would you consider to be a violation of your trust? Do you ever get jealous or mistrusting without good cause? What would you like me to do if that happens?
  • Can you describe what an extremely romantic evening for you would consist of? What would make this an extremely romantic relationship?
  • What money habits do you have that reasonably could be called unhealthy? How should we deal with money disputes or with different financial priorities?
  • How important is it to you that we have frequent sex? What does good sex consist of? How imortant is fidelity to you – yours and mine?
  • What issues have dominated your previous relationships? The fight for control? Power struggles? Mistrust? Infidelity? Dishonesty? Lack of common interests? Withdrawal? Lack of time spent together? Poor communication? Withdrawal of sex? Children or child rearing? Money disputes? Betrayals? What have your biggest relationship headaches been about? What relationships issues are you most fearful of encountering again?
  • Is there anything about me that you find annoying, difficult or challenging – or that you’re not sure you can handle? Be truthful.

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