Each new year gives us a chance to be renewed. How about renewing your relationship?
One of the best ways to renew your relationship is to discover something new about your partner. Even if you have been with each other for decades you may not know your partner as well as you think you do.
Here’s how you start the discovery:
- Set the stage for an intimate conversation. You could take a walk together. Walking can create an opportunity to talk more easily (yes, even for that person who often does not disclose feelings). Or you could have a candlelit dinner either at home or at a quiet restaurant. Or how about a picnic on a sunny warm day.
- Ask your partner’s permission to share some thoughts and feelings. Sometimes your partner just may not be in the mood to share. Or your partner might anticipate that the sharing will not be met with a positive response.
- Start off with a fun, not so revealing question such as, “If you were to go to your favorite place in your mind, where would that be? Describe everything you see, hear, smell, and feel when you are in that favorite place.” Not only will this query give you information you may not have previously known about your partner, but it also can be something your partner can use to relax or distract when there is tension or pain.
- More revealing questions ask about struggles, hopes, disappointments, and accomplishments. Again, you might discover something you didn’t know about your partner’s innermost thoughts and your partner might even access something that they didn’t know about their self.
- Give an empathic response to each sentence your partner shares. An empathic response is a summary of the main points of your partner’s answer. This response reassures your partner that you really listened and that you are viewing the world through their eyes, without judgment. It also encourages your partner to say even more. And your partner is met with a positive response.
- Now it can be your partner’s time to use these steps to discover more about you.