Let’s just go ahead and say it — relationships are hard work! If you ask a couple who’s been together for 20 years what their experience together was like, you are unlikely to hear it has been an easy journey. Even for the seemingly perfect couples where everything appears to flow naturally, relationships require effort to maintain. Are there any aspects of life that really require no maintenance, though?
Aren’t you more likely to invest time and effort into things that matter to you? Of course, you are! In this article, we’ll outline some important questions you can ask your partner to inspire romance and connection between the two of you.
First, let’s discuss some important concepts that will aid in this exercise.
What Are the Five Romance Languages?
Romance languages, also called love languages, have helped many couples reignite passion in their relationships by establishing what people need to feel from their partners when it comes to showing their love.
First developed by author, pastor, and counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman in his 1992 book The Five Love Languages, these love languages refer to the ways in which we all give and receive love.
After counseling couples for years, Dr. Chapman recognized a pattern amongst them — they were misunderstanding each other’s needs. After reviewing his notes, he came up with five common ways in which people express and receive love.
Words of Affirmation
The first love language involves spoken words. People who receive love through words of affirmation need love to be expressed to them with praise, kind words of encouragement, or compliments. If this is your partner’s primary love language, there are many things you can do to make them feel loved and appreciated.
Three great examples are writing notes and leaving them to be found in your partner’s lunch, giving cards to them expressing your gratitude for their company, and writing poetry for them. Get as mushy as you want — odds are they will love it!
This love language is often misinterpreted as merely being in the same room as your partner. Couples who have been together for longer amounts of time tend to get busy and caught up in work or other parts of life. This is normal, and maybe for you and your partner, all you need is to be around each other even if you are on your phones or engaging in another activity.
Regardless of how you give or receive love, the important thing is that you communicate and ask your partner what they need from you to feel loved. Typically, when someone says quality time is their primary love language, that means no distractions.
Put the phone down, turn the television off, and actively listen to what your partner is saying. Refrain from offering advice as this can be seen as trying to solve an issue rather than listening. Affirm what your partner is saying and make sure they feel heard.
This one can look different for everyone. Though sexual intimacy is certainly one way to speak to someone with physical touch as their primary love language, other ways include cuddling, holding hands, or a massage at the end of a long day. The main idea is that this person needs to be physically close to their partner to feel affection. It could be as simple as holding hands while watching a movie together.
Acts of Service
People with acts of service as their primary love language feel appreciated when their partner does small tasks for them that help with their daily life. This can include making a pot of coffee for them before they wake up, putting gas in their car so they can get to work without stopping, or performing a household chore you know they hate doing. People who receive love this way often express it in a similar manner and will help their partner when they can to show their appreciation.
Someone who feels most loved when they receive gifts will likely remember a gift you gave them years ago, even if it seemed insignificant to you, because it had such an impact on them. Gift-giving doesn’t mean you have to buy them the most expensive thing you can find, a partner who speaks in this love language just wants to see that you put in thought and effort into the gift. Take time to find a gift that will show you really know your partner.
Understanding the different ways in which your partner may feel loved is essential to the longevity of your relationship. You will learn about your partner as time goes on, but sometimes you must ask specific questions to find out exactly what they need to feel fulfilled in their relationship.
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What Questions Should You Ask to Connect with Your Partner Romantically?
It’s not always easy to think of important, deep questions to ask your partner — that’s why we’ve put together a list of great questions for you that will do just that. Here are the 10 questions you should ask to connect with your partner on a more romantic, deeper level.
1: What was the biggest lesson you learned from your worst breakup?
Everyone has a painful breakup story, and everyone has learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Asking your partner this question may open the door to discuss what they want to avoid in relationships, and what they learned from heartbreak. Share your story with them too.
2: What is your definition of romance?
This question may give you an answer to what your partner’s love language is without even directly asking them. Asking for their definition of romance will allow you to understand what shaped their view of love growing up. Everyone will have a unique answer to this question, and understanding your partner’s answer will help you both to feel more connected in the long run.
3: What is MY best quality?
It’s valuable to ask your partner this question because their answer will give you an idea of what they value in your personality. You need to understand how your partner sees you and what they view as your particular strengths. This will be a win-win for you if you primarily receive love via words of affirmation!
4: Do you have any relationship deal breakers?
From infidelity to leaving the bathroom door open, people can have drastically varying deal breakers. Some might not care about having a messy partner while others cannot live in a house that does not meet their standards of hygiene. It’s important to ask this question at the beginning of a relationship so you may know where your partner’s boundaries lie and proceed accordingly.
5: How do you express anger?
Everyone will feel angry at some point in a romantic relationship, and it doesn’t have to come from a place of jealousy. Humans have emotions, and part of being human involves learning to control your emotions when you feel them. Ask your partner how they typically express their anger so that you will know how to approach them when that time comes. Understanding this about your partner will keep you from making a situation worse if tensions arise.
6: What’s your favorite thing about our relationship?
Who doesn’t want feedback on their own relationship? Asking this question can lead to wonderful discussions with your partner about the things you feel proud of in your relationship. You might come up with the same answer or you might have completely different opinions on what makes your relationship great. Either way, you will strengthen your connection with each other just by talking about it.
7: How do you define great sex?
It’s important not to avoid the topic of sex even if it’s uncomfortable. You and your partner may have a healthy sex life, but this question can still be enlightening as it can allow you to understand certain things your partner likes that you do, or could be doing in bed.
8: If you could fix any personal flaw of your own, what would you change?
Not only is this a great question to ask to learn how your partner sees themselves, but it can also provide an opportunity for you to express how you love them regardless of their flaws. No one is perfect, but you don’t need to be perfect to feel fulfilled in your relationship.
9: Have you ever been in love? If so, how many times?
The answer to this question may shed light on how your partner has handled romantic feelings in the past. Have they been in love multiple times but had their heart broken again and again? This may cause them to feel hesitant when feeling these emotions again in a relationship. Have they never been in love before? Perhaps you will be their first! The important thing is to understand what their romantic past looks like.
10: Are you satisfied with our relationship?
The final question to ask your partner to spark connection should be one that grounds you both in reality. Is there any aspect of your relationship that your partner feels is lacking? Regardless of the answer, see this as an opportunity to connect and establish where you stand in your relationship.
If you are both fulfilled, discuss how you can keep that feeling alive and maintain satisfaction for the foreseeable future. If there are aspects that need improvement, work on them together!
Relationships are hard work! They require effort and care and attentiveness to remain healthy and happy. Even in the happiest of relationships, these questions will ignite romance and connection just by opening the floor for discussion.
What are you waiting for? Lead your relationship to greatness!