Amar is coming late from work so Gauri records his favorite TV show that she knows he’d like to watch when he gets back. Sarika is sick so Kartik calls her mother to find the recipe of her most favorite comfort food and makes it for her. Surag knows that Reena fears being too much like her mother. Kiran can tell you Aakash’s morning routine from the minute he wakes up to when he gets in his car. Vineet can rank Antara’s top 3 careers she would switch to if she could.
These are all examples of emotional intimacy – a type of closeness in your relationship that allows each of you to truly know each other inside out. Emotional intimacy is crucial in all romantic relationship in that it establishes a level of trust and safety between the couple.
It also acts as a bank account during stressful times. During every stressful situation, such as a really painful argument, marriage, the birth of a new baby, difficulties with extended family, etc., both partners draw from that bank account and give more of themselves than they would in non-stressful times. The deeper and more closely you know each other, the more that is deposited in the bank and the more there is to draw from during times of stress.
If you don’t know each other as well and if you know your partner does not understand you truly, that bank account becomes depleted much more quickly and the couple is much more likely to feel resentful of the stressful situation and get into more and repeated arguments with each other.
Creating emotional intimacy can be a fun and enjoyable process. Sit down with your partner and try answering the following questions. (Click on the category names to reveal the questions.) These are just some suggested questions (adapted from Gottman’s Love Map) and can be used as a guideline to ask even more personalized and deeper ones to each other.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to all of them, even if you have been together for years. Relationships are a learning process so take opportunity to get to know your partner even more openly and closely than before. In the process, you will be significantly strengthening your relationship as well.
As you learn more about each other, use the information to surprise or treat each other in small ways, such as with the example couples at the beginning of this article!
1. Who is your partner’s favorite relative?
2. Which relative is your partner closest to?
3. Which of your relatives does your partner enjoy spending time with the most?
4. Which of his/her parents does your partner think he/she is most like?
5. What qualities of his/her parents does your partner not wish to have?
6. How many children does (or did) your partner want to have?
7. What is your partner’s biggest fear about being a parent?
8. How does your partner feel when his/her family visits?
9. What is one thing your partner is proud of about his/her family?
10. What are 2 things your partner wishes to change about his/her family?
1. What is your partner’s happiest childhood memory?
2. What is your partner’s worst childhood experience?
3. What did your partner want to be when he grew up?
4. Where did your partner live growing up?
5. What is your partner’s earliest memory?
6. What was your partner’s favorite holiday growing up?
7. Who was your partner’s favorite teacher in school?
8. What was your partner’s favorite snack as a child?
9. What is one thing your partner wishes could have been different about his childhood?
10. What was your partner’s favorite age to be as a child?
1. Who are your partner’s 2 closest friends?
2. How did your partner meet his/her best friends?
3. Who is your partner’s greatest source of support besides you?
4. What friend does your partner get along with the least?
5. What activities does your partner enjoy doing with friends?
6. Which friend from childhood does your partner wish he/she had kept in touch with better?
7. How does your partner handle conflict with a friend?
8. What are your partner’s favorite qualities in friends?
9. Which of his/her friends has your partner known the longest? How long?
10. Which acquaintance does your partner wish to have become a closer friend?
1. Regardless of how realistic, what is your partner’s dream job?
2. What is one of your partner’s major career goals?
3. Which colleagues does your partner get along with the best?
4. What is your partner’s least favorite part of his/her job?
5. What route does your partner take to go to his/her work?
6. What view does your partner have from his/her desk or work station?
7. Describe in detail a typical day at your partner’s work.
8. How does your partner feel about his/her supervisor?
9. What is one thing your partner wishes to change about his/her job?
10. What is your partner’s favorite part about his/her job?
1. What are two of your partner’s dreams or hopes for the future?
2. What does your partner fantasize about?
3. What does your partner’s ideal home look like?
4. What is one hobby or talent your partner wished he had developed?
5. What is one of your partner’s secret desires?
6. What is your partner’s dream car?
7. If your partner could have 1 wish, what would it be?
8. What is one thing your partner wishes to improve about him/herself?
9. Who does your partner most admire in the world?
10. What is your partner’s fondest dream that has not yet been achieved?
1. What is your partner’s idea of romance?
2. What is your partner’s favorite nickname?
3. What time of day does your partner prefer to make love?
4. What is your partner’s vision of a perfect date?
5. What part of his/her body is your partner most insecure about?
6. What is one of your partner’s sexual fantasies?
7. What type of music does your partner consider romantic?
8. What turns your partner on sexually?
9. What are some boundaries regarding intimacy that your partner will not cross?
10. How does your partner feel after having made love?
1. What is your partner’s favorite meal?
2. What is your partner’s favorite season?
3. What is your partner’s favorite way to be soothed?
4. What is your partner’s favorite way to spend the weekend?
5. What is your partner’s favorite sport?
6. Who is your partner’s least favorite person that you both know?
7. What is your partner’s favorite place to vacation?
8. What is your partner’s favorite movie?
9. What is your partner’s favorite drink?
10. What is your partner’s least favorite food?
1. What is your partner currently most excited about?
2. What is your partner currently most sad about?
3. What health concerns is your partner most worried about?
4. How does your partner express happiness, sadness, worry and anger?
5. What is your partner’s most embarrassing moment?
6. How does your partner blow off steam?
7. What are some major events coming up in your partner’s life and how does he/she feel about them?
8. What is your partner’s biggest fear?
9. What are the two most stressful events your partner has been through?
10. What makes your partner truly happy?
We would love to hear your response to this article! Please feel free to leave a comment.