5 Questions You Should Ask Your Significant Other Every Week
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Now Reading: 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Significant Other Every Week
1 year ago
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt during the last year of being in a relationship, it’s the importance of habits.
My girlfriend and I have a habit of going on a date night at least once a week. We have a habit of often working side-by-side on our blogs and social media. We have a habit of going to Mass together every Sunday (and going out for a fantastic brunch afterwards!). Spontaneous bursts of romance are all well and good (and every relationship should have them), but the week-to-week life our relationship is built around these habits.
In a recent post, I wrote about how intentionality is the most important ingredient in a successful relationship and the biggest challenge with intentionality is keeping it alive. For Renee and I, one way that we have accomplished this is by forming that habit of asking each other 5 important questions every week
Important disclaimer: This is a habit to form after you’ve been in a relationship for some time, when things are starting to get a bit more serious. If you bombard someone with these questions on your second date, things are going to go from 0 to 100 waaaay too quickly.
Of the 5 questions in this post, this one is the absolute game-changer. If you’re in a relationship and you genuinely care about the other person, chances are you’re already trying to love them better every week.
But what if, instead of just blindly trying to figure out how to do that, you actually had clarity on specific ways that the other person wants to be loved? Mind. Blown.
This is a challenging question to ask and answer. When I ask this question, it requires humility. By asking it, I acknowledge that I’m far from the perfect partner and there are ways that I can improve in the week to come.
When I answer this question, it requires vulnerability. It can be uncomfortable to ask to be loved in particular ways. Answering this question also requires trust. If I tell Renée how she can love me better, I am trusting that she will take care of my heart and follow through on that.
For us, this is often the hardest question each week, but without a doubt, it’s also been the most valuable. If 5 questions a week seems a bit much for you, start with this one and watch it transform your relationship for the better.
Love in a relationship isn’t just about finding ways to do things better, it’s also about holding on to what is being done well.
The value of this question is that it helps you to identify the things that make your significant other feel loved, things you might not have been aware of until you asked the question!
Let me give you an example: Renée and I have a habit of saying good morning and good night to each other every day. For the first 6 months of our relationship, while we were dating long distance, this would usually take the form of text messages. However, one morning, to mix things up, I decided to send Renée a short audio recording of my good morning message instead.
When I asked Renée at the end of the week how I had made her feel loved, it turned out that she had LOVED being sent the audio recording. Being able to hear my voice gave Renée a sense of connection to me that a text message couldn’t provide.
These days, sending little audio recordings and videos back and forth is a regular part of our relationship. But if I hadn’t asked this question, I would have been totally oblivious to how this small thing could benefit our relationship.
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This question might feel unnecessary, especially if you’re married or talking to your significant other almost every day. However, Renée and I have found that being explicit about highs and lows can give us a much better understanding of how the other person has been impacted by their week.
There have definitely been times where I haven’t understood how significant something was for Renée until she included it as a high (or a low).
As a couple, it’s so important to celebrate each other’s successes and support one another through the struggles. Asking this question each week helps you to pinpoint what those successes and struggles are.
This question has a couple of different forms, depending on whether you’re dating or married.
For those of you who are dating, you hopefully had a conversation at the beginning of your relationship about physical boundaries. This shouldn’t be a one-off conversation. Despite probably feeling a bit awkward about it, it’s important to regularly check-in with each other about how you think you’re going with boundaries.
Why? Well firstly because is that the human sex drive is unpredictable and downright mysterious at times. There will probably be forms of physical intimacy that you didn’t anticipate would be significant sources of temptation when you first had this conversation, but it turns out, THEY ARE. It’s important that you’re communicating about this and responding by putting new boundaries in place where needed.
Second, if you’ve established physical boundaries in your relationship and you’re striving to maintain them, chances are you aren’t going to abandon them all in one random, lust-fuelled moment.
If you’re going to break your boundaries, it will probably happen gradually, through a dozen small compromises that eventually lead to some pretty big compromises.
Let’s take the boundary of no passionate kissing, aka “making out.” If this is a boundary in your relationship, you’re probably not going to subject your boyfriend or girlfriend to an unexpected tongue ambush.
What might happen is that the simple kisses you share gradually start to become less simple. You start to linger a bit longer, the kissing gets more passionate, and before you know it, you’re in a full-on couch make-out session.
For Renée and I, regularly asking this question has been the best way to honestly address these gradual compromises and re-commit ourselves to our boundaries.
Once you’re married, communication about physical intimacy takes a rather different form, but it’s definitely no less important! As an unmarried man, there’s not much insight I can offer on this subject, but I know enough to say this: a healthy sex life doesn’t just happen, especially in the long term.
To keep your physical intimacy alive and well, you’ve got to communicate about it, regularly. Talk about your expectations, about how often you’re intimate, when you’re intimate, what you like, what you don’t like, and anything else that comes to mind.
For Renée and I, faith is the most important part of our lives. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, what gives us purpose, and what defines our life goals. So it would be insane not to share this aspect of our life with each other.
If both of you are Christian, this question is about learning more about the most important relationship in your significant other’s life: their relationship with God.
How that relationship is going, where they need to grow, and where they think God is leading them is going to have a significant impact on their life, and by extension, on your relationship together.
If you’re married or moving towards marriage, then the core of your vocation is growing in holiness together. Asking this question prompts your significant other to reflect on whether they are being intentional in their relationship with God.
It can also challenge you. I have lost count of the number of times that Renée has told me about her prayer life and it has either reminded me of the importance of consistent prayer or prompted me to think about some aspect of my faith in a new way.
The thing about good habits is that they don’t exist just for the sake of being good habits. Good habits are directed towards growth. If I form the habit of going to the gym regularly, not only am I doing regular exercise, over time I am building my strength.
It’s the same in a relationship. The good habits Renée and I have formed help us to learn more about each other, bring each other joy, and love each other better.
These questions can become that kind of habit in your relationship as well. Don’t feel like you have to bombard your significant other with all five, job interview style, next time you’re together. Gradually introduce these questions into the relationship.
Why not share this blog post with them and start with just one question? Do it today.