Questions To Bring You Closer To Your Partner

Medically reviewed by Brianne Rehac, LMHC
Updated May 6, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you want to increase the emotional intimacy between yourself and your partner, one strategy that may help is asking questions, not therapy questions or the like, but meaningful ones. You might use questions to ask your significant other about their favorite childhood memory, dream vacation, values, needs, and what they’re grateful for. Engaging in deeper-level discussions about nuanced topics like politics and religion while ensuring that you and your significant other can agree to disagree is important. Another effective way of growing closer to your partner may be attending couples therapy together or spending quality time during date nights. You might choose to schedule traditional face-to-face sessions or give online therapy a try.

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The importance of asking meaningful questions

Your partner’s perspectives and priorities may shift as time goes on, which is why being intentional when you ask your partner about their inner world can be crucial for staying close. Having regular, meaningful conversations, such as during a date night, can be important in order to maintain a healthy intimate relationship with them.

Are you looking for things to talk about with your significant other? Let’s look at 11 meaningful questions you might ask your partner to enhance closeness within your relationship, such as their favorite movie, guilty pleasure, or first crush.

Questions to increase intimacy

1. What is one positive and one negative memory from your childhood?

Learning about your partner’s childhood, favorite memory, or even their first kiss may help you understand some of their core beliefs and behaviors and help you grow closer together. You can also tell your own experiences.

Having insight into how your partner’s past, including past partners and their last relationship, has shaped them can help you be a more empathetic, compassionate partner. Additionally, this can have great potential to increasing a sense of connection for both partners. The combination of vulnerability, openness, and desire to understand the positive and negative components of your partner’s upbringing can provide a unique catalyst for understanding and growing together.

It can be especially important to listen without judgment or interruption should your partner choose to answer a difficult question or discuss a sensitive topic. Your partner may have had a difficult upbringing and may have difficulty discussing it with you. Understanding what happened to them during childhood can give you insight into how they behave as an adult. It may also provide an opportunity to be more compassionate toward them.

2. If you could do any job, what would it be?

Knowing about your partner’s ideal job can give you a window into their innermost desires for accomplishment. This fun question can help you understand how they want to impact the world. When you know what your partner wants to do with their life, you can think about whether your own goals mesh well with theirs, and you can begin to consider strategies to help each other achieve your respective goals. Being on the same page with long-term aspirations can contribute to a harmonious relationship.

3. Is there something you dream of doing but haven’t done yet? Why haven’t you?

Asking your partner about their dreams can help you better understand what is important to them and what may be acting as a barrier to achieving their goals. This can also bring about a discussion regarding how you might be able to better support and empower them as they move toward their dreams.

4. Does anything keep you awake at night that you haven’t yet said?

This question can help you get closer to your partner’s rich inner world if they choose to discuss any fears, concerns, or even their favorite thing that may be bothering them. Knowing your partner’s stressors, including relationship-end worries or anxieties related to their sex life, can help you work alongside them and support them in the challenges they may be facing.

5. What do you most value in a friendship?

Identifying the qualities your partner admires most in a friendship may also transfer to what they appreciate the most within an intimate partnership. After all, according to the Gottman Method, the foundation of a lasting partnership can be deep friendship, even discussing fun topics like a celebrity crush or reflecting on how a past relationship ended.

6. What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Sunday afternoons are traditionally a time for rest and relaxation for many people. By knowing how your partner would like to spend that time, perhaps listening to their favorite song or discussing their dream dinner guest, you may better see what calms them and helps them prepare for the week ahead. With that knowledge, you can help them relax and recharge in the way that’s best suited for them. If it's not possible to do this every Sunday, having an occasional treat or date where you do the things your partner mentioned may help them feel seen, heard, loved, and more relaxed. This can apply to whatever day of the week counts as your “Sunday,” if actual Sundays are not days off for the both of you.

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7. What in your life makes you feel most grateful?

Expressing gratitude can have tremendous benefits. Knowing what you and your partner are grateful for in daily life can provide you with insight into the little things that give each of you joy and what each of you values the most. You can then introduce these things into your life together, which may bring you both a greater sense of comfort and gratitude. If your partner is grateful for sunny days, you might make a point to go with them on a walk or picnic on a sunny day, for instance. If your partner feels gratitude while drinking a cup of coffee, you could surprise them with their favorite kind of coffee one morning. These can be simple ways to show that you are listening closely to your partner and taking their words to heart.

8. What are some of your biggest needs, and what can I do to make sure they are met?

This question can lead you to an intentional discussion about what your partner desires most from a partnership and give you a list of concrete actions that you can take to fulfill their needs. It can be important to talk about your needs as well so that you can both discuss what helps you feel the most connected and cared for. Relationships tend to be healthier when each partner takes responsibility for meeting some of their significant other’s needs and when partners discuss and negotiate how those needs will be met.

9. What do you like most about your favorite sport?

Those who enjoy sports may be very passionate about their favorite one. Knowing what gets your partner excited about their favorite sport can help you understand them in a whole new way, even if you are not a fan. Be careful not to assume that their choice reflects anything in particular about themselves unless they tell you so. They might love football, for instance, but enjoy the competitive and strategic aspect of the sport rather than the potential for violence or injury. Or they may love baseball because they played it growing up and enjoyed the feeling of being on a team, so watching or playing the sport now holds a great deal of positive sentiment for them.

10. What would your dream house look like?

Your significant other’s ideas about what makes an ideal home may show you what they’re most comfortable with. It might indicate that they have big aspirations or that they want a simpler life. As a bonus, if you know what kind of house they would like to live in, it can help the two of you make plans for the future.

11. If you got a windfall of cash, what would you spend it on?

Navigating finances can be one of the most difficult parts of a relationship. Knowing what you and your partner would do with unexpected funds may help you see what kind of money manager they are, where their interests lie, or what some of their goals are. Would they start by paying off debt? If so, it could mean they’re responsible with money. If they would spend it on a world vacation, or a trip to a desert island, it may be that they’re a bit of an adventurer. Would they donate all or part of it? Their organization of choice could give you a window into something that they’re passionate about and help you understand their values and priorities. 

Many people may feel uncomfortable talking about finances, especially early in a relationship, as this can be a rather hot-button issue. However, if you and your partner are considering marriage or another long-term relationship, it can be a good idea to discuss it early on to avoid conflicts later.

Other ways to ask questions

Another approach to asking questions of your significant other could be in the form of discussions. You can discuss things that we are sometimes told to avoid, topics such as politics, religion, and sex, that can create a hotbed of emotions. However, it may be important for you to have an open dialogue around these topics, particularly when it comes to expectations for a future marriage or family. What your partner thinks about these issues can give you important insight into what kind of person they are, and if you’re just starting out in your relationship, it might give you some hints as to whether your partnership is likely to be successful in the long term.

Before delving into these more serious topics, it may be beneficial for you to practice conversations where you may disagree but establish congenial ways to agree to disagree. The atmosphere in which you have these discussions and query your partner can be important. It may be one thing to state your opinion on a subject, but it can be an entirely different conversation when you earnestly try to get to know someone by asking them to tell themselves via discussing their beliefs and experiences. Coming from a place of genuine curiosity about them, as opposed to trying to defend your own position or change your mind, can have greater potential to open the relationship up to new ideas and possibilities.

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Finding more prompts

If you and your significant other get stuck for ideas about which questions to ask each other, you can turn to the plethora of options available online or at your local bookstore. An Internet search for questions to ask your boyfriend or significant other can lead to a variety of resources online, such as exercises that can help to facilitate intimacy within your relationship.

While browsing the results of your search, you can pick your favorite questions and write them down individually on small pieces of paper. You can then use these slips of paper as a cache of ready-made questions whenever you need a little help. You could even put them in a jar and pull one out on your next date night.

Relationships tend to flourish on trust. One way that trust can be built is by getting to know each other and honoring those discoveries. There can be comfort in knowing how your partner may respond to something. It may allow you to provide them with care and thoughtfulness that they may appreciate, and it can offer insight into the things that may upset them.

An important question you could ask your partner is what makes them feel loved. The answer can enlighten you as you both discover the love language(s) that you and your significant other most respond to.

If you feel like you don’t know your significant other as well as you would like, it may benefit the relationship to speak more intentionally. Finding new things to talk about can be tricky, however. If you need guidance about how to speak intentionally or how to talk to your partner to increase your connection and intimacy, you may wish to meet with a therapist who can help you find ways to navigate this together. 

Working with a therapist can also be beneficial if you are experiencing challenges in your relationship. You might have some questions to ask a therapist that you want to be answered. A therapist may help you develop healthy communication and increase intimacy. The two of you may prefer to see an in-person therapist, but if you are open to online meetings, there are resources available to you, including the licensed therapists available through online therapy. One potential benefit of online therapy is that you can meet in your own home. If cost is a potential deal breaker, online therapy may actually be less expensive than traditional in-person sessions.

Studies have shown that online therapy for couples can be just as effective as in-person meetings. If you and your partner are comfortable with online therapy appointments, consider contacting a licensed therapist at BetterHelp to start you on the path toward greater intimacy and a healthier, more connected relationship.

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Takeaway

You're not the first person to wonder what to ask to get insight into your partner's mind. Asking your partner meaningful questions and actively listening to their answers can be a method of growing closer. You could ask your significant other about their favorite sport, dream house, childhood memories, goals, needs, and opinions on topics like religion and politics. Often, the answers to these questions can teach you how to better care for your partner. If you would like to improve the emotional intimacy between yourself and your partner but aren’t sure where to start, you might consider trying online couples therapy, where you can strengthen your bond with the guidance of a licensed professional.
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