All relationships have a natural ebb and flow to them; at times we feel more in sync and at other times, distant. Occasionally it can feel like you have nothing to talk about, because you’ve discussed it all before, or there’s simply nothing new in your lives to bring up. If it’s your first experience of this lull, fear not – it’s a normal experience in any relationship. It just means that it’s time to get a little more intentional, and to actively engage with your partner. In doing so together, you can transcend the ebb and find the flow, getting to know each other with more intimacy and appreciation.
In that spirit, we have created a list of prompts to get you out of that rut and into your next animated conversation! Some are thoughtful and reflective, while others are downright silly. Either way, we hope that they will inspire laughter, insight, and genuine connection.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
This is a topic that often inspires interesting answers, opening the door to so many other topics around someone’s childhood and upbringing. (It’s good to bear in mind, especially if you’re early on in a relationship, that your partner’s childhood might not be all sunshine and roses. Just be sensitive when asking questions.)
If you were a kind of cheese, what kind would you be?
If that first question didn’t get the conversational juices flowing, this one will at least crack some smiles. When asked, my husband declared to me that he would be a stinky cheese! Think about it: are you soft or hard, sharp or mild, creamy or crumbly? Have fun with this one, and if cheese doesn’t work for you as a genre, choose something else (fruit, vegetable, etc.)!
What was your least favorite book of all time, and why?
We’ve all encountered a read we didn’t enjoy. Maybe we had to slog through it for school, maybe we gave it our best effort because it was a gift, maybe we finished it and maybe we didn’t. Maybe we threw the book at the wall (or maybe that was just me). Whatever the case, this one is sure to evoke something real.
What are your Love Languages?
Yes, the famous Love Languages! There are five: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. This question is a bit more “mushy” in nature, and may elicit eye-rolls. However, once you get past that first eye-roll, you have a valuable opportunity to reflect on and share what kind of intimacy you both crave, something that will make your relationship stronger in the long run. You can even take a couples quiz here.
Name three things that you admire about the other person.
Everyone loves to hear what others admire about them, even if we are often too afraid or shy to ask! This is a sweet way to remind your partner (or tell them for the first time!) what you value about them, and to let them in turn lavish some attention upon you!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
The sky’s the limit! This question can open up into a whole array of topics – what type of landscapes you prefer, cultures that you are interested in, foods you love, trips you’ve taken or long to take in the future. What is it about a place that makes it special? Maybe you’ll discover a shared love for a place you didn’t know you had!
Which conspiracy theory do you find the most believable?
Or maybe you already believe in one… There is so much to discuss here, and a whole treasure-trove of outlandish material to engage. Could it be flat earth theory, or chemtrails, the one-world government, a fake moon landing? Perhaps you can discuss whether aliens really are responsible for crop circles. Whatever theory you decide to tackle, you’re sure to have fun doing it.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
Embarrassing moments – the very thing we all dread, and which humanize us, perhaps, the most. Was your most embarrassing moment that time you tripped and fell in the middle of the street, or when you waved back at that person who you thought was waving at you? We’ve all been there! Have no shame, open up and share one of these gems with your partner. It’s sure to bring you even closer together!
What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
This could be anything! Was it hanging out in the kitchen to watch your mom (or dad!) cook? Or playing a special game you and your neighbor made up together? Was it playing the piano? When I was a kid I had a friend who liked to make jars of coloured water by dipping markers into them and then give these jars to her neighbors as gifts. Kids do all kinds of interesting things, and whatever your responses, they will provide some insight into who you are at your core.
Describe one important friend from your past that your partner doesn’t know.
Unless you’ve known each other forever, your partner had a whole life before they met you! This includes a whole variety of relationships too. As we go through life it’s often natural to accumulate new relationships and fall out of touch with the old ones. Take this opportunity to tell your partner about a friend who meant a lot to you, one that they don’t already know. Then find out what you learn about them through their old friendships.
Who is your greatest role model?
It may be a family member, a rock star or an artist. In answering this question, you and your partner will reflect on who it is you want to emulate in life. Your answers will be indicative of your core values and who you want to become, offering you the chance to support each other in your journey.
Tell your partner one personality quirk they don’t know about.
We all have our own little idiosyncrasies, the oddities which tend to surface only in one’s private life. Maybe you like to wipe down the sink after every time you use it (I feel you), or maybe you have a habit of leaving your keys in the door when you unlock it. If you’re in a relatively new relationship, chances are you’ve kept these juicy morsels under wraps! If you live together, you probably have a pretty good idea what your partner’s quirks are. See if you can think of one the other doesn’t already know about.
If you were going to write a book, what kind of book would it be, and what would it be about?
The answer here could be serious or whimsical. What kind of book do you think would be fun to write? Perhaps some dreamy fantasy, dystopian science fiction, a murder mystery or a juicy romance novel? If you want to take it more seriously, the question offers an opportunity for each of you to showcase your knowledge. What are you an expert in? What are you passionate about? What do you want to share with the rest of the world?
What’s the most interesting museum you’ve ever been to?
Notice the question doesn’t say “the best” or “your favorite”. It could have been a good or bad experience – but it was one that grabbed you and made you think or feel something unique. That’s the experience to share with your partner, and together you can unpack what was so interesting about it.
What is the best and the worst snack you’ve ever had?
Food can be an extremely evocative topic, bearing with it a flood of memories. So for this question, try to choose the best snack you’ve ever eaten, and the worst. There’s bound to be a good story associated with one or the other! See what memories come up and share them!
Describe your ideal home.
This can be quite an abstract idea that constantly shifts and changes over time, and for that reason will always be an interesting topic to come back to. Even if you already own a home you love, it can be fun to dream. Enjoy some time dreaming together about the home you want to create in your future. You can get as general or specific as you want, from talking about the vibe you want to create down to the cloud-pattern pillows you want to adorn your cerulean loveseat.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Have you stuck to it?
Here we are, half way through the year and I know I’ve fallen off the wagon on at least half of my resolutions. Now is a great time to check in to see how they are going, congratulate yourself on your progress, and evaluate how you want to proceed from here on out. Is it worth sticking to your resolution or has it served its purpose? Do you have your eyes set on a new goal? You don’t have to wait for January to set a new resolution! If you and your partner actively communicate your goals, it makes it easier to support each other in achieving them.
What was your least favorite part of the last year?
It can be cathartic to reflect on all of the experiences of a year past. There are so many ways in which you have changed, grown and endured. With your partner, name the thing you disliked most about the last year, acknowledge its role in your life, and let it go. In doing this you can face the future together with fresh positivity.
What was your favorite part of the last year?
It’s also important to remember the good times! Your favorite part of the last year could have been someone who offered help in a time of need, or an experience you are grateful for. Share these joys with each other – for you know what they say, joy shared is doubled!
How are you doing, really?
By this point, you’ve shaken off the dust, discovered something new and had a laugh. Ask each other this question honestly. No “good”s or “fine”s allowed here! How are you doing, really? Remember that vulnerability goes a long way towards strengthening a relationship and that now is always the perfect time to meet each other where you are.