If you know how to keep a relationship exciting, you’ll never get bored. For many couples, a long-term relationship is goals. This is because they want to be fulfilled by their bond and nourished by their connection. However, you need to work on the relationship so it doesn’t turn stale and boring.
It’s easy to fall into a pattern of thinking you know everything about your partner. For example: what they are like, when they are running on three hours of sleep, and when they are stressed about a deadline.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve seen and heard it all. Most likely, you haven’t — and this is the beauty of a long-term relationship.
If you allow it, the emotional intimacy will keep on growing and deepening.
If you want it to, your relationship can keep feeding your soul and making you giddy. Not all of the time, but some of the time. Fortunately, there is an exercise to keep your relationship alive and exciting.
What are the “36 Questions”?
An experimental study looked at how people can connect and, possibly fall in love by asking each other a set of increasingly intimate questions. Over the time of the study, this became known as “The 36 Questions.” The questions are a powerful exercise for couples who have been together for ages.
These questions help them connect and deepen intimacy. Try out the following questions with your partner, based on a study by Aron et al. (1996).
Here are 36 Questions to keep your long-term relationship exciting.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Have you ever rehearsed what you’re going to say before making a phone call?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. Do you remember the last time you sang out loud? If so, when?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. Such as, “We need to improve on household chores.”
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them and be honest.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. To follow up, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
If you take part in these 36 questions, you’re establishing how important your relationship is! As well as how invested you are in one another, and how interesting you find the other person — even after 20, 30, or even 40 years.
What are you waiting for? Make some time and have fun answering these questions!
Originally Published on YourTango.