How much do you really know about your partner?
I know, I know. You think you know a lot. But really, do you? Would you be able to pass one of those Green-card government tests where you answer every possible question about what they use in the bathroom, their childhood, how they got the scar on their chin, what they are most afraid of…?
When we meet, we fall into something called New Relationship Energy (NRE) and this is a mutual experience that thrives on reciprocation as two people fall in love. It’s heightened emotional and sexual receptivity and excitement. Remember that? When you didn’t want to eat, you didn’t care about sleeping, and you thought only about your next interaction with your new love?
Remember when you wanted to soak him or her up like a biscuit?
And that slowly fades, because it basically has to – it’s not sustainable to not eat or sleep or pay attention to the other people in the world. We move in together, we buy appliances that we will share, we tie the knot, we have kids…we build lives together.
It’s not right or wrong, but it happens. Yes, you absolutely love one another, but these details that enthralled you in the beginning take the smallest of steps back.
These are just facts of the stages of relationship, and I have news for you: it is never to late to get to know each other again. And again. And again. And surely this is what relationship is all about; getting to know our most sacred person numerous times in our lives together.
I have some homework, if you’re willing to take this on (I promise it might even be fun). Get to know your partner again and remember, this is supposed to be enjoyable.
A couple of things might happen:
- You’ll know the answers. That’s cool. It’s still a great way to start a conversation, and you can pat yourself on the back that you know what you do. OR
- You will not know the answers – don’t make this a competition or a reason to make your partner be wrong – it’s meant to be playful and fun.
Here’s an example:
Partner 1: What is your favourite cocktail?
Partner 2: Martini!
What we would like to see:
Partner 1: Oh I didn’t know that! I thought you would say wine.
Partner 2: I do like wine and it’s definitely my go-to drink when I’m unwinding at the end of the day, but I really love it when you make me a martini – I love how you shake it and make a little show of it.
Partner 1: Remember that little tapas place we went to that had that one made with basil? That was such a great night.
What we would perhaps like to avoid:
Partner 1: Huh? Martini? Since when? You never drink martinis.
Partner 2: Well I do prefer them, and you would know that if you ever offered to make one for me. You never do anything nice for me.
See the difference there? Asking these questions can be a fun little doorway into sharing and talking and remembering what it was you actually liked about each other in the first place. It’s important to keep liking each other and this is a way to exercise these muscles.
Try to keep it light and not jump into conflict (and if you find you keep landing there, then call me!)
Here are a few questions to get you started:
Who is your partner’s favourite relative and why?
What are your partner’s favourite clothes to wear for dressing up?
What did your partner want to be when they grew up?
You’ll want to stay tuned to Couple Tip Tuesday next week where I explain this a little more and assign another tiny bit of (fun) homework for you to do.