03 Mar 10 Questions to Ask + Answer for a Happier Relationship
So often in relationships, we fall into the slippery mindset of, “Well… if only you were different, we would be fine.” Sound familiar? Super common. But it really doesn’t get you anywhere, right? I’ll tell you why. Because that mindset takes ZERO ownership.
Let’s switch that up a bit, shall we? After all, there are two of you. The following introspective questions will help you look at YOUR role in creating a happy and healthy relationship. If you haven’t realized this already, there is nothing you can MAKE your partner do. So, you might as well make sure that YOU are the best partner you can be. BE the type of partner you can be proud of.
1) How would I respond to me?
One of my faves. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Would you like that person coming at you? Would you want to run and hide or would you be super excited to hear them out?
2) If I were him/her, would I hear me right now?
Are you communicating with your partner when they are able to really hear you? Are they ready to talk? Are you communicating at a time when they can truly absorb what you are expressing? So many times, one partner will get all geared up to address an issue, but the other person just isn’t in a space to really hear you. Maybe they are involved in something else at the moment. Maybe they’re exhausted. Maybe they need an hour or two. Do yourself a favor… ASK them when they would be up for a chat.
3) What does my partner want?
Most of the time we make up what our partner wants. Or we never even bother to ask. We think that if they tune us out then they must be over the relationship. Maybe what he/she needs in that moment is some solitude. Some unwind time. When was the last time you took the time to really ask what your partner truly wants? Not just regarding that hot button issue you’ve been at odds about… but, what do they want out of life? For their future? Out of your relationship? For their career? For your family? For you?
4) How does my partner feel about this?
This one is along the same lines as the question prior. How does your partner feel about that issue you’ve been arguing about? How do they feel when you speak to them? How do they feel about your relationship?
5) When I talk to my partner, do I sound like I’m speaking to someone I love?
Ok, so check yourself. If someone were to hear the two of you speaking to each other, would they have any idea that you are two people in love? Would it be clear? During the elections, I kept thinking, “If we keep telling the other side they are idiots and aren’t doing anything right, do we really think we can sway them to see our side?” Same goes for relationships. You want to be heard. So does your partner. So, the best way to do that… IS WITH KINDNESS. If you’re pissed, take time to cool down. Address your issue when you can be kind and speak your truth AND when your partner is able to really hear you.
6) Am I truly prepared to listen?
Most of the time we aren’t ready to listen… we’re only ready to deliver. Have you worked yourself up so much that you are already expecting a specific response? Are you really ready to collaborate? Listen to how they feel? Be ready to collaborate. You aren’t in this relationship by yourself, after all.
7) What is the most important thing to my partner?
This seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many people don’t really know their partner. Or maybe they used to and now things have changed. Get in the habit of being truly curious about your partner. What was their day like? What lights them up? What are they dreaming of? What’s their favorite color? Seriously. GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER.
8) What haven’t I said that my partner deserves to know?
Hmmm… yeah… you know what I’m talking about.
9) How can I set my partner up for success?
Are you your partner’s #1 fan or biggest obstacle? When they pull in to see your car in the driveway are they happy or bummed? How do you speak about them to others? Do you rave about them or act like they’re a huge burden? Watch the energy and vocabulary you envelope your relationship with… it creates your reality.
10) What do my friends know about my relationship that my partner doesn’t know?
Ok, so… NOT fair to discuss all your issues with your besties and your therapists, but refrain from speaking your truth to your partner. Oftentimes, they have NO idea what you want and need from them unless you have spelled it out, clearly and articulately, and in a calm and kind manner. Not screaming at them and hurling shoes at their head. If there are any areas where you aren’t happy that would be a total surprise to your partner, guess what? That’s on you. You OWE it to them to speak your truth and be honest about what you do and don’t want and need in your relationship. Don’t just assume they know where you are coming from. If you haven’t spelled it out super clearly, then they may be totally in the dark. Do your part.
Well, that’s about it for now… that should keep you busy for a minute. Remember… what we all really want is to be seen and heard. Keep a close watch on how YOU are behaving inside your relationship. Step it up. Be proud of you.