Can difficult questions create intimacy with your life partner? Yes, they can.
How about that spark? Can a guided conversation kindle the spark in your relationship? Get ready for some heat!
Does an enlightened approach to relationship improve intimacy? After coaching thousands of busy entrepreneurs and executives, I can say with great certainty that an enlightened approach to your relationship will dramatically improve your intimacy. Even if you have lost your intimacy. And even if you have slipped into resentment with your partner.
Let me remind you that enlightened means having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook; spiritually aware. For example, a well-informed outlook on a relationship is that it is no longer necessary for survival. That perspective allows you to be detached and take bigger risks in your communication with your partner. The following system of Date Night Questions is an enlightened approach to creating more intimacy.
The Surge of Lust Leads To The Doldrums of Familiarity
When you first come together as a couple everything is brand new. There is a surge of energy that drives the relationship. In those first few years, you were curious, intrigued and wanted to know everything about your new partner.
Through repetition, your mind begins to create a mental model of who your partner is and what they are all about. The mind is lazy. It wants to understand, categorize, label and move on. Over time your mind becomes convinced of who your partner is and as a matter of efficiency stops the inquiry. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to look for what we already think is true about our partner. This is called confirmation bias.
This Is A Threat To Your Intimacy
Each of us is changing, evolving and growing every day. You are not the same person today as you were a year ago. Neither is your partner. I have been divorced twice and I learned this the hard way. After my first divorce, I concluded that we had grown apart. I realized that we didn’t know each other anymore. That’s when I decided to create The Date Night Question Process. I wanted to combat this natural laziness of my mind. I wanted to make sure I stayed up to date with my partner to maintain our intimacy. In my second marriage, I employed the questions I share below in a weekly date night. It worked really well for a decade. I was very connected to my second wife until we stopped doing the questions. Over the next five years, we slowly drifted apart.
It takes discipline to ask each other the tough questions. I’m happy to report that my third wife and I use these questions about once a month. At the time of this writing, we have been together for nearly 7 years and we are in our 3rd year of marriage. We acknowledge that this process is a discipline and a cornerstone to staying intimately connected.
How Do You Start The Conversation With Your Partner?
Your partner might not be a personal development type like you. You will have to make a rational case for this process. Here’s a suggested introduction to the Date Night Question process.
“You are the most important person in my life. What you think and what you experience are both very important to me. Yet, sometimes I feel like we get blind to each other because we are pulled into distractions, emergencies and the rut of our daily routine.
Remember how many questions we use to ask each other at the beginning of our relationship? We were so curious about who the other person was. I don’t know what you are experiencing but for me it feels like we lost that curiosity about each other. We got into a routine. I know that I’ve changed since we started our relationship. You’ve changed too. Do we really have the updated perspectives about who each of us is today? I don’t know. But I would love to find out!
I have an idea! What if we set aside a special date every month just to get an update on each other? I propose the goal is to ask each other the deep questions, ask for the hard feedback and celebrate each other’s lives. I would like to deepen our love and respect for each other.”
The Date Night Question Process
To create intimacy with your partner, ask these 10 questions on a date night at least once a month. Maybe even more often in the beginning. The process is simple. Questions 1-6 start by cleaning up the negatives, resolving the upsets and revealing the grudges to be released. Questions 7-10 are about celebrating each other and making commitments to the relationship.
Do you have any expectations that are being broken?
Is there anything that I’ve promised that I didn’t deliver on?
Do you have any concerns?
What have you not had an opportunity to say to me?
Do you have any needs that aren’t being met?
Is there anything you feel that you need to conceal from me?
What do you want to be acknowledged for?
What are you happy about?
What are you committed to in our relationship?
Is there anything you have to give up in order to be that?
Why Is Authenticity With Your Partner Difficult?
During The Date Night Questions, I want you to reveal your true feelings to your partner. Be completely honest with your partner. This will take practice. Unfortunately, your authenticity gets blocked by a very powerful survival motivation called Traitor. I talk about Traitor in my book Quiet Mind Epic Life
. The Traitor Hidden Motive is the desire to hide your true self for fear of retribution or loss of privilege. Watch this video
to help you release your traitor feelings. You can also watch this one
which is a little more meditative process.
Give yourself some time to ease into this process. At first, these questions can create conflict. There will be many uncomfortable moments because the first six questions demand that you deal with the negatives that are below the surface. Yet, each and every time you do the questions, you will be more and more comfortable with being completely honest with each other. You will release your negatives faster and faster. The net result of conflict-free authenticity is intimacy.
Back in 2010, I released an audiobook called Ridiculous Bliss
. I’ve uploaded the chapter on relationship to my soundcloud so that you can listen to the entire thing right here