8 Conversation Starters for Couples to Deepen their Connection

8 Questions to Ask Your Partner this Weekend

“We need to talk!”

These are dreaded words to hear from your partner as you probably assume you’re in trouble.

But on the other hand, t’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routines and all you seem to talk about is who has what appointment and when.

Questions like “How was your day?” are quickly answered with phrases like “Not too bad” while multi-tasking your way through your busy day.

And then disconnection grows and when you finally do have a conversation it is fraught with tension or complaints.

You don’t want to argue, nor do you want all your conversations to be about logistics.

Conversation Starters are the Quickest and Easiest Way to Keep Talking about Fun and Interesting Things

Many couples decide to add conversation starters into their routine by taking turns asking open-ended questions. This practice allows you to delve deeper into each other’s thoughts and feelings and keep your relational friendship strong.

In this article, I have compiled a list of 8 conversation starters that are based on my 30 years of couples therapy experience, along with integrating the wisdom of the experts I have studied under.

It’s not realistic to have deep emotional conversations constantly. You are both managing expectations and obligations for work, family, and friendships, and you also need time to do nothing and simply have fun.

We don’t talk to each other any more!

One of the most common complaints I hear in my office is that couples feel like roommates who are managing a household together instead of feeling like romantic partners.

Using conversation starters once a week, or even once a month if that’s all you have time for, will help you deepen your connection as a couple. From discussing your dreams and aspirations to reflecting on your past experiences and lessons learned, these prompts encourage open and honest communication, allowing you to stay emotionally connected amidst your busy lives.

The Importance of Deep and Meaningful Conversations in a Relationship

These questions are the perfect way to connect with your partner on a deeper, more intimate level.

So grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable spot, and get ready to learn some new things about your loved one.

Meaningful conversations are the lifeblood of any healthy relationship. We know from John Gottman’s research that the foundation of healthy relationship are built on how well a couple knows each other. Gottman calls these “Love Maps.” As humans, we have an innate desire to feel seen and understood. It’s nice to have a life partner who knows how we like our coffee, what kind of neighborhood we grew up in, and what’s been stressing us out recently.

The quickest and easiest way to keep your Love Maps strong is by asking open-ended questions and listening closely to the answers. Before you dive into asking the questions, make sure you set yourselves up for success.

How to Set the Right Environment to Use These Conversation Starters for Couples

Creating the right environment for deep conversations is crucial to the success of this exercise. Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Choose the right time and place: Find a time when both you and your partner are relaxed and free from distractions. Choose a comfortable and quiet place where you can have an uninterrupted conversation.

2. Create a judgment-free zone: Make it clear that this conversation is a safe space for open and honest communication. Encourage your partner to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism.

3. Practice active listening: Pay attention to your partner’s words, body language, and emotions. Show genuine interest and empathy by actively engaging in the conversation. Avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions.

4. Be patient and understanding: Deep conversations sometimes bring up sensitive topics or emotions. Be patient with each other and approach the conversation with understanding and compassion.

Setting the right environment ensures that your conversation starters lead to a positive experience that you’ll both want to repeat and integrate into your regular routine. The best place to start is to scroll through this list of questions, and choose one to start with. Don’t rush through the list, take all the time you need so both of you can get a turn answering the question and asking follow-up quesitons.

Conversation starter #1: What is one of your favorite memories of our time together?

One way to deepen your connection as a couple is to reflect on your favorite memories together. Reminiscing about the past can evoke positive emotions and strengthen your bond. Take turns sharing your most cherished memories and discuss why they hold a special place in your heart.

This conversation starter allows you to revisit moments of joy and happiness, reminding you of the strong foundation you have built as a couple. It also opens the door for gratitude and appreciation.

Conversation starter #2: What are your hopes and dreams?

Another thought-provoking conversation starter is discussing your dreams and aspirations as individuals and as a couple. Share your long-term goals, dreams, and ambitions. Discuss what you want to achieve in your personal lives and how you can support each other in reaching those goals.

This conversation allows you to understand each other’s passions and desires on a deeper level. It encourages you to be each other’s cheerleaders and motivators, fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

By discussing your dreams and aspirations, you can work together towards a shared purpose. It’s an opportunity to dream big and create a roadmap for a fulfilling and exciting life together.

Conversation starter #3: What are some of the core beliefs that drive you?

Understanding each other’s values and beliefs is essential for a strong and harmonious relationship. Take the time to explore your partner’s core values and discuss how they align with your own.

This conversation starter allows you to delve into deeper topics such as spirituality, morality, and ethics. It encourages open-mindedness and tolerance, as you explore each other’s perspectives and learn from one another.

By discussing your values and beliefs, you can find common ground and strengthen your bond as you navigate life’s challenges together. It also helps you understand each other’s motivations and decision-making processes, fostering a deeper sense of empathy and understanding.

Conversation starter #4: What has been frightening you lately?

Vulnerability is the key to true intimacy and connection in a relationship. Sharing your fears and vulnerabilities with your partner can be a transformative experience, as it deepens your trust and strengthens your bond.

Take turns discussing your fears. Create a safe space where both partners feel comfortable being open and honest about their deepest fears and concerns.

This conversation starter allows you to support and reassure each other, creating a sense of emotional security. It also provides an opportunity to discuss how you can work together to overcome these fears and grow as a couple.

Conversation starter #5: What’s your love language?

Understanding each other’s love languages is crucial for a thriving relationship. Take the time to discuss your love languages and how you can better meet each other’s emotional needs. The five love languages are:

  • Words of affirmation.
  • Quality time.
  • Physical touch.
  • Acts of service.
  • Receiving gifts.

Share your primary love language and discuss specific ways in which you feel loved and appreciated. Explore how you can incorporate each other’s love languages into your daily lives and express your love in a way that resonates with your partner.

This conversation starter deepens your understanding of each other’s emotional needs and allows you to be more intentional in your expressions of love and affection.

Conversation starter #6: What do you need right now?

Show your partner you’ve got their back.

Sometimes we think we know what our loved ones want from us, and we don’t take the time to actually ask them if we’ve got it right. Your partner is the only person who can let you know what they want from you and the easiest way to find out is to ask them directly.

And then when you change turns, you’ll find out what it’s like to feels supported and respected.

Conversation starter #7: What brings you joy?

Maybe when you first met you knew what makes your partner happy, and now is a perfect time to find out if that has grown or changed.

Isn’t it wonderful to see your partner smile? Or overcome with the kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes? When you talk to each other about joy and happiness, you might both think of some parts of your life that have been pushed to the back burner.

Asking this question helps you both remember how important happiness is in every day life.

Conversation starter #8: What are you most proud of?

We live in a culture that discourages arrogance and bragging, but these rules do not apply in your love life.

Talking about your accomplishments and success is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate together. You work hard, and there is always more to do, but if you don’t stop and pat yourselves on the back every now and then, it can be hard to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As you ask each other this question, help encourage your partner not to be shy. And don’t be afraid to brag about who you are and what you’ve done.

Benefits of Thought-Provoking Question and Answers

Thought-provoking conversation starters have numerous benefits for couples. Firstly, they encourage self-reflection and introspection. By asking thought-provoking questions, you are inviting your partner to reflect on their own thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. This self-reflection can lead to personal growth and a better understanding of oneself.

Secondly, thought-provoking conversation starters promote active listening. When you ask your partner a question that requires deep thought, it encourages them to truly listen and engage with your words. This level of active listening helps build empathy and understanding between partners.

Lastly, thought-provoking conversation starters create an opportunity for connection and intimacy. By discussing deeper topics, couples can bond over shared values, dreams, and fears. These conversations allow you to see a different side of your partner and foster a sense of closeness and connection.

Other Ways I Can Help You and Your Relationship

Congrats on going through this list of questions to ask your partner. As you can see, working on your relationship doesn’t need to be difficult; it can be fun and interesting.

If you like doing communication exercises together, I’ve got lots more resources to check out.

  1. Empathy Made Easy: A free course for couples on how to support each other when one or both of you is upset. Enroll HERE.
  2. Love Is an Action Verb: I have a printable workbook for you with over 70 exercises that include more conversation starters, questions to ask your partner, and conflict management strategies. You can purchase the download HERE.
  3. Want to meet me in person? My husband and I have two couples retreats scheduled for 2024 in the Pocono Mountains. Learn more about these weekend workshops HERE.

Laura Silverstein, LCSW

Laura Silverstein is a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist, and author of Love Is An Action Verb.  She has thirty years of clinical experience and is the founder and co-owner of Main Line Counseling Partners, based in Bryn Mawr, PA. Laura is a frequent contributor to The Gottman Relationship Blog and has appeared as a relationship expert in media outlets such as the New York Times, ABC, and Today. She helps couples find more happiness as a research clinician, speaker, trainer, and writer with a positive, action-oriented style.

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