Therapist Laura Heck shares five out of 20 questions that will help you and your partner become closer.
Question #1: What do you think?
One key to a healthy relationship is for partners to be able to influence one another. The ability to accept influence is essential if you want to build a relationship on mutual regard and respect.
Question #2: What color is it?
Think of the movie Inside Out and its portrayal of emotions as different colors. Sadness was blue, fear was green, anger was red. But even red has shades (just like anger): There's crimson, rose, pink, and scarlet... just as there is rage, frustration, contempt, and embarrassment. There are nuances. Next time you're in a discussion about feelings, ask, 'What color is it?'
This question can be a gauge of how the relationship is trending. Let's say your partner says a 6 and you say 8....so your average is a 7. It's helpful then to ask a follow up question, 'What has to happen in order to drive our number up even just a little bit?' Ideally, the answer yields an actionable step for you to pursue.
It is important to honor your partner's dreams. When you know and support one another's dreams, it builds trust and hope into the relationship and helps you press past the harder times.
Laura likes to use this question whenever couples are about to go on vacation. What's most powerful about this question is asking it in advance. It helps to establish a baseline and get you on the same page. It also gives you a script to follow between now and the time you ultimately 'tell the story'.