Looking to improve your married sex life? According to therapist Teresa Maples, the number one way to do that is through intimacy.
The 36 questions below have been scientifically proven to create intimacy between two people over the course of an hour. They are part of The Sharing Game, which was designed by psychologist Arthur Arons at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He found that if partners took turns answering these questions they felt much closer than if they had just engaged in small talk.
If you’re out to dinner and you’ve already talked about the kids, the weather and the family calendar, try giving some of these questions a whirl:
The 36 Questions That Create Intimacy, Quickly
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want to have as our dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things we have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? (If your partner says “you” or “the kids”, consider asking for a second answer).
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and sum up your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? (Again, you may want to exclude “marriage” or “having kids” so she doesn’t feel pressure to serve up those answers).
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “we are both in this room feeling…”
26. Complete this sentence “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
27. If you were going to become a close friend with someone, what would be important for him or her to know?
28. Tell your partner what you like about them: go deeper this time, saying something that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you think people would like about them upon first meeting them.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Our house, containing everything we own, catches fire. After saving the kids and each other (and pets), we have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why? (Once again, leave out yourself and your kids, but anyone else is fair game).
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
Final Thought: Obviously, you won’t be memorizing all of these, but having 2 or 3 up your sleeve can help turn any dinner date into an intimate experience for you and your partner… You might be surprised what you can still learn about each other.