Conversing with your significant other helps you connect. As Better Help says, "friendship is the foundation of a satisfying romantic relationship." In order for kinship to blossom, however, your exchanges should encompass more than small talk or sarcastic banter. "Without any deeper conversation, leads to intimacy just withering and dying between two people, whether they've just met or have been married for 30 years," says clinical psychologist Samantha Rodman.
So, how do you move beyond shallow conversation?
Scroll down for three genius tools you can use to get to know someone on a deeper level.
Set The Environment
"Avoid trying to have deep conversations in loud environments, high-energy places, or when you are socializing in a group," says counselor Viktor Sander. You also don't want to be in a place where your partner feels pressured or threatened — perhaps a quiet dinner with a glass of wine is the perfect situation in which to broach a topic or maybe once you've conquered that hill on your next hike.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
Any comment can be a springboard to greater riches, so it's wise to follow your curiosity. Maybe you and your partner are talking about your day and they start venting about a situation that made them sad. Instead of brushing it off, ask why it made them so upset. You may be surprised at the insight you gain — and your love for your partner will undoubtedly grow in the process. Some good starters, according to writer Sira Mas, include, "Tell me more," "Why?" or "What do you mean by...?"
You can't expect your partner to open up without doing so yourself. "Vulnerability is sharing your deepest secrets, fears, and affection," says the mental health platform Witted Roots. When you show up and allow your partner to see who you truly are, you are showing them you trust them. Chances are, they will respond back to you in the same way. After all, "vulnerability," says Brenè Brown, "is at the core, the center, of meaningful human experiences."
Writer Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
And while forging deeper bonds in your relationship is about more than collecting friends, the adage rings true for any partnership — showing more interest in another person than you show in yourself is a sure way to strengthen your bond.