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How to Have a Greater Understanding of Your Partner

Even if we’ve been with our partner for decades, there are still many things we don’t know or understand about them.

There are still many new, interesting insights we can learn. This creates a wonderful opportunity to get curious, to dig deeper, to explore all kinds of topics and questions with our partners. This creates the opportunity to see our partners in a different light, to get creative, and to have fun together.

In the book More Love, Less Conflict: A Communication Playbook for Couples, psychotherapist Jonathan Robinson, MFT, shares a variety of powerful questions partners can ask each other to gain a fuller, deeper understanding. These are great questions to explore, because our partners might not even know these things about themselves, and we might not know our own answers until we speak them aloud. That’s the thing about good questions: They bring up insights we’d never even pondered, kernels of truth we couldn’t pinpoint until this very moment.

Here are 15 questions from Robinson’s book:

  1. What do you do to impress people or get them to like you?
  2. What would your inner-child say if it could speak?
  3. What is something you’ve been learning about yourself?
  4. What is your superpower?
  5. What is your kryptonite?
  6. What does a perfect day look like for you?
  7. What do you feel the most gratitude for?
  8. What is one thing you’re ashamed of?
  9. What is one thing you really ‘get’ or understand about me?
  10. What do you really like about yourself?
  11. What was the most challenging time in your life? Why?
  12. What is something you feel is missing in your life?
  13. What event shaped your life the most?
  14. What really scares you?
  15. What makes you the happiest?

Robinson suggests creating a sacred space for your conversation. Find a quiet spot, turn off your phones, and light a candle. Give each other your full, undivided, uninterrupted attention. Carve out at least 30 minutes to an hour for all the questions. Or journal your responses, and then read them aloud to each other. Or ask a different question on a different day. Or come up with your own questions.

In other words, it’s totally up to you.

The key is to remain curious, and to create a safe space for your partner to share his or her responses—without fear of judgment or criticism. Which is actually one of the best gifts we can give to our partners every day.

Photo by Shelby Deeter on Unsplash.

How to Have a Greater Understanding of Your Partner

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2019). How to Have a Greater Understanding of Your Partner. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Mar 2019
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