One playful yet helpful way to think about the true meaning of intimacy is to break the word down into the syllables IN-TO-ME-SEE. Healthy long-term relationships depend on allowing another to see us as we really are; yet this kind of authenticity and vulnerability can be unsettling, even terrifying. The following set of questions can help you develop a greater understanding of yourself, your partner, and your relationship.
First, schedule some time in which you can answer these questions thoughtfully and thoroughly. Invite your partner to do the same, but do NOT answer these questions together. Instead, work on them separately until you are ready to share.
Then, schedule some quiet time (about 90 minutes) in which you and your partner can sit together, uninterrupted, and have a conversation about your answers. Before you begin, make a covenant and agree that the goal of this quiz is to understand each other and the relationship in a new way, and discover a few possibilities for growth and positive change. The goal of this quiz is not to embarrass, attack, or demean each other. Promise to avoid contempt at all cost during this exercise.
To have this conversation, each of you should take turns in the speaking and listening positions. When you are in the speaking position, simply read the question and then read your answer. Feel free to add any additional thoughts that may come to mind as you read your answer out loud.
The partner in the listening position pays attention to the speaker until they are finished talking. Then, the listener tries to mirror back what they heard using their partner's own words as much as possible without adding or subtracting ideas. The listener does not comment on, or argue with, the speaker's words - they simply reflect what they've heard with the goal of having the speaker feel heard and understood. It's a good idea for the listener to pause occasionally during their reflection and ask, "Did I get that right?" This allows the speaker to clarify. When the speaker feels heard by the listener, its time to switch positions. Both of you should take turns speaking and listening on question number one, then move on to question number two, and so on.
Remember - it's more important to love and be loved than to win and be right. Be open to learning aspects about yourself you might like to change, rather than trying to change your partner, and use this conversation to create greater intimacy between the two of you. Good luck!Simply enter your name and email address to begin the quiz.