So remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? How you talked for hours. And hours. and hours. And stared into each other's eyes. And knew every detail of their day. And knew their favorite color. And favorite candy. And favorite childhood memory.
Fast forward 13 years. You're deeply in love. You're so incredibly grateful you fell in love with your spouse. They are the peanut butter to your jelly. But there's less talking for hours. And hours. And more changing diapers. And more grocery runs. And more you run here while I run there. And life.
Can anyone else relate?
DJ, the girls and I were in the car driving back to his hometown for Thanksgiving, and I had this thought, "I don't even know his favorite color!" I had this realization, that, at one time, I knew a lot of those fun little facts about him. And true, now I know a lot of other things about him, after living under the same roof for almost 10 years, but sometimes I forgo the questions .... and I just assume.
And sometimes assuming can be dangerous. Because we change. We grow. We embrace something new. Let go of something old. We dream.
And the funny thing? Sometimes we share these things with friends, with our Moms, and with Facebook....but we forget to share it with the closest person to us, our spouse.
So, in an effort to re-learn those fun things, deep things, inspiring things, silly things, and heart things about my husband, we've been asking more questions on our dates. We've been trying to make it a priority to pursue and get to know each other ... the person we are now, and not just assume we know.
We found this fun little 36 Questions to Fall in Love exercise online, posted a while back in the NY Times, which you can find here. This list was originally created 20 years ago by a psychologist named Arthur Aron, who used it for a case study to test if he could make two complete strangers fall in love by staring into each other's eyes and sharing parts of themselves with one another.
We've had so much fun asking these and sharing our answers! We've also had a ton of laughs while asking our kids some of the questions. My favorite was when we asked our five year old, Ingrid,
"Would you like to be famous? In what way?"
After thinking for a few moments, she responded, "I would want to be a rainbow unicorn. And shoot love out of my horn."
Oh, to be five again. So sweet.
Okay...so without further adeu, here are the questions. Pull them up on your phone or print them out and bring them along on your next date, walk, or drive. You never know, your spouse may surprise you! Maybe they've been wanting to be a rainbow unicorn, too.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are 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 want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any 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 dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
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 your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about 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. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you 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?
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.