Whether you’ve been together for three months or three years, all couples can benefit from enriching conversation. From the seemingly trivial (favorite movies, dream vacation spots) to the most important (greatest ambitions, biggest fears), any talk that leads to finding out more about what your partner wants out of life is a worthwhile one. The more you chat, the more at ease you’ll feel with one another—which is crucial when it comes to opening up about sensitive subjects.
"Communication skills are just like any other skill," says relationship therapist Esther Boykin. "The more you practice, the better you are at it—particularly when it comes to conversations where you feel vulnerable."
Meet the Expert
Esther Boykin is a licensed marriage and family therapist based in the Washington D.C. metro area. She is also the author of The Date Deck, a book created to help couples understand how every date night is a chance to improve their relationship.
While plenty of research has been devoted to healthy communication strategies for couples, the content of your conversations is just as important. "When couples can focus on not just how to communicate, but what they communicate to each other, it can make those tougher conversations down the road, as you’re thinking about getting married, a lot easier," adds Boykin.
While it sounds like a lot of hard work, it doesn’t have to be! Read on for Boykin’s tips for making meaningful conversations feel less high-stakes, as well as a list of deep conversation starters for couples that are sure to encourage bonding at a level you’ve never experienced before.
How to Make Deep Conversation Less Intimidating
First things first: try to make it fun! From flashcard games to viral online guides, there are plenty of prompts available to inspire a deep conversation.
"When you start with questions generated by someone else, it makes [the experience] feel like a game—and it reduces the likelihood that we begin to attach meaning to why our partner is asking a question," says Boykin.
It’s also more than fine to use pop culture as your jumping-off point. "Books, movies, and shows you’ve watched together are an easy, low-conflict way to have conversations about values," Boykin adds. "Instead of [issues] becoming hyper-personal, you’re talking about a fictional character and the choices you see them making." Discussing whether or not you agree with their decisions can be an indirect but just as truthful way of revealing what governs your own heart.
Ready to start a deep conversation with your partner? Read on for a list of our favorite fun and thought-provoking questions for couples to ask each other, helpfully sorted by category.
Who is the person in your family you’re the most honest with?
What is your most unique family tradition? What is your favorite family tradition?
How does your family express love and affection?
Do you wish to be a parent? If so, why?
What class or teacher most impacted your life growing up?
In what ways are you most different from the person you were in high school?
If you could change one thing about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?
What book had the most impact on you in childhood?
What did you enjoy doing as a kid that is no longer part of your life?
What food or drink most evokes a feeling of home for you?
What rules or practices did your household follow growing up that you would also implement in your own household? What rules or practices would you choose not to follow?
Should children help with household chores?
What is your predominant love language?
Tell me about your first heartbreak.
Do you believe in twin flames?
When was the first time you said "I love you" to someone who isn’t a member of your family?
What does it mean to be good in bed?
What’s a very ordinary action that you find really attractive?
What is your favorite memory of us?
What is something you want to ask me but are afraid to ask me?
Name three things we have in common.
Describe the physical touch that best communicates "I love you."
What have been the highest and lowest points of your life?
If you could apologize to one person from your past, who would it be and why?
If you were given one year to live, what would change about how you spend your time?
Describe your perfect day.
Tell me about someone you no longer speak to who you wish you were still friends with.
Tell me about the most recent act of kindness you did for a stranger.
What’s something you’re really good at?
What’s your favorite thing to do by yourself?
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life thus far?
What do you consider to be the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Tell me about a time you felt completely out of your comfort zone.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Would you do it again?
If you could ask a psychic one question about your future, what would you want to know?
What stresses you out the most when traveling?
Do you like to exercise? What’s your favorite form of exercise, if so?
What’s something that cheers you up when you’re sad?
Do you plan to take care of your parents in their old age?
How do you feel about drug use?
When do you feel the strongest?
What are your favorite forms of self-care?
What have been the most serious injuries or health scares in your life?
What would you do if you were informed that you have a terminal illness? What would you do if you were informed that I have a terminal illness?
Would you rather be very famous or very wealthy?
In what circumstances, if any, is it okay to lie?
What are you most grateful for?
What are you most selfish about?
What three words do you think others most commonly use to describe you?
What do you worry about the most?
What do you wish more people recognized you for?
What’s something you wish you were better at?
Name something that’s always worth splurging on.
Would you rather travel the world or have the house of your dreams?
What motivates you professionally?
When is the last time you put a lot of effort into something outside of work or school?
Tell me about the person you admire most that is not a celebrity.
If you had one million dollars to give to charity, what causes or organizations would you support?
What’s more important: forgiveness or acceptance?
Do you believe in a higher power or something beyond the physical world?
Have you ever donated to a random Kickstarter or online fundraiser for a person you did not know? Tell me about the most recent one.
Who was your favorite Disney or Pixar character growing up?
What movie have you seen the most times?
Tell me about a recent article you've read that changed your mind about something.
Tell me about the subject you’re most interested in that has the least in common with your daily life.
If you were going to get a tattoo tomorrow, what would it depict?
What reality show do you think you’d be most successful on?
Who would you like to see run for president in the next election?
What’s something that most people you know like, but you don’t?
If you were to frame and hang a quote on the wall you look at most, what would it say?
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
What social media account has taught you the most?
If you gave up all of your social media accounts, how would your life be better? How would your life be worse?