It will be worth it. Trust.
Happy, healthy relationships don’t just happen. They develop over time as the result of regular and sustained effort on the part of the men and women involved.
And this doesn't have to mean hard work if you and the person you love commit to asking each other three deep but simple questions every single day.
It’s never too late to get on the right path toward a more fulfilling relationship, and the best way to do that is by learning communication skills and the best questions to ask your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife in order to stay on firmly on the same page.
You might be saying to yourself, "But, we already talk every day!"
But it's all too easy to fall into relationship shorthand and talk at each other rather than actively listening to each other and asking each other questions.
After you’ve been together for a while, it becomes second-nature, especially by the time careers and children enter the picture.
Conversations between people who've been together for a good amount of time often go like this:
"How are you?"
"How was your day?"
"Will you put the kids to bed while I take out the garbage?"
This isn't enough to feed and nurture a relationship in the long-term. This is just getting through the day with the bare minimum of communication.
Happy people feel actively loved and supported by their partner.
That’s not to say that these people are happy all the time or that they're happy with their partner every day. But, asking each other certain questions goes a long way toward building a foundation of communication that makes each person feel heard, understood and loved.
It's also important that you both answer these questions fully and with honesty. Only by truly knowing what’s in your partner’s heart can you adapt your actions to meet their needs as well as you’re able to.
That’s not to say you need to use the exact wording of the questions below. Revise them to match your personal communication style.
Here are the 3 best questions to ask your boyfriend or girlfriend (or husband or wife) every single day in order to have the happiest, healthiest relationship possible.
1. "How are you feeling?"
Whether the answer is good, bad, or indifferent, the answer to this question sets the stage for all others. Perhaps your partner is feeling badly about a missed opportunity at work. Or maybe she’s excited about making plans with an old friend.
This question provides permission and encouragement to your partner to tell you everything. This is the question that signals to your other half that you’re interested and engaged in them and your relationship. You’re open to sharing problems, decisions, and anything else that comes up.
But, understand that, sometimes, your partner isn't looking for a solution. Sometimes, your partner simply needs to blow off steam. It’s important to recognize the difference.
And that’s where the next question comes in ...
2. "How can I help?"
This is the question that affirms for your partner that you stand ready with support and encouragement. It also shows that you’re comfortable giving them autonomy and respect to make their own decisions.
There are times when your partner is having a problem and you simply cannot fix it, you can only be there to pick up the pieces. Other times, your partner will count on you for advice and guidance.
Whether you’re discussing hopes and dreams or sadness and disappointment, asking how you can help instead of taking charge and pushing through your own solution matters.
This shared problem-solving experience grounds relationships in practical matters. It builds a foundation of shared experience created through good communication.
3. "When can we talk?"
This simple question makes it clear to your partner that he or she is really important to you. Their opinions, thoughts, and feelings are valued, and you want the opportunity to give them your undivided attention.
It can be tough to do this when work and family commitments pull you both away. By making it a point to sit down together and talk, you show through your actions that your partner is a priority in your life.
By asking when it’s a good time to talk, you remind your partner that the conversation is important to you and that setting aside that time for each other can further strengthen the emotional bond between you. You both may find yourselves looking forward to your planned chat, even going so far as to make it a date!
Think about it in regards to saving money and paying off debt. Pay yourself first. If you don’t look out for yourself, who will?
And so, with your relationship, make time for yourselves first. If you don’t make yourselves as a couple a priority, no one else will either.
How do you make sure you never run out of things to say?
Because there’s no right or wrong answer on what to discuss, there’s no reason to ever run out of things to say to each other. Many couples need or want to go over events and actions that have a long-lasting or dramatic effect on the family.
Examples include expectations, compromises, and conflict resolutions of any kind, like household chores and childcare responsibilities. Money and sex are also usually hot topics of conversation, positive or negative.
However, adhering to a faithful routine of asking each other these three questions can improve the ratio of positive to negative conversations and generate increased goodwill, unity, respect, and of course, happiness.
C. Mellie Smith is an author and founder of Infidelity Healing, where she shares tools and resources to help you replace the pain of infidelity with relief and hope.