When you and your honey were first dating, you couldn't stop talking about everything under the sun, and few subjects were off limits: goals, dreams, religion, favorite Game of Thrones house. But after a few years of marriage and a kid or two, things change. Suddenly, your couple conversations sound something like: "Did you remember to bring home the orange juice?" or "You won't believe the atomic poop the baby had today." Thrilling, right? To reclaim your relationship, you'll need to start having weird conversations again, psychologists say.
Weird? You bet. More than the run-of-the-mill "how was your day" or "what should we have for dinner" talks, odd conversations help build the intimacy between couples that's vital for the health of a marriage, experts say. "Connecting through conversation is integral to any relationship, and our questions often determine the quality of that engagement," explained relationship counselor Andy Reynolds, MSW, LCSW, on the Gottman Institute website.
UC Berkeley professor Arthur Aron, long fascinated by what keeps couples close, created a list of questions to spark intimacy. These, and similar questions, work because they invite the other person to open up and reveal a bit of their inner self; being vulnerable enough to share is what helps bring people close. The questions are also open-ended, which is also important, Reynolds said; asking "why" and "how" instead of "do you" and "did you" elicits longer and more interesting answers.
Looking to expand your conversations beyond the mundane? Try one of these fun intimacy-starters and watch how spilling the tea can bring you and your spouse closer together.