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17 Intimate Questions to Ask Your Partner to Feel Connected

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Intimacy – we all know we want it, but what does it really mean to feel it? And how do we cultivate it? 

Intimacy can be lots of things and is personal to you. For some, it’s the way you laugh together that makes you feel the closest, for others, it’s the sex you have that lights your bond on fire. In this article, we’re digging into 17 intimate questions to ask your partner – based on intimacy research by Stephen T. Fife. 

Because intimacy is complex – and Fife’s research shows just how complex it can be. At the same time, it offers a simple structure for you to understand intimacy in your own relationship.

Through this deepened view of intimacy you’re given the opportunity to broaden your own range of closeness in your relationship – and add new aspects. For a closer, more sustained bond over time. 

There are 18 Forms of Intimacy

As a sex therapist and intimacy coach, I help people with both sexual and relationship issues. When we feel a lack of intimacy in our marriage or relationship, part of the reason is that we’re not aligned with our partner’s views of closeness. 

For instance, if you believe emotional intimacy is about bonding over spirituality and your partner feels the closest to you when you’re laughing together – it might feel like you’re growing apart. 

For those who seek me out specifically, there’s often a sexual disconnect going on.

One where you might have ended up in a cat-and-mouse game of sexual initiation and sexual rejection. This is known as the pursuer distancer dynamic. And it can take a big toll on your relationship, especially as sex is often the one thing you can’t do with others if you’re in a monogamous relationship. 

This leaves relationships especially vulnerable. Because you can always share your hobby with your best friend – but if one of you wants sex and the other doesn’t – you end up in gridlock. 

The great thing about Fife’s stance on the 18 forms of intimacy is that it offers a lot of hope.

Because if there are so many ways to be intimate – you’re almost guaranteed to share a few of them. Knowing what they are will also produce interesting, meaningful conversations. 

Because what you need might just be a perspective shift and some really great intimate questions for couples to bounce back into closeness. 

Already know you want them all? Download the free 13-page Guide for Intimacy below right away. 


17 Intimate Questions to Ask Your Partner to Feel Connected The Guide for Intimacy 1
17 Intimate Questions to Ask Your Partner to Feel Connected 3

My free resource The Guide for Intimacy gives you access to tools that help you increase the shared intimacy in your relationship – with or without sex.

Download the 13-page guide and you also get access to my deeply appreciated, weekly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Warm-Up Bonding Questions for Couples

Before we dig into the various intimacy types – start the conversation with your partner on a light, appreciative note. Ask one another:

  • What’s one thing we’ve done this past month that you really appreciated? This could be practical, emotional or all of the above.
  • What’s one thing I do that you think is funny or silly? Remember, keep it light, this isn’t a free pass to doll out criticism.
  • If we had endless resources, what’s one dream you would love to fulfil?

And now you’re on a roll – let’s dig into the questions that will put your relationship on a truly positive trajectory.

Intimate Questions to Ask Your Partner – Part One

Below are four kinds of intimacy that Fife believes may be important in a romantic relationship. After these forms of intimacy are presented, you’ll be asked to reflect on the various forms of intimacy with a series of bonding questions for couples. 

Financial intimacy

You work together to neutralize different attitudes to money. You work out a joint plan for budgeting, costs and savings. Your financial goals are shared.

Aesthetic intimacy

You share an experience of everything that’s beautiful – music, nature, art, theatre, dance, and so on.

Conflict intimacy

You deal with differences of opinion together and discuss them together. Solving conflicts is a way of getting closer to each other.

Forgiveness intimacy

You apologize to each other and ask forgiveness if you’ve done something wrong. You ask your partner: “What can I do to become a better partner?”

Humour intimacy

You connect by laughing together. You’ve got inside jokes and make each other laugh. You enjoy the fun side of life together.

Intimacy questions – Step 1

  1. How do you rate the four forms of intimacy above compared to sex as a form of intimacy?
  1. Are you perhaps able to develop other forms of intimacy in your relationship, during the time you’re not having sex with each other – and how would that affect your relationship?
  1. Could more intimacy in other areas of your relationship have positive effects on your sexual relationship? If the answer is yes, describe in which way or ways it might be good for your sexual relationship.
  2. Drawing on humour intimacy, what’s one of the funniest memories you have involving the two of us?

Is it important to agree on intimacy in a relationship?

In situations where you have different views on what your relationship is like, and what makes it good or bad, you may well feel that something’s wrong.

In this section, you’ll get a chance to learn about new forms of intimacy and also reflect on your and your partner’s views on intimacy.

Service intimacy

Your share the experience of giving to/assisting others. You get closer to each other when you jointly share the joy that comes from giving to/sharing with other people.

Parental intimacy

You share the responsibility of bringing up your children; meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This includes you working together when it comes to teaching and upbringing, and that you love and worry about the well-being of your children.

Friendship intimacy

You feel close and care for each other as friends. 

Intimacy questions – Step 2

  1. Do you think any of the above forms of intimacy are important in your romantic relationship?
  2. Do you view any of the above aspects as strengths in your relationship and, if so, which ones?
  1. Do you believe you both agree on what kinds of intimacy that are strengths in your relationship?
  1. Is it important that you both have the same idea of how you share intimacy in your relationship, or could it be ok that you have different ideas?
  1. If you answered yes to the previous question, explain why it’s important that you have the same ideas. If you answered that it may be fine to have different ideas, describe why, too. This will prompt an important discussion!

From Weakness to Strength

If you’re no longer having sex (or having sex that’s just not exciting or pleasurable), it’s easy to forget everything else you actually do share in your relationship. 

By going through the various aspects of intimacy below and the intimate questions to ask your partner, you may be reminded of what you do share together (or previously shared). 

In fact, the forms of intimacy we share often swing from weakness to strength and vice versa. Once you’re aware of this, and put into words how you create intimacy together right now – it will be easier to keep your relationship alive.

Creative intimacy

Closeness comes from creating things together. You share love by being creative together.

Intellectual intimacy

You experience closeness by sharing ideas with each other. You respect each other’s intellectual capacity and perspectives. You share experiences that widen the horizons. You read, discuss, and study together.

Communication intimacy

You bond with each other through conversation. The communication channels are open. You listen to your partner and appreciate your partner’s ideas. You’re loving, considerate, respectful, giving, honest, and open in the way you communicate.

Crisis intimacy

You get close with each other by dealing with problems and pain together. You stand united in the face of tragedy. You deal with adversity together, whether it’s about family, illness, ageing, unemployment. 

Emotional intimacy

You feel close emotionally. You’re in sync with each other’s feelings, and can share important emotions and events with each other, including negative feelings.

Intimate questions for couples – Step 3

  1. Have any of the above forms of intimacy gone from being a strength to a weakness in your relationship?
    1. If yes – what do you think the reason is?
    2. What would it mean to you if that form of intimacy was a relationship strength again?
  2. Have any of the above forms of intimacy gone from being a weakness to a strength?
    1. If yes – what do you think the reason is?
  3. How can you make sure you keep the form of intimacy/forms of intimacy as a strength in your relationship?

Feeling connected is also about this

Emotional connection and a fulfilling relationship isn’t just a question of working out which forms of intimacy you share or don’t share. It’s also about fundamentally appreciating the things you’re good at, your partner is good at, and your relationship is good at. 

Focusing on the negative is important – because to improve something we need to know what’s gone wrong.

But if we stop there – it will be heard to reclaim that loving feeling again. 

So, go through all the 13 forms of intimacy above and take inventory using the questions below. 

  1. Looking at all the forms of intimacy above – which one or ones would you say you’re good at?
  1. Looking at all the forms of intimacy above – which one or ones would you say your partner is particularly good at?
  2. Looking at your relationship as a whole, what are two things you really appreciate about it? Go into detail! This will help you both feel more connected and loved.

Now you’ve gone through the intimate questions to ask your partner to feel connected – take the next step by downloading the full 13-page Guide for Intimacy.

With two more exercises based on other forms of intimacy, you and your partner will learn how to create more intimacy – with or without sex. For a closer, more intimate relationship that fills up your cup!

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