Play List your practice on our national directory of marriage counselors.Contact Us


Articles & Links


Add your practice to this Directory.


Play "Twenty-Questions" With Your Partner

Author: Peter Pearson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Co-Director of The Couples Institute

Do you remember the game “Twenty Questions?” You could ask twenty questions to identify what animal, vegetable or mineral the other person was thinking about. Here’s a variation for your next dinner date to find out a little more about your partner and vice versa. The following questions will help you go a little deeper than discussing work, kids, vacations, or sports.

Many of these questions were suggested by a couple in my practice to get to know different aspects of each other. Interestingly these are the kinds of questions couples often ask each other in the early stage of a relationship. But as time hurtles forward, these great questions get neglected and then abandoned. For an interesting and stimulating conversation, try these questions again to discover or rediscover who your partner is. Print them out and bring them to dinner. The one quality to keep in mind is to treat the responses with respect. Please don’t argue or negatively judge any of the responses. Be like a compassionate reporter who is writing an interesting story.

  • If you could change only one thing in your life, what would that be and why?
  • In a regular day, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?
  • On your drive to/from work, what consumes your mind, the majority of the time?
  • What things in your life bring you the greatest pleasure?
  • What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in your life?
  • Did other people help to make that happen?
  • In what settings are you the happiest / eager / most comfortable / saddest / unsure / most afraid?
  • What things do you look forward to each day? In your life?
  • If you had three wishes that would come true, what would they be?
  • What other things would you want to change now, and why?
  • What major regret do you have so far in your life? Is it too late to change it?
  • When you reach the rocking chair stage of your life, what do you wish you would have done that you haven’t attempted so far?
  • Is there a belief or attitude that seems to interfere with creating or pursuing a big dream?
  • What are a couple of things that you appreciate about our relationship and why do these things seem significant?

I think it is hard to love someone or something if you don’t have some emotional understanding or feel for it. You also can’t love something you didn’t know existed. 

Reprinted with the kind permission of Couples Institute.