communicating with your partnerHave you ever wondered why he likes you?

What is it about you that he enjoys most? It’s an important question to ask.

Unfortunately, a lot of people simply don’t ask. They assume they know why their partner is into them. That’s a big mistake, and here’s why.

Like the rest of us, psychologists want to know why people choose to spend time with them. In fact, they’re so invested in the question that they’ve done studies to determine what makes therapy meaningful for their clients.

Here’s where this gets interesting.

Psychologists are kind of the experts when it comes to human emotion and behavior. In spite of that fact, they are rarely able to correctly identify the moments of therapy their clients find helpful!

In other words, even people with years of training are unable to pin-point what’s working.

So how do therapists deal with this? I mean, in order to do their jobs well, they have to know what’s working and what isn’t. The best therapists use a very simple strategy.

After each session, clients are handed a 30-second questionnaire with items like, “On this scale from 1 to 10, circle the number that best represents how compassionate your therapist was today.” Or, “Circle the number that represents how well you feel your therapist listened.”

When they see a significant jump in the client’s impression of effectiveness, they’re able to ask directly about what was so helpful. “What did I do differently this session?”

Over time, this feedback makes a powerful difference in the quality of help they’re able to offer to each individual client.

Here’s the moral of the story.

What matters to other people is often elusive. You would think trained psychologists would have some idea, but often they don’t. And if they have to ask, it’s probably a good idea for you to ask, too.

In romantic relationships, we often assume we know what’s working for our partners. We think we know. But what if you’re totally wrong?

The only way to know for sure is to ask: “What do you enjoy about spending time with me?”

Of course, delivered at the wrong time or in the wrong way, this question could make it sound like you’re just fishing for complements. So ask when you can tell he’s comfortable and having a good time. (For example, at the end of a date where he seems relaxed and happy.)

Ask him often at those times, and be prepared to be surprised. His answers may not be what you expected.

The opposite side of this coin is also true. He likely doesn’t know what you like about spending time with him. So, tell him.

communicating with your partnerDuring those moments when you’re happiest, share. When he does something you really like, let him know.

He may be completely oblivious to what he’s doing right. Letting him know increases the chances that he’ll keep doing it!

It’s all about communication. Knowing what leaves your partner feeling fulfilled and content is a huge advantage.

Often it’s the little things that make us happy. But the only way to know what those little things are is to ask.

So ask. And ask often.

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