5 Questions that Create Connection

how to create a connectionHow much do you really know about the guy sitting across the table from you?

Maybe this is your first date, and all you really know is that you like his smile and the way his dark hair curls above his neck.

Or maybe this is your zillionth dinner date, although “date” isn’t the right word when you’ve been together for years.

If you’re on your first date, you’ve got an advantage:

You know that the man across from you is a mystery.

What you don’t know makes you a better conversationalist. You ask questions, listen carefully, and respond with warmth and enthusiasm.

Once you’ve been together for a while, though, there’s nothing left to ask him. You already know everything there is to know about him. You know his personal habits, his opinions on every major sports team, and what he thinks of his family. What more is there to know?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Not only does the quality of conversation determine whether or not a first date turns into a second date, the quality of conversation also determines your long-term health as a couple.

Quality conversations can be hard to fit into everyday life. The longer you’re together, the more your conversations as a couple center on practical matters, like what to watch on TV or who’s going to pick up the kids from sports practice.

You don’t stay up late to talk about life anymore. You’d rather get your beauty sleep.

Taken to the extreme, you could end up like one of the couples in a 2010 British study. It  found that couples who’d been married 50 years or more spoke to each other for only 3 minutes, on average, during a 60-minute dinner—and those 3 minutes were mostly practical communication like, “Could you pass me the ketchup?[1]

On one hand, it feels great when your partner knows you so well that you don’t have to say what’s on your mind; he can read you like a book.

On the other hand, it’s incredibly flattering to be with someone who hangs on your every word and wants to know everything about you.

You can miss that feeling once you’re in a long-term relationship.

You’re evolving and growing as a person, but to him you’re still the same person you were back when you first got together. He doesn’t notice how you’ve changed. He looks at you, but he doesn’t see you anymore. He listens to you, but he doesn’t hear you.

So how do you get back that first-date feeling of mystery and discovery?

You start asking questions.

The key to quality conversations, whether you’re on your first date or your zillionth date, is asking great questions.

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A Sneaky Way to Connect with Your Man

how to connect with your manBe for what you want. Not against what you don’t want.

I think Mother Teresa was brilliant when she responded to a question by saying “I’m not against war. I’m for peace.”

Whatever you are against becomes a bigger part of your life. If you are against your irritating boss, he takes up more space in your mind.

If you are against cold weather, you focus more on the snow and biting winds and less on the warm, cozy retreats where we can escape from the weather.

When you fill your mind with things you want, you experience a more satisfying life.

Nowhere is that more true than in romantic relationships.

As an example, let’s take a look at one of the most common frustrations between men and women.

Men try to fix things. It makes us bad listeners. We offer advice too quickly.

You have a rough day. You start to tell him about it.

All you really wanted was a companion. Someone to be a witness to the frustrations you are experiencing in your life right now. You wanted to bond with him by sharing a frustration you were facing.

But his brain is wired differently.

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