15 Questions to Ask Someone Before You Fall Head Over Heels In Love
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How Will You Know You’re in Love?
This just might be the one! You’re talking, and the sparks are starting to ignite between you. But how can you be sure that you’re falling in love with someone who is right for you? Are you called to be with this person?
If you’re going to hear a calling, you have to listen. Hearing and listening are partners… they go together. The callings we hear in our relationships with a potential significant other are subtle and powerful. You can reveal their subtle power by becoming good at asking questions in your relationship and then really hearing and listening to your partner’s response. Then ask a follow-up question that comes from your genuine curiosity to go deeper into understanding the other person! It really works. Let’s explore how questions can help us hear the call of love in a relationship with someone we’re interested in.
The Power of Questions
Marilee Adams, founder of the Inquiry Institute and author of Change Your Questions; Change Your Life, claims that questions are the source of the results we get in our relationships and in life in general. When we don’t like our results, we too quickly make decisions and spring into action without thinking about the questions that are the source of our decisions and actions.
4 Letters That Can Change Your Life: Q.D.A.R.
Adams demonstrates that you go through a predictable sequence every day to produce the results you are getting in your relationship. Here’s the sequence:
- Q – You first ask a QUESTION
- D – Then you make a DECISION
- A – Then you ACT on your decision
- R – Then you get your RESULT
Question, Decision, Action, Result – in that order. If you don’t like your relationship results, you need to dig down to the question that is the source of the results and change the question. The new question will lead to a different decision which will lead to different actions and produce new results.
Q.D.A.R. In Real Life
Let me give you an example from my marriage. One night, I awoke at 3:00 am about to fall out of bed onto the hardwood floor. I was startled, and then I realized what was going on. My wife and slowly nudged me to the edge of the bed inch-by-inch as we slept through the night and was about to nudge me right out of the bed. I immediately became aware of the question that popped into my head, “Why am I married to such a bed hog?”
This was not the first time this had happened. In the past when my wife nearly nudged me out of bed, the same question emerged in my mind, and I answered it by deciding to toss and turn vigorously to bounce her back to her side of the bed. The action I produced from that decision was indeed vigorous and included a good bit of flailing, and it woke her up. The result was two partners in bad moods and disrupted sleep, which was not good for the relationship.
- The New Question: On this particular night, I caught myself asking the very judgmental question, “Why am I married to such a bed hog?” It made me laugh because I caught myself in the act of judging her while she was unconscious. So, I decided to change my question. I asked, “How could she possibly know she is hogging the bed, she is unconscious?” This question moved me to empathy and calmed me down. I then asked myself, “What can I do to get more of the bed back without disturbing her sleep?” Now my mind was opening up to make a better decision.
- The Better Decision: I decided that I would toss and turn, but I would do it gently.
- The Improved Action: I turned over slowly (no flailing this time) and put my arm around her. She somehow knew what was happening and moved over to her side of the bed.
- The Result I Wanted: We both went quickly back to sleep. Our relationship was improved, and we awoke refreshed for another good day of marriage.
What Is A Powerful Question?
A powerful question has several key characteristics:
- Powerful questions are usually open ended. You can’t answer them with yes or no. Powerful questions open up or expand a conversation. They help people dig more deeply into their own thinking.
- Not Powerful: “Do you want to watch a movie tonight?”
- “How could we create an awesome date night tonight together?”
- “What are some movies we could watch?
- “What would you like to do together tonight?”
- Powerful questions give you power without robbing your partner of power. Too many of our questions leave the results in the hands of someone over which we have no control.
- Not Powerful: “Why is my partner so insensitive?” With this question, you have given away your power. Your happiness in this matter now depends on your partner becoming sensitive, which may or may not happen.
- Powerful: “What can I do to help my partner understand my need for sensitive responses?” This question is about you and how you will help your partner understand you better. That’s your power. Your actions that result from this question will empower your partner with information about you. Knowledge is power. If your partner knows what you need, you are more likely to get it.
- Powerful questions most often begin with the words what or how and usually don’t begin with why. Why is an important concept, but in emotionally charged intimate relationships, it often triggers defensiveness in the one who hears it. We remember the accusing why questions that our parents asked when we were young, “Why can’t you get this right?” “Why are you so clumsy?” “Why can’t you be like your sister?” These are painful questions for which children don’t have answers, so they leave emotional scars that easily reopen.
- Not Powerful: “Why did you do that?”
- Powerful: “How can you help me understand your conclusion?” Or “I want to understand. What line of thinking brought you to that conclusion?”
Powerful Questions to Ask When You Think You’re Falling In Love
Asking the questions listed below will create conversations that will help you figure out if this relationship is going somewhere or if it’s time to jump ship. They are based on the things that successful couples report as being very important for happiness in a long-term, intimate relationship. If the conversations you have with these questions bring you closer together, that’s a good sign. If you find yourself at odds with each other over the answers to these questions, you might want to reconsider this relationship. It’s ok to have some disagreement on these topics, but you don’t want to be battling over most of them. Any differences you have will need to be negotiated. If your partner refuses to talk about these topics, that’s a sign that the relationship is not going anywhere.
- What did you learn from your family that you will treasure for the rest of your life?
- What did you learn from your family that you would like to unlearn?
- What are your favorite ways to receive affection? Hugs? Kisses? Gifts? Snuggling? Handholding? Back rubs? Other?
- When you’re having a really great conversation, what kinds of things are happening?
- How important is physical appearance to you, including things like clothing choices, hairstyles, makeup, fitness, hygiene, etc.?
- What are your favorite two-person recreation activities?
- How would you describe the ideal date night?
- How did your parents share household responsibilities? What do you think about the way they did that?
- What does the phrase “fighting fair” mean to you?
- How much money is enough for a person to be happy?
- What things in life are most important to you?
- What is in bounds and out of bounds in the bedroom?
- What role does honesty play in a successful relationship?
- What are some of the ways you like to resolve disagreements?
- What is the right balance of togetherness and individuality in a relationship?
You are being called to a loving relationship one way or another. The conversations that these questions can generate will help you hear more clearly if you are being called to be with this person or not. Follow your calling!
Jim Merhaut is an ICF-Certified Leadership Coach who also works with engaged couples to build the love life that they most deeply want. Learn more about Jim here. www.coachingtoconnect.com