Fun Ways To Deepen Your Relationship

Elena found this exercise on Reddit last night and it reminded me of another question catalog about how to  deepen your relationship. The “20 Questions Love Map” is a fun way to get to know each other better. Dive in for my thoughts on this and a similar tool.


Video Transcription

And it’s Monday and I landed Friday evening and it feels the weekend was a bit of a blur. Not because I didn’t do much.

On Saturday I actually had a super interesting day. I met with the district convention of the Rotary club. I talked to them about minimalism, enjoyed a beautiful dinner.

And on Sunday I actually went sailing with my dad. We took sailing lessons which was super interesting, a first time for us. And so a lot of new terminology, a lot of new systems and processes.

So for my 29th birthday last summer my parents gifted me sailing lessons. I tried probably on 5-6 different weekend when I was here in Switzerland, my dad was here, but it was always raining. So the next time we’re gonna try is today.

And just as we are about to leave looks a lot like it could start raining. Let’s see. Worst case we’ll do it in the rain I think.

Learnings from my jet lag experiment

But overall I’m just still jet lagged. Usually coming back from the US is much, much better for me. But this time I think I was just not disciplined enough. On Friday evening I landed at about 4 or 5 pm. Went to Elena’s place and directly went to sleep. Woke up again at like 9 pm and I couldn’t sleep for another 4 hours. Went to bed again, slept for 2 hours, got up again… So it’s been this constant change of waking up and falling asleep.

So more than anything what I’m learning from this jet lag experiment and experience is that it has a lot to do with discipline.

Being disciplined about your sleep schedule, about your eating, about your wake up schedule… It really helped me when I went to the US this time. I barely felt any jet lag, I fasted for a day, I took melatonin for the first few nights. I was very consistent with my alarm. And that really helped. I had a very productive 2 weeks in the US. But then coming back because that was always easier in the past I gave up or I did not pay as much attention to being disciplined. And so for the past 2 days, I’ve been pretty jet lagged. And that’s the reason why I didn’t capture much on camera the last couple days. But there’s one thing I wanna share with you that I’ve learned on the weekend which might be valuable for you as well.

The 20 Questions Love Map

Elena spends quite a bit of time on Reddit. Most often it’s just for humorous things which we not always agree on – what stuff is funny and what isn’t. But yesterday she found a great game for couples. It’s basically a list of 60 questions. Each question has a number of points assigned. And what you do is you sit down together, you try to more or less randomly select 20 numbers. We decided to go with 3,6,9,12,15 and so on. And then what you do is you go through this list of questions, you try to answer each question for the other person.

So one question that I remember was “what is my favorite type of food”. So in that case, I would try to find out what Elena’s favorite type of food is and vice-versa she would sit down and try and think about what my favorite kind of food is.

We both tell each other and then you rate the other person’s answer.

Very, very simple. But it was actually good fun, we laughed a lot.

The name of this game or exercise is “The 20 Questions Love Map” and it was invented by a guy called Dr. Gottman.

36 Questions to Fall in Love

That’s my takeaway from the weekend. Took us probably like an hour to go through it. And it reminded me of another game which is a lot more popular. It’s called “36 Questions to Fall in Love”. And if I remember correctly, it actually came out of psychological research. I thought about what are some questions that really help you connect with each other.

The first question, if I remember correctly, is “who is someone, dead or alive, that you would like to have dinner with?” Someone inspiring, someone that you admire. It has some of these more, I think, superficial questions which you could easily ask in a kind of like a dinner situation as well. It has some questions that are pretty deep as well.

We’re gonna add a link to this. But this experiment or these questions were popularized by the New York Times. And there’s a very popular article from 2015 that’s titled “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love”.

Given a choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Number 1 is the one that I tried to recite earlier which is “Given a choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?”And I think it’s interesting because it tells you a bit about what the other person is passionate about, what they value in life and they’re curious about.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

Question number 3 is also interesting. It’s “Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?” That’s an interesting question as well. It tells you a bit about how confident the other person is maybe or if I think about myself, there’s probably, I would say I don’t rehearse anything of what I’m gonna talk about 99% of the phone calls. But then there are probably some phone calls, like some that are important to your career or… I don’t know, the first few calls that I made to Elena, I was probably a bit nervous and I thought about “okay, if this, like, what are we gonna talk about, like how is it gonna go. If she asks this, what are we gonna talk about next…”

Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

Question number 7 is also an interesting one, even though it’s a bit of a dark one. “Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?” For me, that kind of goes hand in hand with another question that’s somewhere in here. It’s “What is your biggest fear?” For me, that’s cancer. Such an uncontrollable thing in your life, like, you know a lot of people are gonna get cancer at some point during their life. In general, I feel cancer is more or less random and uncontrollable. I think that’s what freaks me out.

What is your most treasured memory?

There’s another one, question number 17 – “What is your most treasured memory?”That’s an interesting one. That might take the other person back many, many years in their life and you might learn about something that would otherwise not come out. Even though… it’s a great question because it probably brings out a side that doesn’t easily surface during your day-to-day but still influences your thinking in the day-to-day.

The questions are divided into 3 sets or segments. Question 1 through 12; 13 through 24; 25 through 36. They increase in intensity and also they go more from just I, me and personal question to more we and us and kind of like what could our future look like questions.

Make 3 true “WE” statements

One question that I like from the 3rd set is “Make 3 true “WE” statements”.

For instance, “we are both in this room feeling in a certain way”. I think that’s interesting. Like, especially at the beginning when you’re not in love yet and you don’t know each other, I think it’s very interesting to bring out these assumptions that you make or become conscious of things that unite you.

When did you last cry by yourself and when in front of another person?

Number 30 – “When did you last cry by yourself and when in front of another person?” I think that’s something that can easily create quite a bit of connection between the two of you. It forces you to be a bit vulnerable. At first, it’s not natural for us to talk about when we cry and admit that we have these weak moments where we don’t feel secure and safe, especially for guys.

It’s something that we practice in EO as well. Just thinking about areas that we are not fully aware of and areas that make us a tiny bit uncomfortable.

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones, your pets, you have time to save one more item. What would it be and why?

Question number 34, so the 3rd last question, is one that personally resonates with me. And it reads the following: “Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones, your pets, you have time to save one more item. What would it be and why?” And that’s interesting for me because part of the reason why I’ve downsized to just 64 things and part of that process was letting go of any emotional items.

I don’t own anything that I’m so attached do that I would risk my life to run back into the house and get it. And that’s one part that I really enjoy about only 64 items. Being free of any emotional connection to things.

And now it’s definitely time for me to head to the Mediasign office and get started with meetings for the week. It’s gonna be a short week. So there’s a lot of travel and a lot of stuff happening. Tomorrow I’m turning 30 and with that, I wanted to leave some ideas for simple stuff you can do with your partners or… This is not restricted to romantic partners at all. I actually enjoy asking some of these questions my friends.

I hope there was some value for you and with that, I’m off and I will talk to you tomorrow.

You can listen to the audio version here: