Sometimes in relationships, things can get…well, boring. Sometimes you just need a little healthy spontaneity to continue to get to know your partner on a more intimate level, especially if you have been in a committed relationship for some time now and things are starting to feel really comfortable, if you know what I mean. As humans, we are always evolving and changing. The person you are with today is not the same person you met when you first started dating.
They have their own autonomy, their own dreams, their own goals, their own insecurities, and their own fears. Because we are ever-evolving, it’s important for us to take the time to continue to get to know our partners so we communicate to them that we are curious about their lives and we care enough about watering the relationship so it can continue to grow and be fulfilling for both parties involved.
If you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut with your conversations with your partner as of late, carve out some time this week, and set up a date night with no distractions (for my folks who are busy, even a small date night over dinner could be helpful). And take date night up a notch by asking each other the questions below to deepen your level of intimacy in the relationship.
As you ask the following questions, remember to stay curious about your partner's responses. Instead of judging or criticizing them for what they are feeling, notice what comes up for you in their responses and address it with patience, empathy, and compassion so you both can have an open dialogue about those feelings.
1.What is your honest opinion about me?
In relationships, sometimes we tend to put so much emphasis on “telling our partners about themselves,” pointing out all the things we don’t like about our partner, and telling them where they need to improve in order for us to feel better, especially during conflict. But when you’re comfortable with your partner, or maybe you’re even going through a rough time in your relationship, it’s important for us to focus on what we do like about our partners.
As humans we are wired for connection, we need connection not only to survive but thrive in our lives. In order to receive authentic connection in our relationships, we need to be loved and affirmed for who we are without our partner putting pressure on us to change the essence of who we are. Therefore, in order to have a healthy connection, we need to be affirmed for who we are in order to feel good about the relationship.
This question is great because it’s not just focusing on what you don’t like about your partner; it's all about honoring and respecting our differences without communicating to the other person that they are unlovable because of their difference. I love this question for healthy relationships because it reminds you of whyyou chose to be in a relationship with your partner. It also shows you that you can still love someone, even if you both have some differences or even if they do small things that might annoy you. As long as it’s not detrimental to the relationship, that’s what true love is all about.
2.What has your childhood taught you about love and relationships?
Our earliest relationships set the template for how we will connect/disconnect in our adult relationships. As children, we are dependent on our caregivers to help us not only navigate life but also show us what safe relationships look and feel like. If we didn’t have a template of what a healthy relationship looks like, it comes with a lot of shame and insecurity. And ultimately this may have an effect on our romantic relationships going forward.
It is imperative for us to become curious about what our partner learned in childhood, not to judge them but to better understand them. Depending on what your partner saw in childhood, it could potentially have an impact on your relationship. It’s helpful to ask this question so you can better understand your partner. Remember to enter into this conversation without judgment and remember to stay curious if you need more clarification on anything that comes up.
3.What are you afraid to show others that they probably need to know in order to connect with you on a deeper level?
This is my favorite question because it leads to deeper levels of emotional intimacy and vulnerability. Our authenticity is the essence of who we are. If we are afraid to show people or even our partners all of the parts of ourselves, we’re not giving them an opportunity to love us for who we really are because we may struggle to love, honor, and respect who we truly are.
I love this question because it taps into the most intimate part of a person's being, heart, and soul.
4.When you look at me, what parts of yourself do you see in me?
Intimacy is into me you see. In other words, our partners should show up as a mirror of everything we see in ourselves (healthy traits and characteristics). This question helps to deepen emotional intimacy by seeing your partner beyond their physical form and seeing them from the perspective of the soul. This is what we would call a soulmate. Someone who reminds us of so much of ourselves but also someone who teaches us so much about ourselves.
5.What does our love remind you of?
This is a great question as it prompts your partner to think about some of the things that your relationship reminds them of. Your partner may surprise you with their answers but what’s most important is to lead with curiosity and respect your partner's autonomy with their experience of their relationship with you. Perception is reality.
6.Tell me about the first time you felt it was safe for you to be vulnerable with me.
This is another one of my favorites. In relationships, so many of us remember that moment when we felt safe enough to let our guard down with someone and unfortunately they mishandled our hearts. But, to be in a relationship with someone you can let your guard down with, and they communicate with you through their actions that your vulnerability is safe with them? That's a feeling that is unmatched.
This question prompts you to think about the very first time you felt safe with your partner to do something that so many of us are afraid to do for pretty valid reasons. I love this question because it can really help you to stay in the present moment of how much emotional safety means to each of you.
7.Do you believe love is freely given or does it have to be earned?
This question is really good when you want to dig deeper into your partner's beliefs and values. Some people believe that love is unconditional, it is freely given regardless of the circumstances. Some people believe that love is conditional and that the act of loving someone has to be earned. This question can help you learn more about your partner's beliefs when it comes to love and commitment.
If you both have different beliefs around love, lean into why your partner feels this way with compassion and curiosity. What experiences in their lives have shaped their view on this? How can you both come to a place of common ground around love specifically for your relationship? What are the limits and boundaries when it comes to love for each of you? It’s definitely something worth exploring to deepen emotional intimacy.
8.How can I continue to support you in this relationship?
Oftentimes when I’m working with couples in therapy, one or both partners will come in expressing their grievances around their relationship, specifically towards the other person. Sometimes we can become so consumed with getting our needs met that we don’t take the time to think about what probably needs to happen in our relationship in order for both parties to feel more supported.
No one likes to feel like they are the “problem.” This leads to defensiveness, emotional withdrawal, and resentment because the relationship is no longer a safe space, it’s a warzone. Safe spaces are not always going to make us “feel good," but they compassionately hold us accountable so we can see ourselves a little more clearly.
Asking your partner how you can support them shows that you are thinking and considering their needs as well as yours.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Fall Equinox begins on September 23, 2023, and it’s time to embrace abundance, gain clarity, and know that you are worthy of your desires. The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of fall and the end of summer and is a turning point of the year, where things settle in and come to fruition. The energy that fall brings is one of harvest, but it is also one of release, letting go, and finding your ground. Coming from a summer of intensity, drama in love, and overall moving through a space of deep spiritual growth- now that fall is here, we are ready to decompress, dream, and enjoy that which we have created for ourselves.
What Is the Energy of the Fall Equinox 2023?
The energy this fall is opening up new doors of abundance and is a time of reaping your rewards in life. Fall begins at the same time as Libra Season, and a lot of these blessings have to do with love and the relationship developments that will be taking place over the next few months. With a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra occurring a few weeks after fall begins on October 14th, something enchanting is happening in romance right now. The scales are coming into balance, new beginnings are occurring, and clarity prevails.
Relationships over the next few months are about focusing on the gifts and gratitude you find in them and accepting where things need to change as well.
By the time winter begins, most of the planets that are currently in retrograde will be direct, and this signifies the change of pace that fall is bringing. This fall highlights Eclipse Season overall, and the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th will be a time of creating boundaries, honoring your values and energy, and closing a chapter in your life that doesn’t align. Financial worlds are growing and finding new ground, but with Jupiter still in retrograde in Taurus until December 30th, patience is needed here.
Over the next few months, give yourself the space to gain some new perspectives, make room for love, and grow in abundance.
Your guidance this fall is to take those first steps toward the goals you have been pondering over this year. There is a Full Moon in your sign a week after fall begins, and you get the opportunity to enter this season with less baggage and more closure. You will possibly be starting a new position or working in a new field, and you need all the good energy to back you right now. Know that you can count on your skills and talents to move you further in life and that help will be there when you least expect it. This is a fall of abundance for you, Aries, claim it.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 13, Nov. 21
Patience, patience, patience, Taurus. You are creating something beautiful in the world right now, and the time it’s taken to get you here will all be worthwhile. Your guidance this fall is to nurture your world and your dreams and to bring more love and compassion to your life. You are preparing for a new reality but need some more time to dream it up and define that which you want for yourself and your future. The Full Lunar Eclipse happening this fall is occurring in your sign, and you are moving through some major closures in your life right now. This is a creative time for you, Taurus.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 6, Nov. 20
This fall is all about taking care of yourself and valuing your time and energy, Gemini. The way you see yourself and your life are coming up for review right now, and you are being urged to look at yourself in a better light. Your ruling planet, Mercury, goes retrograde for the last time this year on December 13th, just before fall ends, and this time is all about taking what you have learned and choosing better for yourself. You may be tested to be more confident or true to yourself right now and over the next few months, and it’s about owning your part in this life and standing up for what you want.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec. 12
This is an abundant fall for you, Cancer. You have worked diligently on claiming the opportunities and new doors that have been opening for you, and you are feeling free to be your successful self. You are encouraged in your independence right now, and you have proven to yourself just how talented you are and how much you have grown. No major aspects are happening in your sign this fall, giving you the space to breathe, create, and receive your rewards. Happiness fills your world, and even though you still feel like you are just getting started in a sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the gifts that are presenting themselves today.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 13
This fall is a turning point for you in love, Leo. New developments are taking place in your relationships, and you are being received especially favorably. This is the time to open your heart to growth and new possibilities and to get creative with what you are looking for right now. The Last Quarter Moon happening in your sign on November 5th will be a turning point for you this fall. Your unique charm and charisma are enough, and you attract many to you through your natural energy and love for life. Your ship is coming in this fall, and your heart is fulfilled.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 1, Oct. 31, Nov. 5, Nov. 14
Virgo, this fall is a blessing for the heart space. You are feeling in tune emotionally, and there is positive energy coming your way and into your love life. You have spent a lot of this year healing, forgiving, and finding your voice, and over the next few months, you will be creating the spaces you have been looking to enter in your life. Venus enters your sign for a month on October 8th, and there are some pleasant surprises in store for you during this time. Fresh starts are coming in for you, and spiritually, you are awakening to the gifts within you and in your heart. Your beauty is showing, and love is coming in for you this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 20
This fall is a new beginning for your financial world, Libra. Autumn begins the same day Libra Season does, and you have some extra motivation and energy within you right now. You are ready to put the action behind the intentions you have been setting for yourself financially, and this is a time of plans coming together and falling through to success. The more you stay focused and diligent, the more opportunities that can come for you right now. The first month of fall, the Sun is in your sign, and this is really the time to get things moving in your life, especially with a New Moon Eclipse in Libra on October 14th happening as well.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 30, Nov. 20
It’s all about the vision for you right now, Scorpio. You are focused on the future, your path ahead, and manifesting your dreams, and there is something passionate about the next few months for you. You may be taking some risks this fall as you test the boundaries on how far you want to go with something and what worlds are opening up to you now. Mars is in your sign from October 12th until November 24th, and life is exciting for you right now. You have your eyes on the prize and are ready to move forward toward the things that are lighting you up right now.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Nov. 6, Nov. 13,
This fall is about taking a leap of faith, Sagittarius. Your guidance over the next few months is to do the things that you would do if you knew you would be supported in doing them. Less self-doubt is needed now, as you are walking on new ground. You are moving towards personal healing you have been wary of from the beginning, and you are ready to let go of some energy that has been holding you back. Trust that once you decide on something, the universe instantly begins to make it happen for you. Your season begins on November 22nd, and it’s time to put yourself first more. Have courage in yourself this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 8, Nov. 22, Nov. 24, Dec. 12
This fall is all about clarity for you, Capricorn. You are a wise soul, and you are owning this energy about yourself right now. Over the next few months, you will be developing spiritually, helping those who need your sound advice, and evolving in life. You have found a new sense of enlightenment and are enjoying the clear perspective that has been gained. Mercury goes retrograde in your sign on December 13th, right before fall ends, and this is when you will be feeling more tested to take the lead in your life and use your voice. Overall, fall 2023 is your time to surrender to the good within you and in your life, Capricorn.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 10, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, Dec. 1
Things are moving fast for you this fall, Aquarius. This is a successful, harmonious, and passionate time for you, as many opportunities come your way at once. It will be hard to settle down with all the energy flowing through your life over the next few months, as you have so much to do and so many people to see. Overall, however, this is positive energy that you have been looking forward to in your life, and everything is coming together and moving forward where it was once stagnant. Fall is giving you the closure and the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start on new, solid ground in your life.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 20, Nov. 28
Your guidance for fall is to have balance in your life. There is a lot of new coming in for you, but you are also working on letting go of what has fallen. You have grown in many ways this year, and financially, you have seen growth as well but may be feeling the weight of responsibilities this has come with now. To move through this season with the most grace, give yourself more time to rest, to be, and allow things to fall into place on their own. Saturn has been retrograde in your sign since June and goes direct this fall on November 4th, Pisces. This is your opportunity to see things more clearly, protect your energy, and feel more in tune with your internal guidance system.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 6, Dec. 12
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