Whether it's an acquaintance, co-worker, new friend, or new date — we have to be open to asking strategic questions to get to know each other a bit more in-depth. Asking the right questions can take you a long way to determine how much of your time and energy do you want to spend with another person. We all can help each other grow, but it starts with being a little vulnerable to see what things you can enjoy together or what might be triggering for that person and may require you to lead with caution.
Here are some questions you should consider asking someone you want to know on a deeper level:
1. What’s your favorite love languages?
Learning someone's love language allows you to understand how that person prefers to show and receive love. There are even quizzes you can take to discover your love language before you ask others. Created by Gary Chapman, the five love languages are quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, and gifts. And although they are commonly used to refer to romantic relationships, love languages can be applied to every relationship in your life, including the one you have with yourself.
2. What are your short-term goals?
Asking what someone's short-term goals are allows you to see if they are a person with a plan instead of living life with no direction, and you could see how realistic their goals are based on what they are doing now to achieve them.
3. What are your long-term goals?
Long-term goals are where our dreams live! Hearing a person map out the little steps shows you how strategic and serious they are about accomplishing their objectives. Are they just a dreamer or an active achiever? If they want a family, how are they holding themselves accountable in existing relationships and working things out instead of canceling everyone? Are they securing their financial bag to invest in their dream company, or are they splurging going on ten vacations a year and not saving a dime?
4. What's your relationship with your family like?
Asking questions about family relationships is essential because everyone has a unique connection with their family. For some people, family can be so exhilarating to talk about, and for other people, it could be a nightmare and a huge trigger of emotional distress. Our family has a lot of influence on us, whether we like it or not, so knowing their relationship will help you understand why they haven't called a family member in years and how that reflects in other relationships in their life.
5. What happened in your last relationship that led you to break up?Shutterstock
This is a great window to see how accountable that person is because even though we all get hurt, we also play a role in every situation. Some situations are toxic, some people grow apart, but overall, there is always a lesson to learn and things to admit we could have done better.
6. What relationship in your life do you find the hardest to navigate in?
Learning what relationship is the hardest to navigate lets you know when you need to give this person a bit more space when he/she interacts with them. There may be a time you're around that person when they answer a call from the person they find the hardest to deal with, and all they need is the "Hey, how'd it go with so and so," "Are you OK," or "I'm here if you want to talk about it."
7. What scenarios in life are you most afraid of?
We all have scenarios we are afraid of but appreciate greatly, like I can't wait to be a mom one day, but I'm nervous about the pregnancy journey because of the high statistics of Black women not being believed when they are in pain or other health complications. So if a friend/your partner knows this, they can help comfort you and advise books, articles, podcasts, other great resources to prep for this stage in your life. And there are some scenarios that a person could never want to encounter, and talking about them can help you acknowledge their boundaries.
8. Do you enjoy reading, and what books do you like reading?
Some people are avid readers, others read a book here and there, and some don't read at all. So if you want to have a little book club to review your favorite novels with this person, it's great to ask them how often do they read and what genre they enjoy reading. Maybe they could be your reading accountability partner to pencil in 30-minute to an hour reading sessions daily or vice versa, but you won't ever know unless you ask.
9. What is your best and worst quality?listen fox tv GIF by Lethal WeaponGiphy
Asking someone their best and worst quality shows you how self-aware and honest they are. I'm sure after they tell you their worst quality, they'll follow up with the list of things they're doing to change that quality. Top tier bonds are rooted in transparency.
10. Are you a messy or neat person? Are you on time or usually late?
Listen, ladies, these may seem like simple questions, but they are critical when you have tickets to a concert, and you end up missing it because this person is three hours late. And then, on top of that, you plan to stay over this person's place after, and it looks like a tornado hit their room.
So asking if someone is messy or clean allows you to initiate the "Hey, since I'm staying over tonight, can you tidy up a bit, so I don't feel so out of place." And some people only know CPT (colored people time), aka late, so you need to know if you need to tell them an earlier time so they can come on time versus two hours late.
11. What type of music genres do you like most, and do you enjoy going to concerts?
Music is the world's universal language; knowing this person's favorite music genres can show you more about their character. Some people are diverse music lovers, and some people only like one or two genres. Either way, you can gauge music review conversations, and it could let you know if you have a potential friend to accompany you at concerts and festivals.
12. Who was your childhood hero?
Our childhood hero holds an extraordinary place in our hearts; mine is my mommy; I was very close to her as a child, and I cherish the relationship we have in adulthood. But learning the inside scoop on this person's childhood hero could let you know why they may have admired that person or even if that person is still around to tend to them.
13. What celebrity do you admire the most and why?Shutterstock
This is great info to get a hold of because it can show you what characteristic traits people value in others. Mine are J.Cole and Prince because they're both unapologetically authentic, private, and talented, not looking to please the world but be true to their craft and themselves. So asking this question can show you genuine or artificial traits they may value in others.
14. Are you religious or not?
Everyone has a very different experience with religion; some people could have only gone to church because their family demanded them to, and now they are agnostic or are new Christians and are seeking a church home on their own terms. Religion creates structure, and it shows you what people value, so it's essential to know where they stand in this area to have faith-based conversations.
15. How do you deal with finances, do you spend too much or too little?
Managing finances is a prime topic to see if this is a potential roommate, someone you can plan a vacation with or build a family with. Regardless, money matters as we all know as adults, so it's essential to discuss financial goals to respect if someone can't tag along for a vacation because they're saving up to move out of their parent's house and investing in going back to school to earn a higher degree.
16. What political party do you align with and why?
Politics and religion are mandatory to discuss in any or every relationship. People's political views say a lot about their character and what they invest their money in. This is a serious matter you have to be mindful of because the same things you are raising your voice about, they may be indifferent about and vice versa. Are you able to handle that?
17. What past mistakes do you regret the most and why?lee daniels alex GIF by STARGiphy
Regrets are also useful to address because it shows you people's growth. Nobody needs a stagnant person who claims they did their best in everything; we all mess up from time to time, but we learn from those experiences that mold us and allow us to do better.
18. What do you need when you're stressed out? Do you like to talk it out, journal about it, or just want to deal with it alone?
Stress, stress, stress! I know we all hate being in this mindset but discussing what you need in stressful moments (prior to the situation) allows you to respect how that person may process negative emotions, and it shows you how you can support them during that time frame.
19. What's your ideal vacation?
Don't we all love the sound of VACATION? I know that's a yes sis, where we going, and how much do I need to save prior?! Inquiring about how people like to vacation is a mega tip for you; it shows you if that person just wants to sleep all day and party all night or the opposite and plan ahead to do all the sightseeing, visit museums and cute restaurants. It's a plus for you if you think this is a good person to invite on your small friends' trip to Costa Rica or just pass altogether on the invite.
20. What's your biggest fear?
Asking someone their biggest fears lets you know where they're the most vulnerable and may need extra support when they face seasons that trigger their fears.
21. What's your biggest flaw?
I know no one is jumping up right away to say their biggest flaws, but it's great to highlight, it shows us we're self-aware, and it leads to conversing about better ways to overcome those flaws. Who says you can't be flawless in a few months if you have the tools to combat your flaws?
The journey of getting to know someone is a beautiful process, but the older we get, we often seek more meaningful connections than teenagers looking to be friends and accepted by everyone. We can't be afraid to dig a little deeper to see our loved ones' core and vice versa to build more lasting relationships built on sturdy foundations!
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Ajeé Buggam is a content writer and fashion designer from New York City and an alumna from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She specializes in writing about race, social injustice, relationships, feminism, entrepreneurship, and mental wellness. Check out her recent work at Notes To Self
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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy