Portland Relationship Counseling: The Importance of Remaining Inquisitive

February 5, 2014 by

One thing I often mention to couples in Portland relationship counseling is that it’s incredibly important to remain inquisitive about your partner, even if you’ve been together for a long time and feel that you know absolutely everything about one another. That doesn’t mean confronting your partner late at night and demanding to know where they’ve been and who they’ve been out with—if you get to the point where you feel compelled to ask those questions, you may need to seek Portland relationship counseling to work through your marriage problems.

The type of inquisitiveness I’m talking about is the curiosity that allows you to actively listen to what your partner has to say, and to continue learning about their secrets, fears, and dreams, even many years into the relationship. We may think that we know our partner like the back of our own hand, but the truth is that there are always new things to learn, and by continuing to learn about our partner, we strengthen our bond and encourage honest communication.

So how can you practice being inquisitive in your relationship? Read on for a few tips.

How to Remain Curious: Advice from Portland Relationship Counseling

Set aside time to be curious. It may sound strange, but sometimes you need to intentionally set aside time to be curious with your partner. Dr. Harville Hendrix, one of the co-founders of IMAGO relationship therapy, recommends that couples set aside a few minutes each day to be in a “state of curiosity” and learn new things about their significant other. Taking this kind of intentional interest in each other can help you confront and resolve marriage problems.

Try new activities together. You and your partner don’t necessarily need to take off on a whirlwind tour of Europe or buy each other lavish gifts, but you should look for new activities that you can try together. Doing new things can break up stagnant routines and reignite your curiosity about your long-term partner.

Listen and ask questions. When your partner is talking to you, don’t just go on autopilot. Practice being an active listener and really take in what they’re saying. Ask questions when appropriate; this shows that you’re engaged and that your partner isn’t just performing a monologue.

Want more advice about how to remain inquisitive in your relationship? Consider visiting Portland relationship counseling to learn more. I would be glad to talk to you about how to be an active listener and a fully engaged partner.