Relationships

12 Questions To Ask Your Significant Other at Dinner

12 Questions To Ask Your Significant Other at Dinner

Alex and I have been married for ten years, but there are still things that surprise me…

…like how he can do coin tricks or how he knows all the state capitals (even the hard ones!). So, sometimes when we’re out to dinner, I like asking questions that will show me something new about him. They’re dorky but legitimately entertaining.

* If you could live somewhere else for a year, where would you live?
* What do you remember about the day we met? Or our first date? (This is always a fun one.)
* How would you describe yourself in five words?
* What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
* What did you wear as a teenager and thought looked REALLY cool? (Hypercolor!)
* What are your top three favorite movies?
* If you had to eat only one country’s cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
* If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
* If you could repeat one trip you took in the past, what would it be?
* What were you really into when you were a kid?
* If you were going to get a tattoo, what would you get?
* Should we have a third baby? (Just kidding, kind of.)

For example, Alex’s top three movies are Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and Taxi Driver; he’d love to repeat our honeymoon; and his tattoo would be “too old to die young” by Scott Campbell. For a memory of our first date, he said, “We saw that freaky movie and you spent the whole time leaning on the other side of your seat and I kept waiting for you to lean on my side so we would touch forearms. I was worried. But I knew it was on and we’d get married when you got up to go to the bathroom at the restaurant and you ran your hand across my shoulder.”

Thoughts? Would you ask any of these? What have you been surprised to learn about your significant other?

P.S. How to be a good listener, and how to keep the spark alive.

  1. Daniela says...

    Perfect timing. Saw this on my honeymoon (!!) and we asked each other these questions while lounging in bed. So fun!

  2. Kelsey says...

    My husband is German, and after 8 years together, we still speak only English at home. My German is ok (mostly I lack confidence), but definitely not where it should be considering the resources I have available to me. I recently was lightly scolded by a German teacher for not taking advantage of my husband to improve my language skills, and when I explained to her our mental block (its not just me, he also feels weird speaking German to me!) she recommended just trying 5 min per day. While we we haven’t managed to do this every day, its become a bit of a tradition when we’re out to dinner, in a car, on a train or somewhere where we can just focus our attention on each other, that we switch to our “deutsche fünf Minuten”, which inevitably ends up being much longer, usually the rest of dinner. We’ve spoken more German together in the past 6 months than in the previous 8 years together, and my confidence has improved so much! Any old topic feels interesting and new when you are learning the vocab and grammar to talk about it in a new language, and you can see a different side of your partner when you hear them speak a different language.

    • Julia says...

      We are in the same situation here but my husband is the one who wants improve on his portuguese! We made a deal that we’d practice every day (since we speak english at home) by speaking portuguese during meal times! To broaden the topics we talk about we both listen to a very short podcast in portuguese (like the brazilian version of The Daily) during the day and talk about it too, it’s been helping a lot. I think it’s absolutely brilliant what you are doing, way to go!

  3. A few weeks before our wedding, our officiant asked my husband and me to describe each other in three words, with a one- or two-sentence explanation about each word. Then, he read them out loud at the wedding as a way of helping our guests see each of us through the other’s eyes. We loved it! (I remember I used “patient” and “fun” for Robert…)

    Also, what did you wear that you thought was so cool as a teenager…can we talk about my RHINESTONE EYELINER I wore to prom!? My friend individually glued rhinestones onto my eyelids like liner, to match the rhinestones on my bubble gum pink, strapless dress and the rhinestones in between each one of the hair twists in my updo (if you guessed this was 2001, you guessed RIGHT!)

  4. Alex’s first date memory … *sigh* … that is all.

  5. Jo Kelly says...

    first off, I love the way you talk about your marriage and encourage your readers to strengthen their relationships & family unit Joanna!!… thank you. I know life gets tough, unpredictable & messy, but sometimes we are lucky enough to have our husband and kids (and their ‘others’ and kids!) be THE ones we get to stay close to in life’s ups and downs. Taking the time (even with small things like this) to keep our relationship fresh and listen to that person we chose 10 years ago (or 37 yrs ago in my case!) makes so much difference!! Never underestimate giving each other time. (I’m gonna try these because let’s face it, our tastes & memories change!!)

  6. Jess says...

    I found a cool thing that is doing the rounds on Twitter (Alex will love this too):

    What’s your concert history?

    1st concert:
    Last concert:
    Next concert:
    Best:
    Worst:
    Have seen most:
    Haven’t seen but want to:

    • Katie says...

      What is your first concert is one of my favorite get to know you questions for first dates! The answers are NEVER what you expect and they spark so much fun conversation. (that or they say they’re not really into concerts and you know there doesn’t need to be a second date)

  7. KK says...

    My husband is from Wisconsin and I’m from Chicago (where we currently live) and every time we drive to visit his family we pass Six Flags in Gurnee, IL. I love roller coasters but I haven’t been there since after my HS prom so I always gaze at it wistfully when we pass lol. We have a one year old and the chats about a potential second baby are happening and out of the blue I blurted out, “before we get pregnant I need 2 things: 1. a decent chunk of time alone with you and 2. to ride a roller coaster”. He burst out laughing but apparently we’re both big fans and neither of us knew! So this past Saturday, my mom picked up our daughter for the weekend and not 2 minutes after she left, we spontaneously jumped in the car and even though the weather wan’t great – we rode roller coasters ALL day in the rain and had the greatest time. I think both of us were mostly giddy because we were seeing each other in a new light too. How did we not know?! When we got back, we got in our “gray suits” (sweats lol) to warm up after the day of being wet and enjoyed fall beer and a gigantic TJ’s charcuterie platter. Marriage is so great – I love that element of surprise :)

    • Jackie says...

      I love this story so much.

    • JessicaD says...

      This is so great! I also grew up going to this amusement park (when it was “Marriott’s Great America” — I am dating myself!) and loved the roller coasters. I’m so glad you got your roller coaster adventure with your husband in the rain AND your cozy time together with TJs and beer afterward. It sounds like the perfect day! :)

  8. I love this idea! I’m looking forward to date night Friday to try out some of these questions.

  9. great article! These ice breakers will come in handy

  10. Ellie says...

    I brought a few of these questions up at dinner last night…we talked about maybe two or three of them…and at the end, my husband says, “Those are good questions. Let’s save the rest for next time!” Thanks, COJ!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, so glad to hear it!!!

  11. Melissa says...

    Love these questions – I’ll definitely be trying them out with my boyfriend (we’ve only been together for 6 months so it’s always fun to find out new things about him!).

    We met through a dating app and he’d told me he can be a bit shy/quiet at first so I was instantly worried that we’d be sat in silence on our first date as I also feel that way when I’m nervous. I was chatting to my friend before the date and had mentioned that I was worried about awkward silences so needed to prep a question or two, so we jokingly decided on one I could ask.

    The date was going well and luckily there were no awkward silences, but I just HAD to ask him the question my friend and I had joked about. So here was the question…. “Which would you rather have – penis fingers or big penis legs?” Obviously I was totally worried how he’d react to that but he burst out laughing and it’s something we’ve joked about since. These sorts of questions are silly but they’re fun and the discussions that lead from it are definitely interesting haha!

    (He chose the penis legs by the way!)

  12. Love these! Such great conversation starters.. Though when it comes to my husband, I think I know most of the answers :)

    Dee ~

  13. Bec says...

    This is so lovely! Conversation is so important. I absolutely loathe seeing couples out for dinner and sitting in silence, faces lit up by the screens of their phones. Funny thing is my parents (in their 60s) are the worst culprits! I’m 31.

    • Jessica says...

      I totally get that someone might go right toward judgement on the couples together silently (with phones), but (1) maybe they’re happy (and who are we to judge *how* someone should be happy and (2) have you never, ever, *ever* just wanted to sit quietly with your partner and eat a good meal and feel blanketed by the peacefulness that comes with knowing someone so well that you can sit and eat and look at your phone without judgement? (Separately, can we all agree to suspend our judgement of others because their actions don’t meet our specific beliefs about what happiness looks like? This comes from someone who makes every attempt to keep phones off the table. But I also enthusiastically value not being judged because my friend things X makes everyone happy and it turns out that Y is actually what makes me happy.)

    • Chelsey says...

      I think that she is only voicing a pet peeve of hers – and she did so with humor, because she mentioned that her parents were the worst culprits! Just a thought, but perhaps you are judging her comment (and thoughts) a bit intensely?

  14. Lisa says...

    That quote form Alex! My heart!

  15. Christine says...

    I would add to the list… “if you could go back in time and tell your (insert the age of your partner when the two of you met) year old self ONE thing… what would you say?”

    • Good one!!!

  16. Kim says...

    Awwww, I love the shoulder bit.

    • Bernadette says...

      Whoa! What would he re-do about your honeymoon?? It looked EPIC (LOL and inspired mine!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, sorry to be confusing, he meant he would just want to do it all over again, not that he’d want to change anything! it was really wonderful :)

    • Christine says...

      Re-doing the honeymoon might result in that third baby just sayin’ ;)

  17. Vicki says...

    My husband and I have been married for 15 years and one of the funniest and most fun date conversations we had was when he randomly said “Well out of all your friends (name) is who I would marry” We are in a very secure relationship so after his clarification that this is obviously when I didn’t exist and my initial shock laughter that he had thought of this, I started questioning his choice – really? why not (another friend)? Or maybe (another friend) would be your best match. Then I started thinking who would I fake marry? And he had thoughts on this too. It was all nonsexual- like who could I live with and whose habits would annoy me, it was so fun and hilarious to see his takes on compatibility – we still joke about that conversation.

  18. Chelsea K says...

    I just got goosebumps from the last sentence of Alex’s first date memory!

  19. JMN says...

    It’s also really fun to ask your partner questions about yourself (rather than him/herself). Like I asked my husband what he thought my passion was, and he said he sees me get fired up about social injustices in the world. Which is so true, but I didn’t realize that about myself until he said it!

    • Laura says...

      Love this! Plan to implement this on Sunday. Thanks.

  20. SC says...

    I just watched Rosemary’s Baby for the first time last week! I was worried too many years (decades!) of hype would ruin it for me, but nope – it was outstanding. I totally see why it’s 99% on Rotten Tomatoes!

  21. Jade says...

    Love these!
    Some of my other favourite questions when getting to know anyone (new friends or over work drinks with close colleagues) –
    What was the first book that made you stop and think?
    What was the name of the teacher who left the biggest impression on you?
    What was your favourite birthday cake you’ve ever had?
    What movie will make you stop flicking through the channels?
    Who taught you to drive?
    What were your neighbours like growing up?
    Is there a place youve never been but always wanted to go?
    What were you obsessed with age 7?
    What would the title of your memoir be?
    What is special about the place you grew up?
    Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
    What as your favourite dinosaur as a kid?

  22. Mary says...

    If you were to get a rescue dog what would you name it?
    ____
    Joanna, your blog is really great. The only thing that seems to be missing is Anton having a dog ;), and sharing the journey online.

    • Evel says...

      Agree!

    • Robyn says...

      Did… did Anton write that? (ha ha)

    • Mary says...

      @Robyn That would be pretty genius of Anton!

  23. Raveen Bhaskar says...

    love this! So easy to get in a rutt about talking about work and kids, will try this on our date night this week!

  24. Alice says...

    My partner and I discuss these kind of questions so often, probably a few times a week. We’ve been together for 16 years and did a lot of traveling together pre-kids a long time ago, and every time we do these kinds of questions we each remember different stuff and that changes our answers. It’s really fun, a little reminisce. We change our minds on tattoos and films all the time too but not ever our answer to the final question, thankfully we’re agreed on it too!
    But we never talk about our first date or describe ourselves, so I’m delving into those tomorrow :)

  25. Whitney says...

    I knew I was going to marry my husband after four weeks of dating. I kept it to myself so I wouldn’t weird him out. We were 19 and I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew. Fourteen years later, I choose him everyday.

  26. Joey says...

    I really like this idea! Too often things like going out to dinner or even just hanging out at the house can get boring and monotonous and I feel like this is a good way to make things more interesting and spark lively conversations. The question I like best is the first one, “if you could live somewhere else for a year, where would you live?”. I think that question opens up new ideas to possible vacations or even moving somewhere else entirely. I am a person who enjoys going and doing new things and I have many places I would like to see that I haven’t yet and this is a good start to getting to see those places.

  27. Isabel says...

    A million times yes on that third baby! I never thought we’d go for number three, living in New York and each of us having a full-time job. But after our second one started losing his baby features, we started feeling a pang for one more baby. What would their personality be like? How would a new kid fit in our already crazy family?

    As an academic, I turned to research, and asked each friend and colleague with three kids whether we should go for a third. Many of them began by saying: “don’t do it.” The reasons were mostly that it was always chaos and that at ant time one of them was guaranteed to be upset. But when pressing some more, nobody regretted it. “Are you crazy?,” was the response.

    What really sealed the deal was a long conversation with an older friend, who by all measures had led a very happy life. He confessed that his biggest regret in life was not having had…a *fourth*. So we did it. He went for number three. And it’s chaos, and nuts, and sometimes one of them is upset (ok, many times). But it is also the most delightful experience I have ever had, and my family–crazy and imperfect as it is, is what I am most proud of. I still pinch myself every day. Even when I hear whining and fights.

    So, if you feel a pang…go for it!

    • JulieB says...

      This! We’re expecting our 5th in December. I have two standard responses to the side eye glances that come with that. 1) I know plenty of people who regret stopping, and I’ve never met a single one who wishes they’d had fewer! 2) We’ve had a challenging few years as a family. Health scares, injuries, etc. All of the best parts of the last few years have been the kids though, so why would we want less of that!

      When we were deciding to go for #4, I told my fourth sibling that his existence complicated the decision immensely. For most people, a 4th sibling is an abstraction, for me it’s a real person, one of my favorites, with a tender heart and a knack for puns who’s doing mission work in Jordan with his wife. How could I decide the world doesn’t need another like him!

    • Eve says...

      Never thought we’d go for a third baby either, but when our youngest was in kindergarten, we “didn’t not try” for a month and ended up having TWINS!! And it was the very best thing we almost didn’t do :-) They’ve been such sweet and wonderful additions to our family. Going from two to four has definitely been a little crazy, but it is amazing to see the older two being the big siblings to these little ones. And when it seems tough, we say “at least it wasn’t triplets” haha.

    • Y says...

      My mother in law had planned to stop at 5, but I am married to number 6 so I am so grateful she didn’t!

    • Ker says...

      I hate to sound gloomy, but in light of the climate crisis it might make sense to encourage everyone to have the smallest number of children that feels okay for them.

      I.e. if you’re on the fence about having one or two, have one. If you’re thinking vaguely about having a third child but don’t feel an overwhelming need, don’t do it.

      Each child I don’t have saves 58.6 tonnes of CO2 per year of my life — if I live 85 years that’s 5000 tonnes of CO2. For comparison, avoiding one roundtrip transatlantic flight only saves 1.60 tonnes, eating vegan for a year saves 0.82 and recycling for a year saves 0.12.

      I love babies (and all humans!) — and adore my friends’ third babies. But until we move away from this carbon-based economic model, our fertility decisions directly contribute to the environmental collapse that our children will have to contend with.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

  28. Sherri says...

    Haha! Todd Snider wrote a song called Age Like Wine. Alex would appreciate the lyrics. If he plays guitar, it’s a simple song to pick up.

  29. Mims says...

    My husband said he knew I was the one when, on our second date, after unlocking my door and letting me into the car on a frigid December night, I reached over and unlocked his side for him as he walked around the car. He said he loved the kindness of the gesture. We have been married 26 years and we are still kind to each other and its one of the many glues (humor, shared values, a child, respect, passion and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope…oops, make that love of monty python) that holds us together.

    • jilleun says...

      This is the SAME story as when my husband knew he wanted to marry me, even the second date! He said no other girl he dated ever unlocked his door. We’ve been married 9 years, he still opens my door and I still unlock his (when we drive that car :)

  30. “But I knew it was on and we’d get married when you got up to go to the bathroom at the restaurant and you ran your hand across my shoulder.”

    TEARS!!!

  31. Colette says...

    A friend once said that one of the secrets (to their beautiful long term marriage), was that they could say anything they wanted to each other, as long as they had a smile on their face as they said it. And how hard it is to seriously scold someone while you are smiling. It usually just ended in laughter (which is a good way to end discussions with the person rooting for you most).

  32. Ari says...

    Alex’s memory of your first date is similar to a reflection from my husband…We’ve been together for 13 years and married for 7, but only recently did I learn how early on he knew he wanted to marry me. We both went to university in Canada and did not get (American) Thanksgiving off, so my parents visited to host dinner for my American friends (which included my future husband). A few months ago, he told me about how that dinner changed things: “I started to fall for you that night because I saw how much you loved your family and how much family mattered to you. And because family matters to me too, I knew that we could build a wonderful family some day if we were to fall in love. So I tried to get you to fall in love with me.” Guh. GUH. GUHHHHHHHH.

    • Mariana says...

      Wow, I got goosebumps reading this! :)

    • Jackie says...

      My husband and I try to stump each other with our memories of our 8 years together. Like “Where did we order sweet potato gnocchi?” Or “What did we see in Telluride during dinner?” It’s SO fun to hear his take on memories from his side, details I wouldn’t otherwise remember.

  33. K says...

    The hand on the shoulder.. too cute!

  34. Anne says...

    Have a third baby before it’s too late. Your boys will adore him or her. And you’ll never regret another little one to love… ! You always bring up babies, you must truly want a third or it wouldn’t be on your mind so much! Just my two cents….

    • Blandine says...

      I feel differently. The pang for another child can relate to a lot of things that are not always about the child itself. It can be a willingness to stop time in its track, to feel still young. Of course no one never regrets the existence of a member of their family, that would be impossible, it does not mean that from several perspectives, sometimes keeping your family small is the way to go.

  35. I know exactly what he wore as a teenager because we met when he was 19. A zillion years later, I try to remind myself of the kids we were back then. Still in love for real!

  36. Sadie says...

    I hung out with my friend for a whole summer and NOTHING HAPPENED. We would run and hike together (this is in Alaska so there isn’t anything else to do) but we were still just friends. We kinda of fell out of touch and I got regrettable boyfriend for the winter but when it was spring and I was single we were back to running and hiking together. On a group camping trip I slept in the back of his truck, nothing happened but in the morning he put his arm around me and cuddled up and I knew it “was on.” :)

    • Michaela says...

      This is so sweet! Back when my now-husband and I were just friends, my roommate and I had a bunch of friends over for a coed sleepover. We all set up our sleeping bags out in the living room and fell asleep in the midst of a Disney movie marathon. I was next to him, and we both happened to wake up at the same time the next morning. He reached over and gently “booped” my nose, and that was the moment I was like, “Whoa, I think we like each other!” I had totally forgotten. ☺️

  37. Erica says...

    My husband and I met on our first day of 7th grade in a English class. We’ve been married for 7 years and are both 27 years old. Once when he was retelling the story of that day, he mentioned he remembered the lace outline on my Abercrombie skirt. I swear I knew he was the one! xo oh, love!

  38. Charlotte K says...

    These are the kinds of dinner topics I grew up with around the table. Especially the kind like “describe X in 5 words or less” which sounds like my parents were trying to shut us up (it was a big family) but I think they were really trying to get us to be thoughtful and concise in word choices. Although my mom really emphasized that technique for recounting dreams and movies!

  39. Nicole says...

    My husband and I do something similar on road trips. I call it “fun mental games,” which is not very clever, but it is fun- I promise.

    We take turns asking about hypothetical scenarios, like, “if you could compose the perfect meal, from all your favorite restaurants, what would it be?” (I.e, best salad, best app, best entree, best dessert). Or, “if you could compose the perfect day, what would it be?” (You can wake up in one city, have breakfast in another, spend the morning at the beach somewhere else, etc). Ours tend to revolve around meals or prior trips we have taken together, but hey, the sky (or your imagination) is the limit! “Fun mental games” get us excited for future adventures, while reminding us of all the joyful things we have gotten to do together over the years (especially important for us as we are in the thick of parenting a baby and toddler).

  40. Eva says...

    I really don’t get why cheese or coffee are labeled as vices on this list. I guess the same goes for alcohol or sugar too. Please stop demonizing food.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh! we take great care to never demonize food on the site, but you’re right, it reads like that here. i’ll tweak the language!

  41. Louisa says...

    The baby book we got for our daughter had a place for parents to write down things like “place I can’t wait to take you” and “song I can’t wait for you to hear” – I learned so much from these. It’s not quite the same, but it was one of the sweeter memories from my anxiety-filled pregnancy.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really sweet.

  42. Kristin says...

    Joanna, you might love Gottman’s new book called Eight Dates. Check it out! Its a slim marriage building book based on eight different themes to have engaging conversations with your mate. About to start it in my house–much needed after finally coming up and out of the 0-5 year old children tornado!

    • ANDREA says...

      Or, as we call it in my household, Eight Fights. There are good parts, but this is not a fully formed Gottman product, IMHO.

    • Kari says...

      I just lol’d at Andrea’s reply! I haven’t read the book yet (but love Gottman’s other work!). I’m interested to check it out.

  43. Erin says...

    Fun! My husband and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary this week so thank you for some dinner topic conversations that don’t involve our kids or crazy family members!

  44. Court says...

    I’ve known my husband for 11 years and one of the questions we recently discussed during dinner was: what did dinner look like when you were a kid? We talked about what really excited us when we were little (Wendy’s chicken nuggets! Hot and sour soup!) or what the daily rotation was, what he thought was gross, what vegetables he hated, etc.
    The thing about this conversation is that I nearly FELL OFF MY CHAIR when he said his favorite dinner is pesto sauce and bowtie pasta. Like what? I have NEVER seen him eat this, he has NEVER ordered pesto anything ever. I barely make pasta???!!!! It baffled me. Still surprising!

    • Laura R says...

      “he has NEVER ordered pesto anything ever. I barely make pasta???!!”

      This made me laugh so hard. I recently told a friend that I hated mustard until a few years ago and now I love it, and my husband overheard and literally shouted “wait, WHAT? How did I not know that you hated mustard until recently??? This is SHOCKING!” haha!

      What a great discussion to have! I know my husband (also of 11 years) has shared some of his favorite childhood meals before, but I could use a refresher.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a good one, court!! and what a cute answer from your husband :)

    • Hannah says...

      I LOVED this. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I decided to try Tiramisu for the first time in a completely non-chalant way at a family get together. My husband called me out right away saying that I didn’t even like Tiramisu. I acted like this was not my first Tiramisu rodeo but after my first bite I had to concede that he was right and I am not a fan.

    • Joslyn says...

      Thanks, court. I asked my husband this at dinner tonight and it led to a fun conversation reminiscing about our childhood meal rotations (p.s. why was every vegetable steamed during my childhood?). The unexpected bonus was that we were both so engaged in conversation that our 18 month old just kept watching us and eating all of her dinner (including her kale) and laughing whenever we laughed. I sometimes forget how we are always setting an example for her. What a warm family moment you helped create.

  45. alison says...

    When I was first dating now my now fiance, he always wanted to get dinner together and I usually made up some excuse not to because I was too nervous we would run out of things to talk about. He’s way more introverted than I am and way more okay with silence – something I’ve come to really appreciate. But in the early days it was rough and I 100% googled “good questions for first dates” and would have loved a list like this.

    He’s a musician and has since written a song about our beginnings that hints at my nerves and how it could actually comforting to sit in silence. And now I’m hoping to secretly incorporate those lyrics into my vows. Shhhh! don’t tell!

  46. Jules says...

    The ‘hand across my shoulder’ comment is so lovely it brought a tear to my eye!

    Love this idea, and planning to ask a few at dinner tonight. :)

    • Lynn says...

      Same. that last line. <3

  47. Meredith says...

    Haha, I love that he knew you would get married from the shoulder touch. Amazing!

    • Jen says...

      I know! I kind of got goose bumps from reading about that moment. I have been married for years, but before that had a few relationships with guys who were great, but who were not looking to settle down. Reading about a man who is open to that idea as of the first date is both sexy and a little unnerving.

  48. Kayla says...

    I’m so excited to get home to my honey and ask him some of these questions. He’s picking me up from the airport (swoon) ❤️ And we love question lists!

    Thanks Jo and Co!

  49. Elle says...

    How about some that are bit less PG ;) These days, even if we are in a happy monogamous relationship, my husband and I have enjoyed talking about what we think of open mariages (+ poly-amorous relationships, swinging clubs or with friends etc), how we think our sex life will evolve with time, fantasies that we have but would never want to actually try (or are craving to!), past dating experiences (after being married for a while, the ex topic is no longer taboo), how we think we would behave in the new dating scene (we met way before dating apps or speed dating events), etc. Sets a fun romantic mood!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good questions, elle!

  50. Katy Keesey says...

    Also, I didn’t mean to be all negative nelly right out of the gate by noting something I think that needs to be revised. I love, love, love the list. And I can’t wait to use it with my partner.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh for sure! i’ll tweak re-do to repeat :)

  51. Jane says...

    Cheese is not a vice! Seriously, it contains calcium, doesn’t it?!

  52. Bridget says...

    I am DONE having kids, but I do wish I could do it again… I have 4 and my youngest is almost 16. I think it would be fun to have another litter of kids and do it better… I learned so much. And I know that I am not done raising my 4, but my babies and then as young kids were really fun. (sobs)

  53. frances r calderon says...

    All question my creepy ex never like me to ask him. He always said “why ? are you writing a book?”. ugh!

  54. kk says...

    I feel like this question should be re-worded to:
    * If you could relive (or repeat) one trip you took in the past, what would it be?

    I feel like “re-do” has a negative connotation (or is it just me?), like you want a chance to do it right this time. Which, when reading that Alex wanted to “re-do” your honeymoon, I realized, you must mean, just repeat it. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh for sure! i’ll change “re-do” to “repeat” so it’s more clear :)

  55. Kristen says...

    I’ve known my husband for 18 years, but sometimes we’ll be at a work or school function and I’ll catch him in a deep conversation about hockey or artificial intelligence or customizing Sprinter vans and think, Who are you??? How do you know about this and when did you learn it???
    About 99.9% of our conversations are about kid-related logistics, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to be reminded that we have other interests that we’ll get to talk about in 18 years or so.

    • Kristie says...

      Agreed, it’s fascinating to see your partner in a work mode or different capacity! I also particularly love the rare moments where I have bumped into my husband in public, like I was doing a quick grocery shop and he was quickly grabbing milk on the way home, and it’s like I see him as a stranger would and I get a little butterfly flutter of newness!

    • Eve says...

      This!

  56. agnes says...

    You guys are so romantic, it’s lovely! My husband is very romantic aswell and remembers all the important things. I would love a romantic dinner, but I’m just too tired at night! I would totally ask some of these questions and also: what would you do if won the lottery? what artist would you like to meet (even from another century)? what do you still want to achieve before your die? great post, as usual!

  57. Tabitha H says...

    I thought for a second that I couldn’t remember our first “official” date, which sounds terrible, but it’s because our first unintentional date was so memorable. He said, “We should hang out, it’s been a while” which *I* thought meant our whole friend group, but *he* meant just the two of us. So we got lunch (he paid) and he went everywhere I wanted to go in the mall and carried my things, and the second he dropped me off I ran to find my roommate like “Was that a date?? It REALLY seemed like a date!!”

    We stayed just friends for a few more months, but he did finally admit that it was in fact an unintentional date. XD

    And then we had the official “I like you” talk in a Chick-fil-A and an older, very clearly amused lady who worked there kept coming up and asking how we were every 15 seconds and we both dying of embarrassment. We saw her again 2 years later and she absolutely remembered us. I was MORTIFIED!

    But we’ve been married for 5 years, so it all worked out! Ha!

  58. L says...

    one of my favorite questions:
    If you could be any fictional character for a day, which one would you choose?

    • This is a great one, I love it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a fun question!!!!!!

  59. Lisa says...

    These are good questions! I have read date conversation starter lists online, but most lists are esoteric. Thanks!

  60. Taylor says...

    Not to sound totally smug, but I feel like my husband and I would ace the newlyweds game because I would know the answer to all of these without asking! And him for me! Whenever we go out to eat we play the “I can guess the two things on the menu you want” game :)

    When we run out of topics at dinner we like to eavesdrop on neighbors in restaurants or guess who is on a bad date/good date/married! If it’s a SLOW night we’ll come up with super, SUPER gross “would you rathers” and cry with laughter at each others rationalizations for our answers.

    • Betsy says...

      I’ve been with my SO for 3 years. Love the “I can guess the two thinks on the menu you want” game. Same here. We could both probably do a better job of ordering for each other, than we do for ourselves. We both have such weird quirks. I mean really, someone who doesn’t like french fries? We also play the same games in restaurants. Are you sure your name is really Taylor? Ha! Ha!

  61. NSH says...

    Why would he re-do your honeymoon? You went to Italy and Greece!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, just to repeat it! because it was so much fun :)

  62. Lee Ann says...

    Cheese is not a vice … just saying … ;)

    • Louisa says...

      I came in to say exactly this. CHEESE?!

  63. Mama says...

    Urgh, the shoulder detail made me want to cry. How lovely that he remembers that. I also struggle to talk about something other than the children (SAHM with apparently no other interests or topics for conversation when put under pressure) I hate that I bore him and I hate that he finds our babies (and by extension, my entire day to day existence) boring ☹️☹️☹️

    • sj says...

      Xoxo you’re not boring and either are your babies!

    • Elizabeth says...

      you okay girl?

      being mama all the time is just a phase. you’re still in there. take good care. lots of love.

    • Megan says...

      I’m so sad that you feel this way, Mama — you’re building a masterpiece in your child and it’s not a bore!

      That said, how are you cultivating your own interests? What do you read/watch/listen to/meditate on/daydream about? It’s hard not to lose ourselves in our children sometimes, I know. But I wish you a sense of self, too.

      Sending love and light your way.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, mama, that sounds so hard! i’m so sorry you’re going through this phase. it sounds like you are working hard with a lot on your plate. those early parenting days are NO JOKE! sending you so much love as you get through this difficult phase (it does end!) and all the love and admiration as you raise your beautiful children, which is such meaningful, wonderful and important work — and a very worthy topic of conversation. xoxoxo

    • talia says...

      There is nothing boring about raising a family! You are doing such important work. Please take good care of yourself and know I am cheering you on! You are a beautiful person.

    • E says...

      Oh I’m sorry! Did he actually say these things? If he said anything that came across like this you can tell him, “you saying ABC made me feel like you find me and my life boring. ”

      However, often I assume there are things I do that really bother my husband, but when I say so (in a similarly vulnerable way to how you are expressing yourself here) he doesn’t feel that way at all.

    • Laura says...

      My kids are just coming out of the tiny phase and are now KIDS – but I am homeschooling. So you would think I would be in a similar place, but the world is so opening back up! I’ve started to reinvest in myself – what music do I like? What movies do I want to watch alone? What dreams do I have now? What dreams am I over? What is new that I can try? The phase you are in totally matters, and it does consume your whole being. But you and your world will re-blossom as your kids become separate people (it actually does happen, and it is incredible and a bit sad all at once). Lots of love – you are a person of great worth and interest as you are today. <3

    • Alice says...

      We all see you, I hope you feel seen and engaged and a part of the conversation here. Come to this good place, I have and do, and it helps. My youngest is almost 4 and I’m only just feeling I can complete a big breath of my own, by myself. No rush, take it steady, you’re nurturing the future there, and you’re incredible for doing that. That is enough, you don’t have to always dazzle in every direction. sending love xxxxx

    • Y says...

      Mama, everything these supportive and loving women said! But may I also suggest you take a weekend to go away, either alone or with your girls and pamper yourself, leaving your husband home, alone, with your lovely children. And when you return, I wonder if he will have anything else to talk about other than what happened with those lovely children while YOU were away ;)

    • A.E. says...

      Mama, I have thought of your comment a few times since you posted on the 24th. To echo the kindness that preceded me on this chain: you are important and raising your children is important, too. I don’t have kids, but my best friend is a SAHM and I know how much she struggles with isolation and losing herself while taking care of them. Sending you love and support.

    • S says...

      I am way late to the conversation but wanted to chime in to the chorus of support.
      Babies, and you, are NOT boring!! I’m a working mom of a kindergartener and I so deeply miss those baby days! There are so many beautiful precious moments, and I wish I could relive even just one or two, even though it wasn’t that long ago.
      It’s ok to lean in to this amazing period and not be made to feel like you’re somehow lacking. You’re keeping some other humans alive and helping them learn how the world works…. nothing boring about that! Also—totally with you on the not having “interesting” things to talk about. It seems like just living through each day fills all the time, with no space left for purely interesting things. I like Y’s suggestion a lot though!
      Wishing you all the best.

  64. Veronica says...

    Recently went mountain biking with some friends and got into a conversation about sponsorship that was pretty hilarious / revealing… Have been using it since!

    If your life could be “sponsored” by something, what would it be?

    • Julia says...

      Oooh that’s a good one Veronica. My partner is a mountain biker/surfer so I’ll fire that one at him tonight.

  65. Emma says...

    “But I knew it was on and we’d get married when you got up to go to the bathroom at the restaurant and you ran your hand across my shoulder.”

    My heart <3

    • Perla says...

      Yes ! Right ?!

  66. My love surprises me ALL of the time. We’ve been together nearly eight years and I’m always learning some new fun fact. Also, it’s shocking to see how much we continue to grow together. You kinda think when you’re younger that you ‘grow up’ and then that’s that, but I am learning how to be a better person today than I was tomorrow each and every day so the process of growing up continues on and on. I look back on who we were as individuals and as a couple a year ago and almost don’t recognize us because of how far we’ve come. Just imagine how it will be five, ten or twenty-five years from now.

    • Megan says...

      Love this! Great perspective.

  67. Tricia says...

    Oh my god. Hypercolor lol.

  68. Kim says...

    “I knew it was on…” Alex cracks me up! He is so insightful but playful.

  69. Audrey says...

    Great timing! My husband is picking me up from work for lunch today and it’ll be great to talk about something other than work :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s also so easy to just talk about kids the whole time! :) alex once told me on a romantic weekend away that if i talked about the kids i had to stand on one foot, which made me laugh so much. and it worked.

    • Audrey says...

      That’s hilarious! A great rule for girls night too ;)

    • Lara says...

      How sweet !have a great time !

    • Olivia says...

      Lol, the first time we went out as a couple without the baby this summer (7 weeks old maybe? totally suggested by my husband and for the good of our marriage I extremely unwillingly said yes, haha) I was basically mute the entire time because I told myself not to talk about the baby 😂 we had rented a convertible and took a 3 hour joyride, and my husband was super thrilled and talkative, so it wasn’t horrifically awkward or obvious.

      I should add this activity was indeed planned by us both so it doesn’t sound like I was totally bulldozed by him. And at the end, we went home and I ran through the grass and dove in our pool and floated around. It was SO HEAVENLY and I got over my horror by then, haha

    • Alice says...

      we recently instated a date rule that if we want to talk about work, we have to touch our nose the whole time. Just goofy and annoying enough to encourage us talk about the truly important things, like:

      – if you had to eat the same meal once a day every day, what would it be?
      – what movie could you happily watch once a week for the rest of your life?
      and, if you’re feeling brave, the nearly marriage-ending
      – what is closer to a fry, a sweet potato fry or a tator tot?