“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
One of the best life lessons I learned was from my beloved grandmother. She taught me to never be afraid to ask questions.
She would often look at me with her warm, almond-colored eyes and say, “The best way to learn, to gain clarity is to ask questions. Never take anything at face value.”
Even as an adult today, the truth of her wisdom continues to prove itself.
The beauty of constant questioning is that it is often the fastest path to enlightenment. It leads you to search for answers. It encourages you to be more proactive in your life.
When I was in college, I could only afford to visit my family during summer and Christmas breaks. While I was at home, I particularly enjoyed spending time with one dear friend. We had known each other since junior high school, and I considered her the younger sister I never had.
During my sophomore year in school, she contacted me and revealed she had romantic feelings for me. She wanted us to start dating.
I was completely caught off guard. I had no idea she felt this way. Sensing my conflict, she asked that I think about it, and said we would talk when I saw her that summer.
For the remainder of that semester, I agonized over what I should do. One night, my grandmother’s wisdom began echoing in my mind. What did I want?
Alone in my dorm room, I took a deep breath and asked myself very important questions that I needed to answer, but had been avoiding. Did I share the same feelings she had for me? Did I want us to begin dating?
By being still and questioning myself, I gained access to my inner voice, which I had been drowning out in my panic.
It revealed that while I did love her, I wasn’t in love with her. Pursuing a relationship primarily out of fear of losing her would have been unfair to both of us, and it would have caused us to not live in truth.
That summer was difficult. When I told her how I truly felt, she was understandably hurt. However, our friendship survived because we both realized we cared enough to be brutally honest with each other, and that is rare.
To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I didn’t heed grandmother’s wisdom, and had reacted out of fear instead of stopping to question my true feelings.
If you are having doubts about a relationship, please let me assure you the answers you seek are within you. You just may be allowing fear to muffle your inner voice.
The following are 30 questions that can help you achieve more clarity about your relationship—what’s working, what’s not, and why. Please keep in mind there are no wrong or right answers, just insightful ones:
1. Do you completely trust each other?
2. Do you believe in soul mates, and if so, do you believe you are each other’s?
3. When was the last time you said, “I love you?” If it’s been a while, why?
4. Are you satisfied with the intimacy you share?
5. How often do you laugh together?
6. Do you feel you have made personal sacrifices for your relationship, and have they been reciprocated?
7. When you think of your partner, do you smile?
8. Do you feel threatened when others find your partner attractive, and why?
9. Do you believe your partner is your biggest advocate?
10. How do you feel about your partner’s views on finances?
11. Do you enjoy spending time with your partner’s relatives? Friends?
12. Do either of you dredge up resentments in arguments, and why have you struggled to let them go?
13. How do you feel when your partner arrives home after being away?
14. Is your partner your best friend?
15. Is there a secret you are keeping that if your partner knew, you feel you would lose them?
16. Do you feel that your partner accepts you?
17. When did you realize you had fallen in love, and how do you feel when you think about it?
18. Have you seen each other at your best and worst?
19. Would you ever consider having an affair? Why? Why not?
20. Are you excited about your future together?
21. Do you feel your relationship is a true partnership?
22. When was your last romantic outing?
23. Does it bother you if your partner has friends of the opposite sex, and why?
24. Do you accept each other’s belief systems?
25. When was the last time you talked about your future together, and were you on the same page?
26. Do you feel as if you can communicate without saying a word?
27. What is your happiest memory of your time together? Your worst? Are there more happy memories than unhappy ones?
28. What is a relationship deal breaker for you, and have you overlooked one in this relationship?
29. How do you feel about the last, in-depth conversation you and your partner had?
30. Do you show your love for each other often, and if not, why?
If you are seeking clarity about your relationship, the best source of insight is from within. You just need to be unafraid to ask for the answers you seek. Then trust those answers and yourself.
Wishing you much love and success!
Photo by Björn Söderqvist