Building and maintaining a romantic relationship that is meaningful and long-lasting is tough. There are many complex skills necessary. These include dedication, observation, humility, and compassion, but above all, curiosity. Curiosity may seem like something small that stays burning in the background, but it can be the difference in a connection that breaks and a lifelong partnership.
Curiosity is a strong desire to know something or to learn about it. It is a driving force behind the inspiration to follow a lead, ask lots of questions, and keep going when many others would give up. As individuals, curiosity fuels the depths of change and growth in our lives. When this is applied to a romantic connection, curiosity honors our growth together and signals a desire to continue learning about your partner. Without this desire the relationship can settle into boredom or fall apart completely.
When you are curious about your romantic partner and the relationship with them, you remain engaged, interested, and stimulated through your interactions. This can go a long way to sustaining a relationship and making it great. In addition, curious people tend to be much more inclined to seek out many different types of interaction which means more chances at compelling exchanges, deeper knowledge, and a closer connection with the other person. This same curiosity is linked to empathy. Empathetic people are much less likely to seek a way to hurt others because they are inclined to relate more to the feelings of others. This creates a higher likelihood of positive communication and a lowered risk of aggressive action and interaction.
Curious people usually look for open doors instead of focusing on what has already been closed. This seeking of openness lends itself well to a hopeful feeling rather than a pervasive pessimism. While pessimism does not mean a relationship will automatically end, the balance of positive and negative is important. At some point, your partner will branch into things that do not interest you, but if you can maintain a curiosity toward them and what they speak about it can benefit the relationship. This can be showing interest in their new hobby or being stimulated as they excitedly talk about the new interest. Simply being curious and interested in your partner and their interests will help your partner feel important and special. Over time, this will strengthen your bond and hopefully they can show interest in your hobbies as well.
Ways to Demonstrate Curiosity
There are a few suggestions below to help you demonstrate curiosity in your partner. These are just general ideas and over time you can build your own that is specific to your relationship and partnership.
- Listen when your partner talks to you. Be willing to ask questions and respond with verbal and nonverbal cues that show your interest.
- Pay attention to your partner’s body language and if it does not make sense, ask question to better understand.
- Ask about your partner’s goals, dreams, and desires for their future so you can understand them better.
- Set and communicate clear boundaries. If you are not in a good place to listen, gently let your partner know and then circle back when you can give them your focus. This shows you are interested, but want to give them your full focus.
- Invite your partner to share their interests with you to show your interest.
- Use curiosity during heated moments to get to a real answer that you can both understand.
- Try to maintain curiosity about your physical connection and intimacy to keep things going in the romance department.
Relational work is highly rewarding and highly complex. It can be wonderful, confusing, frustrating, and motivating, but it will deepen your connection and bring joy to your relationship.