How Well Do You Know Your Partner? | Imagine Comes True


In the buzz and routine of daily life together, it’s easy for long-term partners to assume: “I know my partner inside and out.” But do you really? Even if you can recite their favourite foods, most-used phrases, or comedic impersonation skills, true intimate knowledge goes far deeper.

Knowing your partner intimately means understanding their core values and beliefs, childhood experiences that shaped them, evolving life dreams, greatest fears and insecurities, and innermost thoughts they share with no one else.

This level of openness and emotional intimacy allows a romantic relationship to transcend the surface and continually grow over decades. Without it, you may be living with a stranger, stuck making inaccurate assumptions about someone you’ve vowed to share your life with.

Only 36% of people know their partner’s innermost thoughts and feelings well.GoBankingRates Survey, 2018
Couples who engage in daily partner-disclosure conversations report higher relationship quality.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2019
92% of long-married couples say mutual intimacy and really knowing their partner has been key to their marriage success.AARP Marriage Survey, 2020
Relationship quality is 25% higher for couples who try to learn new things about each other over time.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2017
Communication issues are cited as a major reason for divorce by 65% of divorced couples.Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, 2021

Signs You Don’t Truly Know Your Partner

Signs You Don't Truly Know Your Partner
  • You feel disconnected or emotionally distant from them, even when physically together.
  • Large swaths of their internal world remain a mystery to you.
  • You can’t recall the last time you had a vulnerable, soul-baring conversation.
  • You frequently make incorrect assumptions about what they think or feel
  • You have to rely on outsiders to help you understand your partner’s perspective
  • You feel like there are sides of your partner you’ve never fully seen or understood
  • Your partner has expressed feeling misunderstood or unknown by you

The truth is that human beings are dynamic, ever-evolving creatures. We are not the same people we were last year, let alone a decade ago. Our hopes, fears, beliefs, and inner landscapes constantly shift with new experiences and personal growth.

That’s why continually cultivating a deeper understanding of your partner is vital, after those initial “courtship” stages of learning everything about each other. You will inevitably drift apart if you stop asking questions and making an effort.

The Benefits of Truly Knowing Your Partner When both partners commit to continually peeling back new layers of their innermost selves, the rewards are immense for individuals and the relationship:

For You Personally

For You Personally
  • Ability to provide truly empathetic support during difficult times
  • Understanding the “why” behind your partner’s behaviors and triggers
  • Feeling deeply seen, understood, and accepted for your authentic self
  • Increased sense of emotional intimacy and connection
  • Greater feelings of being cherished and prioritized

For Your Partner

  • Feeling safe to freely express every part of who they are, without fear
  • Having a partner attentive to their emotional needs and inner world
  • Ability to be vulnerable and open without being judged or dismissed
  • Feeling loved for every aspect of themselves
  • Knowing they have a true teammate through life’s ups and downs

For The Relationship

  • Deeper levels of emotional intimacy and bonding
  • Minimized conflicts rooted in inaccurate assumptions or miscommunication
  • Increased feelings of being accepted, loved, and seen for who you truly are
  • Ability to be fully authentic, vulnerable, and emotionally naked together
  • Feeling motivated and inspired to grow as individuals and partners together
  • Strengthened foundation of friendship, teamwork and partnership

While emotional intimacy is difficult to quantify, research consistently correlates it with overall relationship quality and longevity. Couples who feel deeply known by each other thrive at exponentially higher levels of connection, trust, communication, passion and happiness.

The Path to Deeper Understanding Building that level of intimate knowledge happens through consistent intention and dedication to the process of opening up. Here are the key steps:

Step 1: Create a Safe Space for Complete Vulnerability

Create a Safe Space

The first step is making your partner feel completely safe opening up their entire inner world to you, without fear of judgment, criticism, ridicule or betrayal.

  • Approach every self-disclosure with compassion and acceptance
  • Never minimize or dismiss their thoughts and feelings, even if you disagree
  • Focus solely on understanding their perspective without defensiveness
  • Let them know you appreciate their willingness to be vulnerable

Building a judgment-free zone of emotional safety is crucial. If your partner doesn’t feel safe, they’ll remain guarded.

Step 2: Ask Meaningful Questions and Listen Deeply

Ask Meaningful Questions and Listen Deeply

On a consistent basis, engage your partner in soulful, meaningful dialogue that allows you to understand their core self. Questions like:

  • “If you could have one wish in life granted, what would it be?”
  • “What were some of the most formative experiences of your childhood?”
  • “What are your biggest fears or insecurities in life right now?”
  • “If you could get a do-over on anything, what would you change?”

The key is not just asking the questions, but listening with every fibre of your being. Maintain amazing eye contact. Ask follow-up questions to grasp nuances. Let them elaborate without interrupting. Discuss the deeper meaning of their revelations.

Step 3: Share Radical Transparency Into Your Inner Life

Share Radical Transparency Into Your Inner Life

Of course, intimacy is a two-way street. You can’t simply interrogate your partner. Open yourself up as well through radical self-disclosure about your:

  • My deepest hopes, dreams, and aspirations are still unfulfilled
  • Most soul-shaping life experiences, positive and painful
  • Philosophical beliefs about life, love, and your worldview
  • Biggest regrets, fears, and insecurities that you still grapple with

The more open and vulnerable you are first, the more safety and comfort you create for your partner to match that depth.

Step 4: Regular Check-ins About Where You Both Are Currently

Regular Check-ins About Where You Both Are Currently

We continually evolve as human beings. Our perspectives, emotional states, priorities and life stresses always shift and change over time.

That’s why it’s vital to regularly check in with your partner about where they are presently, emotionally and psychologically. Ask questions like:

  • How have you felt about life/work/our relationship lately?”
  • “What has been your biggest psychological struggle in this current season?”
  • “What has been lighting you up with passion and energy lately?”
  • “What internal battles have you grappled with that I may not see?”

Don’t make assumptions that your previous depth of knowledge is current and complete. Adopt a mindset of curiosity to learn about their experience in that moment.

Step 5: Notice and Discuss Life Transition Points

Notice and Discuss Life Transition Points

Major life events and transitions are always psychologically charged experiences that reshape us subtly and overtly. Notice when your partner begins:

  • A new job or career change
  • Enters a new decade of life
  • Confronts a loss or death of a loved one
  • Accomplishes a major life goal or dream
  • Experiences traumatic events or high-stress periods

These transition points are perfect opportunities to deepen further your understanding of how it shapes your partner’s inner life, sense of self, priorities, and outlook. Explore it together openly and allow them to process it freely with you.

Step 6: Reminisce Often About Your Journey Together

Reminisce Often About Your Journey Together

Finally, remember and relive the major moments of your relationship journey together, from your earliest dating years through major milestones like engagement, marriage, parenthood, and any personal growth experiences you shared.

Reminiscing allows you to appreciate how far you’ve come, how your emotional bond has strengthened, and all the layers of understanding you’ve built over the years. It also reveals how you’ve emerged as life partners through thick and thin together.

It may initially seem daunting to grasp the inner complexities of your partner’s psychological and emotional makeup. However, like any area of importance, consistent effort and intention yield tremendous fruit over time.


The rewards of being deeply known by your life partner, and extending that gift in return, are immense. You experience love and acceptance from someone who truly “gets” you in every dimension. You commit to being eternally students of each other, opening new gateways to even deeper intimacy.

Most crucially, you feel unconditionally loved and accepted for who you both truly are, at your core. There is no greater feeling of security and wholeness in life than that.

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