Last night was date night with #TheHandsomeOne. With budgets being tight – it is the end of the month, after all – we decided on a night in to tackle the infamous list of 36 questions. Have you see the list? It’s an activity that’s supposed to help you feel closer to the other person. I suppose it would work between any two people, but it’s a recommendation for couples.

Armed with 2 bottles of wine, 8 pizza roll-ups and 36 questions, we jumped into the night. Note that it did take us all night. He thought it was a 45 minute exercise. I had read a story where the couple took over 3 hours. Let’s say that I was a little more prepared for the time commitment. We started around 9pm and finished up a quarter after midnight.

36 Questions. Some more intimate than others. For me, some had immediate answers; others were harder to answer. There was one that I flat out said: “I don’t even know how to answer this one.” And even though we’ve been together for 9 months, and we’re both extremely communicative people, it was nice to step back and get to know each other (even more).

Some of the questions sparked conversation that developed away from the list: “If this is how you think and I think different, how will we bridge the gap as our future unfolds?” Trying to develop a preemptive strategy for the differences of opinion that are sure to come, that will try to tear us apart.

For me, it was a night of relationship maintenance. A check-in, of sorts. As couple development goes, we’re doing fine. We’d just like to keep it that way. Open communication. A practice in vulnerability. An exchange of trust. All of these things certainly help to keep a relationship between two people healthy and fresh.

We decided that it may be worthwhile to set aside a time each year to revisit the list. Keeping our minds and hearts open to the fact that as individuals time and experience will change us – and a periodic check-in will keep us ahead of the curve.