Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What gives you energy?

  2. What helps you feel calm when you're anxious?

  3. How do you like to be supported when you're sad?

  4. What are your regular self-care practices?

  5. What drains you of joy and passion?

  6. What replenishes your mind, body, and spirit when you're low?



questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast Episode #22 – Bad Blood : Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #22 – Bad Blood: Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

Sometimes sex has gotten so complicated that couples stop talking about. What do you do when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate? Today Gina and Julie discuss what to do when sexual gridlock happens.

This episode covers:

  • What happens when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate?

  • What is stonewalling and how do you know it's happening?

  • The difference between sexual tension, resentment, blame, and stonewalling.

  • How people can go years without sex when they get stuck in a sexual stalemate

  • What is often underneath sexual frustration or anger.

  • The role of personal accountability when it comes to sexual gridlock.

  • How to shift out of a negative feedback loop.

Quotes from the episode

“They're not talking about it, but you can feel it, it's so intense. There isn't any talking about joy or pleasure, all they talk about is how bad it is so then they avoid talking about it. It becomes this giant, invisible mountain between them.”

“People feel real shame about their frequency of sex – it's not uncommon for people in these stalemate potions to have a very low frequency of sex and really low fulfillment when it comes to how fulfilling or pleasurable it is.”

“Blame is a flag that accountability is needed somewhere in the relationship.”

“How bad should it get before going to therapy? At some of the first signs of blame and stonewalling, that's a good time to go to therapy.”

“It's OK not to want sex – when it comes to stonewalling you might not even be checking in about if you actually want sex – you might just be mad and using withholding sex/connection as a weapon and not budging from your position.”

“It can become a negative feedback loop – you do this, so I do this, so you do this, etc – and all the things we are doing, we feel like we are protecting ourselves from pain or we are the victim, but really it's just contributing to the disconnect or the mountain of frustration between us.”

“Partner #1 If only YOU would ___________ then I would want to have sex with you.

Partner #2 I you wanted to have sex with me then I would want to do __________.”

“If you look at how you are contributing, you can shift it. One of you has to be willing to move or soften or change the cycle.”

Resources from the Podcast

It's going to be really hard, nearly impossible, to break out of the cycle without a third party to help you shift the dynamic. Check out therapyden.com to find a therapist who will help you facilitate a new conversation.

Mating in captivity

Gottman Rapoport Conflict Blueprint

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. When did you last feel lonely?

  2. When did you last feel nervous?

  3. When do you feel jealous?

  4. What stressed you out this week?

  5. How do you work through your shadow emotions? 

  6. How will you let me know when you're feeling lonely, nervous, jealous or stressed?

  7. How can I support you when you're feeling any of these emotions?



questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast Episode #21 – My Favorite Mistake: Things Happen During Sex

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #21 – My Favorite Mistake: Things Happen During Sex

Sex doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes bodies make funny sounds, embarrassing or weird things happen or the reality doesn't meet your expectations.

Today we are talking about sexual bloopers or disappointments. Join Julie and Gina as they share tools and practices you can use when sex goes sideways.

This episode covers:

  • The difference between intimacy and sex

  • Sexual bloopers, let downs, disappointments or disconnects

  • The truth that our sexual reality doesn’t always match our expectations.

  • How not to take it personally, go to a shame place or blame the other person when sex goes sideways

  • Tools to help you explore your expectations and desires about sex.

  • Practices to help you stay connected when weird things happen during sex.

Quotes from the episode

“We put sex on a pedestal, like it's supposed to be a certain way and when it's not, it can cut to our shame, to our vulnerability, to our doubts. And the truth is like anything in life, it's not always going to go the way we hope.”

“Bodies do weird things.”

“Sex doesn't always look a certain way. Sometimes things happen outside of your control. What you can control is how you respond to it. You can control your expectations and you can control how you respond when sex goes sideways. And you can control how you communicate about it.”

“I masturbated and didn't have an orgasm, so I never did it again.”

“The more you are having sexual connection with someone, the more likely it is that at some point, something weird is going to happen.”

Action Steps from the Podcast

Start practicing talking about sex outside of sex.

Talk about things before try them –

“What would it be like if we tried this sometime?”

“How do you feel if I call you this word?”

“What happens if I touch you here?”

“What words feel good when I talk about your body.”

When it comes to sex - What are your hopes? Best case scenario? What are your worries or concerns?

Explore your brake pedals

Create a “Pause Ritual” - Remember, the goal is connection.

**Talk about this outside of sex.**

What do you want to have happen when things go sideways so you can regroup, connect and decide what you want to do next?

Some examples -

Hold each other

Hand on heart

Eye contact

Breathe

Then when do you want to do next? Kissing? Go for a Walk? Pick up where you left off? What would feel connecting?

The next step is to request the pause ritual when you feel disconnected. 

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your parents teach you about people who are different from you?

  2. What were your family's religious values growing up?

  3. What were your family's political values growing up?

  4. How have your political or religious values changed since childhood?  How has that impacted your relationship with your family?

  5. How much influence does your family have on your decisions?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

FREE CALL ANNOUNCEMENT: Managing Jealousy & Insecurity in Healthy Relationships

MONTHLY FREE COACHING CALL

Every month I host a free call for a small group on topics essential to success in love and entrepreneurship. 

We focus the conversation on tangible skills you can easily implement in your relationship and small business to build the deeply connected life of your dreams.

One hour max.  Always fun.  Always free.


MANAGING JEALOUSY & INSECURITY IN RELATIONSHIPS

Fri, August 16, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Online/Video Call (join from the comfort of your home)

JOIN US

Join this month's free call to learn the skills you need to manage the intensity of jealousy and insecurity so they don't negatively impact the relationships that matter most to you.

Here's what we'll cover:

1. How to identify, interrupt, and befriend your jealous reactions.

2. Skills to channel your reactive emotions for stronger connection.

3. How to communicate effectively when insecurity and jealousy come up.

4. Practices to nourish trust in your intimate partnerships.

We'll end with a quick coaching session to answer your specific questions about jealousy and insecurity in your own relationship!

When you register I'll send you an access code for my free relationship tool library, which includes eight specific tools and guides for healthy communication.

And you'll get a copy of my workbook, Managing Jealousy in Romantic Relationships.

Sign up today and join the conversation!

ABOUT YOUR COACH

gs headshot 3.jpg

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

She coaches online clients all over the world and leads retreats in the U.S.

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.


Swoon Podcast Episode #20 – I’m Sticking With You: What You Need to Know About Codependent Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #20 - I’m Sticking With You: What You Need to Know About Codependent Relationships

Gina and Julie are thrilled to be joined by Jeff Guenther, LPC to talk about codependency! Do you wonder if you or your partner might be needy or codependent?

Tune in to learn about what codependency really means.

This episode covers:

  • What does codependence really mean?

  • The difference between having needs, neediness and codependency.

  • The ways codependency can be similar to anxious attachment.

  • The patterns from childhood or other relationships that can influence our level of dependence in relationship.

  • Ways we can destigmatize being codependent – you might be the glue in your relationship.

  • Ways to know when your codependence might become a problem.

  • How to explore your own level of independence, interdependence or independence in relationship.

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Swoon Attachment Episode

Book - Attached

Website for Attached

Eight Dates, John and Julie Gottman

Intimacy Worksheet

Action Steps from the Podcast

Tools to explore when you feel anxious -

What behind the feeling ? Do you need to feel closer? Do you need reassurance?

If you are feeling super anxious or spun up and need to help yourself, what will you do?

Your limbic system is hijacking your brain and we need to get you into your frontal lobe– try doing hard math problems, do a puzzle, play a game you have to think about or get into your body (make a fist and then release, again).

Some questions to explore -

What does codependency mean in my relationship history or my current relationship?

What do I mean by the term “codependent” - what are the observable behaviors?

What is interdependence vs independence or autonomy vs connection or enmeshment vs differentiation

And go see a therapist– you can find one on therapyden.com

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What was your favorite holiday as a child?

  2. What holiday brings you the most joy as an adult?

  3. What holiday means the most for you to spend with a partner?

  4. How do you like to celebrate birthdays?

  5. Which holiday feels most connected to family for you?

  6. Which holiday feels the most holy or spiritually connected to you?

  7. Which holidays are optional?  Which are non-negotiable?

  8. Are there any specific holiday rituals of traditions you'd like to share with me?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast Episode #19 – No Ordinary Love: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #19 – No Ordinary Love: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships

When we talk about intimacy in relationships we mean more than just sexual connection- but how do we cultivate it when we feel intimacy is lacking?

Tune in this week to gather Gina and Julie's favorite ways to build intimacy in relationships.

This episode covers:

  • The difference between intimacy and sex

  • How understanding different kinds of intimacy can improve your relationship

  • How to broaden your sexually intimate connection

  • What emotional intimacy means in partnerships and how to fuel it in friendships and other relationships

  • How common it is to have one partner want more sexual intimacy and the other need more emotional intimacy

  • How being aware of the overlaps between these types of intimacy can help you intentionally deepen intimacy

Quotes from the episode

"People use 'intimacy' as a euphemism for sex because they're uncomfortable saying 'sex.' It feels it's less crude or obvious... But we're talking about a broader spectrum of intimacy."

"Specificity, presence, and meaning usually increase intimacy."

"Trust, vulnerability, and intimacy go together."

"Share your story only with people who've earned the right to hold it."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Eight Dates, John and Julie Gottman

Intimacy Worksheet

Action Steps from the Podcast

Download this worksheet and reflect on the areas of intimacy and note how either a relationship you have with someone else, or how your relationship with yourself fills your needs for different types of intimacy.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about change?

  2. How did your parents react to changes while you were growing up?

  3. What helps you navigate change as an adult?

  4. When have you been most successful in making big life transitions?

  5. Who has supported you through life transitions?  How did they show up for you?

  6. How has your family changed over time?

  7. How has your resilience through change shifted over time?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.