Some people find it difficult to ask probing questions to uncover their date’s values, beliefs and preferences. Enter Intellectual Foreplay: Questions for Lovers and Lovers To Be, a book designed to help you easily dive into potentially difficult conversational waters.
The book is designed to be used by both of you. It is broken up into topic-focused chapters, with a strong warning not to start with the sex chapter! I’ve begun using it with Prince Considerate, not that we have difficulty exploring intimate topics, but I’ve found it makes it really easy on car trips or sitting on the couch to say, “Let’s dip into a few Intellectual Foreplay questions.”
We’ve taken turns choosing and answering questions. No matter what the question, you both answer it. I especially liked, “What attracts you to your partner?” There are questions on communication, hobbies, entertainment, morals, values, ethics, trust, romance, religion, health, money, work, family, food, vacations, and of course, sex.
The authors suggest you can either go through all the questions in a chapter, or choose specific questions from a section, or just open the book and randomly pick one. You can do this in person or on the phone. I’d suggest not doing it via email or IM as the person’s voice tone tells you a lot. So ideally, you’re in person, facing each other so you can see the other’s body language.
I don’t know that I’d bring this book to a first date, but I have shared the concept with someone over the phone and asked if he’d be interested in discussing a few. I cherry-picked a few I wanted to discuss and it went well. The key is you both answer the same question so I offered to go first to reduce it feeling like an interview.
The authors, Eve Eschner Hogan and Steve Hogan used this technique to deepen a long-distance relationship and determine if they were truly compatible. As you can gather by their names, the got married, they say because they got to know each other so well.
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