The routine usually goes like this: You and/or your partner arrive home and ask “How was your day?” “Fine. Yours?” Fine. Can we watch Netflix now? And….just like that, a question that’s meant to be an open-ended conversation starter becomes an intimacy dead end. So, how do you make catching up with each other more meaningful and relationship-affirming? To begin, replace “how was your day?” with the following questions. Here’s why.
Why You Shouldn’t Say ‘How Was Your Day?’
According to The Science of People, the “how was your day?” trap begins when this question becomes a logistical check-in as opposed to a chance to glean deeper details about your partner’s experience (who they are and how they’re changing as they navigate their life). Unless you pepper in a series of follow-ups, it almost always warrants a vague response or one-word answer.
The solution? Specificity. You want to choose a question that will force your partner to say something deeper or—at the very least—solicit more details from you about your emotional experience. The following questions are alternatives to the dreaded “how was your day?” and ones that encourage a combination of specificity, but more importantly vulnerability and openness.
Questions to Ask Instead of ‘How Was Your Day?’
1. What was the best part of your day?
2. Did anything surprise you today?
3. Did you read/listen to anything interesting today?
4. Did you take any photos today? What of?
5. How can I make your day easier in five minutes?
6. What did you do that was just for you today?
7. What do you wish you did more of today?
8. What do you wish you did less of today?
9. What made you laugh today?
10. Did anything make you feel frustrated today?
11. Did you receive any good news today?
12. How many cups of coffee did you have today?
13. What are you most grateful for about your day?
14. What was the best conversation you had today?
15. Tell me three good things that happened to you today.
16. What did you have for lunch today?
17. What inspired you the most today?
18. What is something you did today that you’d love to do every day?
19. Did you do something kind for anyone today?
20. If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be and why?
21. When did you feel appreciated today?
22. If you could guarantee one thing for tomorrow, what would it be?
23. If your day turned into a movie, who would you cast?
24. Will you remember any specific part of your day a year from now? Five years? How come?
25. Aren’t you going to ask me about my day?