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on September 5, 2012
The premise and format of this book is incredibly simple: it's a collection of questions (101 to be exact) of questions for spouses to get each other talking. No chapter headings. No long pages of text. Just one question per page with an attractive picture in the background. A book like this could easily flop, with tepid, limp, or contrived questions. But in its execution this effort by Chapman is an unalloyed success.

Why does it work so well? Chapman keeps things simple. Each question functions like a catapult, tossing you and your spouse up effortlessly into a gratifying and relationship-opening conversation. Subjects can come up that you've been waiting/wanting/needing to talk about for a long time. But it's effortless and pleasurable -- friendly and open. It seems to be because Chapman maintains a skillful balance between well-focused and open-ended.

So who is this book useful for? Essentially, any couple could benefit from this book. Even if the only fruit is a single rewarding conversation, you'll get your money's worth. So if you want to learn about your spouse's hopes, dreams, past, or fears, without painful or contrived digging, this is a great place to start.

Of course, if your relationship is really struggling, you might need to bring in heavier ammunition. Try The Relationship Rescue Workbook for "boot camp" DIY marriage therapy. For a more long-term, focused approach -- if there are some deep issues -- check out The Couple's Survival Workbook.

Indeed, either of these books might work as a kind of counterpoint to 101 Conversation Starters, providing a more intense way to getting conversations going -- and you could always think of Conversation Starters as the "kinder, gentler" approach.
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on October 5, 2012
I got this book for my husband and I to use at the dinner table and on date night. This book is great! This book fosters meaningful conversation and helps build intimacy. There are a variety of questions throughout the only issue with this book is that religion and the Bible are incorporated into it.Examples of this would be "Name the Old Testament event that you wish you could have witnessed. Name the New Testament event (in addition to the resurrection) that you wish you could have witnessed" and "Acts 2:42-47 describes a close, caring community. In what setting have you had the greatest experience of genuine fellowship?". Questions like these aren't relevant to all couples (My husband and I are both atheists) like the other questions/conversation topics present in the book are. Despite the religious incorporation, though, I highly recommend this book!
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on February 1, 2013
I was hoping for a book with interesting questions for long car rides, since we sometimes have difficulty talking about topics that don't revolve around our children or our work. Maybe it's just not designed for couples who have been together for 20+ years & talk all of the time, but I was disappointed with the simplicity of the questions. I only found a handful of questions that we hadn't already discussed by the time we celebrated our 5th anniversary...
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on December 7, 2013
"101 Conversation Starters for Couples" is a pocket-size book written, or rather "developed", by Gary Chapman, a bestselling author {"The 5 Love Languages"} and marriage counselor, and Ramon Presson, a clinically certified marriage and family therapist.

It isn't any secret that communication is vital in marriage, especially for really learning about and loving your spouse and, ultimately, deepening the romance and relationship. And continuing to get to know and pursue each other is the purpose of "101 Conversation Starters for Couples". Even the picturesque front cover depicting two adirondack chairs side-by-side overlooking the ocean {or, in my "perfect" moment, Lake Michigan} alludes to intimacy and closeness, while the back cover states, in part:

Your spouse is a fascinating person, a treasure trove of meaningful, humorous, and profound experiences, thoughts, feelings, ideas, memories, hopes, dreams, beliefs and convictions. These 101 questions [...] are to be used as conversation starters for you and your mate. [This book] offers a process to enjoy over dinner, on a date night, or any time you'd like to dig a little deeper.

At first glance, I liked everything about "101 Conversation Starters for Couples": the design, the smaller size, the give-as-a-gift potential, and even the quick thoughts in the opening pages that read, "These questions celebrate the depth and wonderful mystery of your mate. Questions invite disclosure, and disclosure launches discovery. Discovery enriches a marriage and builds intimacy." It sounded great, and, hey, it looked pretty nice, too.

My husband and I read and talked through the questions, ranging from childhood memories and likes/dislikes to future dreams and hypothetical situations, and while there was some conversation, the bulk of the questions, for us, garnered answers little longer than a few sentences. The questions are all admittedly creative and for the most part unique, yet, while both of us did our best to consider each question, and our answers, seriously, we found many of the questions were either too shallow for real conversation starters, even for ourselves who have been married just over a year, or somewhat irrelevant or inapplicable {Can you recall a first date during which you immediately knew there would not be a second date?}.

Though I admire the overall concept and purpose of "101 Conversation Starters for Couples" and had hoped it would meet my expectations, I was disappointed to find that the content comes up short. And while I would not outright discount its potential for helping some other married couple engage in conversation and continue to learn about each other, personally I would not recommend "101 Conversation Starters for Couples" as a resource to "build intimacy".
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on August 21, 2013
After 7 years of marriage, I still don't know everything about Big A. Amazing, isn't it, how much we can know about someone but still they have so much to tell us. I thought I would gain some help with getting to know him more with "101 Conversation Starters for Couples" by Gary Chapman and Ramon Presson.

It's really been helpful to ask these questions to learn more about Big A. Some of the questions that we've discussed so far are:

image via Amazon
What are two things that happened today and how did you feel about them? He started off the day with no new emails and felt good about that; then work really picked up around 4:00 and a few people needed a few things at the same time so he was downhearted about that.

If you could hire Martha Stewart for a day, what would you have her do? Buy our groceries with her money.

What nonbiblical historical event would you like to have witnessed? No answer because I asked a really deep question too late at night. LOL

This has just been a fun little thing for us to discuss at the end of the day (as long as I don't wait too long). I've enjoyed these and want to check out the other Conversation Starter books.
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on August 16, 2013
My boyfriend and I are going strong past the one year marker. I bought this when we wanted to get to know each other better to strengthen our already strong relationship.

I read a review from someone in a 20+ year relationship and I can understand how it didn't do much at that point because of the already shared experiences and opportunities for conversation. Instead, we are a 20-something couple still learning each other.

For us, this is a really great book. We recently helped with his brother's wedding and they had a bride/groom mad libs which was fun for us to play with-but we wanted more. This book fit the bill.

I highly recommend this book for couple that mutually wants to strengthen the relationship. It seems silly at times but really spurs great conversation with laughter and tears.
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on February 3, 2014
Product is very nicely put together. My biggest disappointment is that a lot of the topics to discuss don't really apply to our lives. However, I do concede that perhaps these would fit better into the majority of people's lives. However, there were a few topics that I could still use and it helped me to think of ways to expand on these to try to start some conversations. I feel this is something worth checking out.
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on August 14, 2012
I bought a copy of this book for my son and his girlfriend, and a copy for my husband and I to use on our weekly date night. The book is more geared towards married couples, but I thought my son could tweak it to spur quality conversation between he and his girlfriend. Thanks!!
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on October 17, 2014
When Moody Publishers gave me a list of books to review, I chose 101 Conversation Starters for Couples by Gary D. Chapman and Ramon L. Presson, mainly because I am a big fan of Chapman’s Love Language book series.

One of my husband’s primary love languages is Quality Time, and I figured, what better way to spend some time together than to peruse a list of questions and possibly learn something new about one another!

The questions had a little bit more depth to them than your typical “List of Questions for Couples”, with some off the wall and humorous approaches to learning more about your spouse. My husband and I found that car rides were a great time to peruse the questions – I just kept the book in the glove box for easy access.

The majority of the questions had a theme of reminiscing about childhood and the past. And although the questions are fun and creative, I found that they were all topics Jonathan and I exhausted early on into our dating relationship. The ONLY thing I learned new about my husband? That he was hit by a baseball bat in the head as a teenager during a church ball game. While riveting, it’s not exactly ground breaking soul penetrating information, haha.

I’d say this book would be a great communication booster for couples who are just getting started in their relationship, or perhaps a good prompt for marriages that are experiencing a lull in communication. The questions are all grounded in Scripture, and cover a good variety of light-hearted chit chat to heavier self-reflection.

I’d recommend this book to newer couples and newlyweds, but if you’re an established couple (my husband and I have been together for going on six years now), then I would just skip it, unless expanding communication is your goal.
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on August 31, 2013
Marriage experts Gary Chapman and Ramon Presson developed 101 questions that couples can use on a date night, at dinner, or whenever they have a quiet moment together. These questions can trigger thoughts, feelings, or memories to help couples draw closer together.

When I first saw this book, I thought it was a cute little book. It is not very large at all, which makes it easy to carry around - on shopping trips, in the car on road trips, or in your purse on a night out to dinner. As I thumbed through the pages, I noticed the way it was organized with one question per page, with a green colored background and vague images of beautiful scenes behind the questions. The appearance is very peaceful.

As I read through the questions, I thought how I would answer them and wondered how my spouse would answer them. Some I already knew the answer to, but some I did not, which made me excited to ask him. So I started asking him some of the questions and it lead to a nice conversation. I carried the book with us as we did some shopping and it made the time in the car fly by quickly.

I think this is a good book to help couples get out the the grind of daily communication. Sometimes we fall into daily conversations of, "What did you do today?" or "What do we have to do tomorrow?" or "Are we working in the yard this weekend?" It can get boring when verbal interactions follow the same pattern.

I also think this book is helpful in exploring new or revisiting old territory. When dating or newly married, we talk for hours to our partner, even staying up all night sometimes. Then it is easy to get into a routine and before you know it, interactions are predictable. This book could break up the routine.

Overall, I think this is a good book. I have seen other books in the past that are similar, but this one is quite nice and very affordable. It would make a nice gift for a newly married couple, a couple that is struggling to connect, a couple who are empty-nesters, or a newly retired couple spending more time together after years of working. If you are a part of a couple that needs to improve communication, buy it as a gift to yourself.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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