How to Banter
An overview and explainer on why we believe in the value and importance of games for couples and what to watch out for while playing.
Whether you have been dating for six months, married for fifteen years, working in the same office for three weeks, or living together for a decade - there is always something new to learn about each other.
We created Banters to help people express curiosity, discover new information, deepen connections, and have fun - all through games.
The best relationship emails in the world - games, quizzes, advice, and more.
There are five categories designed to match any relationship and desired tone of conversation. You can use them as a starting point to help break the ice when meeting someone new, as a tool to practice vulnerability and share more about yourself, or as a way to spark intimacy.
As a relationship wellness company, we strongly believe that the quality of our relationships impact the quality of our lives. So we wanted to create a fun way to help individuals nourish their relationships - all of them.
There is a difference between talking and sharing, and while we might often ask those in our lives “How are you?” we rarely ask “Who are you?”
Curiosity is an essential building block of intimacy. Research suggests that people perceive individuals who are curious as more attractive, and feel closer to curious individuals after even just one conversation. In romantic relationships, curiosity commonly exists at the start and tends to fade as couples learn more about each other. While there is comfort in knowing your partner, it also becomes easier to make assumptions. However, we are constantly changing and while you might think you know all there is about your partner, their views and beliefs may have evolved. Asking each other open-ended questions can help demonstrate your interest and build intimacy, improve communication and clarify assumptions, and help rediscover and understand your inner worlds.
Engaging in reciprocal self-disclosure (unveiling personal information as a response to the disclosure of another individual) can also increase feelings of closeness. However, practicing vulnerability is not always easy. That is why we wanted to create a game that would allow individuals to take turns practicing openness and holding space for each other. Our hope is that Banters will provide an opportunity to feel seen, heard and understood. And, if you like Banters, you'll love OURS — you can learn more about us here.
- Step 1: Grab a partner - a friend, a sibling, a significant other, anyone you want to feel closer to.
- Step 2: Create your space - make sure you feel comfortable in the space you are in, and that there are no distractions.
- Step 3: Choose a deck - there are five different decks, start with one that sounds right for the mood you are in.
- Step 4: Take turns - remember to practice reciprocal self-disclosure. Person A asks the first question. Person B answers the first question. You have deep discussions, probably some “aha” moments, and maybe some laughs.
- Step 5: Continue. Person A then answers the first question. You have more insightful conversation. Person B then asks the second question.
A few other tips:
- Try to maintain eye contact to demonstrate your engagement
- As a speaker, try to respond to each card for at least sixty seconds
- As a listener, listen to understand and not to respond
- Encourage each other to go deeper. Go beyond simple yes/no responses and ask follow up questions. For example, if your colleague shares about their favorite movie, show interest and ask about the story behind the first time they watched it. Or if your partner opens up about a challenge, express curiosity and ask if the current circumstances remind them of anything they might have experienced in the past.
There are no winners or losers in this game, but we want to encourage you to practice mindfulness and observe what comes up for you during the experience.
If you notice that you correctly guessed most of each other’s responses, it is safe to assume that you are great communicators. See how you can deepen your conversations by asking follow up questions. And also, celebrate your relationship and reflect what other strengths you have as a duo!
If you observe that you guessed some responses and some left you surprised, continue practicing asking other open-ended questions and sharing stories that reflect your inner worlds. Reflect on the feelings and emotions you experience when you learn something new, and in what ways you feel closer to each other.
If you notice that some questions make you uncomfortable and you want to skip them, write them down so you can later explore what about them made you feel vulnerable. You can also use the questions as an introspective prompt, journal your reflections, and share them with the person you were playing with when you feel comfortable.