Orignally published on 2021-11-26 20:12:52 by www.insider.com
- It’s important to ask questions to understand your partner better and deepen your relationship.
- Asking questions about what would be their perfect day can help you plan fun activities.
- You can also ask what their love language is so that you know how to meet their needs.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Wondering how to get to know your significant other (or a date who’s a potential significant other) better? It’s time to move past the small talk and surface-level questions and dive even deeper.
While it may feel awkward or uncomfortable to discuss topics that make you feel vulnerable with someone, learning the answers to the following questions can help you really get to know somebody, determine your compatibility, and understand how to make your relationship thrive.
Here are 13 questions to ask your significant other or date, according to relationship experts.
1. “What does commitment look like to you?”
While you and your partner may be committed to each other, there might be a disconnect on what you both mean by that.
“So many folks assume they are talking about the same thing, assuming because they are dating or living together it means ‘committed’, on the path to engagement, marriage, etcetera. Many fail to see or overlook the signs that the relationship path is different for their partner,” says Liz Jenkins PhD, LMFT, relationship coach and therapist in private practice.
Make sure you’re on the same page to ensure compatibility.
2. “What would we do to have a perfect day, weekend, or evening together?”
Enjoying similar activities and having compatible interests is key to enjoying a long-term relationship, Jenkins says.
While you certainly don’t need to have the same exact interests or favorite activities, you want to make sure that your experiences are not dominated solely by you or your partners’ interests.
3. “What are your deep longings and dreams for yourself?”
Understanding your partner’s dreams can help you better understand what they value most in life and determine if your values align.
When your partner gets vulnerable and shares deep desires, dreams, and goals, this can help determine if this relationship can work with your own plans, Jenkins says.
You’ll definitely want to consider whether or not marriage is a dream for your partner or not, and if that is in line with your own dreams. Age may be something to consider here, as well, since two people at different stages in their lives may have vastly different dreams for the future.
Research shows that people who get married between the ages of 28 and 32 are least likely to get divorced.
4. “What stresses you out?”
While this question will result in some straightforward answers, it can also give you a better idea about their personality overall.
“We all experience stress, no one is immune to it. Asking someone you’re into about what they stress about can determine their tolerance and patience level,” says Karina Baltazar-Duran, LMFT, couples therapist at Thriveworks.
For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who is impatient and gets stressed out easily, then they might not have the capacity to help you when you’re stressed.
5. “Do you spend time with your family?”
Questions like this about family can help you learn what your partner values and how they are interpersonally.
Baltazar-Duran says that if someone spends a lot of time with their family (with appropriate boundaries) this may be a predictor of successful relationships in the future.
In fact, a 2018 study found that those who grew up in a healthy family environment are more likely to have healthy romantic relationships in the future.
On the flip side, if they have a poor relationship with most or all of their family, they might not be the type of person who can put a lot of effort into a relationship right now, Baltazar-Duran says.
6. “What do you like to do in your downtime?”
This simple question can give you direct answers, but you can also dig for deeper meaning like how a person copes with stress.
For example, someone who likes quiet days at home or being in nature may have more positive, healthy coping skills than someone who goes clubbing every weekend, says Baltazar-Duran.
7. “What’s been the hardest thing you ever had to do in life so far? How did it impact you?”
You can get a deeper understanding of your partner’s mindset when you learn how adversity has impacted and shaped who they are, Jenkins says.
Having tough conversations like this can help you figure out how the person reacts in difficult times — whether they shut down or seek solace — which is important to know if you’re planning on being with them long-term..
“There’s no right or wrong here, just awareness of their inner strength and emotional reserves,” says Jenkins.
8. “You’ve just won the Mega Millions lottery. What will you do with the money?”
“Hearing their dreams for a ‘what if’ situation is huge. Do they plan to retire, or keep working, or finally start the career they’ve always wanted? Donate or help family and friends? Save the world or travel the world?” says Jenkins
Asking this question can reveal if your partner or date is a saver or spender. It can also identify if they’re generous or more selfish, which is very important for long-term relationships where finances are often shared as research shows money is a common cause of dispute.
For example, a 2014 survey found that 31% of couples say that finances are a major source of conflict for them.
9. “Do you have animals?”
A 2020 survey found that 70% of US households have a pet, making them the majority. If your pets are a huge part of your life and you consider them family but your date doesn’t even like animals, this could pose a problem.
Plus, having pets can be an indicator of personality. “People with pets can be more compassionate or sensitive than those who don’t own pets –– not to say those who don’t own pets can’t be these things,” says Baltazar-Duran.
10. “What’s your love language?”
Knowing someone’s love language is a shortcut to amping up your connection, Jenkins says. A love language is how someone prefers to give and receive love.
There are five types of love languages: affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch. Many people have more than just one love language.
Regardless of what your partner’s love language(s) is, just being aware of it can help you to meet their needs, and vice versa.
11. “What really bugs you or gets on your nerves?”
Knowing your partner’s pet peeves can help you get a better idea of their tolerance and patience levels.
Plus, you can determine if any of the things that really bug them are things that you do, which may predict future frustration (or lack thereof) in your relationship.
12. “What is a ‘no go’ or non-negotiable for you?”
For major life events, like having kids, knowing what your partner is willing, and unwilling, to negotiate, is very important, Jenkins says.
We may overlook these or believe we can change their mind, but this isn’t the healthiest approach. Know your values and assess if there’s room for compromise.
13. “When do you need affection or physical intimacy the most?”
Asking this question allows you to learn what your partner needs to be soothed, calmed, or feel connected, Jenkins says.
Being open with your feelings and needs may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s important for relationship success. For example, a 2017 study found that couples who practiced positive, effective communication were satisfied in their relationship.
Plus, knowing your partner’s needs and making sure they know yours can prevent guessing and the risk of miscommunication later on.
Getting to know someone on a deeper level is crucial for a relationship to thrive.
Being vulnerable and opening up to someone, and having them open up to you, can help determine whether you and your partner or date are a good match.