Suck It Up & Ask These 10+ Deep Questions Early In A Relationship
There are few things that match the bliss of the first few months of a really good relationship.
Everything is exciting. Every adventure is like the best one you've ever had. Every date is awesome and fun.
The honeymoon phase is sexy, carefree, and wonderful. But you're not dating this person just to have some chill good times.
You're potentially picking out a life partner - someone you'll be spending your days and nights with maybe for the rest of your life.
There are some pretty important questions you need to ask! It's not always fun. It really bursts the bubble.
But before you move onto later, more serious phases of your relationship, you've got to ask these questions.
The longer you push these conversations off, the worse off your relationship may end up. Not knowing these answers leaves you flying blind into a major life decision.
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1. Are Kids A Deal Breaker?
Many couples have the conversation about whether or not to have children. It's actually pretty common, meaning it's not for this list.
But what many couples don't anticipate is that their partner may change their minds about it.
A must-have conversation is whether or not having or not having kids is explicitly a deal-breaker.
I've known married couples who wanted to have kids, then one changed their mind, and the marriage dissolved as a result.
I've seen couples decide to have a large family then, after one child, one partner decides that one is enough - and while in that situation it didn't end the marriage, it created a great deal of strife for a long time that never really got resolved.
If you're up front about it from the very get go, you have a way out that cannot be debated if your partner changes their mind.
You've made your wants and your needs clear from the very start, and if they change their mind, it's entirely on them.
2. What Kind Of Future Do You Want To Have?
When you're young, life is about figuring things out.
When you get into your 30's and 40's, what you want to be when you grow up becomes a lot more clear.
So the way this conversation goes depends a lot on how old you are.
No matter the age, knowing for sure that the person you're with wants a future with you is important. Otherwise you're just wasting your time.
Beyond that, if you're still college-aged, it's important to be flexible with your partner, as wants and needs may change.
When you're older, it becomes a lot more concrete. It's important to establish early on what direction your life is going to take and what you expect from your partner.
Getting that figured out at the start will save a lot of pain, arguing, and trouble down the line.
And again, it offers you an out if suddenly the life plans of your partner change and it no longer really matches up with what you want.
3. Where Are Your Deal Breakers?
We all have certain values, preferences, and needs.
There are certain things that we as individuals cannot and will not tolerate, and it's important to make those things known.
If you wouldn't be attracted to your partner if they became overweight, that's an important thing to talk about.
If you don't see eye to eye on sex, or religion, or parenting philosophies, those are kind of huge deals.
You need to take the time and make it clear what your deal breakers are; what you absolutely will not compromise on.
Take the time to learn the limits of your new partner and make your own limits as clear as day.
It's true, some of the standards we have might come off as ridiculous, but just because you think the standards are ridiculous doesn't mean you don't have to respect them.
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4. What Are Your Priorities?
There's nothing wrong with working a dead end job or just kind of floating until you figure your thing out, especially if you're young (but really at any age, it's fine).
Where you might run into problems is if you are that kind of person and you find yourself with a go-getter who wants more out of the person they're with.
Make it clear what your priorities are, whether it's having fun, traveling, working a bum job, starting a family, pursuing a career, or running for president. Whatever.
And make sure that they're being up front and clear with you about the same.
You don't want to run for Governor and have a partner who's a shift manager at a Dairy Queen.
So be clear right at the get go about where you're headed and what's important to you.
5. What Are Your Views On Social/Racial Issues?
I'll tell you a personal story.
Years ago in my early 20's, I dated a man who was perfectly agreeable and pretty relaxed.
Things were going great for the first couple months. Nothing too serious yet, but well past those initial awkward stages of dating.
Then one day I decided to stalk his Facebook profile a little to see what he liked and disliked.
What I found out was that he liked a lot of racist Facebook pages. When I pressed him on this, he was forthright about it.
"Yeah, I just don't really like black people." Well, that's a total deal breaker for me and any conscious, not horrible human being, obviously.
Some people hide their awful beliefs from you for a long time, only to completely blindside you later on.
So ask it point blank: what are your thoughts on gay rights? White supremacy? Abortion? All of it.
6. What Are Your Religious Views?
There are few things in life that are held more dear to our hearts than our religions, our faith, our spirituality, or our lack thereof.
Many religious people are raised to dogmatically believe one thing or another, making it difficult to reconcile even the most minute of spiritual differences.
Still, it's an important conversation to have.
Casually dating someone of another faith may seem like no big deal to you, and maybe it's no big deal to them too, but you can't ever truly know until you've asked. So be real.
Ask the question, "Could you marry someone of another faith? How will your parents and family be about it? Would you be willing to culturally convert to my faith?"
Making sure you see eye to eye can save a lot of heartache down the road.
7. What Are Your Political Views?
It's incredible how major topics can get pushed aside when you're early on in a relationship.
In my opinion, this is way more important to some than it is others.
Personally, I have my views and I don't really concern myself with how my partner feels about the same issues.
For others, it's not so simple. Politics is something that's getting more and more divisive by the year and that goes for young couples and families too.
Politics is so high stakes these days that it can tear even the closest of relationships apart. So be honest.
Is politics important to you? Are your politics important to you? Is this a part of your identity at any level?
All necessary and important things to hash out.
8. What Do You Want Out Of Life?
It's a broad question that at different times in your life might be difficult to answer.
But it's a good question to ask to at the very least get a feel for a person.
If you want to hang close to home and start a family and they want to hike Mt. Everest and travel to every continent, you probably don't have the same set of priorities.
So talk about these things to make sure you're on the level with one another.
And there's nothing wrong with saying, "well, when you get to that point, we may have to re-evaluate," as long as you're open and honest about that possibility being on the table.
If you conceal that possibility, then any potential split in the future over priorities could become infinitely messier.
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9. How Do You Fight?
All couples fight, but not all couples fight the same way.
Once you have your first big blowup, it'll become clear how your partner deals with problems.
But that doesn't mean you can't ask before it becomes an issue.
That way when a fight does arise, you can pause and say "Well you said once that this is how you like to deal with fighting, so let's put on the brakes a little bit and talk this out."
Once you're holding each other to a higher standard in a fight, the fight becomes less of me vs. you and more of us vs. the problem.
10. How Are Your Finances?
Okay, you might come off like a gold digger a little bit, but it's an important question to ask, even though the answer might not actually impact anything at all.
Some people have their finances together, some don't.
If your prospective partner doesn't have much of a savings account and hasn't planned for any retirement, it's okay, but it could lead to major issues down the line.
You may want to ask how they racked up all that credit debt or why their credit score is as poor as it is.
The answer may be simple to digest, or it may actually be an indication of majorly irresponsible behavior that could become a huge problem once your lives and finances are intertwined.
Lenders don't trust people who've defaulted on loans and had cars repossessed, so should you trust them either?
11. How Important Is Intimacy?
This is something that happens frequently among people who haven't had much dating experience.
Mistaking lust for long-term potential. Or even just basic compatibility.
When your sexual desire is strong enough, it can be very easy to start ignoring obvious flaws and making up positive qualities.
Often times, your desire to bang someone can lead to other issues.
If you've spent a significant amount of time trying to get someone into bed, you might find yourself spending more time with them than you should. Why?
Because you've invested all that time and you don't want to see it "go to waste." Obviously, this doesn't make sense, but when your reptile brain gets in the way, logic doesn't count for much.
Don't get me wrong, sexual compatibility is an incredibly important part of any serious relationship. Just as critically, there's nothing wrong with a relationship that's only focused on your attraction.
However, sexual attraction alone is a lousy foundation for a long-term relationship.
If you want your relationship to last, you're going to need more than "I really like seeing them naked."
12. How Is Your Family?
Family is low on the list of things I worry about at any stage of a relationship, but knowing where your partner is with their family and what kind of people they are is pretty important.
If your partner is close with their family, it's not a bad thing, but it could lead to big trouble if they don't wind up liking you.
There are few things that can put a bigger strain on a relationship than in-laws causing trouble or cousins trying to be live-in bum around housemates.
If you and your partner-to-be are different in some way, like racially, religiously, or politically, ask if that's going to cause any trouble with their family.
Be honest if you've got a racist uncle who wouldn't take kindly to a mixed race relationship.
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