When we’re so in love, we sometimes forget or ignore what’s real. We think that it’s so cute when our partner’s snoring in his or her sleep and it wakes us up in the middle of the night. We think it’s just fine to be all dressed up and ready to go, only to wait for our partner who’ll probably take about another 45 minutes to get ready.
We all have our faults and differences. And we need to accept them. But before we can do all these, we need to realize what they are. We need to know if they will get in the way of the relationship or if they’re something that we’re prepared to live happily ever after with.
If we want a long-term relationship, it would be best if we talk about these things. Talking about serious matters isn’t easy. It’s something that we really don’t want to do, especially when we’re so happy in our relationship. We’re usually worried that we’ll spoil everything. But the thing is, we wouldn’t know the answers if we don’t ask.
I’ve listed below questions on subjects that, I believe, are essentials for couples. My husband and I answered similar questions before we got married. It was in a pre-marriage counseling session, though. I’m glad that we did. What we talked about then has been helping us a lot in our decisions and in understanding each other’s beliefs, outlook and attitude.
How you can bring up these questions depends on your personalities and how regular conversations go between the two of you. If you’re engaged or have been really talking about having a long-term relationship and both of you are ok about discussing serious matters directly, then, by all means, ask away. Otherwise, find an appropriate time and venue to ask a couple of questions or so. Don’t ask everything all at once, if you feel your partner won’t be up to it.
Finance and Career
Financial matters are a delicate matter and are often a major factor in separation cases. It’s one of the hardest topics to bring up with anyone, but you really have to have a concrete idea about your financial situation as a couple. Career is also very important. You need to know where career is in each other’s life and where will it be in your life together. This gets even more weight if you’re planning to have kids.
What’s your career goal? What are you doing to achieve it?
How many hours do you work a day? How many days a week?
How much money do you earn? How much of it do you spend?
What are your financial obligations?
How do you use your credit cards?
Do you have any debt?
Do you want us to have joint bank accounts?
Where do you want to stay in the years to come? Do you want to live somewhere else?
If I were offered a dream job in another location, would you be willing to move with me?
If you were offered a dream job in another location, would you be willing to move and take me with you?
Answers to these questions will be a preview to your future home and relationships. The importance of these things may differ according to culture, family background, and other factors. The depth and the number of questions may increase depending on the background of the couple.
How’s your relationship with your parents? With your siblings?
How did they treat your former boyfriend or girlfriend?
If there’s a disagreement or misunderstanding between me and a member of your family, what will you do?
How do you feel about my family?
Do you want to have children? When? How many?
What kind of education do you want to give the children? How do you plan to do this?
Spiritual incompatibility is one reason why some couples end up separating. There are many people who deeply value faith in their relationship. Even for two people sharing the same religious beliefs, some disagreements still arise. How much more for those who do not share the same faith? What if one values religion so much, but the other doesn’t? This is why it’s best to know more about this aspect from your partner.
What are your religious views?
Do you attend church or have other religious commitments?
How do you practice your faith?
How serious is your family about its faith?
Intimacy and Romance
Surprisingly, this is another subject that’s not so easy for many couples, even married ones, to talk about directly. But to have a deeper relationship that would last, you do need to understand each other in this aspect. And the only way to do that is to talk about it.
What’s a romantic date for you?
What’s the best expression of affection for you?
Are you an affectionate person? Why do you consider yourself as such?
Are you comfortable about discussing sexual needs and preferences?
How often do you need or expect sex?
Which sexual activities do you enjoy the most? Is there any that makes you feel uncomfortable?
Time to Ask Yourself
After getting to know your partner much better than before, it would be the time to ask yourself some questions, too.
Do we share enough values and essentials for us to have a lasting relationship?
Do I feel safe and comfortable with my partner?
How does he/she treat my family and friends? His/her family and friends?
Does he or she have any qualities that I don’t like? What are they?
Do I like my partner? Do I respect him/her?
Do I enjoy being with my partner? Am I happy being with him/her?
What do I want from our relationship?
Why do I want our relationship to last?
Answering the questions above isn’t a sure prevention from quarrels and separation. But, from my experience, it gives you a better understanding of yourself, your partner, and your relationship.