When we commit to a relationship we’re pretty sure we know all the important things there are to know about our partner. We’ve spent time together, had long talks, made plans for the future and any differences we encounter we’re pretty sure we can learn to overcome. We’ve seen each other at our worst and spent time with each other’s friends and family.
But despite this, we sometimes find – as time goes on – that there are a few surprises in store; things that we never expected, or just never thought to ask.
So here are a few questions that couples should consider asking each other before entering into a long-term commitment:
‘What is your definition of faithful?’
Is it ok to have friends of the opposite sex? Is it acceptable to go out/spend time alone with a member of the opposite sex? It’s important to know each other’s boundaries.
‘What are your spending priorities?’
What are your partner’s views on spending? If you were to find yourselves in financial difficulty, how would you cope? Would your partner rather spend, save, pay off the credit card? Will you keep separate accounts? What if one of you were to lose your job? All really important conversation starters.
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‘What are your feelings on keeping secrets?’
What things should you share and what should you keep to yourself?
‘What is your idea of an ideal sex-life’
How frequently? Do you have any particular desires or fantasies? Are you willing to experiment? Where would you draw the line?
‘How much of our free time should we spend together?’
Should you have independent social lives, activities, interests? What about holidays?
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'Where would you be willing to live?’
Country, suburbs or city? What if one of you wanted to move? What if you have to relocate for work/school?
If either or both of you already have children, there is also the question of parenting boundaries.
‘Is it ok to discipline each other’s child?’ ‘What is your definition of discipline?’ ‘Do we treat all children equally in all things?’
These are just a few prompts to start talking about the tricky stuff. The more you open up to each other about important issues the easier it will become and the stronger the bond you will share. But don’t forget – it’s not all serious. Ask some fun questions, too!