If you’ve been dating someone for a year, you probably know a lot about your boo, from their eye color to their childhood crush’s name. But there are some more personal or intimate questions for couples to ask each other after a year of dating that will make sure you and your partner see eye-to-eye on the big stuff for the future.
Of course, it’s okay if you and your partner disagree on certain things or have slightly different values and beliefs, but most people should at least ask their partner these important questions for couples to get a sense of where they see things going and what the future might hold for your relationship.
We know. It’s scary as hell to put yourself out there like that, especially if you’re really not sure how your loved one will handle these questions.
But these are seriously crucial conversations you should have with your partner within the first year of dating, and you won’t regret knowing where he or she stands.
1Do you want to get married someday?
Okay, so this one might be scary to ask because it may seem as if you’re asking him or her to put a ring on it, but having at least a general idea of where you both stand on marriage is extraordinarily important. Of course, opinions may change, especially if you’re both young, but within a year, you’ll likely know if you have visions of vows, a veil, and M&Ms with your faces on them.
2Do you want to have children?
Again, this is another question that can definitely change over time, but if you’re someone who absolutely does not want children (or absolutely does!), it will be helpful to know if your partner is generally on the same page. This is one of those questions for couples to see where they stand before committing for the long haul, if it’s a deal-breaker on either end.
3What are your biggest fears?
We’re not just talking a fear of roller coasters or slasher movies—we’re talking big, real-life fears, such as from potential past trauma in your lives or other anxieties, stressors, and worries. Talking about our fears can not only help to make them feel less scary, and knowing this information will almost certainly help you feel closer to your partner and better able to comfort them in times of need.
4What stresses you out the most?
Stress also tends to shift with a person’s life changes, but there are a few biggies that most of us worry about. Maybe right now you’re stressed about juggling school and work, or you have concerns about money. Maybe you’re stressed about the future in general. Regardless, it is important to know your partner’s biggest triggers beyond that annoying coworker or that big school project they’re struggling to finish.
5What are your core political beliefs?
This is especially important during today’s tumultuous political climate, but even in a time of relative political calm, it’s always good to know how your boo feels about key issues. It’s definitely okay to differ on things, but you should learn how to discuss politics in a respectful, nonjudgmental way, which is something that is admittedly difficult for most of us in the current world we’re living in.
6Do you have any big goals for the future?
If you’re in your 20s or younger, it can be scary to think about “the future,” as if it’s this huge, far-away thing, but it’s never a bad idea to consider what you want your life to look like in a year, five years, or even 10 years. Asking your partner what their ideal future looks like can give you a better idea if they fit your idea of the future. That said, it’s also good to remember that life rarely happens in the way we plan for it. Much like all of these questions for couples, there’s a good chance—if you two stay together for a long time—that you’ll be asking each other these questions periodically forever, with potentially very different answers. People evolve.
7What do you value the most in life?
Similar to goals for the future, each of us has certain things we cherish and value the most in life. Maybe you’re driven by the desire to make a ton of money (no shame in that!), or maybe you’re seeking self-fulfillment and inner peace. Maybe you desire a tight-knit support system, or maybe you like to go with the solo flow on most things. Finding out what your partner values most will help you better understand them as a person, something that is all too important when you’ve been seriously dating for a year or so.
8Do you have any regrets from your past?
Does your partner regret not taking a certain job offer or not traveling abroad during college? Maybe they regret something they said to a loved one or the way a past relationship ended. Learning about the tricky regrets from bae’s past will give you a better understanding of the things that have made them who they are today. No one likes having regrets, but we all have things from our past we learned lessons from the hard way, right?
9What is your relationship like with your family?
A year into your relationship, it’s entirely likely you have already met your partner’s immediate and/or extended family, but it’s always a good idea to delve deeper into their overall relationship. Maybe you call your mom twice a day, but your partner sticks to an occasional phone call a few times a month. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but knowing the dynamic between your partner and his or her family is increasingly important the more serious you become.
10What moments from your childhood shaped who you are today?
Even if you met your partner in grade school or you grew up in the same town, we all have moments from our childhood that shaped our formative years and made us who we are as adults. Some questions for couples to ask each other in this topic could be: What are your favorite childhood memories? Who were your role models and closest relationships back then? Conversely, asking questions about the tough parts of childhood will help you understand your partner as they are now.