It’s no secret that communication is an important tenet of any relationship, whether that means talking through financial or family issues with your partner, figuring out how to bring up the future, or asking that cute babe you just met what, exactly, they’re looking for right now. Put simply, in every relationship, questions matter, and not only because they help you get answers. No matter how serious you are, you can always get to know your partner better, and expressing ongoing curiosity about your S.O. can help that spark alive.
“I know a lot of couples think that the biggest issue to look out for is conflict and whether or not they fight,” says marriage and family therapist Katie Miles, LMFT. “But really, curiosity and showing interest in your partner is more potent for a long-lasting and happy relationship than something like the absence of conflict, because that type of communication is the foundation for actually liking each other and having a friendship.”
It’s also important to remember that both you and your partner’s answers to these questions can change—because we change, and our relationships change, and the state of *gestures broadly* everything can change, too. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about each other, answers as seemingly straightforward as our biggest dreams, fears, and passions can evolve. With all that in mind, here are 60 questions to ask your partner at any and every stage in your relationship, from the honeymoon phase to your literal honeymoon.
When You’re Dating
There’s a lot of ground to cover when you’re dating or talking to someone new, and we’re not just talking about the info you can easily glean from someone’s Hinge profile. These questions can help you get to know a new potential partner (or a fun fling, TBH) super well.
What are some of your dreams?
Romantically speaking, what’s drawn you to people in the past?
How do you handle it when relationships don’t work out?
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on, and why?
In your opinion, what makes a date really good?
What’s something you’ve learned from a rough breakup?
Who was your first real crush?
What’s your definition of a good relationship?
Who’s your oldest friend, and what do you love about them?
What’s a skill you wish you had?
What do you love the most about the way your life is right now?
Is there anything about your life that you’re hoping to change in the next few months, or years?
When You're ~Official~
Going official can mean many things: deciding on a label, becoming exclusive, or just deleting your dating apps. In any case, your relationship’s probably heading in a deeper direction, and now that you have a bit more security in your connection, you might feel like you have the opportunity to ask deeper questions and learn even more about your person.
What was your first impression of me, and what do you think about me now?
In what ways do you think we’re most compatible?
Was there anything that surprised you about me as we started getting more serious?
What’s something I do that always turns you on?
Are there any patterns that have popped up in your past relationships, and do you see that happening with us?
What’s something you’re really proud of?
If you didn’t have to worry about work and finances, how would you spend your time?
What was the toughest decision you’ve had to make the past few years?
What was your first heartbreak like?
What boundaries do you have with your family and friends?
When You’re Moving In Together
Moving in together is a big step, and chances are, you know each other pretty well by now. But it’s important to keep that momentum going. “There’s a certain complacency that comes with being in a relationship long-term,” says licensed marriage and family therapist Beverley Andre, LMFT, who warns about becoming less “intentional” at putting effort into getting to know your S.O.
“You know a version of your partner from whatever timeframe, but if you hold onto that, it doesn’t give them space to grow, to learn, or at times regress,” she adds. Here are some questions that can help you stay up-to-date with your partner as you take things to the next level—and figure out how to decorate your new place.
What are some things you really want to do together, both short and long-term?
Why are you excited to move in together?
Are there any tasks (for example, grocery shopping) that you think could be fun to do together?
What are some fears you have about taking this next step?
How often will you need time to yourself?
How strongly do you feel about purchasing or keeping decor, artwork, or pieces of furniture that you love?
How do you feel about hosting events, parties, or friends and family members as overnight guests?
Which of your friends and family members are close enough to us that they may come to our home on very short notice, or even announced?
Are we going to set aside regular time for date nights?
Are there any chores or tasks that you find calming—or that you dread?
How do you define “home”?
What can we do to make our new place feel like home for you?
How will we know that our relationship is working?
When You’re Getting Married
Congratulations! At this point, you’re likely used to asking questions as they arise, and hopefully used to learning new things about your person. But because there’s always more to learn, here are a few ways to initiate thoughtful conversations about what your marriage might really look like, why you’re getting married, and how you’ll navigate difficult moments moving forward.
Before we met, what were your views on marriage?
How are we going to keep our relationship strong or fresh?
What are you most excited about when it comes to our future?
What are some of your favorite memories we’ve made?
When was the moment you knew we’d get married—or you knew that you wanted to get married?
How do you see kids fitting into our lives?
Is there anything you learned from your parents, older relatives, or other role models about family?
What do I do that makes you feel most safe and loved?
Are there any topics that you still feel nervous bringing up with me?
Is there a recurring fight we have that might continue to pop up throughout our marriage—and is there a way we can handle it better than we have in the past?
How will our sex life change once we’re married, and how will we communicate if one of us is unsatisfied?
How are we going to spend important holidays?
When You’re Married
By the time you’ve tied the knot—or hit your first, second, or tenth anniversary—it can feel like you’ve already discussed absolutely everything. At least, you probably feel like you know how to discuss everything. But established relationships can bring on new conflicts. Maybe you’re ready to talk about having kids, or buying a house; maybe, you’re just going through some unprecedented relationship issues.
When it comes to addressing new, challenging subjects, Miles advises asking permission first. “If you’re coming up to your partner and they’re hangry or they had a really bad day and you just start diving into something, it’s probably not going to go well—and then, that creates this false narrative that no sensitive conversation will go well, and you see people avoiding it altogether,” she says. “And if they say that now is not a good time [to talk], you don’t just avoid the conversation altogether. You can ask, ‘Okay, when would be a good time?’”
But that’s not to say you only have to ask the hardest of hard questions. Here are a few topics to check in on as you navigate married life.
How have your dreams changed since we first met?
Is there anything I did this week that pushed you away?
Is there anything I’ve done lately that’s made you feel loved?
Do I have any financial habits that bother you?
How do you see our relationship changing in the next five, 10, or even 20 years?
What do you think would be my strengths or weaknesses as a parent?
When it comes to parenting, how do you feel about discipline?
What are the most important values you want to instill in a child?
Is there anything that I can do to communicate better when we have a conflict?
What is the hardest thing we’ve gone through together?
How do you think our conflicts have strengthened our relationship?
When we go through difficult times as a couple, what feelings or memories remind you that we can get through them?
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