Relationships 101: The Best Questions to Ask Your New Partner
A new relationship is all about getting to know one another. And while you will learn a lot about your new partner by just spending time together and following the natural flow of conversations, it’s often necessary to ask specific questions in order to really get to know them. Let’s face it, not all the important stuff comes up in everyday conversations. As awkward as it may seem to broach some of these important conversation topics in the beginning stages of a relationship, your partner will probably appreciate the effort you are putting in to getting to know them.
Plus, it’s important for you to know certain things about your partner as your relationship becomes more and more serious. When you’re in the getting to know you stage, it’s important to ask both fun and serious questions. You don’t want to scare a new partner off by only talking about ultra serious things all of the time, but it is important that your questions about the future are answered. Peppering in fun questions, amidst the serious ones can help keep the conversation light. Using conversation starters based on the following questions can help you get to know one another better in a fun and low-stress way.
* Favorite ways to relax
Everyone likes to relax in different ways, so understanding your new partner’s favorite way to relax is a great way to get to know them better. People often relax and unwind by doing activities that they really like, so this question will also clue you into some of their favorite hobbies, which can help you think of fun ways to spend time together. If you understand how your partner likes to relax, you can also help them through stressful things that will inevitably arise later in your relationship. This is a simple question that can give you real insight into your new partner.
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* Worst habit
When getting into a new relationship it’s always good to prepare for the worst. Asking your partner about their worst habit right off the bat will help you prepare yourself. Whether it’s nail biting or snoring, knowing what to expect from your partner (when they are at their worst) is a good way to go into the relationship with eyes wide open.
* Pet Peeve
In the beginning stages of a relationship, it’s also good to know what absolutely drives your partner up the wall. It’s hard to be totally honest/critical of a new partner early on, which means that you might be committing a criminal offense without even realizing it (hey, some people’s pet peeves are odd!) Specifically asking them about their pet peeves can help you understand and even avoid the kinds of things that drive them crazy. This type of question will also allow you to share your pet peeves so they can extend the same courtesy to you. While this isn’t a super hard hitting question, it shows that you are trying to get to know your partner, and want to avoid things that annoy them.
* What they like to spend money on
Knowing what your partner likes to splurge on not only gives you great possible present ideas, but it also gives you insight into their spending habits. And while spending habits won’t necessarily make or break a relationship in the early stages, it is important to know how your partner manages their finances if you want your relationship to go the distance. Financial stress is often cited as a reason that relationships fall apart, and this stress is often caused when partners have significantly different spending habits. Understanding what your partner spends their money on in the early stages of your relationship can help you mitigate and navigate financial conversations later in the relationship.
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* Definition of intimacy
In the age of hookup culture and informal dating, people often have different definitions of intimacy. Asking your partner how they define intimacy (and asking yourself that same question for that matter), will help you navigate emotional, physical and sexual intimacy in your relationship. This is a great conversation topic to revisit as the relationship progresses and you get more and more comfortable with one another.
* Intentions moving forward
When you are newly dating someone, it’s super important to know how they view the future of the relationship. Are they looking for something short term? Do they plan to move cities sometime in the near future? Are they looking for a serious relationship? Are they looking for a life partner? Asking these kinds of questions will help you understand the possibilities for the future of the relationship. It will also ensure that you and your partner are on the same page about the future of the relationship, or at least open to the same things. It’s hard to know exactly where a relationship will go in the beginning stages, but making sure that you are on the same page about what you are both open to will help.
* Relationship to your family
Whether you are close to your family, you keep them at an arm’s distance, or you are estranged, your relationship to your family impacts your relationship to and trust of other people. Understanding your partner’s relationship to their family will help you understand them more as a person, and will help you know what to expect if/when you meet their family.
* Questions about children
Okay, asking a new partner about their thoughts on children might seem a little over eager in the early stages of a relationship, but in the long run it’s important to know if you are both on the same page about children and starting a family. There are ways to bring up this question subtly, without involving yourself in the equation. Understanding how compatible your future plans are, not only in regards to children, but also in regards to monogamy and other life choices from an early point in the relationship will help you grow as a couple moving forward.
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