Think your partner may be The One? It’s likely you’ve asked all the fun questions—the ones you ask on a first date—What do you do for a living? What’s your favorite food? How about most embarrassing moment? But there’s a whole bunch of other things you should discuss if dating is going well, and the idea of marriage isn’t so crazy anymore. We’re here to help. If you’re wondering whether you’ve covered your bases, here are some questions to ask BEFORE you get engaged:
Questions about household chores
In 2018, the top two most popular fights among couples were both about cleaning: What clean really means, and how the cleaning duties get divided. So it’s important to get these expectations out into the open now. Start with these questions: Who did what chores growing up? Were some chores designated to women and some to men? How will you designate who does what around the house? If you disagree about some of these, explain your point of view clearly and without judgment. Work to find a compromise that both of you feel comfortable with and then stick to it.
Questions about communication
Sadly, 60.4% of couples with kids (and 54.9% without kids!) felt they could not talk comfortably about any issue, according to data from marriage counseling app, Lasting. Setting a healthy foundation for conversation—whether times are good or bad—is imperative for a lasting relationship. So before you go shopping for rings, ask your partner: Were any topics off limits when you were younger? Was it okay to disagree with your parents? Do you plan to set rules around conversations in your own house?
Questions about conflict
When we say that word, most of us think about fighting. But the truth is, conflict done well can actually deepen the health of your marriage, so getting on the same page about how you’ll both handle conflict will go a long way to fostering a healthy, happy partnership. Make time for both of you to answer these questions: How was conflict treated in your home as a child? How was conflict repaired or resolved? How do you plan to repair and resolve conflict together going forward? Again, if you disagree, work to understand your partner’s point of view. Our convictions on heavier topics like these are formed early, by our unique environments and upbringings. Navigating these discussions with a desire to understand your partner’s inner world will make all the difference.
Questions about emotions
This is a big one, and if you’re headed toward the altar, one you’ve hopefully considered already. Still, understanding the way your partner views and responds to certain emotions—and your emotional calls—is important. When you’re both in a peaceful frame of mind, sit down and discuss the following questions : How did your family respond to anger? To sadness? To happiness? How did your family show affection to one another? How will we support one another emotionally today and in the future?
Questions about money
According to Lasting, only 52.9% of men and 50.9% of women say that they and their partner agree on how to spend money, and 61.3% of couples with kids are unsatisfied with how they engage in conversations about budgeting. That’s nearly half the population in relationships who feels unheard and dissatisfied in the area of finances. Prioritize this important topic and ask your partner the following questions: How did your family treat money? What did your family love spending money on? Hate spending money on? Who took care of budgeting? What are your expectations for our finances as a couple?
The ability to tackle these hard questions now will save you years of frustration and missed expectations in the future. And hopefully, your partner’s answers will give you more insight into their inner world and will help you know how to broach similar conversations going forward. So if engagement is still on the table, check out the Lasting app, which gives daily 5-minute coaching sessions and exercises to help you build a solid foundation for an enduring, healthy marriage.
Lasting was created to eliminate the barriers to relationship help, and #GiveLastingLove furthers that mission. When you subscribe to Lasting in the month of February, Family First will give a subscription to a couple that doesn’t have access to marriage counseling. This way, as you’re improving your own marriage, you’re actually helping marriages across the country. Read more about it on getlasting.com.