When you think you've found the person with whom you're meant to spend the rest of your life, you likely feel pretty sure. You probably feel as though you know them well, that the two of you have shared goals, and that your personalities, lives, and values all fit together pretty well. But if your partner hasn't asked you these questions, they're not the one for you, regardless of how sure you were that the two of you would be together long-term.
Some questions might seem far too obvious to even ask (or to expect them to ask you), but if you don't ask the question, you really can't be sure you know the answer, just like if you never answer the question, you can't be sure that they know how you think or feel about a given topic. And since there's likely vital information about you that they need to know if you're going to be together long-term, plus things that you might categorize as "deal-breakers," there are a lot of different topics that the two of you need to cover. And, sure, you can tell them quite a bit of what they might need to know in order to know whether or not the two of you really are a good fit, but questions are important too because it shows that they're taking an interest and an active role in determining how your relationship might play out. If they overlook some of these important questions, they're probably not the right one for you after all.
1. Do You Like Animals?
They might not think it matters, how you feel about animals, but it might be an important topic for the two of you to discuss. "There are animal people and not-animal people," Erin Parisi, LMHC, CAP, a licensed mental health counselor, tells Romper by email. "Even if your pet of choice isn’t necessarily the same, I would expect your long-term partner to be asking whether you’re cool with their dog invading your sleeping space or if you’re allergic to cats."
That's something that could really affect the way the two of you live your lives, so it's something that should probably be covered.
2. What Does Your Future Look Like?
It's important for both of you to know if each other's vision for the future includes the other person, and it's also important for them to know what sorts of things you see for yourself, Anahid Lisa Derbabian, LPC, MA, NCC, a professional counselor, tells Romper by email. Do you want to start your own business? Do you see yourself living in a particular place? These sorts of things need to be discussed if you're going to be together long-term.
3. How Do You See Your Daily Life Playing Out?
Asking you how you see your daily life can also be important because, again, it gives your partner insight into what's important to you.
"These topics are extremely significant, because if you truly desire a healthy, committed, and forward-moving relationship, then it will be important to stay connected with your internal knowing of what is real versus what you wish was the fact," Derbabian says. "Too many people stay in relationships waiting for them to get more serious, only to miss important truths. When you stay grounded in reality, then you can make relationship decisions that will support the dreams that you desire to achieve."
4. What Counts As Cheating?
It's super important for your partner to know what you consider cheating because this is a topic about which the two of you definitely need to be on the same page. If they say that cheating is only physical, while you define emotional connections as cheating as well, things could get complicated.
"Especially in light of the social media [and] technology options of today, it’s important to establish where the line is early on," Parisi says. "Is flirting okay as long as there’s no touching or exchanging of numbers? Flirty chatting online? Staying friends with exes? Strip clubs? Watching porn? Is monogamy the expectation? Different things are okay with different people. Asking before you make a mistake is ideal! Having a partner ask you about what things you’re okay with and what you’re not is a sign of respect, and definitely an attempt to be gentle with your feelings."
5. What Do You Like In Bed?
"A partner who asks wants to be told how to pleasure you," Parisi says. "It isn’t fair at all to expect someone to just know what you would like in bed, everyone likes different things sexually. Someone who will ask you to tell them is likely fairly secure (to not take the direction as a criticism), and cares about you having maximum pleasure more than their own ego!"
Everyone is different and what you like best might be different than what their ex liked or different than what they might have assumed. It's a conversation you should have so that you both know what the other likes and what the other might be expecting, particularly if you're going to be together long-term.
6. What Inspires You?
Derbabian says that if your partner doesn't ask you what inspires you and what your interests are, that's probably a pretty good indication that they don't really care what the answers to those questions are. That's not a good sign if your relationship is going to last.
7. Is Marriage Your Goal?
It's a good idea for you to both understand in which direction each of you wants the relationship to go. "Not everyone wants to get married, and there are some strong opinions [and] values out there about living together before getting married," Parisi says. "If your partner is asking you about these things, they’re putting some serious thought into what the road forward together looks like."
Ultimately, the questions that you don't ask each other might be as meaningful and important as the questions that you do ask each other. If these sorts of things aren't high on their list of priorities, your relationship might not last as long as you previously thought.