Think your budding relationship is rock solid? Before you travel any further down the path towards happily ever after, you may need to first address some tough questions. As intimidating as it may be to bring up certain subjects in a new relationship, your future success and happiness depend on your willingness to be brave and bold. What follows are five questions you need to ask your significant other in the near future:
1) “Where do you see this Going?”
In any new relationship, some inevitable questions must be asked. Where is this romance going? Are we exclusive? If not, do you want to be? While these issues can be intimidating to address, they’re essential because the answers help you and your potential partner see where you stand. If you’re on the same page, sharing the same relationship goals, fantastic! If not, you need to know sooner rather than later so you can decide if you want to stick around or cut your losses and move on.
2) “Are you Marriage-Minded?”
Truthfully, you need to ask yourself that question first. Is the person you’re dating someone you could see yourself settling down with? If the answer is yes, you then need to broach the subject with your sweetie. Do they see a long-term committed relationship with you in the future? While you should never ask this kind of question on the first date (or even on date #5), if a certain level of physical and emotional intimacy has been established, you owe it to yourself to pose the question. After all, do you want to fall any harder for someone you’re already smitten with if you know there’s no future?
3) “What about Kids?”
First, you’ll want to check in with yourself and see how you feel about starting a family of your own. Next, you’ll want to ask your partner how they feel about the subject. If your family values are in alignment, congratulations! You’re one step closer to your happily ever after future. However, if one of you wants children while the other one does not, that may be considered a deal breaker. Rather than expect your partner to change their position to match yours, respect them for their choice. This is a massively important consideration in a relationship. If necessary, you may decide to part ways as a result of conflicting desires about having or not having children.
4) “Are you Saving for your Future?”
One of the major sources of tension in relationships revolves around money. That’s why it’s important early on to start talking to your potential partner about their (and your) fiscal fitness. Are they (or you) knee deep in debt with no plan for repayment? Do they regularly put money away for a rainy day, retirement, etc.? If not, what is their master financial plan? While this particular subject can be sticky, it’s absolutely necessary to talk about. After all, if you can talk about money with your honey, you can pretty much talk about anything.
5) “Where do you see yourself in five years/10 years/20 years?”
As you enter into an exclusive relationship with someone new, it’s important to communicate about long-term goals, dreams, and plans. For example, if the person you’re dating wants to quit their job in six months, travel the world, and work with the Peace Corp, that would be valuable information to know as soon as possible, wouldn’t it? Or, if your potential partner hates his or her job but has no plans to make a change, you’ll have to decide if their career unhappiness will negatively affect you and your relationship in the future. Plus, by coming clean about your own vision of the future, you give your sweetie the opportunity to decide whether or not they’re in the picture with you.
As tricky as tackling some of these questions with your sweetie can be, your future relationship success depends on your ability to communicate with one another. If you can establish comfortable and healthy lines of communication early on, it’ll be easier to deal with the occasional bumps in the road. Above all else, remember to be true to yourself, summon your inner strength, and tackle the tough questions early on. That way you cut down on wasted time and pave the way toward your happily ever after future.