You might think you know everything you need to know about your partner, whether you’ve been dating several years or just a few months, but the reality is some of the most important bits of knowledge can only be tapped by asking some, well, awkward and uncomfortable questions. Yes, these are intimate questions to ask your partner, but they’re super-important if you’re in it for the long haul.
Here are the most intimate questions to ask your partner, especially if you see a future with him or her.
Why did your most significant relationship end?
If you’ve been dating your partner for a while but never thought to ask this question, there’s no time like the present. While it’s probably not information you’re particularly dying to know, understanding what might have gone wrong in your lover’s past romance(s) will help you both navigate the one you share. “You want to hear how they speak about their past relationships and uncover whether or not they take responsibility for their part, speak nicely about their exes, attribute their break ups to multiple partners to the same problem, etc.” says Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., founder of Coaching Through Chaos. “Having an understanding of your partner’s past will help ensure you don’t unwittingly recreate it.”
Do you have any diseases I need to know about?
When it comes to your physical and mental health, you absolutely deserve knowing if a potential partner is putting you at risk. “This is one of the most intimate questions to ask your partner, but it needs answering right up front, ideally before you start having sexual relations or before you make long term plans,” says Audrey Hope, celebrity relationship expert. “Full disclosure on all medical history—body, mind, spirit—is the law of authenticity in a relationship, especially one headed for marriage, and this needs to happen right away, like immediately after the date and time when you realize you want to get serious with this person.”
Who did you vote for?
While this might seem like an intimate question to ask your partner, and it sure is if you’re asking the person sitting next to you on the train, it’s worthy knowledge. “In today’s climate, it’s not only good to know which political party your partner supports, but more importantly, you need to ask them for their reasoning behind that decision,” says Dr. Mullen. “Asking why they support the party they have chosen, allows you to better understand their stance on important social, economic and foreign issues, which says more about them than just which party they side with.”
What do you like in the bedroom?
Sometime after you’ve had sex for the first few times and before you move in together is the ideal time to pop this intimate question to ask your partner which, of course, can get a bit uncomfortable. “People love having sex, but they are often shy about talking about it,” says Dr. Mullen. “Do yourselves a favor and talk about it, as it’s important to find out what your partner enjoys sexually and how frequently they like to have it.”
How much do you make and how do you take care of your money?
While certainly not a question you’ll bring up on the first date—or the first 50 perhaps—these are important things to know about your significant other by the time you move in together. “Money can be one of those relationship killers if it’s not discussed and is historically among the top stresses to a couple,” says Dr. Mullen. “You do not have to have the same philosophy—for instance, one can be a spender and one can be a saver—but both need to acknowledge the others financial situation and habits so you can work out a way to mingle funds more smoothly.”
How many kids do you want?
Though having children might be something you’re not planning to do for several years (or more), this is not a question to leave until you’ve been dating a few years. “You want to ask about kids generally in early dating (within first 3 months), because if you invest in someone emotionally and find out they want 4 kids and a white picket fence, and you always envisioned a life with no kids in the city, that would be a deal-breaker,” says Dr. Mullen. “You’ll want to talk about a time frame for getting started, how many, a financial plan, etc.