All relationships (and marriages) evolve and this evolution involves getting to know each other at a deeper level. Most of the time, this process moves along at it’s own pace. But there are steps couples can take to help the “getting to know each other” process along. This is especially important early on in your relationship. The more information you have about one another, the better.
The goal isn’t to badger and interrogate each other with these questions–that will only cause stress and defensiveness. Rather, approach one another in a playful manner as you reflect on these questions.
Marriage Preparation (And Relationship Readiness) Questions:
1. Would you want to be your partner’s friend even if you didn’t have romantic feelings for him/her? Why? Why not? From your observations, what kind of friend is s/he to others?
2. How do others describe him/her? How does s/he treat others in general (cashiers, wait staff, etc.)?
3. Describe how s/he handles stress and demanding circumstances.
4. If your partner won the lottery, how would s/he spend the money? Predict his/her first 5 purchases. Are these consistent with your values?
5. What are your partner’s greatest fears in life? How might these play out in your relationship or marriage?
6. What brings your partner the greatest joy? What makes him/her feel the happiest and the most fulfilled? What is your partner truly passionate about? Where does s/he find meaning in life?
7. How has your partner handled commitment in his/her life so far? What do you know about his/her family of origin? About relationship role models s/he had growing up?
Don’t panic if you can’t immediately answer all these questions—it just means that you need to get to know your partner better before delving into a life-long commitment with him/her. These questions can help you build a more comprehensive picture of the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
By answering these questions you’ll discover: how does your partner behave when s/he is at her/his best? At his/her worst? What are your partner’s deepest values, passions and life goals? What motivates him/her? What might prevent your partner from reaching his/her dreams? Does your personal style feel compatible with what you’ve learned about your partner?
Have these questions in the back of your mind as you get to know your partner and as your relationship deepens. If you’re already in a committed relationship, you can use these questions as a way to create greater intimacy by entering into a dialogue with your partner or spouse about these important issues.
For other questions to reflect on to help build a strong relationship foundation, click Premarital Questions.
Wishing you all the best!
Dr. Rich Nicastro