Committing might seem like the best thing to do when you’ve met someone amazing, but the truth is that it takes years to really get to know someone.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get into a relationship until you’ve spent years getting to know a person, though. What it does mean is that you should really take the time to sift through the facts you have on hand about you, your potential partner, and your compatibility. Using this knowledge, you can answer these 5 crucial questions, and then make a decision. You’ll save a lot of time and heartache in the end.
1. Do our future goals align?
Huffington Post claims this to be one of the most important questions to ask before getting into a serious relationship, and it’s pretty clear why.
Future goals that you should discuss (and preferably agree on) include:
- Where to live
- Whether or not a traditional marriage or marriage roles are for you
It is critical to keep in mind that, “though it’s important to remind ourselves that our desires and interests change as we grow older, it’s still important to discuss these issues.”
2. Are we compatible?
Compatibility is not all or nothing. It has varying degrees, and on that spectrum, the degree of overlap you two have will likely determine the outcome of your relationship.
Psychology Today finds that you and your partner should either agree or complement one another in these areas:
- Basic moral values
- Basic religious views (more on this one later)
- Basic personality traits
Having stark different views could spell trouble for couples.
3. Do we have a similar sexual style?
Margie Nichols, Ph.D., stresses in her article Why It’s More Important Than You Think To Pick A Sexually Compatible Partner that couples who are sexually mismatched could find themselves in infidelity trouble later down the road.
Knowing how often each of you enjoys having sex in a committed relationship is important (i.e. once the newness has worn off and you don’t feel the need to jump each others’ bones every time you’re alone in a room). Is it every day? Twice a week?
If there are discrepancies, what are you both willing to do and not willing to do to satisfy each other’s needs?
Other important sexual compatibility questions that Margie deems important include:
Do you prefer sexual familiarity or comfort, or novelty, risk, and adventure?
How kinky vs. vanilla are your sexual tastes?
Are you by nature monogamous or poly sexual or amorous?
Are you sexually fluid or stable in your sexual orientation?
How rigid or flexible are your sexual preferences?
4. Can we handle dealing with different religions?
Having different religions can be a deal breaker for some, but others choose to just live with the difference.
Having the ability to work through difference in religion is largely based on openness, communication, respect, and trust.
You also should keep in mind how your loved ones will respond to dating a person of different faith. If they’re not accepting, will you stay in the relationship anyway?
5. Are we both financially like-minded?
One of the biggest sources of tension and spats between couples revolves around money and finances.
Do you and your partner agree on things like who should pay for dates? Is either of you in debt or have trouble handling money? Are you both saving for the future?
You and your partner can take Fidelity’s quiz to find out if this will become a problem for you down the road.
Answering questions like these above can be difficult, but doing so honestly can lead you to make a smart decision for both parties involved.
Have you recently gotten serious with someone? What were the most important questions you answered before jumping in?