157 Best Relationship Questions To Ask Your Partner, According To Couples Therapists

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Relationships

If you’re dating someone, odds are you know quite a lot about them. But hey, it’s important to prioritise getting to know your partner throughout your entire relationship. People change over time, which means there is always more to learn. That’s where relationship questions come in.

“It’s important to grow with your partner, not in opposite directions,” says Jenni Skyler, PhD, a certified sex therapist, sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist. “If we continue to have a dialogue about our values and goals, we can ensure we’re going in the same life direction.”

That said, it can be hard to know the specific questions to ask. Like, should you ask them about their past? How they’re feeling right now? What do they want for the future?

It can be pretty darn confusing (not to mention, scary!). But if there are any questions you’re hesitant to ask, remember that they can ultimately open up important conversations and help you advocate for the kind of future you want for yourself as well, says Rachel Moheban Wachtel, LCSW, a therapist and couples and marriage counsellor. She adds that while how you ask is important—you want the convo to flow, not feel like an interrogation—the goal is simply to be open and honest with each other.

Looking for ways to ease into it? Try using a question card game or having a monthly check-in session, says Tamekis Williams, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker, founder of Real Life Solutions and author of Consciously Choosing Me: A Therapy Workbook and Journal. Williams also recommends starting with a compliment first then sliding in the question, or simply asking your partner if they have any questions they would like answered on your end first.

Meet the experts: Jenni Skyler, PhD is a certified sex therapist, sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist. Rachel Moheban Wachtel, LCSW, is a therapist and couples and marriage counsellor. Tamekis Williams, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, the founder of Real Life Solutions and the author of Consciously Choosing Me: A Therapy Workbook and Journal.

Ready to get quizzical? Check out this list of 157 expert-approved questions for *every single stage* of your relationship.

When You’re Dating

Odds are that things still feel pretty new. You’re probably going on dates together, hanging out regularly and talking on occasion but you haven’t fully ~defined~ what you are yet.

“These questions can offer a deeper look at each person’s interests and values to see if dating makes sense,” says Skyler. Basically, they’ll help you get a sense of whether you two are relationship material.

1. What are three things on your bucket list?

2. What are the top three adventures you’ve had in your life?

3. What are two things that you regret?

4. What was the hardest life lesson to learn?

5. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

6. What’s your dream job?

7. What do you consider your greatest success?

8. What’s the most incredible thing you’ve ever eaten?

9. What’s your greatest sexual fantasy?

10. What do you value in a relationship?

11. Where do you hope to be living in the next five years?

12. What was your first impression of me?

13. Who is your inspiration?

14. Have you ever been in therapy?

15. What’s the longest you’ve been in a relationship?

16. How do you deal with stress?

17. How would you describe your last relationship?

18. How regularly do you get checked for STIs?

19. What do you consider cheating?

20. Have you ever had your heart broken?

21. Do you think you are trustworthy?

22. What are your feelings on sexual exclusivity and monogamy?

READ MORE: 25 Best Questions To Ask On A Dating App, From Relationship Experts

When You’re Exclusive

You’re officially a couple! It’s time to take on a whole new set of questions, Skyler says. The following can determine how aligned you are on your values and beliefs, which can predict whether your relationship will last, Skyler explains.

23. Where do you see yourself in one year, three years, ten years?

24. Do you believe in the institution of marriage?

25. Do you believe in living together before marriage?

26. At what age do you see yourself getting married?

27. What would your ideal wedding look like?

28. Do you want kids? Why or why not?

29. When would you want to have kids and how many would you have?

30. Do you want to live in this town where we are dating, or do you plan to move?

31. What are your favourite parts about my personality?

32. What are your favourite parts of your personality?

33. Do you like spending time with my friends?

34. What’s your favourite thing that we do together?

35. What’s one date we haven’t gone on yet that you want to try?

36. What’s something new that you’d like to try in bed together?

37. What does your ideal life look like?

38. What are your boundaries with your family?

39. How would you rank your love languages?

40. What goals would you like to work on together?

41. How do you think we can do to keep our sex life exciting?

42. Do you like change and how do you handle it?

READ MORE: 10 Questions To Definitely Ask Before Dating Someone With Kids

When You’re Meeting The Parents

So yeah, you’ve dated, you’ve been exclusive for a while and now you’ve finally met their family (or you’re about to). “These questions address family dynamics and help the relationship go to the next level of psychological sophistication,” Skyler explains. Asking these Qs will help you understand your partner in terms of their perspectives on family, relationships, parenting and more.

43. What was your relationship to religion or spirituality growing up?

44. What’s your relationship to religion or spirituality right now?

45. What do your parents believe in today?

46. Are there any mental health issues or addiction struggles in your family?

47. How open are you with your parents?

48. What do your parents know about me already?

49. What do your siblings know about me already?

50. How close are you to your family members?

51. How often do you see your family?

52. What do your parents want for you in a partner?

53. How important is your parent’s approval to you?

54. What kind of relationship do you want me to have with your family?

55. How important are holidays and traditions to your family?

56. What kind of questions can I expect your family to ask me?

57. How welcoming has your family been to outsiders in the past?

58. What are your parents’ fears about you being in a relationship?

59. Do your parents respect boundaries?

60. What type of relationship did your parents have with your ex?

When You Live Together

Moving in together? Then, this section is for you. “These questions help cohabitation go smoothly,” says Skyler. “There needs to be a blending of lives and at least a small fund for the blending of money so that the couple starts to feel they are on the same team.” Got it? Great. Now, ask away.

61. What kind of place do you want to live in and why?

62. How would you prefer to decorate our home?

63. What tasks should we divide?

64. What is your preferred level of cleanliness?

65. What tasks should we each take on to keep the home in good shape?

66. How do we want to divide finances?

67. How much money should we contribute to a joint fund?

68. How much money do we want to set aside for luxuries like date nights and travel?

69. What should our budget be when buying new furniture and decor for the home?

70. Do you have any pet peeves about living with others?

71. How do you feel about having friends and family over? How often?

72. What are your essential services and subscriptions?

73. Are there any kinds of specific chores that you hate or love doing?

74. Do you prefer that we do our grocery shopping together or separately?

75. Do you prefer that we eat meals at the same time and cook together?

76. How do we pay our expenses—equal share or does one person pay more?

77. What are your expectations for our relationship now that we are living together?

78. Are we moving in together with the plan to marry?

When You’re Getting Married

Okay, so if you’re about to get married (or if you already are), these questions will definitely get you and your partner to go deeper with your intimacy and conversations.

“Not everything needs to align, but there needs to be enough overlap to have a satisfying shared life,” Skyler explains. And, yep, these relationship questions will tell you if you’re on the same page.

79. What does marriage mean to you?

80. How do you think being married will change our relationship?

81. Do marriage and having children coincide for you?

82. Why is it important to you that we get married on this date?

83. How much input are we going to let our families have in wedding planning?

84. What’s the best wedding you’ve ever been to and why?

85. What would your ideal wedding budget be?

86. What’s your favourite movie or television wedding scene?

87. How long would you want to take to plan our wedding?

88. What do you picture us doing on our first wedding anniversary?

89. Does marriage excite you? Why or why not?

90. When did you know that you wanted to marry me?

91. What did you picture your wedding looking like when you were little?

92. What are your opinions on divorce?

93. If we could do anything, where do you see us being in 20 years?

94. What are your thoughts on signing a prenuptial agreement?

95. Do you want to live in a household where both people work?

96. Do you believe in couples therapy?

97. What is your definition of a spouse?

READ MORE: 7 Tips On How To Rekindle A Relationship, According To A Psychologist

When You’re Ready For Kids

Want to grow your family or already have some kiddos of your own? Make sure you share the same vision for how those little ones will be loved and raised. “One of the most important elements for long-term relationship success is having shared values and shared future dreams,” Skyler says. Start by learning about what their expectations, dreams and hopes are for children, and then get into some logistics.

98. Have you always envisioned yourself having kids?

99. What kind of parent do you think each of us would be?

100. Would you be open to adoption?

101. How do you think you would handle pregnancy and labour?

102. How do you think you would handle the adoption process?

103. How many children do you envision us having?

104. What are the values you’d like to instil in our children?

105. Which of your best characteristics do our children have?

106. Which of your worst characteristics do our children have?

107. Is being a parent what you expected it to be?

108. What do our children teach you or what do you expect to learn from them?

109. What kind of education did you envision our children having?

110. How would you prefer we handle telling our children about the world’s realities?

111. What was the most important lesson you learned as a child?

112. What was the best thing your parents ever taught you?

113. Do you believe in discipline and what is your discipline style?

114. What do you prefer to not do with your children that your parents did with you?

115. Do you feel you have time to raise and nurture children?

When You’re Retiring

“We’re always changing and growing,” says Skyler. That means there’s always more to learn about each other, even as you approach retirement.

Retirement, in particular, is a great time to learn more about your partner. First of all, it allows “the space and time to rediscover and rekindle your love for each other,” Williams says. Think of how much you both have changed throughout your relationship. It’s “the opportunity to refresh and strengthen your relationship by getting to know each other for who you are today, refreshing the nurturing and romance in the relationship,” she adds. That means going on dates, travelling and creating new memories together.

116. How can we plan for retirement while still enjoying life today?

117. Should we retire at the same time?

118. Where would you like to live during our retirement?

119. How much money do we need to retire?

120. What are we going to do with the money that we’ve saved?

121. What age do you have to be to retire from your company?

122. How important is it for us to be near our other family members?

123. What are you most looking forward to about being retired?

124. How do you want to spend your days or evenings?

125. What would you like to do when we retire as far as hobbies and extracurricular activities?

126. Are you interested in traveling once we retire and if so where would you like to go? How often would you like to travel?

127. Would you want to work part-time? Is there a part-time business you would like to start once retired in an effort to stay active and have some extra income?

128. How will we maintain our emotional connection to our adult children during this time?

129. How will we deal with our role changes that come with our children growing up and becoming adults?

130. Do we need to downsize?

131. Will we need to keep at least one extra room in case one of the kids wants to move back home?

132. How would you like to maintain our health during retirement?

133. What plans can we put into place just in case one of us starts to have mental health or physical health issues like dementia or the inability to walk?

134. If you don’t have children: Who can we say will be our support system?

135. If you do have children: Are we willing to allow the kids to move back home if we need care?

136. How will we handle healthcare, taxes, keeping up the home while we are retired?

137. Do you have your affairs in order for when you pass?

138. When would you like to sit down and discuss our wills? What measures will we implement to effectively manage budgeting during retirement, while taking into consideration potential changes such as inflation or economic decline?

139. Can we discuss our wishes for end-of-life care?

When You’re Reflecting On Life Together

PSA: There are so many benefits to sharing memories and reflecting on your lives together—even after you’ve been together for, say, decades. Yes, discussing memories is a bonding activity, but it also gives you a chance to talk about what worked and didn’t work in your ‘ship.

“Positive memories can bring a couple closer because they realise that they’ve been through a lot but were able to maintain the love and emotional connection through all the challenges,” Williams says. “Remember special memories, laugh about the good times, discuss lessons learned in the bad times and rediscover some of your favourite places, people and moments in your relationship lifespan.”

140. What can we do in order to nurture our relationship as we get older so that we do not get stuck in our ways?

141. How would you like to nurture our social relationships as we get older?

142. What are some of your favourite memories from our life together?

143. What would you have done differently if you could have a do-over in our relationship?

144. Do you feel fulfilled with the work you’ve done in your career or careers?

145. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

146. What accomplishment of mine are you most proud of?

147. What has been your favourite memory with our children?

148. Do you feel like we did a good job with raising our children and giving them the tools they need in order to be happy and successful in this world?

149. What changes would you have made when it comes to parenting our children?

150. If we could go anywhere, where would we go?

151. What was the best vacation we’ve taken? Should we go back?

152. What are you most proud of as you look back at our life together?

153. What are your dreams and goals for our relationship at this stage in our life?

154. Do you feel that you have contributed to this world in order to help make it a better place?

155. What have been some of the most important milestones in our relationship?

156. How does our life today differ from how we once expected it to look?

157. How has our relationship shifted for the better over the years?

This article by Addison Aloian and Sabrina Talbert was originally published on Women’s Health US.

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