Each question is designed to make sure you know what you're getting into before you sign that "love you for life!" contract. "Different values can cause conflict," says Janet Brito, PhD, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist. That's why it's super important to discuss everything as early as you can to make sure you're both truly compatible.
Still with me? It's time to get into the nitty-gritty. Keep reading for 100 expert-approved questions to ask before marriage. You won't regret it.
Deeper questions in a minute. For now, let's start with some easy ones to get you warmed up. And btw, just because they're on the simpler side doesn't mean they're any less important. You need to know your partner before you marry them!
- Does your partner like to read?
- What kind of music does your partner listen to?
- How does your partner feel about social media?
- Is your partner a dog person or a cat person?
- What kind of TV shows does your partner like to watch?
- What's the best present your partner ever gave you?
- What kind of food does your partner like to eat?
- What kind of hobbies does your partner have?
- Do you have fun with your partner's closest friends?
- What kind of clothing style does your partner have?
Your values tend to be somewhat fixed, says Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a relationship therapist and author of Dr. Chloe's 10 Commandments of Dating. Yes, they can potentially change over time, but if you've met your partner during adulthood it's unlikely that you'll see much of shift in their moral attitudes going forward. That's why it's important to make sure you're on the same page—these personal values shape most life choices, Carmichael explains.
- Is your partner religious?
- Do they make life decisions based on their religious beliefs?
- Does your partner expect you to participate in their religion?
- Is it an issue if you have different spiritual beliefs?
- Does your partner care about political issues?
- Do you and your partner belong to the same ideological party?
- Is it an issue if you have different political ideals?
- Do your partner's political ideals impact their decisions?
- Does your partner enjoy the kind of work they do?
- How important is your relationship to your partner?
- Who are the most important people in your partner's life?
- Does your partner concern themselves with current events?
- Does your partner volunteer?
- Who does your partner value spending time with most?
- What does it look like when your partner deeply cares about something?
Children impact just about every aspect of your relationship, says Emily Jamea, PhD, a sex and relationships therapist. "They force you to address your budget, lifestyle, career, and where you live," she explains. "Those tiny, sweet humans have the power to wreak havoc on a weak marriage and bring utter joy to a healthy marriage, so it’s important to talk through the anticipated impact that children will have." Here's exactly what you should keep in mind.
- Do you and your partner both want children?
- Where would your partner ideally like to raise kids?
- At what point in your marriage would your partner like to start a family?
- If you give birth, how would your partner handle pregnancy and labour?
- How would your partner react if you had difficulty conceiving?
- Would your partner be open to alternative ways of becoming parents?
- What kind of childhood did your partner have?
- Does your partner have a good relationship with their parents?
- Do you enjoy spending time with your partner's parents?
- Does your partner like the way they were raised?
- What would be your partner's parenting style?
- Does your partner enjoy being around your family?
- What kind of family traditions would your partner want to implement?
- How many children would your partner like to have?
- What kind of child care would you like to have?
"Lifestyle and career goals are much easier to attain and enjoy if your partner shares them," says Carmichael. "The word 'partners' implies that two people are working together toward a common goal." Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to your careers? Consider these questions before you make any big-time decisions.
- Where does your partner see their career in 10 years?
- Where do you see your career being in 10 years?
- How much time does your partner spend at work?
- How passionate is your partner about their career?
- How passionate are you about your career?
- Does your partner prioritize work over other aspects of their life?
- Does your partner view their occupation as their passion?
- How demanding is your partner's job?
- Has work-life balance ever put a strain on your relationship?
- Does work interfere with the plans you have for life?
- How salary-driven are you and your partner?
- Does having a demanding job support the lifestyle you two enjoy?
- How supportive is your partner of your career goals?
- Do your individual career goals conflict with each other at all?
- How does your partner feel when they come home from work?
Couples should discuss their overall lifestyle, too: time alone, together, with family, and engaged in hobbies. "Doing so will help ensure a mutual feeling of support and shared meaning in life," Jamea explains. So yeah, not being on the same page about the kind of life you want to lead is a recipe for trouble.
- Where does your partner want to live?
- What kind of home do they want to live in? (ex. house, apartment, etc.)
- Are they an introverted or extroverted person?
- How much money do you need to live the lifestyle you both want?
- How much time will they expect to spend with you?
- How much time will they expect to spend alone?
- How much travelling does your partner want to do?
- How often do they like to go to parties?
- How often do they like to stay in?
- Do they like sleeping in on the weekends?
- What is your partner's ideal vacation?
- Does your partner like to cook or order out?
- What does your partner like to do after work?
- How much money does your partner like to spend or save?
- How important is exercise in your partner's life?
Your sex life requires special attention and should be given the weight it deserves in your relationship, says Gigi Engle, resident Womanizer sexologist and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. That means being willing to communicate with each other about your intimate needs, not being afraid to spice things up when necessary, and carving out the appropriate amount of time for sex that works for you both, she explains.
- How often do you and your partner have sex?
- How often do you masturbate on your own?
- Do you know how often your partner masturbates?
- What kind of sex does your partner like to have?
- Are you satisfied with the way your sex life is right now?
- What is your partner's favourite sex position?
- What turns your partner on?
- What turns you on?
- Is your partner open with you in terms of sex?
- Does your partner like to use sex toys?
- Does your partner enjoy any kind of BDSM?
- Is there anything you feel is missing from your sexual relationship?
- Do you know if your partner watches porn?
- How would you handle it if your sex life became boring?
- Do you and your partner prioritize sex?
If you're aligned on everything above, talking through things shouldn't be all that hard...but conflict will come up over the course of a marriage. That's why communication is so, so important.
- How do you know when your partner is upset?
- What does your partner do when they know you're upset?
- Does your partner tell you when they have an issue with you?
- Does your partner tell you when they're stressed?
- What does your partner do to make you smile?
- Has there ever been something you didn't want to tell your partner?
- Do you ever fear your partner will judge you?
- Does your partner ever keep secrets from you?
- Do you have any trust issues when it comes to your partner?
- What do you and your partner typically argue about?
- What happens after you and your partner argue?
- Do you and your partner ever have issues apologizing?
- Does your partner ever hold grudges against you?
- How does your partner communicate their love for you?
- How does your partner make you feel safe and accepted?
After reading through and answering these questions, you should be able to make an informed decision about starting a life with your partner. And if you don't know the answer to any of these questions, use it as a conversation starter with your S.O....good luck!
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.