Here are 21 questions for a new relationship to get to know your partner better. You can use these questions to spark conversation and find out what they value most in life, how they like to spend their time, and what makes them happy.
Every relationship has that intriguing and exciting period at the start. It’s stimulating, slightly scary, and filled with excitement and silliness. As with everything else, the initial excitement starts to fade after some time. It can lead to a bored plateau or a cycle of toxic behaviors to keep things interesting.
You can avoid this and move into the next stage with a little effort. After the excitement fades, it’s time to up the ante. You need to either set yourself up for a possible long-term relationship or cut your losses and avoid bitterness down the road.
Asking your partner the right questions can lead to a deeper and more authentic bond. It can elevate the superficial connection of exciting feelings to a deeper and more fulfilling relationship. It can also make you realize that all you had was infatuation and excitement, but it’s better to know earlier than build a home on fantasies.
As a dating coach with 25 years of experience, I have helped many new couples navigate the murky waters of post-new-relationship-high boredom. If you are feeling your new relationship approaching that plateau, here are 21 questions I share with couples that you can ask your SO for deeper conversations:
- 1. What Is the Most Amount of Money You Have Spent at Once and Why?
- 2. What Is Something You Must Do Before You Die?
- 3. What Is A Dream You Have Given Up on and Why?
- 4. How Did You Meet Your Best Friend, And How Long Have You Been Friends?
- 5. What Is Your Biggest Fear?
- 6. What Fear Have You Conquered?
- 7. What Is a Quote That Changed the Way You Think and Live?
- 8. What Is Your Biggest Guilty Pleasure?
- 9. Who Are You Closest to In Your Family?
- 10. What Are Your Spiritual Beliefs?
- 11. What Meal Would You Want To Eat After a Bad Day?
- 12. How Do You Take Care of Yourself?
- 13. What Does Your Ideal Life Look Like?
- 14. How Do You Give and Receive Love?
- 15. Why Did Your Last Relationship End?
- 16. What Do You Consider Cheating?
- 17. Do You Want a Monogamous Relationship?
- 18. Have You Had or Would You Consider Having an Open Relationship?
- 19. Do You Believe In Traditional Gender Roles?
- 20. What Is Your Stance on Abortion?
- 21. What Are Your Thoughts on Marriage?
1. What Is the Most Amount of Money You Have Spent at Once and Why?
This is a fun question that encourages open communication. It’s not that deep unless they tell you they spent tons of money on something crazy. It gives you a good idea of what they are willing to spend their money on and their financial habits.
2. What Is Something You Must Do Before You Die?
This is another enjoyable and surface-level question that opens the communication gates. Asking this question lets you share your most important bucket list item. It requires some critical thinking and can help you understand what is truly important to you. It also shows you what is important to your partner in terms of living life to the fullest on earth.
3. What Is A Dream You Have Given Up on and Why?
This question helps you understand your partner’s current priorities and previous heartbreaks. Alternatively, it can be a fun way to break the ice if you ask the more intense questions on this list first. It’s a bold move, but it can come across as hilarious if you ask it right.
They can share something witty and quirk, giving you an idea of their personality and attachment style. They can also share something moving, and the way they choose to share it will let you know more about their personality and attachment style.
4. How Did You Meet Your Best Friend, And How Long Have You Been Friends?
If you want to know more about someone, learn about their friends. By asking this question, you can know more about your partner’s friends without jumping the gun with an intrusive question. It’s safe enough that even the most avoidant people wouldn’t refuse to answer it.
5. What Is Your Biggest Fear?
One of the best ways to understand your partner is to know what they fear. It could be geckos and zombies, or it may be becoming their mother or father. They may be afraid of planes or Jeff Bezos or Polka-dot pants. Whatever the case, understanding their fear can help you share a laugh or a moment of understanding and bond.
6. What Fear Have You Conquered?
Conquering a fear is a significant milestone. It doesn’t matter if you learned how to swim, jumped out of an airplane, petted a dog, or bought yourself a jacket you’d been eyeing. Hearing about a fear your partner has conquered can allow you to see something they’re proud of. You get to share the memory of a victory they’ve experienced, and you start to understand them better.
7. What Is a Quote That Changed the Way You Think and Live?
Be careful with this question, as it can lead you to fall in love. Of course, it can also lead to the best joke you’ve heard this week. This question allows you to see who has had the most impact on your partner’s life up until this point.
8. What Is Your Biggest Guilty Pleasure?
Don’t be shocked if the answer to this question changes your perception of your partner. For a fun question, it can have the most bizarre or profound answers. It could be eating an entire box of cookies in one sitting or spending an hour creating the perfect dream world before sleep. It may be sending their dad little anonymous gifts to remind him he isn’t alone. Or hacking their best friend’s Spotify to play the SpongeBob theme song at 8:45 every morning.
9. Who Are You Closest to In Your Family?
Understanding their family dynamic is a fantastic way to get to know someone. While it may be too soon to hear about Aunt Joe’s antics or Uncle Billy’s embezzlement charge, you can start to hear about the positive stories.
Learning who your partner is currently closest to and why can help you know more about how they love and who they admire. If they aren’t close to anyone in their family, it can lead to more juicy questions.
10. What Are Your Spiritual Beliefs?
If you are looking for a truly profound and fascinating question, this is the one. You and your partner can share a generic answer and move on. However, I have noticed that this question leads to hours, days, and even weeks of fun discussion. You’ll get to know your partner’s beliefs on spirituality, religion, God, religious organizations, and much more.
You will also understand why they behave like they do and maybe even get a window into past trauma. It’s a great way to connect, especially for those who cannot have a relationship with someone of a different religion.
11. What Meal Would You Want To Eat After a Bad Day?
Food is a human need and a great way to bond. Knowing your partner’s comfort meal can help you care for them better, even in a new relationship. You’ll know what to order when they’re low or what meal to surprise them with after a hard day.
12. How Do You Take Care of Yourself?
A person’s self-care ritual lets you know a lot about them. It also gives you gift ideas. They may enjoy a long run followed by a hot shower and their favorite TV show. They could also like going to the salon, buying something they’ve been saving for, and cooking their favorite meal. Learning how your partner cares for themselves will help you care for them better.
13. What Does Your Ideal Life Look Like?
If you want to get to know a person well, learn what they want their life to look like. It will tell you plenty about their current ambitions, disappointments, and habits. You can also see if you have a future with them. Whether they’ve imagined it in detail or not at all, any answer offers you a view of what your future together may look like.
14. How Do You Give and Receive Love?
Knowing how your partner typically gives love can help you understand why they do the things they do. It will also keep you from getting frustrated if they don’t love you like you want to be loved. Instead, you’ll share how you prefer to receive love and help them learn to love you.
Similarly, the best way to love your partner is the way they want to be loved. Listen as they describe what makes them feel loved, and add it to your notes for future reference.
15. Why Did Your Last Relationship End?
Out of all the relationship-themed questions, this one is the tamest. I’m hoping you have already covered the “When and how long was your last relationship?” question during the first few dates. If you haven’t, you should ask that first and then segue into this one.
Knowing why a previous relationship ended can help you understand certain reactions in your partner. It will also help you decide if this is a person you can have a serious relationship with. You don’t have to share deep and traumatic secrets at this point. Try and give a genuine but general answer to why your last relationship ended.
16. What Do You Consider Cheating?
It might surprise you, but not everyone views the same things as cheating. You’ll want to establish boundaries early in the relationship to avoid getting hurt. If you think a flirty DM is cheating, but your partner believes anything short of actual relations is not cheating, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Use this question to get a detailed reply about what they consider cheating. Ask them if their standard cuts across the board or only applies to their partner. It is a great way to know their boundaries and figure out if you’re compatible in the long term.
17. Do You Want a Monogamous Relationship?
Polygamy or polyamory is where three or more people are committed to one another and exclusive. If you’re looking for a poly relationship and are starting to fall for someone, it’s better to know their stance early on. Similarly, if you expect monogamy, it’s better to have that discussion before you get your hopes up.
It’s not a question you should use to shame your romantic partner. Take their answer as a fact and move on. If your views don’t align, you should walk away, and if they do, you can have fun asking the rest of the questions.
18. Have You Had or Would You Consider Having an Open Relationship?
An open relationship is where two people in a committed relationship have relations with other people individually or together without committing to them. Open relationships may seem like a novel concept if you’ve never been in one. However, it is necessary to not only know your stance on them, but your partner’s as well.
Before you get into a serious relationship, you need to be sure that you’re both expecting the same things. Ensure that you listen to their views and be clear on yours, regarding open relationships.
19. Do You Believe In Traditional Gender Roles?
Another profound and heated question but very much needed. Imagine your relationship starts getting serious, you start talking about cohabiting or getting married, and you’re shocked when your partner wants to settle into traditional roles. Or you’re expecting to have orthodox roles, and they are talking of splitting bills, chores, and other non-traditional aspects.
At this point, you’re too emotionally involved and have put in at least a few months of your life. It will be hard to make an objective decision at this time. However, if you know what their views are on relationship roles before you get serious, you can make a rational decision. Having the same vision of the future ensures that no one becomes resentful or bitter.
Allow them to explain what is their ideal household situation and have a discussion from there. The point is not to change each other’s mind if you disagree but to get their point of view for future reference.
20. What Is Your Stance on Abortion?
It’s a tricky question in today’s world, but critical. Unless you are sure you are 100% infertile, you must discuss this question. Mistakes happen, or life hands you sour grapes. You need to know where your partner stands.
Also, ask your partner if their stance applies to the general public only, or to their partner as well. Would they want a discussion with their partner if the time comes? Remember, this is not a time to get political; it is a question of the validity of your relationship. You want to know whether or not the relationship can work in the long term.
21. What Are Your Thoughts on Marriage?
I know that not everyone wants marriage, and that is the point. Unless you are in your teens, this is a great question to ask a romantic partner. It is an easy method to gauge if you share beliefs or are in a similar season in life.
Imagine thinking this relationship is a fun pit stop, and you just want to enjoy the ride. However, they might want to marry you and build a life together. Or maybe you are sure marriage is not for you, but they are confident they want to get married, preferably within this decade. These differing views will cause a significant rift down the road.
Discussing your thoughts on marriage doesn’t mean you want to marry this person or even get married at all. It simply gives you the chance to understand their beliefs and expectations and see if they align with yours. In my experience, it’s never a good idea to build a relationship if a couple has differing views on marriage. It only leads to discontent, arguments, and bitterness down the road.
How To Ask Questions in a New Relationship?
Subtly bring up these 21 questions over time. Ideally, you want to know the answer before falling in love with the person and imagining a future together. However, I know that some people love easily and deeply, and that’s ok. Take your time within the first one to three months of your relationship to ask these questions.
Ask the casual questions first and build from there. Conversational questions typically have shallow answers and don’t threaten someone with moving too fast. Nonetheless, they can lead to deeper discussions without feeling any pressure.
You’ll notice that these questions are all open-ended. They allow you and your partner to decide how much information you are willing to give. They also encourage discussion and thus increase the chances of a deeper bond.
Remember that these questions are not a standard for judgment. You have your beliefs, stances, and criteria, and so does your partner. These questions merely help you gauge long-term compatibility and have some fun.
Don’t use these questions to start a debate. You aren’t trying to convince your partner of something, nor are you resolving any past trauma. Remember that these are for discussion only, meaning you let your partner speak their mind and ask further questions. You don’t show them that they’re wrong and turn it into a podcast episode.
Asking the right questions at the start of a new relationship can help prevent heartache further down the road. It also enables two people to bond and laugh, making dates enjoyable and fascinating. In a new relationship, you’re not trying to compromise.
The main aim of these questions is to determine how compatible you are and hopefully move the relationship to the next level by sharing life-changing memories.