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5 crucial questions to ask your new partner

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 22, 2010

There’s a point in every relationship where you know whether it could be for keeps or not. When you hit that point these are the five questions you need to ask your partner before you go any further.

Dating is fun, and new relationships are exciting, but there comes a point where you need to think about getting ‘serious’, or getting out. It’s likely you know what you want from a relationship and the future, but it’s important you make sure your partner is on the same page. When the time is right here are five questions to ask your other half that will help you avoid heartache further down the line. Don’t ask these questions on a first date, but conversely don’t wait until it’s too late…

1.    Where are we headed?
It’s surprising how different halves of a couple can perceive a relationship. While one is thinking it’s going to be long term, the other may be thinking you’re just both having some fun together.  This isn’t an easy question to ask, but it is crucial. If you’re seeing marriage and kids and your partner is seeing going out and mini-breaks together, you’re going to get hurt down the line. If they’re thinking the latter then at least you can cut your losses and start afresh, looking for someone with the same relationship goals as you.

2.    Do you want to get married?
First off, ask yourself this question first: whether you hope marriage is in your future or not, you want to know you‘re with someone with the same ideas. Even in this day and age marriage is really important to some people – on the other hand to some it’s an unnecessary piece of paper. Even for committed couples it can be a real sticking point whether to walk down the aisle or not. Make sure you know where you stand, and remember that even if your views differ you may still be able to compromise, it’s just good to know.

3.    Do you want kids?
Again, ask yourself this question first – you want to be pretty sure of your own mind before your start asking your partner for answers. If your partner has different ideas to you, you’ll have more to talk about. Potentially this could be a deal breaker, and the worst thing you can do is to hope your partner changes their mind in the future. Early on in a relationship it might seem extreme to break up because of your differing ideas about family, but it’s much better than wasting time with someone you can’t have a future with.

4.    Do you think about your financial future?
A sensitive question, and one British people find very hard to ask, but crucial nonetheless. In the heady early days of a relationship money is probably the last thing on your mind, but seeing as money is often a major source of tension between partners it pays to think about it. Is your partner paying into a pension? Do they have any savings? Or, conversely, are they drowning in credit card debt? The litmus test is that if you were to decide to buy a house together, would your partner be able to properly contribute? If not, then maybe they’re not ready for a serious relationship at all.

5.    Do you know where you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years?
You don’t need to have carbon copy ideas about the future but if you and your partner have similar ideas about what you want to do with your lives, things will be much simpler. For example, it’d help to know that within five years your other half wants to have quit their job and taken a year off to travel around Australia. Or that in ten years they hope to have saved up enough to buy a house boat to live on. If you end up denying each other your dreams because you have different plans, then resentment will build and erode your relationship.

In a nutshell, it’s essential you and your partner are on the same page before you decide to commit to each other. These honest conversations will allow you to be sure that you both want the same things from like and that you won’t have any nasty surprises further down the line.