It’s music to my ears when a client says, “I’ve met someone I’m interested in!” Of course, that’s when the real work begins for a couple. The next thing a client in a new relationship asks me is, “What relationship-building questions for couples should I be asking my potential partner?”
Here are 7 relationship-building questions for couples that I recommend you discuss with a romantic interest:
What are your life goals for the next 3 to 5 years?
Your life goals must be aligned with your partner’s if the relationship is to last. Do you want to be married? Do you want children and a family? Will you retire in the next year and move out of state? If you’re not on the same page, then all the chemistry in the world won’t keep you together for the long haul, and I’ve seen the heartbreak after years of being together when a couple realizes that their relationship won’t work due to different life goals.
So, before you become exclusive or start planning your future together, make sure your goals are aligned and you want the same things out of life.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
This question gets to a person’s values. You see what’s truly important to them. How does the answer to this question line up with your values? This question can be very revealing!
What are your top 3 priorities in life right now?
This differs from the goals question in that priorities are more focused on the here and now. Although not necessarily a deal breaker, this question will also show you what can get in the way of your relationship moving forward toward greater commitment.
If someone says their priority is to build their business to a certain level, you may ask, “What would it take to do so?” What would be the number of hours this person would need to devote to their endeavor? What does that mean for your relationship and the time available for the two of you?
What are the 3 top things you expect from your life partner?
This is important to see if you’re on the same page. Aligning expectations is a big part of what I help my clients with. We each come into a relationship with certain expectations of one another. Problems occur when our partner doesn’t meet those expectations.
Again, you’re learning about your prospective partner, and if they’re a good match or fit for you in the long run.
An example of this is if your partner expects to cook dinner at home every night and you expect to have take-out or eat out in a restaurant. I know this sounds trite, but I’ve seen this kind of expectation get in the way of a potentially great relationship.
What made you walk away from a past significant relationship?
Of all the relationship-building questions for couples, this one is very revealing if your partner is willing to be vulnerable and give you an honest answer. Most relationships break up because there are major differences in life goals, expectations, values, or just bad timing. And there are hidden personality flaws that surface over time!
Although past actions can provide important information about your partner’s behaviors, don’t judge them for it. Instead, listen carefully and understand that it takes 2 to break up a relationship.
See if the answer is reasonable and makes sense to you. Be careful that this doesn’t come back to bite you too!
When you’re in a high-conflict situation, what do you do?Conflict is inevitable in a relationship. And we each may react to conflict differently. One person wants to deal with it head-on at the moment it occurs. The other wants to retreat so they can process what happened and regroup their feelings. Understanding how your partner acts when upset is important. When you do, you’ll be able to work things out in a way that makes both of you feel heard, respected, and acknowledged.
This is an area where couples coaching for a new relationship can really pay off. With couples coaching, the couple can develop a plan for dealing with conflict before it happens.
What one relationship skill do you consider critical for a relationship to succeed?
What do you think your partner would say? What would you say? This gets the conversation going about relationship skills a couple needs to set themselves up for a positive future together.
Some of the relationship skills couples often discuss are the abilities to forgive (and forget), to listen and acknowledge, or a willingness to compromise around a sensitive issue.
You may hear what was missing from their last relationship or marriage. You’ll also hear what they’ve learned from past relationships. So this is one of the relationship-building questions for couples I find very eye-opening!
Here you have it. These are my top relationship-building questions for couples that you can ask your romantic partner as you build toward greater commitment with one another.
I’d love to hear if you have any relationship-building questions for couples that you recommend for new couples to discuss as they are creating a lasting, committed relationship.
I’m looking forward to reading your questions in the comments below!
FYI: If you’d like to learn more about couples coaching or how to assess your current relationship, go to www.talkwithcoachamy.com for us to have a chance to talk about your situation.