Ask These 28 Questions Before Getting Into A New Relationship
You'll save yourself from potential heartbreak down the line.
It may be hard to believe, but there are more effective ways of assessing the potential of a new relationship than blindly trusting Hinge’s “Most Compatible” match. I know, I know, shocking. But the truth is that getting to know your potential partner — beyond the small talk and social media stalking — requires more than an algorithm. Specifically, there are certain questions to ask before dating that can help both you and your partner see your connection more clearly. Not only that, but the answers to these talking stage questions can give you valuable insight into what your future might look like if you stay together.
According to experts, long-term relationship success often comes down to communicating your expectations — and addressing any areas where you are not completely aligned. “Knowing what you and your partner's expectations are when it comes to your relationship status, sex, intimacy, and future is the difference between making it and breaking it in a relationship," relationship coaches Diana and Todd Mitchem previously told Bustle. "When you are in a relationship, you should never assume that your partner wants exactly the same things that you do.”
Even if asking questions does lead to the occasional awkward moment or disagreement, these discussions are worth any temporary tension. Getting these important questions out of the way early on can save you a lot of heartache down the road. For example, imagine after moving in with your partner, they casually mention that you’ll need to cover all of the bills for the next month. They miscalculated and overspent their paycheck — it’s actually a bad habit they have. You’re shocked, having assumed they were a saver like you. It’s something you never even thought to ask.
If that sounds like a legitimate nightmare to you, the following 28 questions to ask before getting into a relationship may be helpful in assessing your current status with your partner and your potential future — together or apart.
If you had to name your greatest motivation in life, what would it be?
Family? Money? Adventure? Learning what motivates someone is a huge tell of whether you’d be compatible.
How much alone time do you need?
And what are the signs that they’d like some space to recharge? “In terms of compatibility, it can be helpful to be curious about how comfortable they are spending time on their own versus time with others,” Alexis Auleta, LCSW, an individual, couples, and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. “For example, if you’re someone who needs to recharge on your own for a few hours, you might not be compatible with someone who sees togetherness as being together 24/7.”
How often are you open with your feelings?
Honest communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. “If you’re looking to be matched with someone who’s open and honest with their feelings, it’s helpful to find out sooner than later,” says Auleta. “Because everyone has different definitions of what being open means, dig a little deeper to find out what that looks like for them.”
What’s your sense of humor like?
Do they make a lot of dad jokes? Auleta says this one can only truly be assessed while you’re on the date, but a good way to scale their humor is to ask them what their top three comedy films are.
What’s your zodiac sign?
Are you two astrologically compatible? You might as well compare their whole natal chart if you want to get serious.
How often do you like to have sex?
Do you have similar sex drives? “If you’re feeling bold (and comfortable), you can ask them about their ideals and expectations when it comes to sex,” Auleta suggests. “Are they someone who sees sex as a regular way of connecting several times a week? Do they place more value on physical touch and cuddling with sex being a bonus? It’s a good way to find out if you’ll be compatible in the long term.”
Do you have any siblings?
And do they think their birth order reflects their personality? Let’s be honest, that middle child syndrome is real, people.
How do you prefer to communicate?
Texting? FaceTime? DMs? “Inquiring about someone’s communication style and preferences is important,” notes Auleta. “Some people find connection through consistent texting during the day. Others want actual face time rather than Facetiming. Do they match up or are they strikingly different?”
What’s your love language?
“If they are familiar with Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, feel free to ask them what their style is and share your own,” suggests Auleta. “If they are unfamiliar, you can suggest they take the free quiz on Chapman’s site to find out. Then exchange your answers.”
What’s your dream job?
Do they plan on chasing it, or is it just fun to think about? “Asking about their dream job allows you learn more about what they’re passionate about and how ambitious they are in terms of going after that dream,” says Auleta. “Does their career drive match yours? Is it strikingly different?”
What were you like in high school?
Did they prefer tests or papers? Were they a crammer or a planner? They might be totally different now, but it’s a fun question to ask when getting to know someone.
What object can’t you live without?
Go ahead, pick three items you’d each take with you on a deserted island. This one can be a lot more telling than you’d imagine. (The dog better be two out of three of their answers.)
Regardless of your actual age, do you consider yourself an adult?
Adulting is hard. I’m in my 20s and still feel like a teenager. So, it’s best to get to know their maturity age to see how it lines up with yours.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Probably not to get that haircut. (You know the one.)
Do you ever act out of spite?
How two people work through conflict is very important. Similar to the love languages, if you have very different styles of working through issues, it may cause more problems down the line.
How frequently do you bathe or shower?
Hygiene is a must! Or at least being on the same page about it is.
How do you communicate when you’re upset?
Everybody has different impulses when it comes to communicating negative feelings. If you plan on dating this person for a while, it helps to know what to look out for ahead of time.
Are you close with your family?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but the way you talk about the people in your life can be revealing. “Asking familial relationships can reveal a lot about a person,” adds Auleta. “You’ll get a good sense of where family stands in terms of importance, as well as how successfully (or unsuccessfully) they relate with the people in their life.”
What’s your personality type?
Do they know their Myers-Briggs personality type? Are they an introvert or extrovert? These answers can also prove to be a huge indicator of compatibility.
How do you like to spend your money?
Do they stick to a strict budget or spend as freely as they can? Talking about money is tricky, says Auleta. “In fact, people tend to feel more comfortable talking about sex than their bank account! Being financially compatible is important, but bringing this up too soon can make things uncomfortable. You’ll need to find this out, but wait until you’re a few dates in.”
What does your ideal work-life balance like?
Finding a balance between energy and rest is important. Also important? Understanding where your potential partner’s priorities lie to see if they will match up with yours.
Are you a morning person?
I am not a morning person, so you better brew up a pot of coffee. You don’t have to both be morning people or both be night people to get along, but knowing this about each other helps you understand each other.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Do you fit into their vision of the future? In all seriousness, if their five-year plan is totally not compatible with yours, it’s better to know now.
What’s your inner circle of people like?
Ask this question to reveal how they value their community. “You can learn a lot about someone when you learn about their relationship to their parents and siblings,” online dating expert Julie Spira previously told Elite Daily.
Who is your role model?
This question will help you peer into their values and aspirations. “Finding out about who someone admires tells [you] a lot about a person … it helps the conversation flow,” Spira said.
What’s something you could talk about for hours?
Learning about their passions will reveal a deep part of who they are. “You may like the same music, enjoy the same sports, and explore the same interests," relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily. “These similarities form a foundation of natural connection and comfort.”
What are your top three bucket list goals in life?
Do they match up with yours? "How you see the world drives how you act in the world," clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow previously told Elite Daily. "The more compatible your views, the more likely you are to be compatible."
What does your perfect day look like?
Would you enjoy taking part in their perfect day? “It's a great optimistic question to talk about what you could do if you had total freedom for a day [and] could lead to a great conversation starter,” online dating coach Perri Schneider previously told Elite Daily.
Diana and Todd Mitchem, relationship coaches
Dr. Courtney Tracy, doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker
Alexis Auleta, LCSW, individual, couples, and family therapist
Susan Winter, relationship expert
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist
Perri Schneider, online dating coach
Julie Spira, online dating expert
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