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What You Should Know About the Person You Are Dating

know your dating partner

How well do you know the person you are dating? And I'm not talking about their favorite color or ice cream flavor, not who their favorite football team is or what songs they sing in the shower. Knowing the name of every person your partner has kissed since the 6th grade shows that you can share and communicate, but that information is not exactly a building block for a successful relationship. Yes, you should get to know your partner's little quirks and likes and dislikes, but when it comes to building a foundation that a long term, healthy relationship can grow on, you need to know more than the trivia questions they ask on the Newlywed Game or the answers to questions they would be asked on a dating website.

Everyone is familiar with the standard interview question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" or the couple's version, "Honey, where do you see us in five years?" and it's a good question. But that question can be hard to answer because plans change and relationships change. The things that do not normally change are the values you grew up with and the beliefs that you hold close to your heart. So, instead of playing a get-to-know-you game of 20 inconsequential questions the next time you two hang out, I propose you take things deeper. If the relationship you are in is somewhere you want to be for a while, if you could see long term potential in this person for a life together, then there are some important questions you should be asking each other. Asking these questions early on in a relationship will also help you to Discover What You Want in Your Partner on a personal level.

Is your partner satisfied with where they are at in life?

Keep in mind that being comfortable and being satisfied are two completely different things. This seems like a no brainer question, but it's hard to be honest about this sometimes, even with yourself. Especially for men, the answer to this can seem like an admission of defeat, but it's so important to know how you both feel about where you are at in life and what you plan on doing about changing your situation if you are not happy. If one of you wants to go back to grad school, for example, that is a huge financial and time commitment that will affect you both equally. Even if it never happens, knowing that it is a possibility will change the dynamics of your plans and life together, bringing you closer emotionally and as a team.

Does Your Partner Have Spiritual Beliefs?

For many people, spirituality is not something they give a lot of thought to during their exciting, single life. It's generally not a conversation you break out on the first, second or even third date, but avoiding the role of religion in dating can cause major conflicts later on in the relationship once you are already hooked. Someone who does not attend church or talk about their spirituality much as a single adult may have very different and specific ideas of how they want to raise their kids. Is it important to your partner to attend church together as a family, once you have a family? How does your partner feel about prayer? Does your partner believe there is a God? The person you are dating may not have even answered these questions for themselves yet, but finding out how you both feel about this important subject will help you discover which direction your relationship should go.

How Does Your Partner Feel About Kids?

Forget for a second the whole conversation about how many kids you want and what your favorite name for a little girl is; does the person you are dating even really want kids? More and more this is becoming an issue on both sides of the coin. With women more empowered than ever to achieve success in their professional lives, many of them are choosing to simply not have children or to wait until they have achieved their idea of success before having children. Does the person you are dating want to be a stay at home mom or dad? Are you ok with being the sole bread winner of your eventual family?

Yes, these are serious questions, but that's the point. Whether you've met your partner through friends or on a free dating website, there are many important things you don't know about them, and you have to ask to find out. And if you can't have a serious conversation about the future without scaring your partner away, maybe that's all you need to know about the person you are dating.