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Shaking it up with a different little somethin’ somethin’ today – I lovelovelove when you guys ask Q’s about what you want to see talked about here, but I also feel reaaaaally inadequate to cover some of the topics sometimes. Ha! Total case of imposter syndrome, I know. But we’re givin’ it a go today with some conversation about…conversations! Specifically, some hella important conversations that I believe (+ J agrees, because I asked him his thoughts before hitting publish – ha!) are *essential* before diving into anything serious with your partner (like marriage, babies, etc).
- Thoughts on children? A biggie, of course. Do you want kids? If so, how many? Is that flexible? Are you open to different methods to conceive if either partner experiences any difficulties?
- What faith do you believe in/abide by? How important is that to you? What does your faith mean to you? If you have children, will you want to raise them in the same faith?
- What’s most important to you in life? – Where you live, HOW you live, travel, work, family – etc!
- What are your independent communication styles? Is one of you louder and more opinionated, and the other more reserved? Does one resort to assumptions or hypotheticals, and the other bases statements in facts, research, or logical processes? How you think effects how you communicate, and this could really impact how you argue – which is important to know!
- What from your childhood formed you into who you are today? We’ve all been through sh*t in one way or another. Maybe you were bullied as a kid, maybe you had a rough home life – whatever the case, chances are, you’ve brought some baggage into adulthood – whether you’re even consciously aware of it right now or not. If you can dive back into your brain and figure out where some key thoughts or beliefs originated, that can help figure out how to move forward with them, together.
- What do you think you do similarly to your parents – and is there anything that you adopted that you’re looking to change? Oftentimes, we end up adopting many habits – especially with things like communication styles – that we saw modeled for us growing up. So maybe, you or your partner have a certain habit or tick that you’re not particularly proud of, that you adopted from seeing your parents, siblings, etc model it everyday. This also helps a LOT in moments of tension or disagreement – being able to identify where someone else’s teachings or influence may be playing a bigger role, and lessening some of the blame game (since we can’t control our upbringings, obvi!)
- What’s your love language? This quiz helps break it down + identify yours…do it with your partner! This is LIFE CHANGING, yo. Everyone and their mom who abides by love languages says it’s so. This just really helps to know what YOUR partner needs/appreciates most, since chances are, it might not be the same things as you. We all give + receive in different languages, so knowing + loving in your partner’s love language can really increase understanding of each other.
- How do you act when you’re angry? Do you need to talk it out right away, or do you ice up and need space? This one was always HUUUUUGE for J + I, because we’re polar opposites with it. Typically in any disagreement, I want to sit down and chat about it then + there to come to a resolution. J, on the other hand, prefers space + time to cool off, think, and come back. Meanwhile, if I have space, that’s space to stew…and it leaves me more fired up than the alternative. Ha! So at least recognizing your own personal preferences here is huge, in the hopes of finding a middle ground if need be during times of conflict.
- How do you act when you’re upset or sad? Another biggie, especially in helping your partner feel understood + loveloveloved. When you’re upset, do you cry it out? Do you get really irritable? Do you push people away? Or do you tend to bottle things up and get quiet? Do you have little things that you always do when you’re sad, that would be signs to your partner? (Example: If I’m reaaaaaally sad, I’ll hand wash the dishes. I HATE doing the dishes and J usually does them, so this is a biggie to him if he sees me willingly walk over to the sink and get to scrubbing – ha!)
- Life goals? Anything you must do before you die? What are your career goals, but also travel, family, and any other goals that you’re actively or soon-to-be working towards? And how might their pursuit affect other areas of your life?
- Thoughts on in-laws? And going along with parents, what happens if your parents can’t take care of themselves any more? Or any clsoe family member, for that matter? Do you believe in having an in-law suite at any point? Do you financially support them when possible? How much influence/impact can they have on your family’s decision-making? In-laws are often a point of contention in families, but really open communication can help keep your own house a united front!
- Thoughts on traveling? Are you big travelers, or more homebodies? Do you believe in spending any extra/discretionary income on excursions + adventures? Would you prefer to be spending long weekends seeing sights, or staying home? Domestic or international? Lavish trips or more minimalistic travel?
- Money talk…spender or saver? This is huuuuuuuuuge since financial struggles are one of the *biggest* factors blamed for divorce. Something that really helped J + I before we were married (we might’ve done it before engagement, but I don’t remember!) was a quic we found online that determined your financial compatibility by identifying your own personal “style” and ideation when it comes to being a couple financially. But it basically said we were both “All-In Allies.” Meaning, we both believed that once we got married, we could/should share everything together. What’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours. And that included finances – we believe in sharing jointly and considering any money we have as belonging to “our family,” as opposed to saying “this is my pot and this is yours.” So, that meant we had to ALSO be crystal clear on our individual spending/saving habits. Luckily, we’re both pretty aligned in this and tend to be savvy in general with spending versus saving – neither is a big spender, and both lovelovelove saving as much as possible in diverse ways. So this is huge. Equally huge is if you’re big on saving every penny and being thriftier in spending, and your partner, on the flip side, prefers buying everything brand name when they want it and spends like it’s going out of style. This can cause a lot of tension together, *especially* if you’re also both pulling/putting from/into the same family money pot.
- Under what circumstances is it acceptable to put work first? In an ideal world, I’d guess that most family-oriented folks say “family first!” and try to live accordingly. But sometimes, ish happens. Sometimes, one (or both) of you might have a rough week at work, or a rough season, and that might mean later nights or longer hours. But I think to avoid future conflict or hurt feelings, it’s suuuuuper important slash valuable to identify what sortof circumstances you think it might be *acceptable* to put work first. Is it a specific project with a deadline that’s short-term? Is it a specific task that’s the nature of the gig, for a season? What does the finish line look like, and when does it enter the picture? Being able to pinpoint as best possible the what/why/when is SO helpful here. J + I have had to overcome this quite a bit on both sides, and really open, honest communication around it was (and always is) key.
- Thoughts on pets? Yay? Nay? Also, what kind? This goes beyond “are you a cat or a dog person?” Some folks grew up surrounded by animals, so it’s a pretty big part of who they are and what they expect in family life moving forward. Others might be allergic or want nothing to do with them under their own roof. Some think a pomeranian or chihuahua is a family pet, whether others think a pig or some chickens fits the bill. So define what that might look like for you as a little family unit together!
- Are you a spontaneous decision-maker or more of a planner? This could totally be impacted by whether or not you’re “Type A” or not (like me – ha!), and sometimes might vary with the day of the week. But in general, do you make spontaneous decisions in life, or prefer to plan out more meticulously? Here, I’m not talkin’ whether or not to get ice cream on a Sunday afternoon – I’m talkin’ the big stuff in life. Like booking vacations, or buying houses. Do you decide on impulses, or do you think through every avenue before choosing?
- Medical wishes? Not to end on a Debby Downer, but chat through a few medical wishes together in worst-case-scenario style. If something tragic or awful happens to either one of you…what next?
Are there any other important questions to ask your partner that you’d include in recommended conversations for couples?
If I missed any biggies or you’ve personally experienced something that was a really hella important convo to have looking back, drop it in a comment below!