Oh, this is going to be good and interactive! As requested (yep, somebody requested lil ole me to write about this), I will give you a list of possible questions to ask your partner. I thought that this was an excellent topic to write about because, as a marriage and family therapist, I see a lot of couples. By the time most couples come to see me (or a therapist in general), the problem has been festering for a while, and therapy is a last resort. However, I find out a lot that the couple stops communicating once the relationship is secured. Whether that be getting engaged, moving in together, or something else. And although it is easy to do, it’s not the best. So, this list is for couples to ask one another, try it out, and tell me about it!
1. What do you need /want
Now granted, maybe this is a better question for when couples are just starting out. However, it can also be a fantastic question if you are already in an established relationship as things and people change. It’s always a good idea to check in with one another.
2. What are your goals in this relationship
Pretty self-explanatory, but maybe not. This question is essential because everyone is not the same (simple, yes I know, but true!) It is your right to know what the other person is bringing and wanting from you in return so that everyone is honest and on the same page. For example, if you are looking to “have fun” but the person you are dating is looking to build a serious relationship, you two just don’t mesh right now. It is not to say that asking this question will cure all relationship issues and force the other person to be honest, but getting clear is for sure the first step.
3. How do you (we) handle money
How do you manage your finances? Do you enjoy spending or saving money? Are you the type to splurge on flowers, gifts, or dinners out? These are important questions to ask your partner to understand each other’s views and behaviors towards money. It’s not about who pays for what – it’s about creating transparency and mutual understanding in your relationship. Plus, it’s great to know your partner shares an interest in the things you enjoy too, like concerts or trips. Open communication about financial expectations is essential for couples, whether you’re just starting out or have been together for a while. Let’s talk about it!
4. What do you expect of me (are their gender roles?)
Gender roles may not be as rigid as in the past, but they’re still present in many of our lives. It’s crucial to acknowledge and discuss them in our relationships. Whether we realize it or not, our childhood experiences shape our expectations of ourselves and others. And that’s why it’s vital for couples to have a conversation about what they expect from each other before getting married or moving in together. So, let’s approach this topic by asking “what do you expect of me as a person” rather than “what do you expect of me as a man or woman.” Let’s create a healthy and inclusive environment where everyone’s needs and desires are respected.
5. How can I support you/your goals
This is something that I think we’ve all heard be discussed as a point of contention for couples, especially more ambitious ones. One or both partners do not feel supported by the other. Claims can be: “Your job is more important than me.” Or, ” You aren’t here for me.” So, get in front of all of that drama and talk about it! What does support look like to you? And then ask yourself, is that something that I think that I am able or willing to do? Asking about your partner’s goals in life is another way to become closer. People tend to have plans for many areas of their lives (business, personal relationships, material attainment, etc etc.). And knowing and trying to understand that of our spouses (because we already know those things for ourselves, right? Just checking…) can save us time and possible anguish.
Sometimes it can be hard to have certain conversations with your person. Here at Unload It Therapy, we understand that. Suppose you need some support around areas of communication, you can contact us today for couples therapy or marriage counseling session! Our Houston-based therapists are highly trained, culturally competent, and empathic. Give us a call to get started today!
About the Author
Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling in her spare time.
If you are in Houston or in any part of Texas, Georgia, Florida, or California and are ready to work with Roma click here.