We all know that good communication is a crucial part of dating, but certain topics can feel scary, daunting, or even off limits. As nerve-wracking as it by to bring them up, there are certain conversations that need to be had regardless. These uncomfortable questions all partners should ask each other can not only ensure that you're in the right relationship, but they can protect your wellbeing both now and in the future. It might be hard, but mustering up the courage to talk about them is crucial.
"It is important to be able to discuss difficult topics head on and have the type of relationship where it is safe to do so," says relationship therapist Rhonda Milrad, LCSW over email. "Many of the 'hard topics' are subjects that can cause a serious rift in a relationship — and even the demise of it, if a couple has not found common ground. Although one would rather avoid talking about them, magical thinking is most dangerous to a healthy relationship."
As scary as they sound, uncomfortable questions can not only give you clarity and peace of mind, but they can help improve and strengthen your relationship. Here are seven uncomfortable questions all partners should ask each other.
1Have You Ever Had An STD?
Sexually transmitted diseases are not the most glamorous topic, but it's good to get your sexual health out in the open, at the very least to make sure you're not vulnerable to a disease. "It is important to know what disease your partner had, how it was treated, if your partner can transmit a disease to you, and how to best protect yourself," says Milrad. "It could be helpful to visit a doctor together to make sure you both have the same information and are on the same page about safe practices."
2What Are You Worried About In Our Relationship?
No one wants to hear the negative aspects of your relationship, but how can you grow if you don't know what your partner is worried about? "Fear promotes distance and can undermine your journey together," says Shadeen Francis, MFT, over email. "For example, partners seeking a lot of reassurance or taking on invasive behaviors like social media surveillance are often spurred by unaddressed anxieties. Giving the fear a name and strategizing for either couple or individual solutions helps dispel whatever concerns were looming in the background of your relationship."
3How Do You Feel About Your Finances?
Have real conversations about money. "Not just how much you each make or what debts you might have individually or collectively, but what their relationship to money is," says relationship and wellness coach Shula Melamed, MA, MPH over email. "Do either or both of you have baggage around earning or spending? What are you expectations of the other insofar as contributing to the household? Examine where these issues might come from for both of you and help each other develop a better relationship to money so you can prosper individually and as a unit."
4Are You Looking For A Partner Long-Term?
You don't have to talk about spending your life together right away, but before you get emotionally caught up in a new partner, find out what their relationship goals are. "Don't be embarrassed or ashamed to be candid about looking for a healthy relationship partner for marriage or other commitments," says dating and relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca, CLC over email. "Don't sacrifice your values or integrity to keep a partner in your life who doesn't share your goals. It will only hurt in the end."
5What Do You Like In Bed?
"Many couples would love to spice up their sex lives," says counselor Jonathan Bennett over email. "But they won’t even open up about the topic because they fear such a conversation due to religious, cultural, or moral reasons." It’s shouldn't be taboo to be open and honest about your innermost sexual fantasies.
6Are There Any Exes Still In The Picture?
Skip the internet stalking and be upfront about past relationships. Ask about any exes who might still be in your partner's life. "It's necessary because you want to go in knowing the score about others — is there a possibly they are still involved?" says matchmaker Bonnie Winston over email.
7Do You Want Kids?
"If you know that you want kids, then it is important to be with someone who also wants them also, even if your timeline does not match," says Milrad. "People who do not want children usually have strong reasons why they want to avoid being a parent or bringing children into this world. Ignoring reality and hoping that they will change their mind down the road is not a good foundation for a long term relationship."