Question to ask a potential partner

52 Romantic Questions For Getting to Know Your Partner Better

No matter what stage of the relationship you are in, it’s always a good time to learn more about your partner. Sometimes important topics will naturally arise in conversation, but other times, it’s necessary to ask your partner specific questions so that you can learn more about them. Here are questions to ask your partner at different stages of the relationship so that you can deepen your connection to one another.

At the beginning of a relationship, it’s important to get to know your partner. Asking things about their childhood and their general preferences or habits can give you a good idea of who they are as a person.

Here are some questions to ask a new partner:

1. What’s your favorite nickname?

Asking about a nickname will not only give you ideas about what to call your new partner, but it will also likely elicit a story about the loved one that coined the name.

2. Describe your family dynamic.

Understanding your new partner’s family dynamic, or at least where they fall in the birth order of their siblings will give you insight into who they are.

3. What’s your weirdest habit or quirk?

Might as well know what to prepare yourself for! Asking about a weird habit or quirk before it comes up will save you the surprise of discovering it on your own.

4. What were you like in high school?

While not all high school stereotypes are true, understanding what your partner was like in high school can give you a general idea of what they were like when they were younger.

5. What is your love language?

Love languages are super important to understand when you are starting a new relationship. Asking your partner about their preferred ways to give and receive love will help you support them in the relationship moving forward.

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6. What is your conflict style?

It’s important to understand your new partner’s conflict style so that when conflicts do eventually arise, you are able to navigate them effectively.

7. What’s your astrological sign?

Though not everyone believes in astrology, it can be helpful to know your partner’s star chart so that you can compare compatibility and get a general sense of their personality.

8. What’s your greatest talent?

Let your new partner brag about themselves! Asking them about their greatest talent will give you insight into something that they are proud of.

9. What’s your biggest weakness?

While it’s great to hype your partner up, it’s also important to understand what their flaws are. Asking this question will not only encourage them to reflect a little, but it will also give you a heads up about their flaws.

10. What are your expectations for the relationship?

In addition to light hearted questions, it’s good to establish expectations for the relationship early on. This often won’t come up out of the blue, so it can be important to directly ask your partner this question so that you are on the same page about things moving forward.

11. Why did your last relationship end?

In a mature relationship, you and your partner should be able to talk about your past partners and relationships. Understanding why their last relationship ended can show you what the deal breakers are for your partner.

12. How would you describe your spending habits?

Financial disagreements are often the source of relationship problems. Understanding your new partner’s spending habits from the beginning will help you make sure you’re on the same page, or it will at least give you insight into your different spending habits. In the short term it’s also good to know to help you better understand who’s getting the bill.

13. Are you a competitive person?

Many people have somewhat hidden competitive streaks that come out in full force during certain activities. Knowing if your partner is competitive, or having them admit that they are competitive can prepare you when the streak comes out.

14. Have you ever cheated on a past partner?

This might seem like a serious question to ask at the beginning of a relationship, and while it is serious, it’s ultimately really important to know what your new partner thinks about fidelity and cheating. If they have cheated in the past, this can give them an opportunity to explain the situation and promise that it’s not going to happen again…

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After getting to know your partner in the early stages of the relationship, it’s important to keep learning about each other. Here are some light hearted and random conversation starters that you can refer to if you’re ever at a loss for what to talk about. Even though these questions are silly and fun, they will give you some insight into your partner:

15. What are ten things you would bring to a desert island?

This is a great icebreaker question! Hearing your partner reason through this question will give you insight into how they think and it will likely spark an interesting conversation.

16. What’s your dream vacation?

Who doesn’t want to plan out a dream vacation?! Especially these days, when we are all cooped up at home due to the pandemic. Asking about your partner’s dream vacay will prompt a fun conversation and will maybe even inspire your next trip.

17. Do you believe in karma?

This is a fun question to ask if you are interested in your partner’s general life philosophy. Whether someone does or doesn’t believe in karma often provides insight into how they treat people.

18. Do you believe in an afterlife?

While this is a potentially morbid question depending on your partner’s response, it is good to know what your partner thinks about life on earth and the potential of an afterlife.

19. If money didn’t matter, what would you want to do for a living?

This is always a fun question to ask to get an idea of what your partner is most happy doing. Or what their favorite hobby is.

20. What would your superpower be?

This might seem like a cheesy icebreaker-y question, but it’s a fun conversation starter! And it will probably come up during one of those couples dating games that you will inevitably play together, so better just to ask and to know.

21. How would you spend one million dollars?

Let’s say you win the lottery while you’re together as a couple, it’s good to know in advance how your partner would spend the money. Or to at least understand if they are savvy, greedy or altruistic.

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What’s the best gift you have ever received?

Asking about your partner’s favorite gift will not only give you insight into the kind of things that your partner values, but it will also give you ideas for the next gift giving occasion!

23. Have you ever met a famous person?

A lot more people than you realize have crossed paths with a famous person. Whether it was a good experience or a bad experience, it’s bound to be a good story!

24. Who is your celebrity crush?

Ask who your partner’s celebrity crush is and why! Afterall, it’s always good to know who the competition is.

25. What’s your favorite song?

Superlatives are a great way to get to know your partner better. Whether you’re asking about a favorite song, a favorite artist, or even a favorite movie, superalities are a fun conversation starter.

26. What’s your favorite sport’s team?

Does a disagreement about sports teams count as an irreconcilable difference? Maybe! Better to find out sooner rather than later. Or atleast plan out which games you should spend apart from each other.

27. Do you like to cook?

Before you live with someone, you never really know if they enjoy cooking (or if they know how to cook) unless you ask! Cooking can be a super fun way to pass the time as a couple, whether it’s teaching your partner, learning from your partner or cooking as a team.

28. What’s your favorite meal?

Learn about your partner’s favorite meal and pledge to cook it together as a fun date night activity.

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29. What’s the best vacation you have ever taken?

Who doesn’t want to talk about vacation?! Asking your partner about their favorite past vacation will teach you a little bit more about their life and bring you closer together as a couple.

30. Who is your ideal dinner guest?

Ask your partner what celebrity or person (alive or dead) they would have over for dinner. This is a fun conversation starter that can tell you a surprising amount about your partner.

31. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Asking about your partner’s childhood, especially the good parts, will let you get to know them on a deeper level and will show you the things and people that are important to them.

32. Do you sing in the shower?

Like the question about cooking it’s hard to know this about someone unless you live with them, so you might as well ask! This is also a fun thing to guess, you might find that you’re surprised by their answer!

33. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Does your partner have a huge sweet tooth? Do they LOVE terrible horror movies? Talking about your guilty pleasures can be a funny and embarrassing way to get to know each other better.

Throughout your relationship, it’s important to keep up the tradition of date night. No matter how long you have been together, it’s important to continue to prioritize your partner and your time together as a couple. And you can do this through date night! The following are some romantic questions reserved for date nights or other intimate occasions:

34. What’s your favorite date night activity?

Does your partner prefer a quiet night in? A night on the town? Or a fancy romantic dinner? Knowing this and changing things up if you have different preferences will keep date night fun for everyone.

35. What’s the best setting for date night?

Along the same lines as the last question, does your partner prefer intimate date night activities? Or something to get you both out of the house?

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36. What is a romantic fantasy of yours?

This might be a question better saved for a more private time, but, regardless, it is definitely something worth exploring with your partner!


What’s your favorite romcom?

Everyone has a favorite romcom, even if they are slow to admit it. Knowing whether your partner is a 500 Days of Summer person or a 10 Things I Hate About your kind of person is important!

38. What makes you feel the most loved?

In addition to knowing your partner’s love language, it’s important to know what specific things make them feel most loved. A box of chocolates? Taking time to go on a walk? Leaving little notes around the house? Sending a cute good morning text?

39. What’s your favorite thing about me?

It never hurts to fish for compliments every once in a while. In a relationship it’s important to continually show your partner that they are loved. Sometimes you just need your partner to say something nice about you. This question can prompt a complement and help you feel the love.

After being with your partner for a significant amount of time, you might begin to ask yourself if you are ready to take things to the next level. Are you ready to be a serious couple? Are you ready to talk about marriage or life companionship? Here are a few questions to ask your partner (and yourself) if you are considering taking your relationship to the next level:

40. What are your thoughts on religion?

It’s important to know if your partner is religious and if it is important for your religions to match up. Will you be expected to convert? Or is religion not an important factor in the relationship?

41. Do you believe in monogamous relationships?

Even if you have been dating for a long time, it’s important to know if your partner believes in lifelong monogamy before deciding to take the next step in your relationship.

42. Are you ready to commit to a long term relationship?

Before taking the next step, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page about commitment. Asking this kind of question directly will help you understand if your relationship is ready to level up.

43. Would you consider moving in together?

As your relationship becomes more and more serious, it’s important to start talking about moving in together. Is this something you would do before marriage? After an engagement? After marriage? Making sure that you are on the same page about this is important before taking the next step.

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44. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Your partner doesn’t need to have every detail of their five year plan decided, but it is important to know if you are both generally on the same page about what the future holds.

45. What goals do you have for the relationship?

Do you hope to be married in a few years? Do you want to move in together? Or are you comfortable seeing where things go? Asking this question will show you whether your visions for the relationship are in alignment.

46. Where do you want to live in the future?

Location can be a deal breaker in serious relationships. Does your partner have plans to move to Antarctica? Or back to their hometown? These are things you need to know before taking things to the next level.

47. Wedding? Large or small?

First things first, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page about whether or not your want to be married. And if you do want to be married, what do you want the ceremony to be like?

48. What is something you are not willing to compromise on?

Before getting any more serious, it’s important to know if there are deal breakers for your partner and what those deal breakers are.

49. Are you satisfied with our sex life?

Sex is an important part of any serious relationship, so whether you are sexually active or waiting until marriage, be sure that your partner is satisfied with this decision and satisfied in the bedroom if you are having sex.

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50. Do we make each other better people?

If you are looking for a lifelong partner, it’s important that you both encourage each other to grow. Asking if your partner makes you better and vice versa will help you evaluate if you are in a growth oriented relationship that can withstand leveling up.

51. Do you want pets?

Is your partner a dog person? Or a cat person? Are either of those things dealbreakers? Pets can be a make or break deal for some relationships!

52. Do you want children?

Along the same lines as the question about pets... do you want children? Is your partner on the same page? A long-term relationship won’t work if you aren’t on the same page about starting a family.

In addition to these questions, couples can turn to Relish, a relationship coaching app that can help you and your partner get to know each other better.

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101 Deep Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend, Girlfriend or Partner

How well do you know your partner? Ask them these questions to connect on a deeper level and reach a whole new degree of intimacy.

How well do you know your partner? We don’t just mean their favorite color or movie, but really know them. Have you ever asked the deep questions? Their likes, dislikes, trauma, regrets, passions, dreams and greatest desires.

RELATED: Do the 36 Questions That Lead to Love Really Work?

These are not meant to undermine your relationship, simply to point out an area for improvement, something that needs to be strengthened if you hope to get through not only the good times, but also the bad ones.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to strengthen your bond. And luckily, it’s a lot of fun (even if it can get heavy sometimes). Think back. When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your partner? An open and honest discussion can help bring couples closer together by building trust, mutual understanding and compassion.

Communication will bring understanding and understanding will cause harmonious mutual relationships which can establish peace and stability.

– Lobsang Tenzin

Allowing yourselves to be vulnerable, by practicing active and empathetic listening, also tends to reveal a lot about your partner’s character, their values, their past and their visions for the future. It’s an opportunity to learn more about your partner and ultimately, more about yourself.

The Power of Deep Questions in Every Relationship

Asking the right question at the right time can help us realize breakthroughs in many important areas of life, from finding out what we want to do with our life to improving personal relationships.

RELATED: How Soon Is Too Soon to Move In? The 5 Most Important Questions to Answer

Understanding is the gateway to compassion and love, and questions allow us to obtain that necessary level of understanding, helping us learn why our partner behaves or thinks a certain way.

Have you ever wondered what are the right, deep questions to ask your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or partner? Well, wonder no longer. Here below are 101 deep questions to help you connect with your partner on a more intimate level. May they help you realize a deeper understanding, boundless compassion, and open love.

Couples Should Have Deeper Conversation about Life

1. What’s something you’re glad you’ll never have to do again?

When it comes to getting to know your partner on a more meaningful level, it really helps to build an understanding of any experiences they’d like to avoid — and why. Knowing the answers to these questions can be stress-relieving, or help to circumvent awkward situations, as well as cultivate empathy and a deeper understanding of their character.

2. What’s one thing you always procrastinate on?

3. What would you do with your life if you were suddenly awarded a billion dollars?

While winning a billion dollars is highly unlikely, anything is possible. What this question really reveals is more than their dream vacation, or how they would spend almost unlimited wealth. It reveals where your partner’s priorities lie when the usual obstacles and impediments are removed, and what their biggest dreams will be — the ones they’d like to pursue in their heart of hearts.

4. What should a healthy relationship provide for the people in it?

Relationship questions like this one are rather crucial to your expectations and theirs, and can be very helpful in determining whether your relationship needs and goals are aligned or not. If they’re not, you may find there is common ground enough to come together anyway — but knowing comes first.

5. Do you believe everything happens for a reason, or do we just find reasons after things happen?


Is there anything you consider absolutely unforgivable?

If your partner has a deal-breaker associated with unforgivable acts, it doesn’t hurt to know what it is so you can be sure that it doesn’t conflict with any of your own unforgivable end zones. Plus, if you disagree on what’s forgivable, that’s worth discussing.

7. If you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do first?

8. In your life, what has been the biggest blessing in disguise?

This is a great way to understand how your partner’s mind works — how they put things in perspective for themselves, and how they process ‘positive’ vs ‘negative’ forces in their lives.

9. If you could pick one year of your life to do-over, which would it be and why?

10. What is one behavior that you never tolerate?

Your partner may not tolerate clutter or messiness in their home, or they may not like the idea of having friends over late into the night. It’s worth comparing and contrasting which behaviors you find acceptable and which you can’t stand. How else will you know if you’re well-aligned?

11. If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only three words?

12. What is the one thing that makes you feel alive?

Whether it’s mountain climbing, skydiving, performing in front of an audience, traveling to new places, or simply being creative on a regular basis, it’s worth knowing what gets your partner’s juices flowing. Because arguably, feeling alive is everything!

13. What would your perfect day look like?

Not only can this question help you plan the perfect surprise birthday itinerary, but it can teach you a ton about how your partner likes to unwind and have fun — always useful information!

14. Do you usually follow your head or your heart when making decisions?

Contrary to surface-level understandings, “heart people” can be highly compatible with “head people,” even helping to balance one another out, so don’t worry about their answer being different than yours, or being overly emotional compared to them. Also, don’t get stuck on black-or-white answers, as these things never are.

15. What is something that never ends well?

16. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

Romantic Questions: Thinking about Your Relationship

These are not just random questions to ask your boyfriend or partner. In real life, knowing how they want to spend date night, what the most attractive quality they find in others is, or what their favorite romantic movie is can seem like a silly thing to want to know at first.

However, they are also interesting questions that reveal much about compatibility, and the sort of romantic things and experiences they want in their lives.

1. What did you think when you first met me?

If you haven’t discussed your first impressions of one another, there’s really no time like the present. The answer to this question might be amusing; it might also be romantic. One thing’s for sure, it’ll give you an insider’s view on the path your partner traveled to choosing you.

2. What about our relationship makes you really happy?

Best case scenario: you gain a deeper understanding of what your partner appreciates about you, which can serve as a wonderful anchor in your relationship. Not to mention, regularly communicating what you appreciate about one another is the stuff of strong relationships.

3. If you had one word to describe our relationship what would it be?

4. What’s your biggest fear for this relationship?

Relationship anxiety is extraordinarily common, but there’s no antidote to this particular brand of fear like talking it through with an empathetic partner. Relationship fear is often based on past experiences, and once they’re out in the open, they have a greater chance of dissipating.

5. What’s one difference between us that you absolutely love?

They say opposites attract, and while this is certainly not always the case, having palpable differences is often a source of interest, intrigue and attraction between partners. Why not get some positive feedback on being yourself?

6. What’s one similarity between us that you absolutely love?

7. What about me (outside of a physical feature) made you fall in love?

If you’re in love, and the feeling is mutual, this is a question that can only feed your mutual affection and appreciation for one another — so don’t be afraid to ask.

8. What’s your favorite memory of us?

9. What’s one thing you want to do together that we’ve never done before?

This question is perfectly suited to laying sprawled out in a field of flowers, visioning for the long-term with your significant other. It’s really healthy to want to share certain experiences (be it singing a duet at an open mic, entering a marathon, or buying real estate). And it’s even healthier to express it!

10. Where is your favorite place to be with me?

11. What’s one thing you’re scared to ask me, but really want to know the answer to?

These types of boyfriend questions are important: If your partner actually has an answer to this one, chances are you’ll want to ask the question. Better to get everything out in the open sooner than later. It may end up being an opportunity to hear the hardest truth, but one that strengthens the relationship over the long term.

12. What’s one thing you feel our relationship is lacking?

13. What’s your favorite non-physical quality about me?

Attraction is often based at least in part on physical traits, particularly at the beginning of a relationship. But if your relationship is a strong one, there is surely more to your bond than looks. Hearing all the other things that fuel your partner’s attraction can be really refreshing, enlightening, even.

14. If our relationship ended, what’s the one thing about it you’d miss the most?

15. What do you think was your most vulnerable moment in our relationship?

Staying honest (and therefore vulnerable) is integral to any successful relationship. What better way to achieve this than to talk about moments of authentic vulnerability without judgment?


What’s one secret you’ve wanted to tell me, but haven’t?

17. What’s your favorite way to receive affection?

Different people have different love languages, from physical touch, to words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service. There’s no better way to give and receive affection than by speaking each other’s language.

18. What’s one thing you think makes our relationship unique from everyone else’s?

19. If you could change one thing about our relationship what would it be?

It might seem counterintuitive to invite conversation based on the assumption that your partner would, in fact, change something about your relationship, but sometimes, it’s questions like these that make someone feel comfortable enough to raise an issue that’s been on their mind.

20. What do you think is your biggest strength in this relationship?

21. What’s one thing about your life you would never change for someone else, including me?

While the tone of this question may seem a tad negative at first glance, identifying your partner’s non-negotiable traits, habits or attachments can go a long way toward helping you understand what’s most important to them in life.

22. What about us do you think works well together? How do we balance each other out?

23. What does love mean to you?

24. What do I mean to you?

This question is makes both parties vulnerable, so it’s natural to want to shy away from it. But at a certain point in your relationship (you’ll know what point — it’s different for everyone), hot and heavy questions like this one are fair — and, hell, they can be extremely romantic too.

25. What was your first impression of me?

26. What’s the most romantic movie you’ve ever seen?

27. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Fun Questions to Ask Your Girlfriend, Boyfriend or Partner

Not everything has to be so serious! Sometimes the best relationship advice is to be silly, and enjoy cute questions about crazy things.

Funny questions can sometimes lead to a really good conversation that you guys will be really glad you had.

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?


Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?

Although questions like these have a bit of a party-trick vibe, they can also be very revealing of your partner’s core values. What does your partner value more: looks or lucidity? While answers should be taken with a grain of salt, you can learn lots from the inevitable explanations that accompany such answers.

4. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? (If their sense of humor is dark like yours)

5. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

Many of us fantasize about possessing certain “superpowers” or abilities. This is a fun question to ask, but it can also teach you lots about your partner’s deepest wishes (be it to fly above it all, turn invisible on whim, or set fire to things spontaneously) — so ask, ask away!


If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

7. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

In the spirit of bringing the best out of one another, this question can help you plan a future in which you do just that. Why not encourage your partner to follow their dreams and talk through it with them if they get stuck?

8. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

9. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

Think of your most embarrassing moments as a treasure trove of a) good stories, b) hard lessons learned, and c) personal growth signposts. Sharing these with your partner will very likely bring you closer. After all, any partner worth their salt wants to know the real you — not the airbrushed version.

10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

11. What’s your favorite karaoke song?

12. What is your go-to Halloween costume?

13. Who is your big celebrity crush?

Questions to Ask Your Partner about the Future

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

If your partner hasn’t given any thought to this question, and you have (or vice versa), a discussion wouldn’t hurt. Sometimes all it takes is a little communication for two people to start creating five-year plans together.

2. How do you see our future together? Where do you see it headed?

It may seem daunting, but it’s important to have ‘the talk’ with your best friend and potential lifelong mate. If your hearts and paths are aligned, there shouldn’t be much in the way of surprises. If they’re not, it’s still definitely worth knowing so you can reassess.

3. What are your goals in the relationship?


What are your thoughts on having a family?

This is not a peripheral question: if you want a big family but your partner would rather limit your dependents to cats and dogs, you need to have a discussion to determine whether there’s enough flexibility to move forward.

5. Where do you see yourself living when you retire?

6. What are your financial priorities and goals?

Money and love may seem antithetical, but the strongest relationships are transparent on all fronts. In other words, if you couldn’t care less about money or saving for the future, but your partner is steeped in mutual funds and RRSPs (or vice versa), it may be worth talking about to avoid future conflicts or imbalances in the relationship.

7. What is on your bucket list that we can do together this year?

8. What’s the one thing you want to achieve the most before you die?

If your partner has a goal to end all goals — something they don’t want to leave this earth without achieving (i. e. writing a novel, or opening a café) — you may want to consider getting behind it and supporting them. Because happier people make better partners!

9. Do you have any habits you want to change?

Be it quitting smoking and drinking, or curbing a bad temper, knowing your partner’s personal betterment aspirations can help you be a stronger support when they need it the most.

10. What do you most look forward to about getting old?

‘Getting old’ might not be a topic either of you naturally turn to, but talking about it can really help clarify your respective life trajectories (or at least the ones you see yourself following), as well as how your partner imagines life with you in the (distant) future.

11. What are you hoping to learn in the coming year?

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in your whole life?

13. If you could see into the future, what’s one thing you want to see?

Many of us would rather not look into the future and find out things that might rob us of quality of life in the present moment. Then again, your partner may have good reasons to prefer knowing how certain life aspects will unfold. You should probably hear this.

14. How do you want to be remembered?

Questions to Ask Your Husband, Wife or Partner about Their Past

1. When’s the last time you felt vulnerable? How did you cope?

2. What have you accomplished in the past year that you are most proud of?

Close as you feel to your partner, you may not actually be aware of how they judge their own achievements and what it is they take real pride in. True intimacy requires learning more about your partner’s inner world when the opportunity presents itself.

3. What were the major turning points in your life?

From past trauma dating back to one’s childhood, to struggles with anxiety, depression, or addiction your partner may have dealt with before knowing you, ‘turning points’ come in many forms. Learning your partner means knowing their history.

4. When’s the last time you pushed out of your comfort zone? How did it make you feel?


What is your happiest memory?

Sharing the happiest memories of our lives is a beautiful way of getting closer to our partners while opening the door to creating new happy memories together as a couple.

6. How have you changed in the past five years?

7. When was the last time you cried and why?

Some people cry often, and others rarely. We all have different relationships to shedding tears, and understanding your partner’s will only shed light on their emotional reality. Bonus: asking the question entails sharing a vulnerable moment, and vulnerability breeds intimacy.

8. What is an important life lesson you’ve learned?

9. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

We don’t all have the same notions of courage, or of boldness. You can learn volumes about your partner by hearing them tell of the most daring thing they ever did, and the kind of results it manifested in their life.

10. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from past partners?

Not everyone likes to discuss their previous relationships with their current partner, and indeed, there should be a limit to such discussions. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable lessons to be shared. Chances are that learning about your partner’s experiences in previous serious relationships will help you to better understand their behaviors today.

11. What’s the most challenging setback you’ve ever experienced? How did you overcome it?

12. If you could change one thing in history, what would it be?

13. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

14. If you had to listen to just one of the songs you loved as a kid for the rest of your life, which song would it be?

15. Did you have any pets growing up?

Particularly if animals are important to you, and/or you plan on having pets in the future, it’s integral you get to know your partner’s attitude toward animals.

16. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Heavy Questions to Ask Your Girlfriend, Boyfriend or Partner

1. Do you want to have kids? If so, how many?

2. When you’re having a bad day, what makes you feel better?

This is the kind of question that helps you better understand how to comfort your girlfriend when she’s down and just needs a reprieve from life for a minute (or a day). Whether it’s cooking a meal, cleaning the apartment, or giving her a temple massage, these are important life skills, so never underestimate them!

3. Do you consider yourself a jealous person?

4. Have you ever cheated on a partner?

If your girlfriend has cheated in the past, it’s worth knowing, just as it’s worth knowing what led her to it, and how she feels about it in retrospect. People grow and change — they do it all the time. 

5. Why did your last relationship end?

6. How important is religion or spirituality in your life?

Religion and/or spirituality may or may not play a significant role in your life — either way, unless the topic was at the forefront of your first meeting, your partner might have an altogether different relationship to faith. If you want to build a future together, don’t hesitate to ask her. If she’s worth being in a relationship with, she’s worth really knowing.

7. Who was your role model growing up?


Have you ever been in an emotional or physically abusive relationship?

If your partner has coped with an abuser in the past (be it an ex-partner, a parent, or anyone else) getting closer to your girlfriend likely means learning what she’s been through — to whatever extent she’s willing to share.

9. How important are looks to you?

10. Do you think a relationship can come back from cheating?

In a committed, monogamous relationship, no one wants a partner who strays. That said, your boyfriend might take cheating less seriously than you do — or vice versa. Put your mind at ease by addressing concerns as they arise, and with total transparency.

11. How long was your longest relationship?

12. How do you see our future together: do you envision a two-income household, or a different arrangement?

Whether you envision yourself as a blissfully content stay-at-home-mom, a high octane corporate executive — or both — finding out what kind of household arrangement your boyfriend imagines for his future (i. e., blissfully content stay-at-home dad) can help circumvent a lot of potential conflict in the future.  

13. Have you ever struggled with addiction?

While it’s true that our struggles do not define us, your boyfriend’s history with any sort of addiction is something you’re within your rights to ask about, as it may affect you too. Even if this does not represent his current reality, understanding his past struggles can help you become a lot better acquainted with the man you’re sharing your life with.

14. Have you ever been engaged or married?

Becoming acquainted with the broad strokes of your boyfriend’s past romantic life can help you better understand his behaviors, interests, and hesitations in your current relationship.

15. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

You might have a very different style of communicating or relating to others than your boyfriend does. This doesn’t make you incompatible—in fact, it might even make you extra complementary. Still, it helps to address these differences so you can better understand and empathize with one another, while also being supportive of your partner even if you can’t directly relate to their difficulties. 

Why Are Questions in Relationships So Important?

Ultimately, when it comes to building and maintaining strong relationships, communication is both king and queen! The more deeply you open up to truly getting to know one another, the sturdier your foundation will be. 

Nothing can shake you if your version of intimacy includes sharing your best and worst moments with compassion, acceptance, and love. Asking questions (and answering them) without reservation is a surefire way to open up the floodgates of vulnerability—by extension cultivating deeper shared emotional experiences.  

With additions by MJ Kelly and Maya Khamala


Are You in Love? These 5 Proven Signs Will Help You Know for Sure

7 questions to ask before starting a joint business - Career on vc.


Partnerships. strategic alliances. Joint ventures. Investors. Relationship between supplier and customer. Teaming up with other people is undoubtedly the fastest way to achieve extraordinary business success. No entrepreneur succeeds alone as much as he could succeed in alliance with someone else.


But jumping into business with another person also takes a lot of risk. About half of our conversations with clients center around the stress, chaos, and heartache of business partnerships that have gone awry.

Alter Ego center business psychologist and founder of 220 Volt Andrey Ignatiev recommended 7 questions that you should ask yourself and your partners before starting a joint business.

1. What does success look like?

Do you have a hot new idea? Are you drunk with excitement? In such cases, it can be very easy to look a potential partner in the eye and say: "Do you want to sell soda for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and try to change the world?" . That's what Steve Jobs said to John Scully when he asked him to step down as CEO of Pepsi and join Apple.

It is tempting to imitate such great gestures. John then told "yes" to but eventually left Apple. The partnership didn't work. It's amazing how many entrepreneurs enter into a partnership without knowing what success will look like from the point of view of both partners. That both of you will consider a victory.

What does your company's success look like?

Are you looking to get out of the joint business?

When and under what conditions?

Do you fully accept the partnership idea?

How far are you willing to go?

Maybe you want to start a joint business and then pass it on to someone else to jump into something new yourself?

These are the questions you will need to answer if your partnership is to be successful.

2. What does failure look like?

There are many business founders who have sat motionless on a slowly sinking ship, refusing to use a lifeline lest they let their partner down. Or - even worse - because each of the businessmen mistakenly believed that the partner would suspect him of excessive pessimism.

When starting a business project, people don't like to formulate their own definition of failure. Because of this, they simply do not notice the moment when their business develops like a house of cards.

When entrepreneurs cannot define what failure is, they don't know where is the line beyond which they have to state: "Business idea didn't work" . They can't figure out when to let go of a bad idea and a bad partnership.

When you start a new business partnership, agree and document (!) the point of no return.

Define a "Minimum Viable Outcome" and provide it with a specific timeline and a specific goal. Ask yourself and your partner: “What is the minimum result for X months (be it sales or some other KPI) that will be satisfactory to keep us interested in this business?” .

Be honest about the targets you set, after all, your life will continue after a failed partnership.

3. Will you support partnerships if they go neither shaky nor wildly?

Most business partnerships are neither super-successful nor outright failures. They are developing, albeit not as fast as we would like, but quite decently. Are you ready for the fact that your partnership will be all right, but no more than that? Would it make sense to maintain a partnership - investing effort, time and even money - if it produces moderate, mediocre results?

Preparing for success and failure is smart. But being ready for “just normal” is true wisdom.

4. When and how are you going to end your partnership and separate?

Less than 1% of business partnerships are "until death do us part." When you are in love with an exciting idea, the future looks bright. The reality is that founders—even of the most successful startups in the world—usually see their team run out of steam within 5-10 years. The world's greatest rock bands are always at "creative differences". Your idea sounds great, but 5 years is a very long time, and it will eventually end.

Plan in advance a strategy that can quickly and painlessly free both parties from the partnership. Often, the most difficult business partnership problems arise when both parties want to exit the project, but the financial resources to buy out part of the business or otherwise compensate for damage to one or both parties are not available.

Don't let your partnership become a prison. Always plan your exit procedure. Know how you both will act in successful or disastrous situations. But be prepared for the fact that everything will go well.

5. How much energy are you both willing to invest in a joint business?

Nothing generates more conflict than the lack of an answer to this question from business partners at the stage of their entry into a joint business. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs differ from each other in a set of values. Don't make the mistake of assuming that your values ​​match your partner's aspirations, no matter how well you know them.

Are you building a business to create a estate? Do you want to scale your enterprise to the entire universe? Or do you need a partnership to secure the freedom and lifestyle you want for yourself?

The answers are not so simple: most entrepreneurs want a bit of both. But you need to understand what your partner is focusing on. Many perfectly successful partnerships fall apart because one partner wants to enjoy success while the other wants to move the business forward.

6. How often should both of you question strategy?

Founders of a business, especially in the early stages of a business, must perform all functions and quickly switch between them. And the most important and difficult thing is switching between strategic thinking and everyday affairs. Intellectual work on the development of strategic ideas is very important - it determines the general direction and vision of any undertaking, especially at an early stage. But persistent action to implement the strategy is equally important. You need to generate ideas, but their implementation is the key to success in any business.

To come up with ideas but not to act is to be a mindless dreamer. In the same way, too much focus on execution means not seeing the forest for the trees and can lead to working on the wrong ideas and missed opportunities. Finding the right balance between strategy and execution is a delicate art.

Entrepreneurs who are committed to strategic thinking often struggle to implement their ideas, but as soon as a project encounters difficulties, they retreat, not bothering to rethink the situation. On the other hand, pure performers have enough willpower to make any idea work, but are often unable to move away from an initially unsuccessful idea.

Balancing strategy and execution is an important step in your entrepreneurial development. For example, in the company "220 Volt": behind me - strategic ideas, and behind the partner - a specific vision of how to do it, and implementation.

Reconciling this balance with your business partner is even more difficult. If you and your partner meet monthly to set KPIs or targets, you need to be sure that your partner feels this balance. You must simultaneously ask each other the strategic question of what we should and should not do. Otherwise, you will find yourself in uncertainty: you are striving for a certain goal, but it is not known how interesting your partner is, whether he shares it.

Partnerships thrive only on the basis of a predetermined structure of goals and sub-goals. Set a schedule for reviews, determine how the balance between strategy and its execution is maintained. There is nothing that breeds mutual dissatisfaction faster than a partner who spends his days looking into the "empty strategy of existentiality" while you persevere in the current work. Make sure that when you and your partner are not working together, both of you are working on whatever plan you agreed upon at your last strategy meeting.

7. How might changes in your personal life change how you feel about doing business together?

The difficulty of partnerships, especially long-term ones, is that people change over time. Consider what changes in your private life may lead to the need to reconsider your participation in the partner business:

  • childbirth
  • death of a loved one
  • wedding
  • divorce
  • change of residence
  • serious physical or mental illness
  • changing the value system

Each of these events (and others of similar significance) can seriously change the motivation that guides people at the deepest levels of their psyche. And if you are going to go into a joint business for a period of several years, you and your partner need to have a discussion of this list of questions. You must understand that a joint business is not just working on a common project, it is closer to a “business marriage”.

Every entrepreneur works as a central node in a complex system of social relations, and therefore our personal life matters. Your restless sleep last night, the drama at your spouse's office, the conversation with your mom, your mortgage, your kid's grades at school, it's all part of the business. It is not separate from your life, moreover, like a plant, it grows out of it.

Any partnership is made up of people, and you, like all people, cannot avoid life's problems. Partnerships that don't take this into account are fragile. They are shattered by reality. The ability of your partnerships to adapt to real life will give your joint business the necessary flexibility.

Don't forget the Partnership Agreement!

If you want to start partnerships transparently, invite a mediator or a business psychologist to discuss all these issues. It will help to reveal the true values, motives, roles, ways out of crisis situations and the attitude of each of the partners to the future business.

And most importantly, fix all the results of this meeting in Partnership Agreement and notarize it. This will guarantee your strong and long-term partnership.

The first Alter Ego business psychoanalysis center specially for VC

8 questions to ask — SKB Kontur

Someone sees new opportunities in a partner, someone sees the only chance to open a business, some are looking for a like-minded person. But most entrepreneurs buy into the deceptive illusion of partnership as a way to avoid responsibility: since there are two of us, it means that we need to work less. With such an attitude, it’s better not to “get into the water” at all.

Denis Zapirkin Expert and consultant in business development and process optimization

One warrior in the field

A new partner is not always better than the old ones, tested by time, conflicts, luck and money. One of my acquaintances, an experienced and successful businessman, said: "With partners you will not build a big and serious business, but you will gain experience in order to one day do everything yourself." Look at the bright leaders: they achieved everything on their own and at the right moment went further than their partner, parting not always beautifully, correctly and fairly.

If you are able to build a business, do it as sole owner and manager, recruiting executives, not partners, to your team. Of course, this scenario is not for everyone.

Candidate Questionnaire

So, you have a business idea and you understand that you cannot do without strong support at the partner level. You start looking: by yourself, through friends, by recommendations. And so you meet. First, a small talk, then a brief exchange of conversations “about yourself”, then on a napkin (or immediately on the screen) about the project. What's next?

What important questions do you need to ask a potential business partner to make the right choice, get not only a business benefit, but also a reliable colleague, or immediately understand how to minimize the pain of loss?

How can a partner help the project?

What is the value of his involvement in the project, especially not as an employee and a simple performer? Experience, knowledge, connections, money... At a certain stage of business development, all this can be critical, but you need to treat this not as an analogue of financing or a bank loan, but look for more. They repaid the loan and forgot it, and then they still work and work together.

2. What is the partner's interest?

What attracts him in your project, what exactly does he want from it? If you managed to find a like-minded person, great. If a person who looks at things differently, great. Do not look for a complete concurrence of views - this does not happen, do not try to find an opponent - you are tormented by getting bogged down in disputes. But there must be something more between you than just the desire to make money. Look for it.

3. What means of achieving the goals does the partner consider correct and why?

Do you see in his way of thinking and reasoning something important and sought after, without which it is so difficult for you? This question is not an exam, but an opportunity to test your joint vision and ability to plan, as well as to understand the psychotype of a future partner.

4. Did the partner have other projects?

Ask about similar (and different) businesses that he did before: what was good there, what worked out, what did not, how he assesses his role in all this. This question is not only about experience, not only about merits. It's about self-presentation, the ability to prioritize. This is also a question about conceit. The position of a heroic super-professional who makes decisions and is not in the least bit guilty of the previous failure is a reason for reflection and additional clarifications.

5. What is your partner interested in in life?

Do you have anything in common besides this business? Will you see each other rarely and out of necessity or regularly, not only at work, but also in equally favorite clubs, restaurants and gyms? For some, close contact and a sense of working together is important to make sure that the partner acts and brings his part of the benefit. Someone does not like guardianship and is able to focus on the main thing. Someone needs to feel a shoulder and support nearby, while someone is independent and advises only when it is really needed. Formulate your position and choose a person for yourself.

6. What are the partner's business priorities?

Figure out your business priorities: Do you both need strategic development and a big win, or are you ready to focus on operational success?

7. How does the partner want to receive money?

Immediately agree on how you will divide the money - final and intermediate. Perhaps you have a different vision: someone wants as soon as possible and a little bit, and someone is ready to wait for years for their profit without putting their hand into the cash register.

8. How does your partner see your separation?

Arrange on the beach how you will part. At the beginning of a relationship, this is not the best topic, you don’t want to touch it, and even such a development of events seems impossible. But experience shows: it is better sooner than later, when lawyers join the conversation. The separation rules should include the division of responsibility, areas of influence, assets, money, clients, directions, the possibility (or clear impossibility) of causing irreparable harm to the business project. Feel free to discuss it right away.

Check it seven times

In addition to interviewing a future partner, it would be nice to interview mutual acquaintances. You don't have to believe 100% everything people say, but there is some truth in independent assessments. What share you need is up to you.

Don't forget to put your agreements on paper. Especially the distribution of responsibility and the separation scheme. Words in business (even if "the kid said - the kid did") mean less than written documents.

It is important not only to get information from a partner, it is important to see a person with whom you will have to go through a lot. Come up with other questions, search, experiment. Questions are just tools. Find the ones that suit you.

But don't be fooled. Even if you are very good at understanding people, and you can see right through them at a glance, it means practically nothing. Life will make its own adjustments.

The project will develop not according to a business plan, but according to life, taking into account your decisions and your environment (market, financial conditions, clients, performers, current and strategic priorities), add to this the variability of people and your own. As a result, the answers received at the first meetings will be as valuable as ashes.

Look for partners, make mistakes, do projects together. If the time comes to part, part as politely as possible. And when the time comes, do business without partners. Use the tools to attract valuable people to the team not as partners, but as employees.

Denis Zapirkin ,
independent expert and consultant in business development and process optimization. Certified instructor at Carnegie Mellon University (2006).

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