There is no feeling quite like the one you get from a great relationship. The delight and companionship put a skip in your step. The sparks leave your heart aflutter. Too many relationships that were off to a great start, however, go pear-shaped too quickly. Relationship gurus attribute the majority of failed relationships to a lack of communication. What should we be communicating in our relationships? What you should be asking your boyfriend?
We dive into the questions you should be posing to your beau. Too often in relationships, we focus on molding our partners to our liking or molding ourselves to their liking. Instead, relationships should center around getting to know each other and working on loving each other, differences and all.
Communication should encompass getting to know your partner’s likes and dislikes as well as communicating yours to him. It should resemble a relationship version of a SWOT analysis. Appreciating each other’s strengths and how these benefit your relationship. Acknowledging each other’s weaknesses and how you can help each other overcome these. Recognising the opportunities that each of you introduces into the relationship, and how you can capitalize on these to grow together.
Finally, identify the threats to your relationship and which of these you can compromise on, which you should work on eliminating. Relationships are not meant to be a battlefield but rather a fun and exciting way of getting to know each other and adding another ally to your circle. So curb the relationship anxiety, ladies, because dropping in these questions at strategic points in your relationship is sure to keep that flame burning right through to your happily ever after.
For New Relationships- What you should be asking your boyfriend?
The newness of a relationship is intoxicating. While reveling in the sensation, drop a few of these questions into your conversations to get a feel for your boyfriend’s ideas, habits, and mannerisms. In a new relationship, you want to establish whether you are a good fit for each other. These questions don’t have to feel like you are forcing him into a survey. You can get creative with how you subtly bring these questions into your conversations.
Getting to Know His Likes and Dislikes
His likes and dislikes are not limited to his favorite color and food. So reach out a little further to your man and find out what interests him and what drives his enthusiasm.
Creative Ways of Asking About His Likes
1. If you could plan a day just for yourself, what would that day look like?
His answer to this question will give you insight into what he would usually put aside for the people and responsibilities in his life. It will give you an idea of what he would enjoy in his private time. It also gives you an idea of his inherent personality, i.e., whether he is an introvert and prefers quiet time alone with the people he loves or an extrovert and prefers bolder activities.
- If you were marooned on a desert, which five people would you want with you?
Watch his eyes smile as he talks about the people who are most important to him. Then, enjoy the creative ways he finds to include you in his top five. This is also a precursor to whether he considers your relationship as significant.
(Tip: Do not pose this question to him with your own list of answers in mind. It is NOT a trick question. With this one, you want to establish whether he is grounded, whether he values people, or whether he is just going to mouth off his favorite sports players. It will also give you a glimpse into the support structure he has in his life.)
- What is your favourite pastime?
This will give you an idea of the things he enjoys. It will give you a sense of his personality and whether he is a more hands-on kind of guy or a couch potato into sport or gaming.
- Are you a cat or dog person?
This will give you an idea of how he feels about pets. A man who has a love for animals has a good heart. Watch his facial expression on this one. Animal lovers usually soften their facial expressions when talking about the subject, and you get a glimpse into their hearts.
Other questions you can ask regarding his likes:
- Are you an indoors or outdoors guy?
- Do you play any sport?
- Do you play any instruments?
- Which are some of your favorite books?
- Which is your favorite genre of music?
- Which is your favorite genre of movies?
Creative Ways of Asking About His Dislikes
- What are your pet peeves?
Asking about pet peeves is a nice way for you to get to know his personal boundaries. It will shed light on the things that he deems unacceptable. With this information, you will be aware of some of the things he feels strongly about.
- What annoys you the most about people?
His answer to this will give you an idea of what he will not tolerate and which of your bad habits you should curb if you don’t want to strike a nerve with him. It will also give you an idea of his values and what he believes in.
(Tip: This does not mean you should hide all your flaws from him but show him you are willing to compromise on them while at the same time gauging whether he is willing to compromise. This also helps to establish personal boundaries and create a relationship that is accommodating to both individuals)
- What would be a deal-breaker for you on a first date?
His answer will let you know what he expects in a woman. It will also show the type of woman he prefers. This will give you insight as to whether you are that type of woman, whether you are willing to be the type of woman he likes, as well as whether his taste is what you like in a man.
(Tip: Don’t pose this question on your first date as it may come off as a nervous attempt at asking if he’s having a good time with you.)
Other questions to ask regarding his dislikes:
- What would you hate to receive as a birthday gift?
- What is your least favorite topic of conversation?
- Are there any desserts that you hate?
Getting to Know Whether He Would Be Willing to Embrace Your Likes and Dislikes
Relationships are about compromise and creating an inclusive space for each other’s needs. Both partners should feel comfortable being themselves in the relationship. It is important to embrace your partner’s likes and dislikes, even if they differ from your own. These questions will help gauge whether your boyfriend is willing to embrace your likes and dislikes or whether you are headed down a one-way street.
- I am doing (-insert an activity you enjoy-) during the weekend. I really love this. Would you join me?
His answer to this will immediately give you an indication of whether he is willing to embrace the things that you enjoy doing. It will show you whether he enjoys this activity. If it’s not something he has done before or not something he enjoys, his answer will show you whether he is willing to try it because it is something that you love.
- Talk about your favorite topic and ask him what his thoughts are on the subject
Find a way to start a conversation about a topic, person, or activity you love and watch his reaction. Notice whether he listens attentively or whether is distracted. Notice whether he changes the topic before you have completed it. This will give you a clear indication of whether he cares about what interests you. It will also enlighten you toward whether he noticed how important the topic was to you.
- I have this (- insert an event/occasion that is important to you-) to go to. Would you join me?
Invite him with you to a casual event such as a friend’s barbeque or a charity event close to your heart. His answer will indicate whether he will accompany you to the events that are important to you. Once there, notice how he reacts to the event. Whether he is attentive or whether he escapes into the background to attend to emails.
As Your Relationship Progresses
As your relationship progresses past the initial dates and you’ve established that he’s answered the question about a new relationship well enough, you would want to establish the more significant things about your boyfriend. Things like his life plan, passions, goals, and yes, what his intentions are with you.
Getting to Know His Passions and Ambitions
It is important to identify your boyfriend’s vision for his life and whether his vision fits in with the one you have for yourself. It is important to establish whether your visions can be accomplished together in your relationship or whether you both are off at two very different tangents. People often omit these questions with the expectation that the life vision of both individuals will magically align. A little effort in establishing goals and aspirations will go a long way in ironing the kinks in your relationship.
- What position would you like to achieve in your career?
His answer will give you an idea of what his career aspirations are. You will get an idea of his ambition and his thought processes. With his answer, you will be able to decide whether his career goals align with yours and whether both your careers can be accommodated in the relationship.
- What ideas do you have for your forties?
His answer will give you insight into where he sees his life going. A man should have a plan for his life. This plan should be in progress during his twenties and thirties. His plan for his forties will indicate where he is headed and what he plans for himself regarding his career, family, and personal goals.
- What do you plan to do in retirement?
This will give you an idea of how he plans to direct his life. It will show whether he is directed and determined or whether he is just going with the flow and has no real idea of what his future will look like. Depending on whether he is working on it, this will also indicate whether you will have a steady relationship with someone who can steer it in the right direction with you.
- If you were to start a charity, what cause would it be directed toward?
This will give you an indication of his sense of paying it forward. It is also a glimpse into his heart and the compassion that it contains. A man who thinks about the greater good is a good ally to have.
- If you could change one thing on this planet, what would that be?
This is a very insightful question into his interest in the world around us. It will give you an idea of his sense of community and his ideas on positive change. His answer will give you insight into his character and whether he has ambition and drive or an empty workshop. Although it can be put forth as a light conversation starter, this question is a glimpse into the soul of the person you have entered into a relationship with. This is important for us girls looking for a life partner rather than just light entertainment with no depth.
- How particular are you about your living spaces?
If you plan to move in with this guy one day, it is important to know his domestic habits. Living with someone is a whole different ball game to just dating them. Although you can’t know exactly how it will be to live with him until you actually do, this question will give you some indication of how he manages his home, how pedantic he is about his feng shui, and whether he can accommodate others in his space.
Many relationships have gone down the tubes over trivial living details. Finding a good balance between each other’s habits and preferences is a good way to build understanding before you move in together.
- Which countries in the world do you plan on visiting?
His answer will give you an idea of whether he likes to travel and where he plans to travel. This will give you an indication of whether his travel plans fit in with yours. In addition, you can ask him about his feelings toward the countries you plan on visiting to gauge whether he would accommodate your travel plans. It will also help you to gauge whether you would join each other on these travels.
Getting to Know Whether He Would Accommodate Your Passions and Ambitions
In a relationship, it is important to work together to achieve life goals. Each partner should be able to support and assist the other in achieving their goals. A balance must be maintained in the relationship regarding the goals of each individual. It is important, as well, that goals do not clash to a point where the balance in the relationship tips.
Periodic evaluation of where each is at with goals and aspirations and the effect on the relationship will enable the restoration of balance. You should recognize whether your boyfriend supports your goals and ambitions and shows any effort to motivate and assist you in achieving them.
- I plan to do (-insert an idea you have for your career-) in my career. Do you have any thoughts on this?
His answer to this one will give you two insights:
- Whether he is excited about your goals
- Whether he offers his advice, encouragement, and/or assistance
First, this will give you a clear indication of how he will approach your ideas and goals. A boyfriend should be as enthusiastic about your goals as you are and encourage you to go after your dreams. He should show you that he is there to support you in your journey. Second, you should do the same for him.
- I would love to buy a home in (-insert an area you would love to live in). What do you think of the area?
This will give you an idea of whether he shares your preferences in areas to live in. You could also ask him which area he prefers to live in. You could also incorporate in this question whether he would like to change zip codes. This will give you an idea of his plan for his future and whether this fits in with yours. Many people plan to change countries or continents while others wish to remain in their hometowns. This could result in a nasty conflict. Discussing it casually while dating will give both partners a clear idea of each other’s intentions about living arrangements
- When I do have kids, I would like to have (-insert the number of kids you prefer-). What does your number look like?
This will give you an idea of how big a family he is planning for and whether he wants kids at all. This is important in deciding whether your life visions align. If you do not want kids, you could phrase this: Do you plan to have kids when you are married? You could discuss with him that you do not plan to have kids. This will lead the conversation to whether you are on the same page on the topic. If he shrugs it off, this is an indicator that he hasn’t thought of you in that sense yet. You can decide how you feel about that.
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Do enjoy getting to know your boyfriend
- Don’t pose these questions as if he is under interrogation or at an interview
- Do drop these questions in every now and then to establish whether he is the one for you
- Do make a mental note of his answers and reactions
- Don’t hold his preferences against him if they don’t match yours. Remember he is an individual as well as your boyfriend.
- Do anticipate that you may not like all his answers but keep an open mind
- Don’t become depressed if you realize he isn’t the one for you. We have to go through the learning process to find our perfect fit. Not every guy we meet will be that perfect fit.
- Do enjoy his answers and his point of view. Life is about getting to know people different from ourselves. It would be quite boring if he answered everything exactly as you wanted him to. That would be like knowing the end of a movie before you get to the end.
Although not an interrogation, directing some of the conversations in your relationship around these questions will give you an idea of the man you are dating and whether you will be a good fit for each other. It is important that both your life plans align and that you can accommodate each other’s personality, habits, and life visions.
For example, we often get swept up in fantasies of the wedding and forget about the marriage. Sure he will look dreamy in a tux, but will he be all that and a bag of chips when the tux comes off, and the honeymoon is but a distant memory? That, ladies, is the ultimate question you should be gathering information to answer for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I ask him if he is serious about our relationship and whether he intends for it to be a long-term one?
This is something that you do need to know. You should establish this as soon as you can. If you do not want to ask this question directly, you can phrase it in a different way such as inviting him to join you for an event that is scheduled for a few months or a year from the time of your conversation. It will give you an indication of whether he plans on sticking around.
- When is a good time to ask whether he intends on marriage?
This is a little tricky. Whereas we girls may be thinking long term straight off the bat, our masculine counterparts tend to suss out relationships before they commit to the long term. You want to save this one for a little later in your relationship. Spend the first few weeks and months gauging his personality traits and deciding whether you see yourself sharing the rest of your life with him.
Once you are confident that he is the one, after six months to a year or thereafter, start broaching the subject of long-term goals for your relationship. If you don’t want to ask directly, you can drop subtle hints about marriage, buying a home, or building a family. This will give you an idea of where his intentions lie.
- Will I scare him off if I drop hints about having kids?
If you are well into your relationship and he intends on building a future with you, this question will not scare him off. Do not ask this one when the relationship is still new. While it will not scare a good man off; if asked too soon, it may overwhelm him before he has had a chance to process your relationship.