1000 Questions for Couples

I haven’t read this book (1000 Questions for Couples) but I find the idea interesting. My boyfriend and I are not planning on getting married in the immediate future, but we are talking about moving in together (which would require a cross-country move on my part). Anyway, from the Straight Dopers, I was wondering what you guys think are the important things you should know about/ask each other before taking a big relationship step?

How about, “Are you completely batshit barking mad?”

I do wish I’d taken the trouble to enquire about that earlier.

“Do you put your clothes in the hamper?” (as opposed to leaving a whole new carpet composed of dirty laundry on the floor)

“Are you dish trained?” (washing his own damn dishes and putting them in the dishwasher, cause evidently that’s so hard)

“Do you prefer to shower at night or day?”(switching to a night shower for someone will really screw with your biological clock)

“Exactly how flatulent are you?” (I type this as he sits next to me…)

“Do you like pets?” (He hated my cats)

“Do you know how to clean a toilet?” (this one is usually a no)

“Can you cook, and will you cook for me every night?”

These are just a few I wish I would have asked. Although I can’t say things would have turned out the same if I did.

Good luck

How do you prepare to go up against players like Tiger Woods? Do you feel that he’s been good for golf even if it’s a daunting challenge to beat him when he’s on the top of his game?
What? Sorry, wrong Couples.

The obvious ones for me:

  • Do you want children, how many, and in what timeframe? If you don’t have your answer clear in your mind and can’t get a straight answer from your potential partner so you can compare them, you aren’t ready to move forward. If your answers, once clear, don’t sync up, you aren’t ready to move forward. Period.

  • When we communicate and especially argue, what is more important: starting with the premise that the relationship comes first, or winning? If you commit to “the relationship comes first” and I remind you of that while we are talking, will you stop, take a deep breath and back the fuck off while we remind ourselves of our priorities? If your partner doesn’t grasp this concept - and it is more demonstrated in action than it is a question they can answer (they may just say what you want to hear, but how do they behave?), then you aren’t ready to move forward.

  • For controversial issues, such as religion and politics, do we have to agree or can we have different positions and abide together? What are the implications of having different positions on the raising of children? If you can’t work this out ahead of time, you aren’t ready to move forward.

  • What are your goals financially over time, either individually or as a couple - and how does that affect the raising of children? you can’t work this out ahead of time, you aren’t ready to move forward.

There are dozens of others - 1,000 even - but those are a start. Sexual compatibililty, how social you are together or as individuals, the ability to have “alone time” or to pursue interests beside work and family, are all key issues to discuss…

1. Kids:
How many and when?
How you plan to raise and educate them
Who will care for them when they’re too young for school?
Will you spank?
What family traditions/beliefs are important for you?

2. Money:**
Joint account or not?
Who pays the bills?
Who balances the chequebook?
How big does a purchase have to be before you need to clear it with your spouse?
How much debt is acceptable?
What percentage of your earnings will you save?

3. Housework and chores:
Who does what and how often do they need to do it?
What happens if they can’t because of illness or work- is hiring temporary help an option?
Are you going to call contractors or try and DIY any household problems?

4. Family and friends:
Who is allowed to come over without checking with your spouse, and how long are they allowed to stay?
How much of your free time will you spend apart with your own friends?
How much time will you spend with family?
Where will you spend Christmas every year?
Exactly how much notice do you need if there will be extra people coming for dinner?

5. Religion and politics:
Find out what you both really believe.
Decide if you can live with it.

To be honest, most of the other stuff (favourite TV shows, whether they’re a morning person, if they can settle a fight without losing it etc) are IMHO either things you can learn to live with if you find them out later, or stuff you should already know before you even consider marrying them.

How do you handle problems? Can you take care of them or do you fall apart or get angry?
How is the money to be handled?
What is your social life like? Do you spend all your time with your buddies? Is that acceptable to both of us?
Can we negotiate over movies to watch, or any other shared activity where preferences might differ?
How do you handle things when you are in a bad mood? Do you drive like an idiot, do you slam doors?
How about birth control? Kids?
What about your sense of humor over things that go wrong?
What’s your credit like? Are you an impulse shopper?
Are you truthful or do you lie over small stupid things?
Can you really stand to live in the same house with me, do you like my company?
Housework sharing

I’d put money questions first (and irishgirl’s are good. In 27 years we’ve had one argument about money (and only because I was being paranoid about not having enough that month) thanks to our compatibility in this area. We both hate debt with a passion.

And showers, Habanero? Why does it matter? Showering at different times means you don’t have to wait.

These are the questions Sternvogel wishes he had asked:

  1. Do know the difference between its and it’s ?

  2. Do you use apostrophes in bizarre and inappropriate places? (As in "Welcome to the Millers’ "

  3. When watching a movie, do you like to leave when the action is over or after every single credit as scrolled its way past your eyes?

Allow me to put all of the good suggestions under one category: “What are your expectations of the relationshhip?”

Seriously. Think about this. Discuss it. If you have expectations, express them. Don’t make a move until you have some idea of what you and the other person expect, and what will happen re those expectations.

If you don’t, one or the other of you will be disappointed and/or majorly pissed.