Some of the strongest romantic connections are spontaneous, start fast and move very quickly to falling in love. However, when you’re falling in love, you’re likely not worrying about the important issues that when they come up later can be a recipe for disaster. I’ve always gone back and forth with questions that you should ask and when you should ask them. Most of the questions that I’m going to list here in this post aren’t first-date questions; it’s probably way too invasive. When I’m talking to someone about their relationship, I’m always certain to figure out if they know the answers to these questions. I think there are just certain things that you guys should know about each other.

What are you like when you get upset?

Every couple should spend time figuring out what happens when their significant other is upset. What are those things that upset them and how they react are essential questions that need to be answered. There are two types of people in this world, there’s those who outwardly express their anger and those who hold it in. Personally, I’ve found over the years that I typically deal with most of my anger on the inside. Therefore, somewhere along the way my significant other will have no clue that something they do bothers me. I deal with being upset by distancing myself from the problem and reducing its ability to affect me. If your dating someone like this, it’s critical that you have a conversation so that you both know how to go forward.

When to ask: Right before you make the relationship official.

What exactly happened in your last relationship?

Everybody has things they don’t want to talk about and that’s fine. Your last relationship is not one of those things that you can really hold onto yourself because it really affects your next relationship. That’s why you have to have this conversation at some point. It doesn’t need to happen early on but at some point you have to be careful having the conversation. You need to know if they were cheated on or cheated in their last relationship, which may be an indication of trust issues that may have developed. You need to know if they dated someone who was abusive or too submissive; it’s an indication of the person you’re inheriting. If they’ve never been in a relationship before… well, good luck.

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When to ask: Once you’ve decided to exclusively date.

What do you like in the bedroom?

You know how bad sex happens? Because couples aren’t talking about it. I do not have a clue why you would subject yourself to that. It’s deeper than just bad sex because the sex may be “okay” but even that is still wack. Here’s why you want to talk about this; if you don’t then there will be a gap between what is desired and what is provided. Listen fellas, if your girl wants to be treated like a dirty, disgusting and filthy whore in the bedroom, do that ish or someone else will. Ladies, if you go on your man’s computer and you see that the videos that he watches on those adult sites are not happening in your bedroom, “you got problems.” Let me be clear, I’m not saying that people should get out of character in the bedroom but they should be aware of what’s wanted.

When to ask: After about the tenth time you’ve had sex.

How does your family and friends affect your relationships?

Short answer is they shouldn’t affect it. Real answer, they have a significant impact on your relationship and you need to discuss it. Setting aside daddy and mommy issues, there’s other ways that your family can shape your relationship. For example, what if there’s no strong emphasis on marriage before children in their family? What if they’re a child of divorce? All questions that can affect your relationship. Also, friends play a big part too. I’ve dated women who’s friends were all single and all negative as hell about men. I had to know that when she went to her friends with issues in her relationship, they would likely be the conspiracy theorists. I know for men, if your friends are all single and living that single life, it can really affect your relationship. You need a support system. If your boys are heading to happy hour but you’re on duty with cutie, after a while that can weigh on you. Are his boys the type to say, “Man you need to go spend time with Big Shirley” or “That’s why we told you not to get in a relationship”?

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When to ask: A month or so into the relationship when you’ve made it past the awkward newbie phase.

What are your views on long term commitment and what does that mean?

Listen here, people don’t ask this question and they end up wasting years of their lives in situations with people they love but in the long run don’t work out. You need to know early on if there’s no real future with this person. How long do they see themselves dating a person before marriage? If not a time, then are there certain checkpoints that will let you guys know when you’re wasting your time? Does a long term commitment also come with the expectation of cohabitation? Is the relationship seasonal with an expiration date when one of your moves away in a few months? These are all important questions that need to be answered. The worst feeling is when you fall in love with a person, like really truly love them, but in the end there’s just no feasible way you can be together for a long period of time.

When to ask: 3-6 months, after your first argument or disagreement.

Those are my five, I’m sure there are more and you’re welcome to share them in the comments section one time. I heard a girl joke that when she got married there were all these questions she never thought to ask but became critical once they were under the same roof in a lifetime commitment. “Do you like creamy or chunky peanut butter?” “Do you like toilet paper rolling from the top or bottom?” “Dishes washed immediately after dinner or after a bit of time to relax?” Yeah… funny yet pertinent questions because over of the course of time those things will lead to annoyance and unnecessary arguments. Have the conversation early and avoid it being awkward and uncomfortable later.

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– Dr. J