10 Things Couples Should Know About Each Other

Mutual understanding and similar values helps ensure a lasting relationship.Mutual understanding and similar values helps ensure a lasting relationship.

Entering a new relationship is enjoyable and exciting, as you consider a future together. However, relationships often hit snags after the honeymoon period wears off. This can occur when you lack sufficient knowledge of one another. Before embarking on a new relationship, discuss your mutual values, future plans, relationship expectations and family life.

Childhood Past

Ask about your partner's childhood and issues he encountered growing up. This can reveal his perspectives on differing issues or predict relationship problems that may arise later. Domestic abuse, divorce and chronic unhappiness affect his view of romantic relationships. Fond memories, enjoyable family traditions and close-knit relationships encourage a positive relationship outlook.

Relationship Obligations

Some people view relationships as a way to ensure a date for weekend activities. Others expect frequent daily communication and time spent together throughout the week. Ask how much time your partner expects to spend with you and what she needs from you to determine if she's the right partner for you.


Opposing or differing religious values can cause significant tension in a relationship. Before entering a relationship, discuss your mutual religious perspective in great depth. Discover what he might expect of you if religion plays a significant role in his life


Investigate your partner's general moral values. If she is intolerant towards certain lifestyles that you embrace or believes in a looser moral code, you will probably face problems in time. Do not assume anything about your partner's value system -- talk it out so you have a clear understanding.

Future Plans

Discuss your future plans to see if you have similar goals and directions. If he plans to change jobs and move to another state, decide if you are OK with those changes. Ask how long he plans to maintain his current life situation.


Partners with different levels of ambition may find it difficult to get in sync. If you plan to further your education and travel the world over the next few years, share this with your partner who may not have such high aspirations.

Relationship Expectations

Discuss how exclusive you want to be and what you'd like to create in your relationship in the future. Ask whether he is seeking a short-term or long-term relationship, possible marriage one day, children, or if he is satisfied with uncommitted dating. Do not become serious with him with the expectation that his desires will eventually change.


The two of you should discuss boundaries and what is appropriate for a relationship. Define cheating behaviors, affection shown to others and the need for independent activities. Ensure that you agree about appropriate and inappropriate activities and the consequences for violating those boundaries.

Family's Role

Some people hold a "date the whole family" mentality, which may also make you uncomfortable. Asking early on how close and how involved your partner's family is to determine family dynamics. If family involvement is important to him, ensure that you like his family.

Past Relationships

Your girlfriend or boyfriend's past relationships indicates patterns and insecurities they may develop with you. If your dating partner has been cheated on or neglected in past relationships, trust could become an issue. Addressing these issues directly in the beginning can reduce later problems. Ask how long your partner's past relationships lasted, problems that developed and why they ended.

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About the Author

Christina Whitaker began her writing career in 2005 in newspaper journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA and a law degree. Her legal experience includes work in Federal Court, and civil and criminal litigation. She also maintains a blog on social, pop-culture and cultural matters.

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