You did it. You finally found your person! Good on you! Congrats, stud, we all knew you could do it!!
So… what now? There’s so much content out there about finding your perfect person, but what happens when you finally land them? Chemistry will only get you so far and finding out you both love breakfast for dinner (while cute) most likely won’t be the crux of a lasting foundation. But how to tell the difference between love vs. infatuation can be a tricky matter, and a strong relationship can’t run on spark alone. You’re gonna need some gas in that tank (or electricity for my eco-friends)!
The seldom discussed, sweet and less-sparkly phase of actually getting to know your partner can be the most fun part. And while there’s no across-the-board rule on how long it takes for a person to reveal their authentic self, most experts will say that it’s somewhere in the 3 to 6 month range.
Think about all you’ve invested in finding someone great – for most people, it’s a lot. Putting in effort after the honeymoon glow fades will play a crucial role in making your good thing last. We can’t stop you from reverting back to old habits like leaving up the toilet seat or your dishes too long in the sink, but we can give you some below surface-level questions to ask your girlfriend once you’re out of the “getting-to-know-you” stage and entering the “really-getting-to-know-you” stage. Here they are, ranging from juicy to deep, 13 questions to ask your girlfriend:
How do you feel about me / our relationship?
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but if you haven’t already, set the parameters of your relationship. Things like exclusivity, monogamy, and long-term potential are important pieces to talk about early on to avoid heartbreak and misunderstanding later. Note that it’ll be important to know where you stand on these topics before asking your partner and that “I don’t know yet” is still an answer.
Is there something I used to do at the start of our relationship that you miss now that we’ve been together for a while?
You probably don’t even remember doing some of the things that drove her crazy (in a good way) in the first place, and chances are they’re small. While you may feel a bit like you’re throwing yourself under the bus, this is actually something that could re-spark a little bit of the magic you two had when you first started dating.
How can I best support you when you’re upset? Do you have tells?
I once had a boyfriend who carried around granola bars for me because when I got hungry, everybody suffered. Knowing the signs to tell if your girlfriend is off is important, and equally important is knowing how to handle and hold space for emotions. Does she need time by herself or a warm cuddle? Is she someone who talks things through to process or does she listen to heavy metal and thrash it out? Sometimes it’s as easy as making sure you’re on snack duty and other times it can be more complicated; as long as you make sure you’re listening and available to show up, she’ll appreciate it more than you know.
Do you like surprises? How would you feel if I threw you a surprise party?
Fact: for every girl that loves surprises there is another out there with an equal and opposite hatred of them (don’t quote me on that). Remember, your idea of a good time or romantic gesture may not be hers. Get clear on the things that she would actually like and what might be terrible or even triggering for her – she’ll appreciate the consideration.
Can we talk about our health histories?
This is one of the more serious questions to ask your girlfriend, but it’s a very real and important step. Ideally if you’re having sex, you’ve already had the STI talk, but it’s also good to know what a person has gone through, or goes through, in terms of health. Talking about your relationship to medicine and doctors can also reveal if you’re both on the same page or any potential discrepancies in compatibility.
How do you feel about PDA?
Important PSA: Not all women love PDA! Maybe your girlfriend can’t get enough of it, likes it in moderation, has a complete aversion to it, or anywhere in between – whichever way she likes it, I guarantee she has an opinion, so ask!
Is our sex-life fulfilling to you / is there anything I can do to make it more satisfying? What makes you feel sexy?
Not only are these good questions to ask your girlfriend to make her blush, they’re vitally important for the relationship long-term. Not all women feel comfortable bringing up sex or their own pleasure, so rather than guessing and hoping for the best, ask! While sex is just one of the ways a relationship can be fulfilling, it’s important to know that it’s being mutually enjoyed to the fullest. Sometimes it’s something small like a hand on her back while you’re waiting in line, but it could also be something larger like more open communication during intimacy or even sharing some wilder fantasies. Wherever the conversation goes, just make sure to stay open, curious, and present.
How do you feel about staying friends with exes and are you friends with any of yours?
If you haven’t yet had the “Exes Talk,” this could be a good time to broach the subject. It’s perfectly normal to be on good terms with exes (with boundaries, of course) and ideally you’re on the same page. That being said, if one or both of you has some unhealed wounds or past trauma, the conversation could turn defensive, so proceed with caution.
How do you feel about polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, or sleeping with other people? Is that something you could ever see yourself being interested in?
Depending on where you are on the adventurous-relationship spectrum, this may be anywhere from an obvious to a wild question. While it’s not always something people think about in the throes of a new relationship, it’s definitely something one of you might consider down the line. It’s great practice to ask about your girlfriend’s feelings on monogamy vs polyamory and if that feeling might change after being with someone for X amount of years (the answer might surprise you). It can also be a nice bonding moment and open up a discussion on sex and intimacy, which is never a bad thing!
What do you believe love is and how do you experience it?
If you’re looking for deep questions to ask your girlfriend, try this one. We spend a lot of time talking about love, but not a whole lot on thinking about what it actually is. Is it a feeling or an emotion? Is it active or built slowly over time? If neither of you has a clear answer, you can use this question to find one together! If you’re looking for more vocabulary on how each of you experiences love, try taking Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz.
Do you believe love can last forever, and how?
If you’re thinking about this person long-term, think of this as getting ahead in class. This question can be especially helpful if you haven’t yet talked about the relationship styles you grew up around. Almost always, someone’s view on love is a direct reflection of the love they witnessed when they were younger; knowing their opinion on whether or not love can last and how to make it stick will definitely come in handy in the long run.
Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years?
No, it’s not a job interview, it’s an important question if you care about long-term compatibility! What are your life goals and do they align? This is also a great segue to talk about money. As unromantic as it may seem, it’s important to talk about your spending habits and career ambitions to make sure they align (transparency – sexy on clothing and conversation!). It’s also important for you to think about how career dynamics may shift your relationship (try this article as a thought experiment to see how you’d feel about making more or less money than your partner). Whatever your separate or collective plans are, you both have aspirations beyond your relationship. Why not share them now? That way you can be in the know and maybe even support each other along the way – win, win!
Do you see yourself having children / family, and what does that look like?
This might be top of mind or ALL the way in the back buried behind a box of old movie quotes, but wherever you are in your decision about family, it’s good to see how and if it differs from your girlfriend’s. Depending on your age, this question might entail a lot or a little. It’s also important to note that your girlfriend may not know and she has full agency to change her mind (you both do). What’s important is getting a mutual understanding of where you two are right now and what an ideal life looks like. And while finding out where you both stand on having kids is important, equally important (if you both know you want them) is how you picture raising them. Are either of you religious and is that important to share with your kin? Do you two differ on political views and is that something you can work through? Whatever your visions are, sharing both of your ideas of the future can do a lot to bring you closer together and build a lasting relationship on intention, responsibility, and commitment to one another.