20 questions to ask your partner before you decide to get married
Prepare yourself to hear an answer you may not like
In the plot-altering, tear-jerking scene from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, after Bunny utters the famous three words, Naina asks the million-dollar question: “I love you ke baad kya hota hai, Bunny?”. A stumped Bunny mumbles something unconvincingly, and an unimpressed Naina walks off, while Arijit Singh bursts into, “Kabira.”
Naina’s dilemma is a shared experience among young lovers, and most of us compulsively avoid that uncomfortable territory. When we couple up, we consider our relationships tamper-proof the moment our social media bios go from ‘single’ to ‘committed’. We’re certain that we know it all: how they love their coffee; how they cry like a baby while watching Shawshank Redemption and how many times they message their moms every day.
Starker realisations arrive with the force of a tonne of bricks only when the giddy gestures of first love get replaced by familiarity. And as the ancient formula goes, contempt isn’t far behind. Twinkle Khanna diagnosed the issue, saying, “you are stuck with this creature, who from sweeping you off your feet, now grumbles to even lift his off the coffee table.”
According to a report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the number of divorce cases have risen from 1 in 1,000 people to 13 in 1,000 in the last decade. Another one of their findings about the traditional Indian couple might not surprise you: Women spend 352 minutes per day on housework — an obnoxious 577 % more than the country’s men.
So on Valentine’s Day, we thought it only appropriate to create a checklist that will help your relationship last longer than the bouquet of roses he surprised you with this morning. “Should we sign pre-nups?” and “How do we divide parenting roles?”… these don’t quite qualify as date night conversation and you may not want to discuss these while Netflix and chilling.
This is a list of questions every couple should ask themselves, created in collaboration with a team of experts, to help you address the deal-breakers and heart-stoppers.
It is a daunting task. You will squirm, and wrestle with some uncomfortable ideas that exist in your partner’s head… and your own. But they will help you know yourself better, develop a more intimate understanding of your partner, and act as your GPS on the road ahead.
All of our experts have extensive experience in the arena of helping couples grow and succeed, and their invaluable experience has informed our questionnaire. Many thanks to Binoli Dodhiwala (financial advisor), Nisha Khanna (relationship counsellor), Gitanjali Palekar (child and adolescent therapist), Kanupriya Kejriwal Aggarwal (advocate) and Rukhsana Hashim (gynaecologist).
This Valentine’s Day, dig deeper with our questionnaire to build a connection that Fevicol would be envious of. From challenging views on parenting and defining infidelity to taking stock of financial assets and building a home together, this 20-question challenge will get the two of you talking like never before.
20 questions every couple should ask each other before getting married… and maybe 10 years later too
- Do you want kids? How should we prepare for it, especially if we face trouble conceiving naturally?
- Should we consider getting tested for STIs before we get intimate?
- How important is physical intimacy for you? Let’s talk about our needs so we can both have a fulfilling experience.
- Should we consider signing pre-nups?
- Where will we live after we get married?
- How do you suggest we divide the household responsibilities ?
- What do you think our obligations to both sets of parents should be?
- How should we plan our daily finances, so we’re both contributing our fair share?
- What are your long-term financial goals? Can we arrange a meeting with a financial planner so we’re secure and have equal share in our assets?
- How do you define infidelity?
- How do you like to divide your time between family, friends and hobbies?
- It’s very important for me that we discuss and resolve disagreements respectfully. How do you prefer to deal with conflict, when you find yourself in one?
- As a couple, what do you think are our strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see us five years from now?
- How will we make time for our relationship after becoming parents?
- What parental responsibilities will we take on as individuals?
- How will we respond in a situation concerning our child’s sexuality?
- What religious beliefs or values do we want to pass on?
- How do we want to go about disciplining our child?
- What sacrifices or changes are we willing to make for our family unit, in the event of a rough patch?
This couple questionnaire isn’t the Dettol that can kill 99% of your relationship problems, but, it certainly is the vaccine that can prevent unforeseen disasters from shaking up your world in the future.