In romantic relationships, it can feel as though things move at light speed. You start dating, and it feels like mere moments have passed but you’ve been committed to each other for years.
Since things move quickly, it’s important to genuinely know your true self before you start a relationship. It helps to keep track of yourself and your goals and to enter the partnership as a complete, well-rounded person who can contribute equally to the relationship. Life isn’t just about you anymore, so it’s good to know your communication style, what your weaknesses are, how you handle finances, if you’re good at compromising, and so on.
Knowing such things about yourself before you get into a relationship contributes significantly to the health of the relationship, and keep communication lines open with your partner. Knowing yourself also helps you make sure you get what you need from your partner, and saves you from getting mired in a toxic situation.
Here are ten questions to ask yourself to help you get to know yourself better and figure out what’s most important to you:
- What are your goals for the relationship?
Before you enter the dating scene, list the traits that describe your ideal partner. The beginning of a new relationship can be exciting. It’s easy to get swept away in the moment and lose sight of the goals you have for yourself and the relationship. Outlining your goals can help you focus on finding the right partner to share them with you.
- What would be deal breakers in the relationship?
Similarly, you need to clearly define and list any relationship deal breakers. Would you date a smoker? Do you want kids someday? What are your views on cheating? If you aren’t conscious of your deal-breakers, or can’t communicate about them clearly, you may inadvertently give up on things you really needed and wanted.
- What is your attachment style?
There are four different attachment styles. It’s good to know what yours is before you attempt to partner up. Here are short descriptions of the styles:
- Securely attached people are satisfied in their relationships. They easily form connections and easily reach out for comfort.
- Anxiously attached people worry about their relationships. They have unattainable standards of love and can become clingy or possessive when they fear they’ll lose their partner.
- Avoidant attachers maintain distance from their partners. They process their emotions on their own and may emotionally shut down during arguments.
- Fearfully attached people are easily overwhelmed and their moods are unpredictable. They may swing from smothering their partner to disappearing for days with no explanation.
Evaluating past relationships to identify your weak spots will help you prepare for healthier attachments in future relationships.
- Are you emotionally ready for a relationship?
It’s necessary to give yourself time after a long-term or emotionally charged relationship before entering into a new one. Give yourself enough time to evaluate the shortcomings of the previous relationship and to heal. Reflect on your role in the break-up, and think about what behaviors, frustrations, and fights that contributed to the relationship’s demise. This will help you avoid the same pitfalls as you move forward.
- What are your strengths?
It’s good to identify your strengths before getting into a new romantic relationship. List the positive elements you bring to a relationship and have confidence you’ll contribute to its maturity and growth.
- What are your weaknesses?
It’s also important to identify the weaknesses you may bring to a relationship. But don’t just evaluate your shortcomings and areas of weakness. Formulate a plan to grow into a stronger and more well-rounded person. This will boost the chances that your relationship will be healthy.
- Are you introverted or extroverted?
Introverts generally process things internally and need to take time to themselves throughout their days. Their energy is drained in social settings. Extroverts generally process things externally and need to talk through what they’re thinking about. Social settings tend to recharge their energy. It’s possible for relationships to work with any combination of introverted and extroverted partners. However, you should still figure out which category you fit into. Knowing your tendencies will help you successfully navigate social situations together while keeping you and your partner content.
- How do you spend money?
Financial issues really do have the power to make or break relationships. So, the more you know about your spending and saving habits, the better. If the relationship gets serious, having a clear understanding of how each partner feels about money can help partners more seamlessly merge their accounts should the relationship reach that stage.
- Can you compromise, and when?
Compromise is necessary for any healthy relationship. So, it helps to go into a relationship knowing your boundaries and your deal-breakers. Don’t ever allow yourself to be forced to cave in on things that are important to you. But compromise will be necessary. Are you able to consider arriving at mutually agreeable understandings or agreements? If not, you probably aren’t ready to be in a committed relationship.
- What are your core values?
When it comes to a long-term relationship, which core values do you feel are the most important? Identifying your core values and living by them is essential to your well-being and your happiness. Your partner isn’t perfect, and neither are you. But you can hold out for the traits you consider important in a potential partner.
Self-reflection and get to know your true self before you enter a relationship. If you take the time to do this, the relationship will be healthier for both you and your partner.