Whether you and your partner are dating, living together, or are recently engaged and in the midst of planning your wedding, premarital relationships are defined by their excitement and newness that many refer to as the “honeymoon” stage. By building Love Maps to develop a deep sense of shared meaning in your relationship – creating shared goals, cultural rituals, and legacies – this “honeymoon” phase never has to end! In fact, if you take time everyday to update your awareness of each other’s inner world by building a culture of appreciation, admiration, fondness, and respect, your relationship will actually become stronger as the years go on. 

In this weekend’s homework assignment, we turn again to the 52 Questions Before Marriage or Moving In Card Deck. These open-ended questions help to create friendship and intimacy by encouraging you to know each other deeply, particularly in the areas of romance, social life, work, and money. These questions can help you determine your compatibility before you take your relationship to the next level, encourage open discussion about sensitive topics, and tackle tough issues before they become emotionally charged. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers – each question presents a unique opportunity to grow in your relationship together.

Questions about Romance:

  • Describe your vision – rituals, vows, and logistics – for your marriage ceremony. Who will plan it? Who will pay for it? 
  • What does loving each other mean to you? In what ways does your partner demonstrate love for you? 
  • What made you decide to get married? What do you expect will change when you get married?

Questions about Social Life: 

  • Where do you want to live? City, country, apartment, house, other? 
  • Describe how you picture your day-to-day life together. What meals do you plan to eat together? Apart? 
  • Which friends of your partner’s do you like most? Least?

Questions about Work:

  • What are your expectations for your partner’s career success? How does his or her level of ambition differ from yours? 
  • What reasons might there be for one or both of you to cut back on work hours? 
  • How do you feel about utilizing childcare, daycare, nannies, etc?

Questions about Money: 

  • How much money is “enough” to have a child? What kind of allowance or financial provision will the children receive? 
  • How do you set boundaries around the requirements of your job? Do you equate earnings with success? 
  • How will you decide whose money purchases common and shared items?

Remember to give yourself and your partner time to process the emotional reactions caused by your conversations. Listen intently to your partner, remember their answers, and, most importantly, have fun!

More in Pre-marital
Premarital Relationships: Weekend Homework Assignment
Michael Fulwiler

Michael Fulwiler is the Editor in Chief of The Gottman Relationship Blog and Director of Marketing for The Gottman Institute. A proud University of Washington graduate, Michael is an avid fan of love, live music, and Seattle sports teams.