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4 Questions to Ask in the Dating Phase to Tell if Your Relationship Will Last

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7 min

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Published on:

Wed Jan 24 2024

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The Personal Development School

Just started dating someone new?

Has your next date with them already become the best part of your week? Do you catch yourself jumping at any opportunity to mention them in conversations with your friends? What an exciting time!

Let’s not forget that, all fun aside, the dating phase of relationships also has an important purpose. This is your chance to learn everything you can about this new person and how they function in relationships to see if they’re a fit for you long-term - or if you're experiencing limerence.

We’ve prepared a list of 4 questions you can ask your new special someone to help you figure out if they’re on the same page as you and what the chances are that the relationship can go the distance.

love-language

“What’s your love language?”

Love languages are different ways that people prefer to give and receive love and affection. If you’re unsure what your love language is, take the love language quiz.

But to cut to the chase, the 5 love languages are:

1. Words of affirmation Like receiving written cards on your birthday, sweet good morning texts, or hearing “I love you” on the regular.

2. Quality time Spending alone time with your partner, whether having a casual movie night or sharing in embarking on skydiving adventures together.

3. Acts of service Those thoughtful little actions your partner does to take the load off you to show you they care, like folding your laundry, making you a sandwich, or walking your dog without you needing to ask.

4. Physical touch The physical touch love language isn’t just about sex! Some people love expressing themselves through cuddles, wrapping their arms around you, or holding hands together.

5. Gifts Receiving something thoughtful or something of value on special occasions or totally randomly, be that concert tickets, a thoughtful souvenir, or that electric scooter you’d been eyeing for months.

Why do love languages matter in dating? Asking your date their love language will give you insight into how you can make them feel happy and appreciated. By knowing their love language, you can set yourself up to nail it!

It also tells you how they’re likely to express themselves to you so that it doesn't go over your head when they do something thoughtful for you, like picking up your dry cleaning to show you they care!

Sharing your love languages in this discussion will also help your date know and understand you better so they can do the same when it comes to learning how to love you and how to be on the lookout for your efforts.

So next time you’re on a date and get onto the topic of relationships, be sure to ask your date what their top love languages are. There’s a good chance they might not have heard of love languages yet, so in that case, be sure to offer them some examples, as we did above, to guide them into their answer.

“What’s your attachment style?”

Your partner’s attachment style is probably the #1 thing you can learn about your potential partner to understand who they are and how they function in their romantic relationships.

If you’re not familiar with attachment styles, there are 4 types of attachment styles that form in childhood:

  • Anxious preoccupied
  • Dismissive avoidant
  • Fearful avoidant
  • Securely attached

Each of these attachment styles comes with a set of characteristics that set the tone for how a person functions in relationships, from how they communicate, to what triggers them, and how they act when they’re not getting what they want. Knowing yours can have a huge impact on your relationship.

Attachment style chart

Why do attachment styles matter in dating? When you learn your date’s attachment style, you’ll have a much better understanding of: How to cater to their needs

When you discover their attachment style, you’ll know whether you need to spend your time and energy reassuring them, building their trust in you, or letting them be!

How to avoid their triggers Knowing a person’s attachment style also sheds light on what NOT to do when you’re in a relationship with them.

Dismissive avoidants, for example, don’t respond well when you criticize them. And Fearful avoidants can start to distance themselves from you if they feel like you’re smothering them. Anxious preoccupied attachments can respond badly if they don’t hear back from you for 12 hours because it triggers their anxiety and fear of abandonment.

By understanding your date’s attachment style, you’ll have a blueprint to follow to make sure you rarely trigger them, know how to create more harmony in your relationship, and understand how to support them in their growth.

If your attachment styles are a good match for each other or not It’s also important to know your date’s attachment style to determine if your attachment styles are a match.

Anxious Preoccupied individuals can have a tough time dating Dismissive Avoidants, as they have quite the opposite needs in relationships. When these two styles end up in a relationship, they often experience what’s called the “anxious/avoidant trap,” where one person is always seeking more closeness and the other is always seeking more distance. This can be painful for both parties.

It’s not to say you’re doomed if your attachment styles aren’t the best match. It just means you’ll have to work hard on your communication in the future.

Lastly, if you already know your attachment style, you might have decided you’re only willing to date Securely Attached partners. If you’ve found that Securely Attached people are the best types of people to meet your needs and that your experience with other attachment styles hasn’t been easy, then it makes sense that you only want to invest your energy into people who are the right fit.

Walking away from people you know will trigger your own anxieties is totally fair and a good expression of self-care!

“What do you want in your future?”

People date for different reasons. Some like to date casually as a way to explore different parts of themselves. Others like having company to explore new restaurants with; some people go with the flow, exploring different types of connections without any real goal.

But suppose you’re someone who only dates with the intention of finding an aligned partner to build a future with. In that case, having conversations about what your date sees in the years ahead is beneficial.

Some people might have plans to travel more, live in a different country, or try the digital nomad lifestyle. Others might see themselves settling down, buying a home, and having children in the next 5-10 years.

Why do future plans matter in dating? For your potential relationship to last long-term, you want to ensure that what you have in mind for the future is aligned.

If you’re ready to settle down soon, you might decide that there’s no point investing emotionally in someone who’s likely to take off and travel in a couple of years. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a partner to adventure around the globe with, and your date keeps bringing up how much they want children in the next couple of years, you might want to take note that they might not be the most ideal person for you right now.

“What are your non-negotiables in relationships?”

This can be the most challenging question to ask but also the most interesting and telling!

When we say “non-negotiables,” this means anything that your date isn’t willing to tolerate in a relationship.

Non-negotiables can take any form, from specific behaviors that turn them off to day-to-day lifestyle things that they know won’t work for them. For some that means "deal-breakers"; for others, it means that a compromise can be met.

Here are some of the most popular non-negotiables or deal breakers:

  • Having pets together, because they’re allergic.
  • Being with someone who snores, because they know they’re a light sleeper.
  • Smoking, because the habit turns them off.
  • Jealousy, because they’ve had their fair share of jealous partners in the past.
  • Being with a partner who wants children, because they’ve decided they don’t want any.
  • Having a long-distance relationship, because they’ve had too many failures in the past.

Why do non-negotiables matter in dating? Discussing non-negotiables early in a relationship can spare you lots of heartache further down the line.

Does it make sense to date someone for 10 years, only to find out later that they don’t want kids? Or would you prefer to have known that way sooner before getting deeply attached?

Learning your date’s non-negotiables will help you understand what things you may have to compromise on to be with them. You’ll then have to decide whether you want to make that compromise or not.

Our advice to you when finding out your dates’ non-negotiables is not to lie to yourself if what they mentioned is a problem for you.

If wanting children or pets is something you genuinely want in your life, then we cannot stress enough how important it is not to abandon yourself and your own desires in favor of sustaining a new relationship.

We also invite you to ask yourself what your own non-negotiables are. It can be a really thought-provoking exercise that brings you a sense of empowerment in knowing what you want, (and what you don’t want) so you can always stay true to yourself no matter who you meet.

The dating phase of relationships can be an exciting time. We encourage you to ask your date (as well as yourself) these questions so you can feel out whether they will work for you as a partner before you invest significant time and emotions into them.

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