Are they “the one”?
12 Questions to encourage vulnerability and openness in couples

How often are you being asked if your partner is “the one”? Do you ever sit and think about how life could be with this person? Are there red or green flags that you are constantly evaluating? 

When we think about romantic relationships and partnerships, we tend to think of the present or back to the first time we were smitten with someone. This could mean recalling sweet memories that left an imprint on the type of love that we seek. For most of us, our prior experiences in romance have given us time to reflect on things that didn’t work in our romantic stints. While some of these memories may not be so great, each one provided more information about our needs and (possible) dealbreakers. 

A lot of times, the excitement of a new romance makes it easy to get caught up in fun moments and (maybe) shy away from more difficult ones. Inevitably, this can leave us feeling apprehensive if there is an issue to address that may require a serious conversation or vulnerability with our significant others. An emotional risk typically involves doing something that is new, uncomfortable, or scary. This can be anything from sharing vulnerable feelings, fantasies, or using our voice to express a need or boundary. It will look different for everyone, and typically includes learning and using new communication skills. 

 So, what if I told you there is a way to prepare and have tools at hand to manage these moments? Here are a few things you can ask your partner as a way of understanding their internal words, needs, desires and helping you determine if they are the one. 

  1. What did your family teach you about communication and sharing your feelings?
  2.  When you were a kid, what messages were you given when you were experiencing big feelings (sadness, anger, confusion, happiness, etc.)?  
    -Did they talk to you, honor your experience, help you sit with your emotions and support you? 
  3. What did your early romantic experiences teach you about forgiveness?
  4. What did your early romantic experiences teach you about boundaries
  5.  What did your early romantic experiences teach you about conflict?
  6.  What did your early romantic experiences teach you about compromise? 
  7. How can I support my partner when they take an emotional risk?
  8. How does my partner resolve conflict? What does resolution look like? What does compromise mean to them? 
  9. How does my partner like to be supported during times of stress/ conflict? 
  10. How does my partner like to be appreciated by me?
  11. How does our connection feel right now? Is there something that is or isn’t working?
  12. Are there unresolved issues that we need to revisit?

Stay curious! Viewing this is an ongoing learning experience as opposed to “not knowing enough” (Because really, who gets to a point where they know everything?). There’s always room to continue growing alongside one another. Don’t be afraid to think of your own questions as well!

While these conversations can be scary, the information you get from them can be crucial as you navigate the thoughts surrounding your forever person. If these talks seem scary or out of your reach, don’t be afraid to seek out a therapist to help you both sort out your thoughts, and possibly learn something new about yourself.  After all, our main reason for remaining present is to receive and give love.