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Relationship Doubts: Understanding Your Partner

The more aligned a couple is on certain crucial dimensions, the better off they will be in the long term.

Below are questions that can help to start thinking about how compatible a couple is:
• Do we expect our partner to tell us the amount of money spent on a shopping spree or an outing with friends?
• Does flirting constitute infidelity?
• How much free time spent away from one another is acceptable?
• Do we expect our partner to share all their secrets with us?
• Are friends of the opposite sex acceptable to us and at what level of intensity?
• Is there a difference between a “white lie” and dishonesty?
• Do we feel comfortable being vulnerable with our partner?
• When do we feel pushed away from our partner?
• When do we feel that making love with our partner is a way to connect and not just a physical exercise?
• Do we feel our levels of desire are similar?
• Can we readily express our needs comfortably and safely?
• What are our expectations of a successful partner?
• What sacrifices regarding our home, finances, careers or leisure activities are you willing to make for our partner?
• What values do we model?
• What family traditions do we want to carry on and what new ones do we want to create?
• What do we want our savings plan look like?
• How do we determine what our will be?
• Will one partner have more financial control than the other?
• What are our spending priorities?
• How do we create value besides earning income?

Discuss the following tasks and who is expected to be the lead partner and/or how would they be shared:
• Parenting
• Producing revenue; does one person’s career take precedence over the others
• Food Preparation
• Cleaning
• Financial issues; paying bills, creating a budget
• Laundry
• Home maintenance

Discuss the following hypothetical decisions.
• Accepting a work promotion vs. living in a less desirable geographic location
• Quitting a job due to dissatisfaction vs. staying for financial security
• Taking a walk together vs. going on a shopping trip
• Going on a recreational trip vs. going to visit family
• Paying for our child’s education vs. taking a second job
• Having a night out with friends vs. a night with just the two of us
• Visiting a sentimental places vs. visiting a new location
• Adhering to a budget vs. impulse spending
• Cuddling for the night vs. making love
• Watching TV vs. doing a project around the house
• Spending the holidays with one side of the family vs. the other side

Relationship Doubts: Understanding Your Partner

Aaron Karmin

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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2019). Relationship Doubts: Understanding Your Partner. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Jun 2019
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