Relationships can be filled with a lot of fun and laughter, but there comes a point when every couple needs to start hashing out the serious stuff. The question is: when is the best time to start asking those serious questions?
Evan Hamblin, a sophomore studying civil engineering, said there is no set time to start asking the serious questions.
“Each relationship is different and will move at different speeds,” said Hamblin. “I think it’s important for all people in a relationship to be aware of where they stand, and they do that by constantly communicating how they feel.”
One option is for a person to look at their own relationship and determine whether they want to be in it long-term. If the answer is “yes” and it is for the right reasons, then that is an excellent time to start asking questions that point towards the relationship’s progression, according to yourtango.com.
“I’d say that you can start asking the serious stuff once you’ve decided to move past being friends,” said Hannah Petersen, a sophomore studying family and consumer science. “So you’re at the point where you want to see if you’re compatible with each other.”
Petersen said there’s only two ways a relationship can go — either towards marriage or breaking up — so right before that choice is the best time to start asking the questions that will either make or break the relationship.
“At least ask basic get-to-know-you questions, though, before determining the relationship to even see if you’d like to be in one,” said Peterson.
Hamblin said he personally would not wait until determining the relationship or talking about marriage to communicate more serious matters. He said it should be constant throughout the dating process.
Sarah Shoemaker, a senior studying medical assisting, said she started talking about more serious matters with her fiancé once they realized they were not only physically attracted, but also emotionally attached.
Shoemaker said it was important for them to spend some time apart and learn that they cared for each other and missed being around each other before delving into deeper territory.
Delving into deeper territory means not only knowing the right time to ask the questions, but what questions are appropriate to ask.
“Everyone’s serious questions are different,” Hamblin said. “The important thing is knowing the questions you think will make a difference in the long-term of your relationship.”
For instance, Hamblin said he asks the person he is dating at the time about their attitude towards homosexuality and the LGBT culture because he has family who is bisexual. He said he needs to know if his significant other can deal with something like that.
Petersen said deeper questions for her included knowing if her significant other had been incarcerated and why, how he managed his money, and if he enjoyed the outdoors.
“I want to know where they see themselves in five to ten years,” said Petersen. “I want to know about their personal progression and where I could potentially fit into that picture.”
Petersen said she would also tell them the personal goals she saw herself achieving in the future, and if those two plans matched the relationship could go somewhere.
“You don’t even always have to ask questions to figure out people,” said Petersen. “Pay attention to what they do when nothing’s being asked.”
Shoemaker said some of the most important questions should not have to always be asked.
“If you’re dating someone, you should be able to see the answer to those questions,” said Shoemaker. “Like with their testimony. You shouldn’t have to ask them to see it in the way they live.”
Shoemaker said it is important to ask if they have had a past history with pornography or debt. She said you can discuss bad habits and make plans to compromise on different opinions.
“My fiancé and I talked about how we see money or marriage in general because you have to see eye-to-eye on those things,” said Shoemaker.
She said seeing eye-to-eye on those matters can make the difference and stop fights from happening.
“Just don’t have a grocery list of serious questions,” said Shoemaker. “Let it come naturally. Ask what’s most important for you.”