Stephanie Sieberhagen

Relationship Specialist

Dr Steph's blog

The new partner check list

Posted by on April 12, 2020 at 8:00 AM

A dear friend asked me to compile a new partner checklist for her. After a separation some years ago, she was determined to make some more conscious relationship-choices in the future. We started chatting about this and agreed that the best place to start, was on the first date. Too  much emphasis nowadays is placed on - 'do they like me' instead of, 'do I like them?'. It's flattering when someone shows interest and we can easily fall in the trap of getting quite far into an involvement before we ask any of the important questions. Of course, the same things are not equally important to all of us (which is why I don't provide a list of desired answers), but I think there are some basics, so I compiled this list:

Are they religious?

Are they financially independant?

Do they have a psyhiatric disorder?

Do they have a chronic disease?

What is their relationship with their ex(es)?

Do they have or are they interested in having, children?

If parenting is on the table, what are their beliefs about how to parent and parenting roles?

If applicable, in what way is a child's parent (from a previous relationship) still involved?

Do they have pets or do they want pets/ what is their attitude towards raising pets?

How many friends do they have/ how often do they see them/ what do they do when they get together?

Are they political?

Are they sexist/ racist or homophobic?

Let them explain about their sex drive and particular wants/ needs around sex.

What are their eating habits?

How would they describe their personal hygiene and expectations around this for you?

Are they a smoker?

How much alcohol do they consume?

Have they ever been addicted to a substance?

How do they feel about co-habitation?

Have them describe their home-life to you.

Have them describe the kind of accommodation they live in or would like to live in (realistically).

Are they into sports/ the outdoors?

What does free-time spending look like for them?

What work do they do and what hours does it entail/ how much holiday time do they get/ give themselves?

What are their policies on technology and technology usage (is it ok to use your laptop in bed, for example?)

Where do they stand on social media (will you see pictures of yoruself all over Facebook?)

Where do they stand on the arts (museums/ galleries/ theatre/ music)?

What kind of literature and movies/ series/ music do they enjoy watching/ listenning to?

How aware are they of news - how do they receive their news (TV/online/radio)?

Do they have hobbies/ what do these entail?

Are they willing to go for couple counselling when needed?

How do they handle conflict?

Do they have a criminal record?

What education did they receive/ are they planning any further studies?

Would they ever consider moving elsewhere or emigrating?

How close are they to their families/ parents/ siblings?

How do they deal with cleaning duties and household maintenance?

What is a lie?

What is trust?

How do they define honesty?

Explore gender issues.

How do they celebrate events like birthdays?

Each one of these can be a quick check-in or a lengthy conversation. Keep focussed during those first heady few weeks of a new relationship. Make sure you keep on exploring. Don't make assumptions and re-visit topics to test their robustness.

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